MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Umbrella-toting supporters stood in the morning rain, waiting for doors to First Avenue to open.
Their reward inside would be the fiery, progressive rhetoric they came to hear. It was a rally for Minnesota Attorney General democratic candidate, Rep. Keith Ellison.
Ellison told the enthusiastic crowd, “let me tell you this, it cannot only be women fighting for women’s rights and equality, it’s got to be all of us.”
The 5th District Minneapolis Congressman was a staunch, early supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run.
Now with Ellison running against four other Democrats to get on the November ballot, Sanders was in Minnesota to return the favor.
“Thank you, Minneapolis,” Sanders belted out as he took the stage.
The largely young crowd erupted as Sanders dove into a litany of praises for his friend, admitting that he is losing a friend on Capitol Hill in Washington, but understanding Ellison’s desires to serve all Minnesotans.
Sanders was quick to cite Ellison’s work with him to raise the minimum wage in front of a raucous crowd of 1,500.
“We are saying in America if you work 40 hours a week you’re not going to live in poverty, raise that damn minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Sanders said.
Before setting his sights on President Donald Trump, Sanders blasted his own party for an antiquated superdelegate endorsement process that hurt his 2016 chances. He praised Ellison’s work on behalf of changes that will do away with that system.
“And I thank Keith for working with me to tell the democratic party that time is long overdue to open the doors,” Sanders said.
But his sharpest criticism was for Trump, calling him divisive and lacking compassion and decency.
“So many people have struggled to end racism, sexism and discrimination and we say to Trump we are not going backwards, we are going forward,” Sanders said.
He said that can’t happen unless support turns into votes.