The Democratic candidates battling for the party’s nomination have made it clear that Ohio is the state to win in tomorrow’s next set of primaries. The huge push from both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to win Ohio included a big dinner in Columbus.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out their case to Ohio voters in a blitz of events around the state. And both candidates had a chance to tap into the center of the party by speaking to its most faithful supporters during the Ohio Democratic Party’s Legacy dinner.
The time Sanders had to speak at the event was sandwiched between two other events. So while Clinton spoke for longer than 25 minutes, Sanders only had about six minutes.
Sanders laid out his fight for campaign finance reform, raising the minimum wage and guaranteeing health care for everyone. And the topic he’s been focusing on in Ohio: trade.
“Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to end our disastrous trade policies NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, and tell corporate America that they better start investing in this country not just in China,” said Sanders.
Clinton had similar tough talk when it came to bad trade deals that leave Americans out of work. But while noting Sanders’ stance against essentially any trade agreement, she said there are times when they’re necessary.
“We are not even 5% of the world’s population so if we want the American economy to grow, we have to figure out how to sell to the other 95%," said Clinton. "So while we can’t shut our borders to trade, we can and I will demand that we have fair trade and as level a playing field as we can create.”
In her longer time to speak, the former secretary of state covered a broad range of topics, including taking several shots at the GOP front-runner, Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump is running a cynical campaign of hate and fear for one reason to get votes. He’s encouraging violence and chaos.”
She went on to say that America rejects demagogues and fear mongers.
“If you want to shut him down then let’s vote him down.”
More than 3,200 people attended the event, with the floor level and balcony packed with an audience, including college Democrats, wanting to see their candidate.
Sanders said his campaign is about engaging everyone who wants to take part in the process.
“The American people, working people, young people want in to the political process," Sanders said. "The Democratic Party has got to open the door, welcome those people in and create a party that stands for working people in the country.”
At the heart of Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic nomination has been the idea of spurring a political revolution. He ended his speech by saying that’s how people get the power to take on the billionaires in America.
“And yes we will have the power to create a government that works for all of us not just the 1%, thank you all very much,” said Sanders.
Clinton’s biggest ovation of the night was when she tapped into the repeal of SB5 in 2011 that would’ve overhauled collective bargaining.
Clinton: “And I have to thank you Ohio Democrats because when the chips were down you did not let Governor Kasich drown out the voices of Ohio’s public servants by weakening their unions,” said Clinton.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, national civil rights figure Rev. Jesse Jackson and tabloid talk show host Jerry Springer, once the mayor of Cincinnati, were all also at the event.