BOSTON – Building a grassroots movement in this key Super Tuesday primary state, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday was greeted by more than 20,000 cheering and chanting supporters at a rally inside the sprawling Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and 4,000 more in an overflow area outside.
“Boston, thank you. What a huge crowd,” Sanders said when he took the stage. “We are running a peoples campaign and while the millionaires and billionaires have something we don’t have we have something they don’t have. Look around this room,” Sanders said.
“Since we began this campaign, hundreds of thousands of people at meetings like this have come together to help us make a political revolution,” he added in the speech to the crowd that included supporters from next door New Hampshire, which will hold the nation’s first primary next Feb. 9, and from Massachusetts, one of 13 states which will hold primaries on March 1.
In Springfield, Sanders said the campaign was about more than electing the next president. “It is a grassroots campaign designed not only to elect someone president of the United States but to build a political movement,” he said.
Given the crises facing our country today, Sanders said, it is too late for establishment economics or establishment politics. “Now is the time to transform our society so that it works for the middle class and lower-income people, not just the top 1 percent.”
Another sign of that grassroots movement behind Sanders is the $26 million his campaign reported raising during the just-ended third quarter. The frugal campaign was left with about $26.5 million in the bank.
Unlike most other major candidates for the White House who are bankrolled by super PACs, Sanders has rejected help from the fundraising committees created after the Supreme Court in the Citizens United ruling in 2010 voided campaign funding laws. “The reason that we don’t have a super PAC is pretty simple. I don’t represent the millionaires and billionaires and I don’t want their money,” Sanders said in Springfield.