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Sanders campaigns for Clinton, notes shared aims

Bernie Sanders speaks in Grand Rapids in October 2016.
Hilary Farrell

Bernie Sanders emphasized shared beliefs in a Grand Rapids speech supporting Hillary Clinton.

The former Democratic Presidential candidate and current Vermont senator’s speech drew hundreds and lasted close to an hour.  

Sanders spoke to now-familiar topics for anyone who supported his campaign: workers’ rights, income, universal healthcare, affordable education and the economy.

But Sanders also took care to highlight what he and Clinton have in common – all things he said GOP candidate Donald Trump does not.

"And I think that anybody in Michigan, in Vermont or in America, who takes a hard look at the real issues – and looks at what Donald Trump is saying, and looks at what Hillary Clinton is saying – Any objective person would conclude that far and away, Hillary Clinton is the superior candidate and must be elected President of the United States."

At times, Sanders appeared to address his supporters directly, outside of the current climate.

“I hope that you will do everything you can to see that Secretary Clinton is elected,” he said. “I hope that you understand that we have got to continue being involved in the political struggle the day after the election.”

Sanders emphasized the victories he and his supporters have won – and one issue that he said has lost ground: income and wealth inequality.

“What we lack now is not the ideas,” Sanders said. “We lack the political will.”

Claudia MacMillan attended the event. She said she was a Sanders supporter, and now she’s a Clinton supporter - because she wants to stop Donald Trump. 

"The climate in this country, the political hatred and bigotry and (Trump’s) horribly ugly campaign is a disgrace to this country," MacMillan said, "and everything it stands for." 

Michigan GOP chair Ronna Romney McDaniel issued a statement during Sanders' stateside travels, saying in part:

“Those struggling under the Clinton and Obama economy shouldn’t be putting their support behind a candidate who doesn’t respect them and continues to push for the status quo. They want someone who will make our government work for them, and given her 30 years in politics and disdain for millions of Americans, Hillary Clinton is not that person.”

Sanders’ Grand Rapids stop was the last of four he made in Michigan on Thursday in support of Clinton’s campaign.

Clinton returns to the state on Monday.

WGVU News Intern Stephen Borowy contributed to this report.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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