Bernie Sanders spoke to a crowd of over 20,000 people in Massachusetts Saturday night. It was the largest rally in the state in recent history, according to the Boston Globe, topping the crowd of 10,000 that came out eight years ago for Barack Obama.
The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center was packed to capacity, and a few thousand more people that couldn’t get in stayed outside to watch Sanders’ speech on a screen.
Sanders began his speech with his well-known opposition to big money donors, saying he doesn’t want money from corporate America.
“I don’t have a Super PAC. I don’t want a Super PAC, and I don’t need a Super PAC,” Sanders said.
Sanders recently recorded raising $26 million, just $2 million less than Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the same campaign finance period.
The senator told the crowd that 99% of the donations he has received were $100 or less.
“We are running a people’s campaign,” Sanders said.
Making a jab at his Republican colleagues, Sanders spoke about low voter turnouts that result in wins for Republicans.
“When nobody votes, Republicans win,” he said. “When large numbers of people come out, when people demand that the United States government start representing all of us and not just a handful of billionaires, when that happens, we win.”
Last November, 63% of Americans did not vote in the elections, Sanders said.
Receiving cheers throughout his whole speech, which lasted over an hour, Sanders touched on a number of other issues, including income inequality, access to higher education, access to healthcare, women’s rights and climate change.
Near the end of his speech, Sanders, who has previously been confronted by Black Lives Matter activists at his rallies, spoke about the country’s fight for racial justice. He said he believes we have made progress in recent years, but “we still have a very long way to go,” adding that we must address “institutional racism.”
He also commented on the recent shooting in Oregon, saying he agrees with President Barack Obama’s statement on Wednesday night about how we have become numb to mass shootings, and we must pass gun law reforms, including closing the “gun-show loophole” on background checks.
In the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Sanders is seven points behind Clinton as the first choice for Democratic voters.