HENNIKER, New Hampshire—Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his call for a “political revolution” back to the first-in-the-nation primary state Saturday, again drawing enthusiastic crowds who cheered his message of curbing the influence of corporate interests in politics.
The Vermont independent praised the Supreme Court decisions on the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage, but said the battle to reduce income and wealth inequality would be far tougher. “It is a much more difficult thing to look the billionaire class in the eye and say: You cannot have it all,” Sanders said during a speech and question-and-answer session at a town meeting here.
This weekend’s New Hampshire appearances are Sanders’ first since recent polls show him emerging as the leading challenger to front-runner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary nomination. One poll released by WMUR and CNN found Sanders just 8 points behind Clinton in New Hampshire. (although a second poll released the same day by Bloomberg and St. Anselm College showed Clinton with a 32-point lead.)
The Clinton campaign, however, has enjoyed a big head start in laying the groundwork for its turnout efforts in the Democratic primary. It already has opened a handful of field offices in the state and has two dozen paid staff. The campaign spent Saturday morning in its first canvassing effort aimed at likely primary voters.
Sanders’ New Hampshire team is only just coming together. Sanders’ New Hampshire coordinator, Kurt Ehrenberg, was hired a month ago, and so far has hired an operations manager and two field organizers. A state headquarters office is set to open in Concord, with other offices planned for the coming weeks, he said.
Sanders has been elected as an independent over his two-decade congressional career, and describes his political philosophy as “democratic socialism,” as is practiced in much of Western Europe. Even some Democrats argue that Sanders is unelectable to national office because of that label.
He has nevertheless drawn large audiences across the country, including 5,000 at a recent appearance in Denver.
Seth Kallman, a retired contractor from Harrisville who attended the Henniker appearance, said he agrees that the “socialist” label likely is harmful. “I admire that he steps forward and uses it anyway, because he is honest,” Kallman said, calling that one of Sanders’ best attributes. “You couldn’t get Hillary to speak that frankly. He is speaking frankly.”
Sanders saw an audience of 500 at a morning town meeting in Nashua, about 150 at a house party in Bow, and 350 at the Henniker town meeting Saturday evening. All three were standing room only, exceeding expected attendance.
What We're Following See More »
"Iranian hackers have laid the groundwork to carry out extensive cyberattacks on U.S. and European infrastructure and on private companies, and the U.S. is warning allies, hardening its defenses and weighing a counterattack, say multiple senior U.S. officials. Despite Iran having positioned cyber weapons to carry out attacks, there is no suggestion an offensive operation is imminent, according to the officials, who requested anonymity in order to speak."
"Negotiators from the Senate and House of Representatives late Thursday agreed to abandon efforts to reinstate harsher sanctions" against Chinese telecommunications company ZTE. "Draft language advanced in the House earlier this year focused on a procurement ban for ZTE products, whereas the Senate approved language that would reinstate the sales ban for U.S. companies to sell to ZTE." The change is a major win for President Trump, who has had exempted the company from earlier sanctions as part of broader trade negotiations with China.
"President Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments" to former Playboy model Karen McDougal "who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump." The FBI seized the recording during an April raid of Cohens office. "The Justice Department is investigating Mr. Cohen’s involvement in paying women to tamp down embarrassing news stories about Mr. Trump ahead of the 2016 election," which may violate federal campaign finance laws. Days before the election, Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks denied any knowledge of the payment, and said that the allegations were "totally untrue."
Conservative Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, a former CIA agent, says in a New York Times op-ed this morning that Russian intelligence is "manipulating" President Trump. "The leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad," he writes.