Sanders hopes to be more competitive in S. Carolina in 2020


politics
Sanders hopes to be more competitive in S. Carolina in 2020

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses a rally in North Charleston, S.C., on Thursday, March 14, 2019. Sanders returned to the early-voting state, where primary voters gave him a 47-point drubbing in his 2016 campaign, for his first rally here since officially launching his 2020 presidential bid. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard) Bernie Sanders greets supporters at a rally in North Charleston, S.C., Thursday, March 14, 2019. South Carolina gave Bernie Sanders the cold shoulder in 2016. Four years and several visits later, Sanders hopes the state is ready to warm to him. (Lauren Petracca/The Post And Courier via AP)As part of that trip, Sanders also met with students at a historically black college in Columbia. He huddled with state lawmakers, attending a meeting of the Legislative Black Caucus.

On Thursday, Sanders said his campaign will address issues pertinent to minority communities and combat what he called "institutional racism."

"Whether it is a broken criminal justice system, or massive disparities in the availability of financial services, or health disparities, or environmental disparities, or educational disparities, or racist voting laws — our job is to create a nation in which all people are treated equally," Sanders said. "That is what we must do, and that is what we will do."

Some Democrats say Sanders — a self-proclaimed democratic socialist who advocates for sweeping government-backed programs — still faces an uphill climb in conservative-leaning South Carolina. Boyd Brown, a former state lawmaker and Democratic National Committee member, characterized Sanders as too extreme for South Carolina and said he's doing "greater damage to the party overall."

Sanders pushed back against the notion, telling The Associated Press that he felt his campaign has helped broaden minds, even in conservative states like South Carolina. On Thursday, Sanders told the crowd that he's not worried about detractors who say he can't win in South Carolina.

"I've got some bad news for them," Sanders said. "Based on what I'm seeing tonight, we're doing just fine in South Carolina."

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Associated Press writers Christina L. Myers in Columbia, S.C., and Juana Summers in Washington contributed to this report.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP


By: Associated Press

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