Ashton Marra Published

Sanders: West Virginians Want Government for the People


After holding three events in West Virginia Thursday, Vermont Senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said he is focused on winning West Virginia because the hardworking people deserve a government that represent all people, not just the interested of billionaires. 

“It’s a state of tough people, people who are fighting back against difficult odds today,” Sanders said Friday afternoon. 

“I do believe that the people of West Virginia want a government that represents all of us and not just the wealthy campaign contributors or just the 1 percent.”

Sanders shared his message of pushing the interests of the top 1 percent of earners in the nation out of politics during all of his stops in West Virginia. It’s a message he touts on the campaign trail across the country to the crowds he draws with his message of equality. 

Sanders also speaks candidly about climate change, saying the issue is often controversial in West Virginia during his Huntington rally last month.

He has spoken out against the use of coal and fracking of natural gas, two industries West Virginia depends on, but the senator said climate change is real and while he believes the nation should stop burning fossil fuels, he won’t leave the state behind.

“The cause of that problem is not the coal miner, it is not the people who are working in the fossil fuel industry,” Sanders said, “and that’s why we have put $41 billion into making sure that if people lose their jobs they will be able to get the extended unemployment they need, the job training they need, and why we are going to reinvest heavily into those communities.”

Sanders pointed to McDowell County, where he visited a food bank Thursday morning, as the perfect example of a community that has been left behind in the transition away from fossil fuels.

As for apparent Republican nominee Donald Trump’s comments about voting shared with a crowd of thousands Thursday evening, comments directing West Virginians not to vote in West Virginia’s May 10 primary, Sanders called them disrespectful.

“Well, that’s a wonderful thing to say about democracy,” Sander said. “People fought and died to make sure that all of us have a right to determine the future of this country. I think that is an absurd remark and an insult to the people who put their lives on the line.”

Sanders said he hopes all West Virginians turn out to vote because, as he’s mentioned at many other rallies across the country, when there’s high voter turn out, his campaign is more likely to win.