Photos by ACM Images and Bland Bridenstine
TULSA, OK – From the loud Muse song “Uprising” to the enthusiastic chants of “Feel the Bern” there was high energy in the crowd for Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as he made his Tulsa campaign stop ahead of Super Tuesday.
The crowd of about 8,000 was filled with young people enthusiastic about rejecting corporate controlled candidates and embracing the man they felt was the real deal. As Senator Sanders took the stage he announced that there were more people waiting outside who had not been able to enter. Guests started lining up around 3:00 pm for the 7:00 pm event and lines wrapping around the Cox Business Center remained for the duration of the evening.
Sanders’s speech varied little from his stump speech he has been spreading for the last few months of the race. His attacks on corporate greed and his promise to raise the minimum wage resonated with the crowd. Cheers erupted with the promise to raise the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. “Let’s be clear,” Sanders said, “the federal minimum wage of seven dollars and twenty-five cents is a starvation wage.”
Boos came loudly during Sanders’s critique of the Walton family. Kingfisher, Oklahoma is the birthplace of Sam Walton-the founder of the Wal-Mart and Sams Club corporations. Sanders railed against the Walton family and welfare stating, “I say to the Walton family, get off of welfare and pay your taxes.”
Sanders prided his campaign on rejecting Super PAC donations and instead collecting small dollar donations that better represented the individuals in America. When he asked the crowd if they knew what the average donation to his campaign was, they responded with a chant of twenty-seven dollars.
There was a brief pause during the rally when a medical emergency brought medics in to assist a young woman who was escorted out of the room to get medical treatment. Sanders paused his speech to make sure the woman was okay before continuing on with his remarks.
Heading into Super Tuesday, both Clinton and Sanders are fighting for Oklahoma’s 38 delegates. A recent PPP poll has shown the race could be a tight one with both campaigns within a few points of one another.