Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts chose Denver as the venue for their first joint appearance on the campaign trail.
Their message to the 700 attendees at the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus and 1,000 in an overflow area: Donald Trump must be defeated, and voters must not be complacent.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Sanders, who got 59 percent of the votes in Colorado’s Democratic caucuses and enjoyed considerable Colorado support even at the Democratic National Convention, and Warren, the senator best known for her efforts in financial transparency following the 2008 crisis, have been campaigning separately for Clinton but are only now using their considerable progressive clout together.
“Donald Trump’s words don’t make me sick anymore, they make me furious,” Warren told the crowd, addressing the now-infamous Trump comments caught on tape.
She quoted Maya Angelou, saying, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
The senators both advocated for affordable education and increased minimum wage, while bemoaning the income gap.
“The system only works for those at the top,” she said. “That’s why we are here, to fight back.”
The senators also discussed affordable education, women’s rights, and climate change, throwing shade at the Republican candidate for doubting scientific fact, having described it as a Chinese hoax.
“We believe in science,” Warren said. “We believe climate change is real and we have a responsibility to preserve this earth for our children, our grandchildren and their grandchildren.”
Sanders closed the evening urging the largely young audience, many of whom had been in a line stretching two blocks across campus before the event, to stay politically engaged past election day.
“Do not listen to the people who tell you, ‘Hey we did it! Go back to sleep we will see you four years from now,'” he said. “Don’t listen to those people.”
“Our job is to elect Hillary Clinton. It is to defeat and defeat Trump badly and then begin the process of bringing millions of people together to stand up to the billionaire class,” Sanders said.
The evening opened with speeches from community members in support of Clinton. Colorado native Maria Corall, a single mother and daughter of Mexican immigrants, punctuated her speech with, “Se puede,” inspiring a crowd-wide chant of “Si se puede.”
Rep. Joe Salazar was next to take the stage, followed by Congressional candidate Morgan Carroll. Salazar praised Colorado’s implementation of gun safety legislation and marriage equality, attributing the state’s strong economy to its progressive values.
“Senators Sanders’s and Warren’s presence affirms that we can be an enlightened society, leading from a position of humanity for all people,” he said. “I am proud of these two senators and how they have taken the fight to the misogynistic racist.”
Carroll focused on Trump and the 2005 recordings.
A small group people protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline were quickly removed after disrupting the event with chanting.
Vinnie Cervantes and Isa Barajas de Benavidez were two of those protesters. Cervantes said the goal was to draw attention to the pipeline, which was not on the evening’s agenda.
Barajas de Benavidez had a different motivation.
“As an indigenous woman, it is my responsibility to stand with indigenous people,” Barajas de Benavidez, who hails from northern Mexico said. “It doesn’t matter if there is an election.”
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