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Bernie Sanders strives to win back Pa. for Dems at Oakland rally

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette logo Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 4/14/2019 By Julian Routh / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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In the first official presidential campaign visit to Pittsburgh of the 2020 cycle, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders started with a boast.

“We were told that it was gonna rain and there’d be a small turnout,” Mr. Sanders told a large crowd of mostly college-aged supporters at Schenley Plaza in Oakland on Sunday evening. “Looks like that’s not the case.”

With the Pittsburgh rally, Mr. Sanders’ is capping off a weekend battleground tour in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — three states that were key to Donald Trump’s win in 2016. Mr. Sanders’ campaign has said the candidate’s messaging on unions, trade and health care will make him well-positioned to win back Pennsylvania for the Democrats.

“The reason we are visiting these states is pretty simple,” Mr. Sanders said at the top of his speech. “Donald Trump won them two and a half years ago. We’re not going to let him win them in 2020.”

The senator dove in right away on the incumbent Republican President, calling Mr. Trump a “pathological liar.”

The biggest lie Mr. Trump has told, Mr. Sanders said, “was that he was going to stand up for working families and take on the establishment.”

“That was a monstrous lie,” he said.

Organizers said Mr. Sanders was expected to offer his support at the rally for the campaign to organize graduate assistants at the University of Pittsburgh into a labor union. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is also running for President, tweeted her support of the unionization effort earlier this month.

This story will be updated.

Julian Routh: jrouth@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1952, Twitter @julianrouth.

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