Bernie Sanders stumps in Chicago, central Illinois

ByLaura Thoren WLS logo
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Bernie Sanders at U of I
An overflow of peolpe could not fit inside the Bernie Sanders event at the University of Illinois so Sanders spoke to them before going in.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaigned in Chicago early Saturday before heading south to the University of Illinois, where he greeted an overflow of supporters outside the venue before heading into the rally.

In a Saturday morning invite-only event at the Hyatt Regency, Sanders targeted Hillary Clinton, criticized Mayor Rahm Emanuel's leadership in the city and repeated his anti-Wall Street position.

"Let me tell you that if I am elected to be president, the Justice Department will go after these Wall Street vultures," Sanders told the crowd. "Their days of looting local communities and state governments will be over."

Sanders hopes to win big in Illinois during the Tuesday primary and continue the momentum from his major unexpected win in the Michigan primary.

He said he wants to bring his "political revolution" to Illinois and beat Clinton in her home state. He also held a rally in Summit, Ill. Friday.

He also talked about the Friday night clashes at the Donald Trump rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago campus, addressing Trump's allegation that Sanders supporters incited the fracas.

"Well I don't think our supporters are inciting," Sanders said. "What our supporters are doing is responding to a candidate who has in fact in many ways encouraged violence."

Sanders repeated during all of his events on Saturday that the divisiveness needs to end and that the nation needs to come together to address wealth inequality.

Sanders is working on increasing poll numbers with minorities, releasing new TV ads aimed at Chicago African Americans and Latinos. One features former mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia, while another uses a Chicago Public Schools principal to criticize

Emanuel, a Clinton ally.

"Secretary Clinton is very proud to have the endorsement of Rahm Emanuel. You know what? I don't want Rahm Emanuel's endorsement," Sanders said in an interview with ABC7.

After the Hyatt event, Sanders headed to a Rainbow PUSH event with the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

In Champaign, more than 4,800 people tried to get into the Activities and Recreation Center on the U of I campus. Not all of them got in so Sanders greeted them before heading in.

"I didn't think it was going to be this many people I thought a thousand, two thousand, this many is ridiculous," said Ethan Perry, a U of I student.

Supporters said they support Sanders' message against government corruption and the reliance on Wall Street dollars.

"I came here to support Bernie Sanders and get big money out of politics," Jon Delzell, a Sanders supporter.

VIDEO: Bernie Sanders campaigns in Chicago on Saturday