Democrat Bernie Sanders laid out many of his familiar policy proposals at the Iowa State Fair Sunday. But this time he said his ideas are no longer on the political fringes, as they may have seemed to many voters when he campaigned four years-ago.
The Vermont senator spoke to the largest crowd of the day at the Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox. Sanders recalled speaking in the same place in 2016 and proposing a $15-per-hour minimum wage.
“Four years-ago that seemed like a wild and crazy idea,” Sanders said. “Since then seven states and the U.S. Congress have passed legislation raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. Thank you Iowa for helping to lead the way.”
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the $15 minimum wage last month although it lacks support from Republicans who control the Senate.
Sanders repeated proposals to provide tuition-free education at public colleges and to eliminate student debt. Other candidates have criticized the potential cost of those plans, but Sanders said it could be paid for by raising taxes on Wall Street speculation.
“Eleven years ago the people of this country had to bail out the crooks on Wall Street. Now it is their time to help the working class of this country,” Sanders said.
Sanders also criticized President Donald Trump for using divisive rhetoric on immigration, calling him the “most dangerous president in the modern history of this country,” adding that the presidency should bring people together.