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Bernie Sanders delivers fiery NH Labor Day address

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 04. 2018 9:53AM
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks Monday during an AFL-CIO breakfast at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manchester. (DOUG ALDEN/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders urged labor advocates Monday to continue standing together during what he described as a pivotal time in American history.

Sanders, the independent from Vermont who made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination two years ago, delivered a fiery keynote address at an AFL-CIO breakfast, calling President Donald Trump a “pathological liar” who is more interested in further dividing the country than uniting it.

“When we stand together, we win. When they divide us up, they win. Let us stand together in the name of solidarity,” said Sanders, who drew cheers throughout his 20-minute address at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

All Americans owe a debt of gratitude to the labor movement, Sanders said.

“We owe them for the political struggles that they have led for so many years,” Sanders said. “There is a reason why corporate America and the one percent are attacking the union movement every day. That reason is that the union movement today is the last line of resistance to the reactionary corporate agenda.”

Sanders said his Labor Day message was particularly timely as a divided Congress faces the November midterms and a confirmation battle looms in the Senate over Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Sanders said he is concerned that Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would be opposed to workers’ rights and be an “anti-woman” justice.

“I am very much opposed to the nomination,” he said.

Sanders had plenty of support in the room, including from several speakers who preceded him Monday. U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, both Democrats, also lashed out at Trump and Republicans during their remarks.

“They are taking us in the wrong direction,” Shaheen said.

Republican leaders who should be standing up to Trump are instead standing by as the administration focuses on helping the rich and powerful, Sanders said.

“We have a President, and I say this with no joy in my heart, who is a pathological liar. We have a President who works night and day on behalf of his fellow billionaires,” Sanders said.

“And most reprehensible, we have a President who is not doing what almost every President in American history has done. When you make it into the Oval Office, you understand that you have a sacred responsibility to bring the American people together.”

Sanders also listed health care, the future of Social Security and wealth inequality among his top concerns.

“If we are just one person trying to take on a multinational corporation, we can’t do it alone,” he said. “In order to bring real progress to this country for the middle class, for the working families and for lower-income people, we need to stand together.”

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