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Sanders deals Clinton a huge blow in Michigan

Bernie Sanders at UMASS Amherst

Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd of more than 8,000 supporters at UMASS Amherst in February. (Photos Tracey C. O’Neill)

BOSTON – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders won Michigan’s Primary on Tuesday , dealing a “Yuge” blow to the campaign of his rival, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sanders’ win in the mishigama state came after a long evening of poll returns had the Vermont senator ahead by single digits until the call by the Associated Press (AP) just before midnight.

“I am grateful to the people of Michigan for defying the pundits and pollsters and giving us their support. This is a critically important night. We came from 30 points down in Michigan and we’re seeing the same kind of come-from-behind momentum all across America. – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

A little help from Michigonians

Sanders’ win in Michigan came with the help of former U.S. Sen. Donald W. Riegle, who served Michigan in both the House and Senate for three decades and state Sen. Bert Johnson who switched his endorsement from Clinton to Sanders earlier in the week.

“The young people of America want their future back.  They refuse to become a lost generation. Bernie is showing them that they can use their own individual power to speak – and organize – and act together – with other concerned citizens of all ages and backgrounds to work as a team – to take back their own government – to break the stranglehold of the special interest money and control.” – Former U.S. Senator Donald W. Riegle (MI)

Gov. Rick Snyder must resign

Sanders criss-crossed the state  in the run-up to the primary, drawing thousands at rallies and coming out strong against the governmental failure and humanitarian crisis in Flint. In a CNN debate on Sunday night, Sanders called for the resignation of Gov. Rick Snyder who knowingly allowed the Flint community to be exposed to life-threatening lead levels in their water supply.

Concentrating on workforce issues, Sanders challenged Clinton on her support for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) denouncing a policy that encouraged automobile industry jobs to be outsourced to Mexico.

“NAFTA, supported by the Secretary cost, us 800,000 jobs nationwide, tens of thousands of jobs in the Midwest,” said Sanders during the CNN Debate when Clinton accused her opponent of not supporting the auto industry. “Permanent normal trade relations with China cost us millions of jobs.”

Look, I was on a picket line in early 1990’s against NAFTA because you didn’t need a PhD in economics to understand that American workers should not be forced to compete against people in Mexico making 25 cents an hour. – Bernie Sanders, on NAFTA at CNN debate in Flint, Michigan

Clinton’s Deputy Communications Director, Kristina Schake responded to the Michigan win in a CNN interview.

“We knew going into Michigan that it was going to be a lot closer than the public polls showed, so this wasn’t unexpected for us.”

Clinton’s strength held in the South with her commanding the African-American vote.

Schake congratulated Sanders campaign on a hard-fought win and said the Clinton camp was confident heading into the next week of contests.

Sanders was confident, too,  having shown that his campaign was closing ranks and had gained momentum across the country.

“Not only is Michigan the gateway to the rest of the industrial Midwest, the results there show that we are a national campaign. We already have won in the Midwest, New England and the Great Plains and as more people get to know more about who we are and what our views are we’re going to do very well.”


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