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Bernie Sanders rallies supporters at Minnesota campaign stop

Wearing a jacket given to him by local Steelworkers, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took to the stage at the Hibbing High School auditorium this morning.

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Bernie Sanders speaks to a crowd gathered for a rally at Hibbing High School on Friday morning. (Samantha Erkkila / serkkila@duluthnews.com)

Wearing a jacket given to him by local Steelworkers, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took to the stage at the Hibbing High School auditorium this morning.

Sanders arrived on stage at about 10:15 a.m. to cheers and applause from the crowd, and the strains of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" playing in the historic venue. He started his speech by saying it was an honor to have met earlier in the morning with representatives of Steelworkers Local 1938 and also with representatives of Native American tribes in Minnesota.

Sanders called the treatment of Native Americans - the levels of poverty and lack of educational opportunities in those communities - a "national disgrace."

"Together we will change that," he said.

Sanders then talked about the level of income inequality in the U.S. and what he called "a series of disastrous trade policies."


"I'm running for president... because in my heart of hearts, I simply do not believe that establishment politics, and establishment economics is going to do what has to be done for the working families and the middle class," he said.

Sanders spoke for just under an hour. His appearance in Hibbing came just a few days ahead of Minnesota’s presidential caucuses, and exactly a month after he spoke to a crowd of more than 5,000 people in Duluth on Jan. 26.

Minnesotans will head to caucuses across the state on Tuesday to weigh in on who they would like to see as their party’s nominee for president.

The Hillary Clinton campaign announced Thursday that Chelsea Clinton will make a stop in Duluth in the coming days to rally support for her mother.

The details of when and where her visit will take place still were being worked out Thursday, but she’ll be campaigning in Duluth ahead of Tuesday’s caucuses, the Clinton campaign said.

Chelsea Clinton stumped for her mother in the Twin Cities earlier this month. Hillary Clinton has not visited the Northland this election cycle, though she did stop in Hibbing for a rally in support of Barack Obama's campaign in October 2008.

Clinton on Thursday issued a statement praising executive actions taken by President Barack Obama to battle the dumping of cheap foreign steel in the U.S., which is blamed for a downturn in the American iron mining and steel industries.

"I've been to the Iron Range. I've seen how underhanded and unfair trade practices have tilted the playing field against Iron Range workers and businesses," Clinton said in the statement. "We need to further strengthen the enforcement of our trade laws. We've also got to oppose China's efforts to win so-called 'market economy' status and crack down on currency manipulation abroad by expanding our toolbox to include new effective remedies like duties or tariffs. ... As President, I will fight to create good jobs and build a stronger economy each and every day."


As of Thursday afternoon, no Republican presidential candidates had scheduled visits to the Northland in the coming days. The only GOP presidential candidate to appear in the region so far this campaign was Rand Paul, who spoke in Duluth in November before later dropping out of the race.

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