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Text and Video of Bernie Sanders Speech at Iowa Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

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Complete video of talk at bottom of speech.

Iowa, thank you.

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Thanks to all of you here tonight for your patriotism, for your love of country and for doing what too few Americans today are doing.

You are not standing on the sidelines complaining. You are not turning your backs on the political process.

You are standing up and fighting back. That's what you are doing. And that's what my campaign is about.

When you see the middle class of this country disappearing, and people working two or three jobs so their families can survive, you don't shrug your shoulders. You fight to raise the minimum wage and pay equity for women workers. You fight for a massive federal jobs program to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create millions of good paying jobs. You fight for an economy that works for working families and the middle class, for our kids and our seniors -- and not just for the people on top.

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When you see the United States having more income and wealth inequality than almost any major country on earth, and almost all of the new income and wealth going to the top one percent, you know that that is not moral or sustainable and you demand a tax system that tells Wall Street, corporate America and the wealthiest people in this country that, yes, they are going to have to pay their fair share of taxes.

When you see the United States having more people in jail than any other country on earth -- disproportionately African-American and Latino -- you are demanding that we invest in jobs and education for our young people, not more jails and incarceration.

When you saw the United States Supreme Court, in the Citizens United case, vote to allow the wealthiest people in this country to spend unlimited amounts of money to elect the candidates they want, you are fighting for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and a presidential candidate who made it absolutely clear that any nominee of his to the court would vote to overturn that disastrous decision.

While many in the Republican Party continue to deny the reality of climate change, you have demanded that we work with other countries in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energies and that we leave our kids and grandchildren a planet that is healthy and habitable.

You are not on the sidelines. You are fighting back and that's what this campaign is doing.

Six months ago, when I began my campaign for president of the United States and announced that we were going to take on the political and economic establishment of this country, very few pundits took the campaign seriously. I was not widely known. We were at about 3 percent in the polls. We had no money and no political organization.

Well, in the last six months things have changed. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers in every state in this country are working hard on this campaign, including some 7,000 here in Iowa. We have brought out to our rallies and town meetings over 300,000 Americans and have drawn some of the largest crowds of any campaign. And today, I can tell you that we have raised more individual contributions than any candidate in the history of this country, at this point in a campaign, averaging all of $30 apiece.

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The pundits said that, in this day and age, you can't win a campaign without a super PAC, without raising millions from the wealthiest people in this country. Well I am the only Democratic candidate for president who does not have a Super PAC and we are going to prove them wrong. We will win this election without a Super PAC.

And by the way, eight years ago the experts talked about how another Democratic candidate for president, Barack Obama, couldn't win. How he was unelectable. Well Iowa, I think we're going to prove the pundits wrong again. I believe we will make history.

My political life is not as well-known as some other candidates, so let me take a moment to tell you about some of the difficult choices I have had to make, some of the forks in the road I have encountered in my career as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, as a U.S. congressman and as a U.S. senator.

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Bernie Sanders is the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. He is a member of the Senate's Budget, Veterans, Environment, Energy, and H.E.L.P. (Health, Education, (more...)
 

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