TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – One by one they lined up, waiting for hours to see their candidate of choice. Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters chatted as they spent time outside the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
The rally was hours away, but voters wanted to be there early. There was a palpable energy in the air as attendees discussed the recent campaign momentum coming off the US senator’s primary win in Michigan.
“This is what Bernie is all about,” one young woman said. “He brings people together.”
The crowds were brought together side by side for the large rally, held in a venue with a capacity of 11,000. In the end, Sanders took the stage to a deafening round of applause coming from a wildly cheering crowd consisting of roughly 9,000 people.
Earlier in the day, members of the Secret Service and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office scanned the vast property and cavernous building as people piled in to get their seats.
Sanders received thunderous applause when he took a shot at Republican front-runner Donald Trump. “Do we want to elect a president who insults women?” he asked the screaming crowd.
The senator from Vermont received more cheers when he said, “We need a revolution!”
Before addressing his supporters, he spent some moments with News Channel 8. When asked about galvanizing young voters, he smiled and told us, “Looks like we have 7,000 or 8,000 people in the next room out there, and I’m really glad that’s happening.”
Attendees also erupted in cheers when the senator told them, “We’re doing something pretty radical in American politics. We’re telling the truth.”
In his one-on-one interview with News Channel 8, he specifically mentioned the future of the Tampa Bay area.
“I think we have an agenda that would work well for this area,” Sanders said.
Even though the majority of his supporters at this rally were millennials, Sanders gave a shout-out to Bay area seniors. “Florida has a whole lot of senior citizens. My plan is to increase social security benefits, take on Republicans who want to cut them,” the senator said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I can’t wait.”
On Thursday News Channel 8 went one-on-one with Senator Sanders – and it had nothing to do with politics. Does he prefer the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin? Would he rather be at the beach or skiing? Watch our video to find out:
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