Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders makes campaign stop in Charlotte

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders makes campaign stop in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s day two of early voting in North Carolina and some candidates and their staff are in Charlotte to make a pitch to voters.

Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders was in uptown while Senator Thom Tillis will be in Cornelius to stump for President Trump.

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Democratic hopeful Sanders held a free rally at the Belk Theater at 3:30 p.m. He has a plan to pour $5.5 million into ads across North Carolina and several other super Tuesday states.

Channel 9 reporter Joe Bruno interviewed Sanders at the uptown event.

VIDEO: Reporter Joe Bruno interviews Sen. Bernie Sanders

“Your priorities include Medicare For All, eliminating student loan debt, eliminating medical debt,” Bruno asked. “How do you pay for those priorities?”

“There are ways we can protect the middle class and working class of this country, which has been so battered for so many years, and tell the wealthiest people who now have it extraordinarily well, phenomenally well,” Sander said. “They are going to have to help us and pay their fair share of taxes.”

Sanders' rise to front-runner has Republicans eager to tie down the ballot races to his positions.

Tillis did so in a news conference Friday morning after early voting.

Last week, a GOP-tied group started boosting Democrat Senate candidate Erica Smith in TV ads highlighting her similar positions to Sanders.

“That’s what happens in elections,” Tillis said. “I feel like if Erica Smith believes people in North Carolina, Cal Cunningham believes people in North Carolina want Bernie Sanders’ progressive policies in place, then they need to be informed about it.”

Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield said a Sanders nomination would, “damage down the ballot races like the Senate.”

Sanders said that the congressman is dead wrong.

“I think our campaign is the strongest campaign to defeat Trump. To defeat Trump, we will need record-breaking voter turnout. When you have record-breaking turnout at the top of the ticket, it is going to trickle down to all Democratic candidates.”

Sanders and Mike Bloomberg are rising in the polls. Sanders said he believes Bloomberg’s candidacy is not what democracy is supposed to be about, and that he doesn’t have the right to buy the election.

While North Carolina is a swing state in general elections, we have seen more polling than other super Tuesday battlegrounds.

The most recent High Point University Poll shows Sanders appeared to take the lead compared to the other Democratic candidates.

Presidential hopeful Sanders makes 2 NC stops, including Charlotte

Sanders will also travel to South Carolina as part of his 50 state strategy.

Tillis held an “Anti-Bernie” rally in Cornelius on behalf of the Trump Campaign, which was Friday morning at 11 a.m. at Cornelius Town Hall.

Rally organizers said Sanders has an out-of-touch radical agenda they expect will be rejected by North Carolina voters.

Trump stopped in Charlotte last week for a private event. He told Eyewitness News anchor Allison Latos in an exclusive interview the Carolinas are very important for his re-election campaign and he will be here a lot.

Trump is expected to formally accept the GOP’s nomination for his re-election bid at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte in August.

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