Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made his return to Pennsylvania to address the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America’s annual convention in Pittsburgh on Monday.
During the 45 minute address, he lauded the UE as “one of the most progressive unions in this country” and said it was time for the working class to go on the offensive.
“If there is going to be class struggle in the United States, it’s time that the working class went on the offensive and won that struggle,” Sanders said to the room of union members.
The union conducted a voice vote to formally give Sanders their endorsement, according to WESA. UE supported Sanders in his 2016 bid as well.
The UE’s general president Peter Knowlton said Sanders is “unafraid to challenge Corporate America’s stranglehold on our economy,” WESA reports.
Less than 2 weeks ago, President Donald Trump visited an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County and touted about his administration’s economic record. Sanders took aim at Trump today saying that the president is not on the side of workers and pledged to defeat him in Nov. 2020.
“We will defeat Trump and defeat him badly because we will expose him for the fraud and pathological liar that he is,” Sanders said according to WESA. “Trump said he would stand up to Wall Street and drain the swamp. Well, turns out that Trump has brought more billionaires and Wall Street executives into his administration than any other president in history.”
Sanders has made multiple campaign appearances in the state as a declared candidate. His most recent visit was when he joined hospital workers, union leaders and more in Philadelphia last month pushing his Medicare For All plan and rallying against the closure of Hahnemann University Hospital.
A new national poll of Democratic voters released Monday afternoon by Monmouth University shows Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) deadlocked at 20 percent each, while former Vice President Joe Biden has 19 percent.
In three Pennsylvania specific polls, Biden has remained at the top. A Franklin & Marshall College poll conducted between July 29 and Aug. 4, 2019 had Biden receiving 28% of the support in the state’s Democratic primary, while Warren garnered 21% of the vote and Sanders registering at 12%. An Emerson College poll conducted in late March had Biden receiving 39% and Sanders at 20%, while a Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll in April had Biden in the lead with 28% of the vote and Sanders at 16%.
Biden has stressed union support in campaign visits to the state and received the International Association of Fire Fighter endorsement leading up to a Pittsburgh address in late April.
Pa. holds its 2020 primary on April 28, right at the midpoint of the Democratic calendar. Sanders pulled 44% of the vote in Pennsylvania in the 2016 primary against Clinton.
The Pennsylvania GOP declined to comment on the Sanders rally.