Sanders supporters pack Vermont campaign HQ for debate watch party

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is getting some rest after his first 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate in Miami.

Dozens of people passed up a beautiful Thursday evening at Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace to cram into the Sanders campaign’s Vermont headquarters.

“I’m very concerned about health care, climate change and equalizing the economic playing field,” Dian Mueller of Burlington said. “It seems the more vigorously his ideas are debated, the more people come on board.”

Enough supporters had gathered at the campaign offices before the NBC News debate started that volunteers and staff set up overflow seating.

“I hope he’s really assertive and gets his time in, and I hope he sticks to his economic justice reform,” Conner Estes of Chicago said.

“I’m really curious about how he’s going to address gun control,” Jakob Rupp of Burlington said. “In light of the recent Seven Days article, I want to see if he has anything to say about that.”

Seven Days reported earlier this week that Sanders told them in 2013: “My own view on guns is: everything being equal, states should make those decisions.” During Thursday’s debate, Sanders called the Seven Days piece a mistaken characterization of his thinking.

After the debate, Mueller told us how she thought the senator had done with the issue of climate change.

“I wish that they had given him more time to express his plans,” she said. “He was only able to reply to other people instead of lay out his ideas.”

Mueller feels the moderators did give Sanders enough time to discuss health care, and she believes the senator was able to get some of his views on economic inequality across.

“I’m very confident that, since that’s always been his number-one issue, there’ll be plenty of time going forward to get into more details,” she said.

And what of Mueller’s opinion that the more Sanders’ ideas are debated, the more people come around to them?

“I heard a great deal of that (during the debate), and it sounded very much to me like (New York Sen. Kirsten) Gillibrand is opting to potentially be his running mate,” she added.

The next Democratic primary debates are scheduled for July 30th and July 31st in Detroit.

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