Bernie Sanders held a campaign event in the Bronx Thursday, where the Brooklyn-born senator did not pull any punches when it came to his rival for the Democratic nomination for president. Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Bernie Sanders may be a Brooklyn native, but on Thursday, it was the South Bronx feeling the Bern.
As a crowd that Sanders cited as 15,000 strong listened to the candidate tick off just about every item in his policy platform, some of them with special resonance here in New York, like the $15 minimum wage and his blistering critique of Wall Street.
"When you have a handful of financial institutions with so much economic and political power, now is the time to break them up," Sanders said.
TWC News Video: Watch Full Bernie Sanders Speech in The Bronx
The setting here at St Mary's Park in the black- and Latino-heavy South Bronx was no accident, as Sanders tries to chip away at Clinton's advantage with blacks - 35 points, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll, which put her ahead of Sanders 12 points overall among Democrats statewide.
Thursday, he hit on her fundraising, her support for the Iraq War and trade agreements, and her paid speeches before Wall Street firms.
"If that speech is so great, I think the American people have the right to hear it," Sanders said.
Adding some star power were director Spike Lee, actress Rosario Dawson and Puerto Rican artist Residente, who warmed up the crowd.
Sanders, meanwhile, sounding hoarse on a day that began with him campaigning in Pittsburgh, also made a direct appeal to black voters.
"They are tired of paying half of their income for housing. They want, and I want, major investments in inner cities throughout this country."
As to whether Sanders can erase Clinton's lead in the polls before New York's April 19 primary, he made this prediction: "If there is a large voter turnout, we will win."
There is no word on when Sanders will be in New York City again. He's back in Wisconsin Friday and through the weekend in advance of that state's big primary on Tuesday.