BOSTON -- On the eve of Super Tuesday, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders took a jab at rival Hillary Clinton for the “substantial sums” a super PAC supporting her has collected from corporate interests and reiterated his plans to stay in the race until voters in all 50 states have spoken.
Clinton and Sanders will face off in primaries and caucuses in 11 states on a day when more delegates are up for grabs than on any other single day in the Democratic nominating calendar.
Speaking to reporters beside his chartered jet here, Sanders seemed to be lowering expectations by relaying what he is up against in a candidate with far more support from elected officeholders.
“Tomorrow, all over the country our campaign is taking on the political establishment,” the Vermont senator said. “We’re taking on governors and senators and mayors who know how to get out the vote. They do that very well.”
“We will do well tomorrow if there is a large voter turnout, if working people, if young people, if people in many cases who have given up on the political process want to stand up and fight back and they come out to vote tomorrow,” Sanders said.
Sanders said he thinks he has a chance to do well in five of the states he has visited in recent days: Oklahoma, Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts and his home state of Vermont.
He also cited large turnouts at a pair of rallies Saturday in Texas and said, “I think we’ll do better there than people think.”
Asked about previous statements to stay in the race through the Democratic convention, Sanders noted that only four states have weighed in to this point.
“At the end of tomorrow, I think 15 states will have spoken,” Sanders said. “Last I heard, we have a lot more than 15 states in the United States of America, and I think it is more than appropriate to give all of those states and the people in those states a chance to vote for the candidate of their choice.”
Sanders also cited Sunday night’s Oscar speech by Adam McKay, winner of best adapted screenplay for “The Big Short,” to take a poke at Clinton. McKay, whose film focused on Wall Street excesses, warned viewers not to vote for candidates “who take money from big banks, big oil or weirdo billionaires.”
“Our country faces as you all know very serious problems, and as Adam McKay pointed out at the Oscars last night if we want to have a government that is not controlled by billionaires, we should not be voting for candidates who receive substantial sums of money from the wealthy, from Wall Street, from the pharmaceutical industry, from the fossil fuel industry,” Sanders said.
While Sanders said he has “a lot of respect” for Clinton, he questioned the influence of a super PAC supporting her, as he has done routinely in recent campaign speeches.
“I don’t think real change comes about when your super PAC raises many millions of dollars from Wall Street, from the drug companies, from the fossil fuel industries,” Sanders said. “Real change comes about when millions of people, working people, middle-class people, young people stand up and represent a government that represents all of us and not just the 1 percent.”