Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders warmed up for his crucial Brooklyn debate with Hillary Clinton on Thursday with a rousing speech to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network where he received an enthusiastic reception.

The Vermont senator quickly struck a theme that was designed to appeal to his mostly African-American audience.

“You would have thought that after all that we have gone through as a country to make sure that people have the right to vote, regardless of the color of their skin,” said Sanders referring to the attacks on voting rights in certain states.

The enthusiastic reception for Democratic candidate contrasted sharply with the one given to  Clinton who had a tepid reception the night before.

“They are passing laws restricting right to vote, making it harder for people to vote,” he added, ” poor people, old people, people of color. That is moving exactly the wrong way.”

After winning eight of the last nine primaries, Sanders is pinning his hopes on an upset win in New York on Tuesday. He has 696 fewer delegates than Clinton and the state has 247 delegates up for grabs.

Sharpton’s National Action Network is regarded as a strong platform for Democratic candidates to reach African-American voters. Sharpton, however, has yet to endorse a candidate.


“If you want to beat Donald Trump, you’re looking at the strongest democratic candidate to do that,” said Sanders to loud applause.

“I need your help on Tuesday,” he concuded. “Let us have this great state join so many others that say ‘we are going to go forward with a political revolution’. We’re going to have a government representing g all of us, not just the one percent.”

Photo by Keciah Bailey