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WATCH: Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders sits down with ABC-7, then rallies thousands in El Paso

Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters at a campaign rally in El Paso.
Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters at a campaign rally in El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas-Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders was holding four weekend rallies in Texas, one of those in El Paso, ahead of Super Tuesday primary voting in the Lone Star state.

The El Paso rally took place Saturday afternoon along Civic Center Plaza at the Abraham Chavez Theatre, which police said hit maximum capacity. Officers helped keep the peace outside the theater during an intense moment between the overflow of Sanders supporters and a small group of pro-Trump protesters who showed up.

The progressive senator told over 2,000 cheering supporters inside that President Trump is “a pathological liar running a corrupt administration.”

"We can win the Texas primary, we can win the Democratic nomination, we can defeat Donald Trump and we can transform this country. Let's do it," Sanders declared. "When we come together there is nothing we can’t accomplish."

His remarks focused largely on his two main issues - wealth inequality and healthcare. When it came to efforts to prevent mass shootings, Sanders said he would push for universal background checks to stop those with violent histories from getting weapons. (You can watch his entire rally in the video player at the bottom of this article.)

In an interview with ABC-7 just prior to the rally, Sanders offered a message for El Pasoans about what they could expect on immigration policy if he's elected president. (You can watch that entire interview in the video player at the top of this article.)

"We will end the demonization of the immigrant community. On day one, we will end all of Trump’s racist immigration executive orders. On day one, we will reestablish the legal status of all the 1.8 million young people and their parents eligible for the DACA program. On day one, we begin the process of making certain that federal agents do not snatch babies from the arms of their mothers or throw children into cages,” he said.

Sanders visit to El Paso came the same day that Nevada held its caucus. The Vermont senator was the resounding victor in the voting there, according to ABC News, cementing himself as the leader among the Democratic presidential candidates.

After his El Paso stop, Sanders traveled to San Antonio for an evening rally. On Sunday, he had rallies planned in Houston and Austin.

According to a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll released last week, Sanders has opened up a lead in the state ahead of the rest of the Democratic field as Super Tuesday approaches in a little over a week.

Article Topic Follows: Campaign 2020

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Julio-Cesar Chavez

Julio-Cesar Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter.


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