By Alicia Robinson, The Press-Enterprise,
Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
and Stephen Wall, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 05/24/16 – 3:33 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought his campaign of unity and diversity to a crowd of more than 5,200 supporters Tuesday at the National Orange Show Events Center.

Sanders took on Wall Street and corporations like Walmart, saying the middle class should not have to subsidize the wealthiest family in America, the Waltons, through the low wages paid to workers.

In a high-energy atmosphere, Sanders tackled topics such as poverty, living in a “rigged” economy and Social Security. He explained that America is not supposed to be a country where the top 1 percent own almost as much as the bottom 99 percent.

“Our message to Wall Street: They cannot have it all; this country belongs to all of us,” Sanders said.

Long lines of Sanders supporters waited hours to get inside and hear him talk about investing in young people, in jobs and education, not in jails or incarceration. He also pledged to overturn the “disastrous” Citizens United decision.

Sanders called for “demilitarization” of police and abolishing private prisons. The overwhelming majority of police officers in this country are honest and hardworking and do a very difficult job, he said.

“But, like any other public officials, if they break the law, they have to be called to account.”

Ashley Mendez, a UC Riverside student who lives in Chino, said she loves “everything about Bernie.”

Cynthia Farr, 23, a physics student at Cal State San Bernardino, said she originally favored Hillary Clinton, but after seeing her flip-flop, Farr now favors Sanders.

But not everyone who attended the event was a Sanders supporter.

Neither Kurt Ludlow, 25, of Claremont, nor Kaitlyn Oefinger, 22, of Long Beach, will vote for him, they said. Both came to San Bernardino to experience the political movement Sanders has inspired — but they’re voting for Clinton.

• Video: Claremont resident Kurt Ludlow talks about Bernie Sanders

Tuesday was two days shy of the one-year anniversary of the start of Sanders’ campaign for the presidential nomination, which he began in Burlington, Vermont on May 26, 2015. Three hundred and sixty two days later, Sanders is hanging on, although analysts expect Clinton will secure the Democratic nomination shortly after primary polls close in New Jersey on June 7.

San Bernardino was Sanders’ third stop of the day Tuesday, following visits to Anaheim and Riverside. And as Sanders was taking the stage in San Bernardino, Clinton was speaking in Riverside. On Wednesday, Trump will be back in Southern California, visiting Anaheim.

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