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Sanders Calls For A 'Political Revolution' At Campaign Kickoff

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Oliver Parini for VPR
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Sen. Bernie Sanders officially kicked off his presidential campaign Tuesday afternoon at Waterfront Park in Burlington. His 35-minute address touched on many of the economic issues he has raised throughout his political career.

With Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains behind him, Sen. Bernie Sanders officially kicked off his presidential campaign Tuesday afternoon at Waterfront Park in Burlington.

Sanders called for a political revolution to help empower middle class families across the country. And he called income inequality "the great moral issue of our time."

"Today, here in our small state, a state that has led this nation in so many ways, I am proud to announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America!" he proclaimed to a cheering crowd.

It was a warm, sun drenched afternoon, and it's estimated that at least 5,000 people came to the event. Many were waving blue and white "Bernie for President" signs.

His 35-minute address touched on many of the economic issues he has raised throughout his political career.

Sanders told the crowd that his campaign will try to upend the political system to give more people a voice.

"Today, with your support and the support of millions of people throughout our country, we begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally,” he said.

Sanders outlined an economic agenda that includes health care for all, a massive infrastructure campaign to fix roads, bridges, railroads and schools and an energy policy that transitions to renewable energy sources.

He said all of these proposals will create millions of good paying jobs in the future. 

"Today, with your support and the support of millions of people throughout our country, we begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally." - Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sanders said it's clear that over the past 25 years the rich have gotten richer while the middle class has been decimated. He says this situation has got to change.

"The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, it is the great political issue of our time and we will address it,” he said.  

And Sanders had a message for very wealthy Americans:

"To the billionaire class, I say that your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all of the benefits of America if you refuse to accept your responsibilities."

Sanders is headed right out on the campaign trail this week, with appearances in New Hampshire and Iowa.

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