Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faced another round of increased pressure to take action on gun control legislation and other issues as Sen. Bernie Sanders held a fiery rally in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky on Sunday, according to Fox News.
The rally comes as more Democrats train their attacks on the 77-year-old senator, especially in the wake of two deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
During the rally, Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, who currently trades back-and-forth the second-place polling position with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, issued a simple demand to the senator.
“Stop your cowardice. Have the guts to debate the issues,” he said.
Sanders attacked McConnell on a variety of issues, including his past donations from Wall Street, which elicited resounding boos from the energized rally crowd.
He doubled down on McConnell’s association with billionaires, claiming the reason he traveled to the senator’s home state was to ask him to “do the right thing,” which included forgetting about his wealthy friends and “start worrying about the working families of this state and around the country who are struggling to keep their heads above water.”
Sanders asked the rally audience why McConnell opposes legislation that would protect working families, while making sure generous tax breaks are provided to billionaires. He then told the crowd to “follow the money.”
Before the rally, which was held in Louisville at the Muhammad Ali Center, Sanders took time to speak with striking AT&T workers who are holding out for a new contract while accusing management of “unfair labor practices.”
Sanders used the moment to take a shot at corporations, telling the striking workers that they needed to send a message to corporate America, while blasting corporations for sending jobs abroad.
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) August 25, 2019
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, who also found himself a victim of Sanders’ rally attack, slammed the Vermont senator for protesting businesses “who create jobs and opportunity.”
Bevin went on to point out the pitfalls of candidates like Sanders who want to offer everything for free to Americans, saying that “it doesn’t work that way” and explaining that someone who gets something for free means someone else is paying for it.
Sanders has maintained top-tier status in the national polls, holding firmly to second place until his fellow progressive opponent, Warren, began to surge after the second round of Democratic presidential debates, where she was touted by many analysts as the debate’s clear winner.
According to RealClear Politics national polling averages, Sanders currently sits at an even 16 percent, while Warren trails him with 15.4 percent.