PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The State Theatre was packed Monday night for a rally with Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Party Chair Tom Perez.
Portland was the first stop for the pair's 'Come Together and Fight Back' tour to encourage political activism, in the wake of the party's devastating losses in 2016.
While Senator Sanders stuck to many of his usual talking points, both he and Perez took time to discuss Maine-specific issues.
“Our job is to radically transform the Democratic Party,” said Sanders to the very loud and enthusiastic crowd.
Not all in the crowd were pleased with the partnership of Sanders and the DNC - even booing the name of DNC chair Tom Perez.
The Maine GOP released a statement by its chair Demi Kouzounas, saying: “After their party suffered historic losses in Maine’s 2nd District and across the country, Sanders and Perez should focus on offering real solutions to work with Republicans instead of doubling down on obstructionist tactics and far-left rhetoric. Today’s stop in Portland is nothing more than a dog and pony show that fails to address the deep divisions in the Democrat Party.”
Sanders stuck to his usual talking points involving the establishment and corporate America.
But he also took time to focus on topics that matter to Mainers, like the recently passed minimum wage referendum. “Here in Maine we have got to stand together against all efforts to roll back the minimum wage legislation passed by the people of the state,” he said.
A reminder – Sanders won the Democratic Caucuses in Maine, defeating Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
Portland, Maine was the first stop in the 8-state 'Come Together and Fight Back tour.'
DNC Chair Tom Perez said part of the reason is Governor LePage. “Here is one of the reasons we wanted to choose this state…where all of the movement members had experience working with a bully,” he said. “And with your governor, you've got a heck of a lot of experience working with a bully.”
Both politicians explained to the enthusiastic crowd what they called the 'enormous problems' in the US currently.
And offered a solution, saying that it is the crowd’s job to bring “millions of people into the political process.”