Thousands turned away at presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' - KPTV - FOX 12

Thousands turned away at presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' Portland rally

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Bernie Sanders at presidential campaign rally at Moda Center in Portland Bernie Sanders at presidential campaign rally at Moda Center in Portland
The Moda Center was full Sunday for the presidential campaign rally of Bernie Sanders. The Moda Center was full Sunday for the presidential campaign rally of Bernie Sanders.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Bernie Sanders is a big draw in Portland.

The Democratic presidential candidate was greeted by a packed house at the Moda Center on Sunday evening.

The rally was originally scheduled for the Memorial Coliseum, but was moved to the larger venue next door in the days leading up to the event.

It appeared to be a wise decision, as thousands of people began filing into the arena as soon as the doors opened an hour before the senator from Vermont was scheduled to take the stage.  

Organizers said thousands of people were turned away at the door because the venue was full. The campaign said an estimated 28,000 people showed up for the rally. About 20,000 of them were able to make it inside the Moda Center.

Throughout his hour-long speech, Sanders referred to those in attendance as "brothers and sisters" as they chanted, "Bernie, Bernie."

"What this campaign is about is bringing people together," he said.

 His speech covered a wide range of topics, including the high cost of higher education, which he called a "national disgrace," his plan for tuition-free public colleges and universities and the status of the U.S. work force.

"We must end this international embarrassment of the U.S. being the only country that does not guarantee workers paid medical and family leave," Sanders said, pledging to fight for 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for workers, as well as a $15 minimum wage.

He also endorsed a "major federal jobs program" to help rebuild the "crumbling" roads, bridges and other areas of infrastructure across the country.

"I'm begging you to think big, not small," Sanders said. "I want you to think about what this great country can be."

One day earlier, a rally in Seattle was interrupted by a Black Lives Matter protest. Sanders was pushed away from the microphone and ended up leaving the stage without giving his speech.

A Black Lives Matter protest in southeast Portland on Sunday led to two arrests, but the Moda Center rally went off without any interruptions.

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