Sen. Bernie Sanders makes first SXSW appearance

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It was a packed house when CNN’s Jake Tapper sat down with the former presidential nominee and Senator Bernie Sanders at South by Southwest Friday afternoon.

The interactive festival hosts many political events including in the past talks with former Vice President Joe Biden, former Presidents Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton. Earlier this week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos gave a keynote address.

Sanders, who made his first appearance at SXSW, is seen as the far-left figure mostly challenging the status quo inside the Democratic Party. He lost a lengthy primary election with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who eventually lost to President Donald Trump in 2016.

Many see SXSW as a festival that highlights and reinforces ideas that break the mold. People filed into an auditorium to hear Sanders speak about what needs mold-breaking right now.

“The power of money in politics,” said Sanders.

He said many American institutions don’t capture the wants and needs of everyday Americans: Congress, government bureaucracy and the media.

“A lot of what TV is about is kind of gotcha stuff, conflict stuff and sensationalism. And we don’t talk about the most important issues facing working people of this country,” Sanders said. People in the crowd agreed and think the media should refocus.

Sanders said once you stop small and narrow interest groups, we might find something we haven’t heard in a while.

“The truth is, the American people are not divided,” Sanders said.

Sanders will head to San Antonio and then to Lubbock this weekend to get out the vote for 2018.

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