Bernie Sanders stops in Grand Rapids to campaign for Hillary Clinton

Posted at 9:53 PM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 22:55:21-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Election 2016 is just a month away, and it's not just the presidential nominees stumping for votes across the nation.

Voters in West Michigan will play a vital role in the race for the White House, which was a big reason Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont visited Grand Rapids Thursday night, who is now stumping for Hillary Clinton just months after losing a tough primary to her.

A majority of the people at Thursday's rally were 'Feeling the Bern'. His message targeted younger voters, and is now looking to direct that support to Secretary Clinton.

“Our agenda, it seems to me, is that in the next five weeks we have got to everything that we can, and Michigan is pivotal in that, is to do everything that we can to elect Hillary Clinton as our next president" said Sanders.

Sanders was quick to criticize Clinton's Republican opponent, Donald Trump, and his party's stance on social security.

"We have a Republican party out there that thinks it's a good idea to cut social security benefits or privatize social security benefits, Sanders said. "Well, we've got some bad news for them. We are going to expand social security benefits."

Soon after the discussion of social security came college tuition costs.

"We have hundreds of thousands of bright, qualified young people who want to get a higher education, but cannot do it because their families lack the income," said Sanders. "That is unfair to those families and it is unfair to the future of our country."

Sanders says Clinton has a plan to make all public universities offer free tuition for households making less than $125,000 per year. Another plan would refinance student loans at lower interest rates.

"How are you going to pay for it? I will tell you exactly how we are going to pay for it," said Sanders. "Donald Trump and his friends are going to start paying their fair share of taxes."

Education is one of many key issues for young voters, who Sanders is hoping to sway into Clinton's camp come election day.

"I believe that if she sticks to what she's been saying about agreeing with a lot of the stuff Bernie has said - and if she sticks to that - I think that I will vote for her," said 18-year-old Selena Knutson, a long-time Sanders supporter and first time voter.

Sanders spent a fair share of his speech criticizing Donald Trump for allegedly not paying his federal taxes.

Thursday's stop in Grand Rapids was one of four in Michigan for Sanders, including earlier stops in Dearborn, Ann Arbor and East Lansing. He'll be back on the campaign trail for Clinton Friday with stops in New Hampshire and Maine.

Meanwhile, Clinton is scheduled to visit Detroit Monday.