Sanders says he needs to ‘win big’ in Wisconsin

Sanders says he needs to ‘win big’ in Wisconsin

Sen. Bernie Sanders says he needs to “win, and win big” in Wisconsin’s upcoming April 5 primary.

In an interview before a rally that drew 8,100 people to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on Saturday, Sanders told News 3 a lot is at stake for him in trying to increase his delegate count.

“We need to win and win big,” Sanders said.  “I think the victories that we have seen so far in the west are suggesting to me that we can take that momentum into Oregon and into California and back east into New York state, so I think we have a path toward victory.”

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin endorsed Sanders at the rally Saturday, but has been one of the only elected officials in Wisconsin to do so.  Other prominent Democrats, including Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, have endorsed Hillary Clinton.

“I thank the Mayor for his support, but this has been the case all over this country,” Sanders said.  “Hillary Clinton is the establishment’s candidate.  She’s the candidate of super PAC money, the candidate of almost all of the elected officials.  But we have taken them on in state after state.”

News 3 also asked Sanders about his plan to offer free college tuition at public universities and how he would see states picking up a third of the cost.

“Well, two-thirds of the cost comes from the federal government and those states that are not prepared to support young people and students, they’re going to see a migration of their best and brightest young people going to the states that do,” Sanders said.  “I don’t think any governor will want to see his best and brightest young people leaving the state.”

But Gov. Scott Walker has been critical of the expense and use of federal funds, and did not accept a federal expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, saying the state could not count on the federal government to uphold its commitment to provide the funding.

Sanders said there could be repercussions for not taking part in his plan.

“I think that the young people of the state will have something to say about it and will have something to say about the Republicans who support that decision,” Sanders said.  “My view is that it is not just young people, it is their parents, the people of this country who know that in the year 2016 if we are going to be competitive in the global economy we need the best-educated workforce and we don’t have it right now.  Making public colleges tuition-free is one way to do that, and those governors and politicians who do not support that idea will pay a political price.”

Sanders said he could “absolutely” win the state in November, and polls show him as a stronger candidate in Wisconsin than Clinton.

His campaign has scheduled four events in the state for Monday and Tuesday in Appleton, Milwaukee, Kenosha and La Crosse.