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In Iowa, Sanders Rallies Young People; Clinton Gets Pragmatic

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: In Cedar Rapids last night, 1,100 people turned out to see Hillary Clinton in a high school gymnasium. Many there were volunteers who traveled from all over the country to help Clinton get supporters out to caucus for her Monday night. But Hillary Clinton wasn't the only draw. Bill and Chelsea were there, too. The former Secretary of State's speech delivered inspiration with a heavy dose of pragmatism.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

HILLARY CLINTON: There's still too much inequality, too much unfairness. So what we need is a plan and a commitment and me. Yes, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Cheering).

KEITH: Clinton saved most of her criticism for Republicans, but did point out a few areas where she and her chief opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have policy differences.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

CLINTON: I am a progressive who likes to get things done. I'm a progressive who actually likes to make progress. That's what I believe in, and that's why the debate I'm having with Sen. Sanders over health care is so important. We both have the same goals. We want universal coverage.

KEITH: But they disagree about how to get there. Clinton wants to improve and expand the Affordable Care Act. Sanders wants a single-payer system he calls Medicare For All.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: This is Sam Sanders in Iowa city, where Bernie Sanders held a rally and concert at the University of Iowa. In his speech, Sanders directly referenced Hillary Clinton just once. Not on policy, but to point out how close the race is now.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

BERNIE SANDERS: We began our campaign about nine months ago, and the very first polls here in Iowa had us behind behind Secretary Clinton by 50 points or 60 points. Today, nine months later, the race is virtually tied.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Cheering).

B. SANDERS: Sanders told the crowd if turnout's high, he'll win the Iowa caucus. If it's low, he loses.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

B. SANDERS: They say well, young people, you know, they come out to rallies. But you know what? You're not going to come out to participate in the caucus.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Booing).

B. SANDERS: So how would you like to make the pundits look dumb on election night?

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Cheering).

S. SANDERS: And Sanders ended his speech like he almost always does, with a call to action.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

B. SANDERS: On Monday night, we are poised to make history. Help us do that. Join the political revolution. Thank you all very much.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Cheering).

S. SANDERS: This rally shows that Sanders is counting on young people to be on the front lines. I'm Sam Sanders.

KEITH: And I'm Tamara Keith, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders is a correspondent and host of It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders at NPR. In the show, Sanders engages with journalists, actors, musicians, and listeners to gain the kind of understanding about news and popular culture that can only be reached through conversation. The podcast releases two episodes each week: a "deep dive" interview on Tuesdays, as well as a Friday wrap of the week's news.
Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
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