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Friday, April 14, 2017

Bernie Sanders Brings His Message to Ben & Jerry's St. Albans Plant

Posted By on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 5:22 PM

Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks at the Ben & Jerry's plant in St. Albans. - MARK DAVIS
  • Mark Davis
  • Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks at the Ben & Jerry's plant in St. Albans.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took his economic populist message to the Ben & Jerry's plant in St. Albans on Friday, telling employees that the company is a model of corporate responsibility.

"This company has had an impact in getting the word out to other corporations in Vermont and America that the bottom line is not enough," Sanders told a crowd of 100 workers employed by a company known for its philanthropic and social justice efforts.

In a 40-minute speech and question-and-answer session, Sanders hammered home familiar campaign themes and went after President Donald Trump, saying the Republican has strayed from his campaign promise to look out for working-class Americans.

"If you follow everything he's been doing, it's exactly the opposite," Sanders said.

Sanders fielded questions from eight employees, on topics ranging from opiate abuse to prescription drug prices and free college tuition.

Ben & Jerry's cofounders and longtime supporters Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield joined Sanders, as did company CEO Jostein Solheim.

The born-in-Vermont ice cream company recently announced a $14 million expansion, and 65 new jobs, at the St. Albans facility.
click to enlarge Bernie takes a couple of questions. - MARK DAVIS
  • Mark Davis
  • Bernie takes a couple of questions.
In a brief interaction with reporters after the event, Sanders chastised local media for focusing on his 2018 reelection plans after what he called a premature report this week on the topic.

"No one cares about it," Sanders said of his 2018 plans. "When I make my decision, Vermonters will be the first to know."

Sanders is scheduled next week to begin a tour with Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez and other party leaders to rally supporters in eight states, including Maine, Kentucky and Florida.

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Mark Davis

Mark Davis

Mark Davis is a Seven Days staff writer.

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