Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersAnti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP Vulnerable NH Republican ties reelection bid to Trump Overnight Finance: Congress poised to avoid shutdown | Yellen defends Fed from Trump | Why Obama needs PhRMA on trade MORE says he wants to get the government working for everyone, not just the 1 percent.
At a campaign event in Sioux City, Iowa, on Tuesday evening, the Vermont senator said his campaign is raising enough money to run a winning national campaign without "begging corporate America or millionaires for their support."
"I pride myself and our campaign on the fact that our average campaign contribution is $27," Sanders said.
"We're rolling out the names of hundreds of thousands of working people who support us with individual contributions," he added.
Sanders pledged to focus on the most important issues to him, saying he wouldn’t let the media dictate his topics.
"I'm going to let the American people determine what the major issues are," he said. "These are the issues that not only will we talk about; these are the issues that together we will resolve."
The senator added that, compared to seven years ago, the country is in a much better place now — though you wouldn’t know it from listening to Republicans.
“We should be very sympathetic from our Republican friends who suffer from a very serious illness called amnesia. Amnesia results in memory loss. And they forgot where we were seven years ago," he said.
Sanders vowed to work for criminal justice reform.
"In my view, it makes a lot more sense for our country to be investing in education and jobs," he said, "rather than jails and incarceration."
Sanders has surged in recent polls in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. A CNN/WMUR poll of New Hampshire released Tuesday showed Sanders ahead of rival Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonJeb Bush: Reports of father supporting Clinton were 'inappropriate' Libertarian VP: 'Pop quizzes' on TV are not Johnson's 'forte' Trump: I have 'very good' marital history MORE by 27 points.