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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats hope to hold Big Oil 'accountable' On The Money — Will the billionaire tax survive Joe Manchin? Democrats cutting paid leave from spending deal amid Manchin opposition MORE (I-Vt.) mocked GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE on Saturday for offering rides in his helicopter outside of the Iowa State Fair.
“Oh look, what can you do? It’s Donald Trump,” he quipped during the event in Des Moines that afternoon upon seeing the aircraft fly overhead.
“I apologize — we left the helicopter at home,” joked Sanders, a 2016 Democratic White House hopeful. “I forgot to bring it.”
Trump generated spectacle during his Iowa State Fair visit Saturday by letting children fly with him in his private aircraft. The black helicopter, covered with Trump’s name on the sides, presented a rare sight on the campaign trail.
Sanders’s remarks on wealth and privilege Saturday painted a stark contrast with the excess of Trump’s campaign stunt.
“This country belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires,” he told listeners. “We need millions of people to stand up to the billionaire class and say, ‘You cannot have it all.’ ”
“In America today, what we are seeing is the disappearance of the great middle class,” Sanders added. “People are working two, three jobs just to put food on the table. Meanwhile, almost all of the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.”
Sanders contrasted his message with that of the GOP’s crowded 2016 field, including Trump. He argued Saturday that Republican presidential candidates touting their “family values” often miss what that term means to everyday Americans.
“Their values are that a woman should not have a right to control their own bodies, and I disagree,” Sanders said. “Their values are that our gay brothers and sisters should not be able to get married, and I disagree.”
“The United States has got to end the international embarrassment of being the only nation not to guarantee paid maternity leave,” he added. “Now that’s a family value.”
Sanders’s stop at the Iowa State Fair comes as he chips away at Hillary Clinton’s lead for the Democratic presidential nomination next year.
Multiple national polls show that support is mounting for the Vermont lawmaker amid concerns over Clinton’s transparency and trustworthiness.
Sanders praised Iowa on Saturday for its foresight in backing President Obama during his first Oval Office bid seven years ago.
“I want to thank the people of Iowa for their courage in voting for President Obama in 2008,” he said of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary caucus there.
“What you showed is that a state that is mostly white can vote for someone based on the character of their ideas and not the color of their skin,” Sanders added.
—Updated at 4:04 p.m.