On Thursday, during his "unity tour" with the Democratic National Committee, Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Omaha, Nebraska mayoral candidate Heath Mello, a Democrat who has previously co-sponsored anti-abortion legislation.
Sanders didn't draw almost as big an audience as President Donald Trump did when he came to town for a rally last month, but his message of unity was well-received Tuesday at the Louisville Palace.
The tour is meant to reconnect the progressive and established factions of the party, with Perez noting that the two groups are "inextricably bound".
During interviews with those in the crowd Tuesday, it was clear there is still a lot of skepticism about the Democratic Party among Sanders' supporters. "The Democratic Party is on the side of working families and that's exactly what you'll continue to hear in the days to come".
Sanders appearance-all part of a select Red State rally-the-grass-roots effort-finds Mello ready to take the stage at Baxter Arena, and let the votes fall where they may.
He said his road trip this week with Perez was not about sending a message of unity, but rather about focusing attention on the issues and encouraging voter participation.
"If you run as a Democrat, you're a Democrat", he said. DNC Chair Tom Perez was booed during their stop in ME, immediately putting a wrench in that whole "unity" thing. "Sanders recognize the change is us, the change is in Nebraska".
In that way, most of what Sanders is offering on the DNC-sponsored tour through states Trump carried is the core of his standard campaign speech from a year ago.
Malachi Thomson, 23, attended the event, noting he's "not really a fan of Perez", who he believes represents an establishment view of the Democratic Party.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, perhaps the party's dominant national figure after chasing Hillary Clinton to the wire in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, headlined the event. Regardless of where they live or their political affiliations, most people understand that it is absurd for Republicans in Congress to support huge tax breaks for billionaires while pushing for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. "We need a leader badly and I think he is the one". "We rebuild the Democratic party with strong leaders like Jane Kleeb bringing the grassroots into party", said Senator Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. speaks in Boston.
Thompson has since urged Democrats to stop debating why he lost and focus instead on the upcoming elections.
"We need to transform the Democratic Party", he told the crowd, slipping into same, familiar lines from the campaign.