Bernie Sanders hit the campaign trail on Friday night, rallying a crowd of students at the University of Iowa with promises of “Medicare for all” and an end to the Trump administration.
“This is a campaign that not only is going to win the Democratic nomination … that is not only going to defeat Donald Trump -- the most dangerous president in modern American history -- but this campaign is about more than that,” Sanders, I-Vt., said to a cheering crowd.
The campaign, the senator argued, is “about transforming this country” so that the U.S. “works for all – not just the 1 percent.”
“We will no longer tolerate the greed of Wall Street, the greed of corporate America and the greed of the billionaire class,” Sanders went on to say before specifically calling out the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
“I know you have unlimited amounts of money,” Sanders said. “Whether you like it or not, this country will pass a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system. Today we say to the partners in crime of the insurance company, the pharmaceutical industry: You will no longer continue to rip off the American people and charge us, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.”
The idea is not a new one for the candidate, who is currently seeking the Democratic nomination -- as he did unsuccessfully in 2016 -- despite being a longtime independent.
Last month, he told a told a CNN town hall that health care should be a “human right” and that the U.S. “shamefully” was the only major country on Earth “not to guarantee health care to all people.” He argued that the only “cost-effective” way to give all Americans health insurance would be with a “Medicare-for-all single-payer program.”
He leaned into the idea on Friday night. “We say to the insurance companies and we say to the drug companies – a new day is coming to America for health care,” he said.
Sanders, not surprisingly, refrained from criticizing his fellow Democratic candidates and instead aimed his criticism at the president.
“Donald Trump embarrasses us every single day,” Sanders said. “President Trump, you don’t work for working people when you introduce legislation that would’ve overturned insurance for 32 million people.”
The senator, who said the basics of his campaign will revolve around “justice, racial justice and environmental justice,” also criticized the role of major money in political campaigns before touting his own campaign’s financial roots.
“My friends, we are going to win this election, not because we have a super-PAC funded by billionaires. We are going to win this election because we are going to put together the strongest grassroots coalition in the history of our country.
“There is an enormous amount of work to do – let us do it.”
Sanders, 77, announced his second run for president last month. He lost the Democratic nomination in 2016 to Hillary Clinton, who in turn was defeated by Trump.
Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Mitti Hicks contributed to this report.