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Ilhan Omar Joins Sanders in N.H., Delivers Message of 'Radical Love'

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called on voters in Manchester today to be “moved, radically” by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and his presidential campaign.

Omar and Sanders’ remarks at Southern New Hampshire University on Friday underscored the campaign’s continued emphasis on sweeping progressive policy goals.

Omar is one of three members of the “squad,” a group of influential Democratic congresswomen, who have endorsed Sanders. She told the crowd that her liberal politics are sometimes labeled “radical” by critics.

“The truth is the only radicalism we are motivated by is radical love,” said Omar. “That’s why we’re calling on everyone to be moved, radically, by love for their neighbors, for their country, for our democracy, and for humanity.”

Omar told the audience that Sander's presidential campaign, with its proposals for universal health care and a 15-dollar minimum wage, is also built around radical love.

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Sanders, in his remarks, called Omar “one of the extraordinary people in American politics.”

“She has stood up to some of the most ugly racism ever thrown at a member of the United States Congress and she has stood up with pride and dignity,” said Sanders.

Sanders told the crowd that his campaign is focused on addressing what he called an unprecedented moment in American history, and he warned that “tinkering around the edges” won't be enough to fix the country's problems.

“Our campaign asks a lot of the people of this country,” said Sanders. “We ask people to think outside of the box. To go beyond what members of Congress talk about, what the media talks about, and ask the fundamental questions about what is going on in our country.”

Sanders said that while his sweeping policy proposals are expensive, like his climate plan that he says would cost more than $16 trillion over the next decade, voters should put those costs into perspective.

“I want you all to think, when you hear that my proposal is expensive, I want you to think about the alternative. How much is too much if we are fighting to save the planet?”

Sanders said achieving his vision would mean taking on “the power of corporate America.”

“I would be lying to you if I did not say that the 1% not only has unlimited amounts of money, but incredible economic power, political power, and they own the media,” said Sanders. “But at the end of the day, last I heard, that 99% is a hell of a lot more people than 1%.”

Omar and Sanders were scheduled to speak at second event in Nashua Friday evening.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.
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