Bernie Sanders Headlining Kentucky Event Aimed at Boosting Democrats

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The goal, then, of the unity tour is to bridge this great divide between how the public views Bernie Sanders and how it views the more deeply entrenched members of the Democratic Party establishment.

Perez and Sanders, D-Vt., the progressive who was defeated by Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, will be in Las Vegas on Saturday.

"I suspect that the Democratic Party here in Kentucky has not done the kind of job that it should have done", Sanders said.

That Perez and Sanders would diverge on these questions is not surprising.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Yeah. But the biggest bump came when progressives began withdrawing support for Omaha, Nebraska mayoral candidate Heath Mello after discovering that, as a Nebraska state senator eight years ago, he supported legislation to require women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion. The Democrats lost it, he said. That is a harsh statement, especially on a unity tour.

"I can not believe with all of the solar exposure that this state has, how little your utility has done to move this state in sustainable energy", Sanders said. I asked him what exactly he meant by that.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) had lines stretching down South 4th Street and the crowd on their feet inside the Louisville Palace Theater on Tuesday night.

"It can't be just symbolic, it has got to be real", Mr. Sanders said. "So what I am imploring you is break through the mold". When Sanders was unable to make inroads with the party's "super-delegates", the senator and his faithful talked about the "rigged" party system, and even after the senator endorsed Hillary Clinton and campaigned on her behalf, it was nearly always on the party's terms.

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Hillary Clinton won the Texas Democratic primary with 65 percent of the vote, and Trump won the state with 52 percent, but Sanders remains a popular figure here with progressives, many who maintain that "Bernie would've won" over two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in US history.

"The Republican leadership doesn't give a sh*t about people who are suffering", Perez told the audience. The tour ends in Las Vegas, Nevada, a swing state that elected Democrats up and down the ballot on election night 2016.

Trump had also vowed to lower the cost of prescription drugs, renegotiate failed trade policies, reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and "raise the minimum wage to at least ten bucks an hour", he added.

SHAPIRO: Had a little audio glitch there. Democrats need to go populist. And that's why we're heading out there across America to talk about this message and to really translate this energy out there into action.

Sanders' team sued the DNC over voter rolls, and his campaign manager called for the former party chair to resign. Despite the loss, Sanders insisted that the closer margin was a sign that working people across the country are rejecting Donald Trump's Republican party.

"It sounds to me like you guys are ready to make a political revolution".

DETROW: The symbolic nature of this is not that subtle from the Democrats.

"When you got right-wing governors tempting to throw people off of health insurance and give tax breaks to billionaires, don't tell me we can not wait in each and every state in this country", Sanders said. And that's why they're in places like Texas. They're going to Arizona. They're trying to show that they're serious about that. That's NPR's Scott Detrow.