SIOUX CITY | In his campaign visit to Sioux City on Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Iowa's snowy roads reminded him of his home in Burlington, Vermont.
At the start of the rally at the Orpheum Theatre, the 74-year-old took a moment to honor a Ben Carson campaign worker who died Tuesday at an Omaha hospital after a crash on an icy Iowa road.
Carson, a Republican presidential candidate, said in a statement Tuesday that the worker, Braden Joplin, had died, but three other occupants in the vehicle were released from an Atlantic, Iowa, hospital.
Sanders' response to the news of the volunteer's death resulted in quiet applause and sullen sounds from a crowd of more than 1,100 people at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Sioux City. The rally was the second largest event in the city as part of the 2016 election cycle, trailing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who attracted a crowd of 2,300 people to West High School in October.
In his speech to the crowd of mostly young and middle-aged people, Sanders called out the Walton family, owner of the Walmart company, to "get off the welfare train" and to provide better wages and benefits to employees.
"The biggest welfare cheat in America is Walmart," Sanders said.
The comments were related to the Sanders' goal to eventually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, provide affordable health care and equal wages for men and women.
"These are issues millions and millions of people are wrestling with everyday," Sanders said of current wages in the United States.
The Vermont senator also said he wants to focus on investing in the country's youth and jobs, instead of spending money on prisons.
"I want a country that has the best educated population on earth," he said.
And for people not suited for post-secondary education, Sanders said he wants to invest in people who require vocational or trade skills.
Allie Logan, 19, of Sioux City, attended the rally and said she supports Sanders because of his a plans for America's youth and to address poverty.
"I really like his plan to help the poor people, and I really like his college plan," Logan said.
John Guagliardo, 27, of Vermillion, South Dakota, said Sanders can improve civil and human rights in the country.
"He's a man who stands by what he says, and has said the same things for his entire political career," Guagliardo said.
Linda Cutsinger, 54, of McCook Lake said she attended the event after watching Sanders' performance in the Democratic debate on Sunday.
"I vote by the sense of integrity in the individual," Cutsinger said. "I see that in Bernie, and that's what we need in someone to lead our country."