Missoula first stop during Quist's weekend rallies - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Missoula first stop during Quist's weekend rallies

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From maroon and silver to blue, roughly 2,500 people gathered for Rob Quist's Missoula rally. Vermont Senator and former Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders was Quist's main speaker today at UM's Adams Center.

"That is why I have some much respect for Rob Quist," Sanders said. "He's turning his back on that way of raising money. He's doing it the old fashioned way."

Eliminating dark money and healthcare for all was a resonating theme of today's speeches for those attending. 

“This election is a fight for the soul of Montana," Quist said. "Other states have lost what we still have here in Montana.” 

Up until the American Health Care Act's introduction, Quist was focused on Montana's public lands. 

”Transfer and eventual sale of our public lands is nothing more than theft against our children, [and] our grandchildren...” he said. 

Public lands gave way to what Quist now believes is the main issue: health care in Montana and America.

Sanders expressed these similar ideas later saying, "healthcare is a right, not a privilege" along with sharing ideas on strengthening the middle class by increasing minimum wage and funding public education.

To drive home this point, a series of speakers, from a cancer survivor to Quist's wife addressed. 

Laurie Swartz spoke about the importance of the Affordable Healthcare Act and the effects repealing it could have on the livelihood of Montanans.

Swartz, now one and a half years cancer-free, said without health insurance she wouldn't have gotten a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. 

"All politics are personal," she said. 

Next Quist's wife Bonnie stressed the need to elect a "working Montana man" into Congress.

"Campaigns can be run small donations from people, not large corporate or super pac's," Bonnie Quist.  

Quist's campaign announced earlier this week that it has raised $5 million so far. The majority were $25 donations from "every day' Montanans according to Sanders.

The Gianforte Campaign released the following statement in response to Saturday's rallies:

"Bernie Sanders says that ‘Rob Quist would bring a different moral compass’ to Washington. The problem is Rob Quist’s moral compass is always pointed to his own self-interests: He refused to pay his fair share of taxes while wanting to raise taxes on hardworking Montanans, he tried to stiff a Montana small businessman thousands of dollars, and he spent years dodging taxes. Rob Quist always has an excuse for not honoring his debts and paying his bills, and we don't need to send more people like that to Washington D.C., we need to send someone who will get results for Montana."

Rallies for Quist will continue in Billings, Bozeman and Butte. 

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