Michael Stipe once again found himself in front a microphone Sunday, this time as the introductory speaker at a Bernie Sanders rally in Coney Island, New York. With the Empire State’s crucial Democratic primary set for April 19th, the former R.E.M. singer, an avid supporter of the Vermont senator, delivered a passionate four-minute speech on why Sanders has his vote.
At the rally, Stipe praised Sanders as “a man with an unflappable position on issues that are important to me, like LGBTQ rights, environmental justice and equality. Whether we’re talking about pay equity, a living wage for all fulltime employees or making sure Main Street doesn’t suffer because of Wall Street, Bernie Sanders walks the walk and talks the talk in terms of fairness.
“Over the years of traveling across the United States and outside of America with my former band, I have discovered within myself an underlying but potent appreciation for justice and common decency,” Stipe added. “I seek out leaders who represent themselves honestly and fairly, and who share the same appreciation of justice.”
Stipe and Sanders also sat down for hot dogs during the Coney Island campaign stop.
Stipe recently spoke to Rolling Stone about why he’s campaigning on Sanders’ behalf. “I became aware of his ‘outsider-insider’ position in Congress,” Stipe said in an email. “He’s the senator who has consistently voted the way I would if I were a politician, and who has stood firm in his position and belief.”
Stipe’s Sanders rally appearance comes just days after the singer made a rare onstage appearance at both The Tonight Show and a pair of David Bowie tribute concerts in New York. Stipe also joins artists like Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon in Wisconsin, Vampire Weekend in Iowa, Red Hot Chili Peppers in Los Angeles, Phish’s Jon Fishman in Vermont and Killer Mike in Atlanta to stump in support of Sanders.