DES MOINES, Iowa-- Politicians with very different views converged in Iowa's capitol Saturday afternoon for two very different events.
In one corner of Des Moines' Iowa Events Center, Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Special Adviser to the President Kellyanne Conway, and leaders in the Christian faith came together for the Family Leadership Summit.
A few rooms over, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) made his return to Iowa for the first time since the 2016 election. Sanders was the keynote speaker for the Citizens for Community Improvements Convention.
Sanders spoke about bringing people together to fight social injustices, promoting clean water and Medicare for all, and fighting President Trump's travel ban.
At the same time, Senators Ernst and Grassley and Kellyanne Conway spoke at the Family Leadership Summit, mixing faith and politics to talk about the importance of electing leaders with Christian principles.
Speakers on both sides spent much of their time calling the other party out.
Sen. Sanders took a jab at Republicans and their new health care plan, saying they've "refused to hold one public hearing. All their deliberations are behind closed doors. That's how bad this legislation is." The Senator continued, "And I say to Senators Grassley and Ernst: if you don't believe me, why don't you listen to every major health care organization in this country?"
Conway used her time to criticize the divisive rhetoric used by both parties in Washington, explaining, "If you want to disagree on policy, if you want to disagree on tax reform or healthcare reform or immigration; if you`re for abortion and I`m not, then say that. Disagree that way. That`s what America is; but so much of the criticism of me is so gender based."
Another interesting takeaway from today's events: people who saw Sanders speak said they feel like they are not being heard under the current administration. But people who listened to Conway, Ernst, and Grassley say they feel more confident than ever in the people who represent them.