Bernie Sanders, Tom Perez clash on opening leg of 'unity' tour

Mitch McConnell in 2014 when she released a TV ad showing her holding a shotgun at a shooting range in an attempt to combat McConnell's image of her as an out-of-touch liberal politician.

Republican Party of Kentucky communications director Tres Watson said Perez and Sanders' trip will "remind Kentuckians why they've elected more and more Republicans".

Before 1,200 people, Sanders said: "Our job is to radically transform the Democratic Party ... into a 50-state party and a party that does not continue to ignore half of the states in our country". "They are Republican lite". He's on an eight-state circuit of rallies with Democratic National Committee leaders, visiting states Donald Trump carried in the November election.

"As the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, we can and we must create an economy that works for all people", not just the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans, Sanders said.

SHAPIRO: Scott, you're in Texas, which doesn't seem like the most obvious place for Democrats to focus given the politics of the state. About 850,000 Floridians fall into the coverage gap because Scott and the Republican-led Legislature have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Sanders also said that Democrats need "a progressive agenda, to bring people into this party, to mobilize people", but it's not clear how he sees an anti-abortion candidate connecting with the Democratic party's platform of promoting women's reproductive rights. But even as he laid out his plan, he warned those assembled: those in power who benefit from the current health care system will not give up without a fight.

Former presidential candidate Sen. Again, Sanders put that blame on the Democratic Party.

- Before the tour kicked off in ME this week, there was already tension between the DNC and Sanders' team about sharing data from people who have RSVP'd.

The evening was billed as a joint event, but it was evident from attendees that Sanders was the main draw. That's a "right." And Bernie Sanders is expected to apologize for campaigning for a candidate who's not stoked enough about it.

The divisions exposed by the unity tour go well-beyond personality differences of Perez and Sanders and speak to a fundamental disagreement over the future direction of the party.

FILE - In this Friday, March 31, 2017, file photo, Sen.

Joanie Olin from Louisville, who said Sanders was "her man" during the presidential campaign, said Tuesday's event was "about boasting Bernie" and "giving him more air time ... letting people know that we haven't just laid down, because the Trumpster won".

Sanders earned sustained applause when he told the crowd that he would soon introduce legislation that would establish a "Medicare for all, single-payer" healthcare program. On Tuesday, Sanders, a longtime independent and self-described democratic socialist, made headlines for reaffirming that he still doesn't consider himself a Democrat.