77-Year-Old Democratic Socialist Announces Bid for President


February 19, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, announced on Tuesday that he is launching his second presidential campaign.

Sanders made the announcement on Vermont Public Radio, telling his home state he would travel around the country with "the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of."

"First of all, I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first. What I promise to do is, as I go around the country, is to take the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of – our belief in justice, in community, in grassroots politics and town meetings – that's what I'm going to carry all over this country," Sanders said.

He suggested part of his reason for running is to rid the White House of the "embarrassment" of President Donald Trump.

"I think he is a pathological liar every day," Sanders said of Trump. "He is telling one lie or another and it gives me no pleasure to say that, but I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants."

Sanders, who ran unsuccessfully against Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary, said the next president must be someone who brings people together rather than someone who divides.

"[W]e began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it's time to move that revolution forward and make sure those ideas are implemented into policy," Sanders said.

Sanders also announced his intention on Twitter. "I'm running for president. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least 1 million people from across the country," he tweeted.

The Trump campaign said in response to Sanders's announcement that due to the Democratic Party's move to embrace his "brand of socialism," the democratic socialist "has already won the debate in the Democrat primary."

Republican Party spokesman Michael Ahrens said most Americans, unlike Democratic Party leaders, oppose Sanders's "radical agenda."

"Bernie Sanders is a self-avowed socialist who wants to double your taxes so the [government] can take over your health care. The vast majority of voters oppose his radical agenda, just like they are going to oppose all 2020 Dems who have rushed to embrace it."

The Sanders campaign released a longer – nearly 11 minute – presidential announcement here.

Sanders enters into the race as one of the progressive frontrunners in a field of 2020 candidates focused on several progressive proposals like "Medicare for all" and the Green New Deal.

"I can tell you very happily, and I think any objective observer would confirm what I'm saying, is that in the last year and half or so, the Democratic party has moved in a far more progressive direction than they were before I ran for president," he said in an interview with CNN last year.

Update 10:51 a.m.: This report was updated with responses from the Trump campaign and Republican Party.