Sanders: I'm Seriously Considering a 2020 Presidential Run

November 19, 2018

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said on Sunday that he is seriously considering another run for president in 2020.

MSNBC's "Politics Nation" host Al Shaprton asked the 77-year-old senator if he was going to run again after losing out on the Democratic nomination in 2016.

"Twenty-twenty, everyone is talking about this candidate or that candidate. A central question is, will Bernie Sanders run again?" Sharpton asked.

"And the answer is, Al, I will make that decision at the appropriate time. I will be honest with you, you're a friend, you know, we're looking at it. But it is ... a decision that impacts your family. And I want to make sure that when I make that decision, if I decide to run, that I have concluded, in fact, that I am the strongest candidate who can defeat Donald Trump," Sanders said. "And I've got to make that decision based on my background, based on my past, based on my ideas that, in fact, I am the candidate that can defeat Trump."

"You're not ruling it out; you're saying you're seriously considering it?" Sharpton asked.

"That is correct," Sanders answered.

Sanders was the runner-up in the Democratic primary in 2016 and has garnered a strong base of support by running on a far-left progressive message. Key figures from his 2016 campaign launched a PAC called Our Revolution that has worked to support progressive candidates throughout the country.

Sanders has been a vocal advocate for progressive causes like single-payer health carefree college tuition, and limiting the amount of deodorant choices. During the 2016 campaign, Sanders' opponent Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party establishment resisted some of the senator's positions. Sanders wanted the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour, while Clinton called for it only to be raised to $12 an hour. Clinton also opposed Medicare for all while Sanders pushed for it.

After Clinton's defeat in 2016, studies found that the Democratic Party moved further to the left, which has led many Democratic voters to adopt Sanders' positions. Fifty-seven percent of Democratic candidates who supported Medicare for all, won in 2018.

Sharpton asked what type of candidate would defeat Trump in 2020.

"I think you need a candidate who has -- can focus on -- two ways, two approaches. Number one, we've got to deal with the ugliness of Donald Trump, his authoritarianism, his racism and sexism and all of that. That has got to be dealt with. We're talking about the future of American democracy," Sanders said.  "Second of all, going back to the work that you have done, Jesse Jackson has done. We've got to bring our coalition together. That means working people who are black and white and latino, Asian American, Native American to demand that we have an economy and a government that works for all."