In case you’ve been wondering whether Senator Bernie Sanders is mulling a presidential run in 2016, the answer is: “Yes.”
Today, Sanders — an independent, self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats — finally spilled the beans to MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press: “I am thinking about running for president.”
But the devil’s in the details. On the one hand, Sanders has succeeded in politics for decades as an independent and believes Americans feel frustrated with both political parties. On the other hand, the Democrats have a national infrastructure that independents lack.
“The truth is, profound anger at both political parties, more and more people are becoming independent, the negative is, how do you set up a fifty-state infrastructure as an independent?”
Unlike some potential presidential candidates — as well as President Barack Obama himself — Sanders has plenty of experience. He served as the Mayor of Burlington, Vermont from 1981–1989, eight terms in the House starting in 1981, and has been Vermont’s senator since 2007.
Sanders says he’s running because Americans “want real change,” and has toured New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Mississippi giving a series of talks on “the fight for economic justice.” As Sanders told the Burlington Free Press (and which Todd recapped during the interview):
“It is essential, to have someone in the 2016 presidential campaign who is willing to take on Wall Street, address the ‘collapse’ of the middle class, tackle the spread of poverty, and fiercely oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare.”
Sanders claims he has nothing against Hillary Clinton and doesn’t even know if she plans on running (really?!?) but he does have a beef with Obama.
‘I think President Obama has done some very good things. I think the level of obstructionism he has had to face is unprecedented in American history. And in some areas I very clearly disagree with him. I think he should have understood from day one that the Republicans were not going to cooperate with him. I think he should have gone to the American people in a more aggressive way, and said ‘You know what? The American people want to raise the minimum wage. We need millions of people to come to Washington and demand that we do that.”
Bernie Sanders mulls a 2016 presidential run.
Here’s the video with Bernie Sanders’ interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s Meet the Press.
Featured photo: Video screen grab/MSNBC.