Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Presidential Run

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced he would again run for president, promising in an interview Tuesday on “CBS This Morning” that that “we’re gonna win.”

Sanders aggressively challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016, and his focus on economic populism has helped shift the party leftward, as is evident as the field of 2020 candidates emerges.

He broke the news of his decision in an interview with Vermont Public Radio, but also appeared on “CBS This Morning.” He told hold John Dickerson that his campaign will trigger a grassroots movement that is “unprecedented in modern American history.”

He seemed to suggest that he will bring a substantial base of supporters from the start, given the unexpected strength of his 2016 race.

“I understand from the bottom of my heart that real change will never come about in this country unless there is a real struggle, unless millions of people stand up fight for the change,” he said.

In a video to supporters, he said, “Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. Our campaign is about taking on the powerful special interests that dominate our economic and political life.”

Popular on Variety

Very soon after Sanders announced, CNN said that it would host a town hall with him next Monday in Washington. Wolf Blitzer will moderate.

Sanders signaled he will campaign on populist and progressive issues, pushing for free college tuition, a higher minimum wage, and expanded health care coverage.

His entry also may further highlight tensions between the more populist wings of the Democratic party and of moderates, as it did during the 2016 election.

Sanders himself is not a registered Democrat. He describes himself as a Democratic socialist. In his CBS interview, he noted that he is a member of the Democratic leadership and caucuses with the party, but said that the party needed to reach out to those who don’t identify with a party.

President Trump already is blasting Democratic candidates, with ideas such as Medicare for All and free college tuition, as a lurch toward socialism.

Sanders predicted Trump’s attacks.

“He’s going to appeal, he’s going to lie. He’s going to say, ‘Bernie Sanders wants the United States to become Venezuela,” Sanders told CBS.

“You got a president who is a demagogue. You got a president who is leading us into an authoritarian direction. I would hope the American people do not believe too much of what he says.”

Trump told reporters on Tuesday that “personally I think [Sanders] missed his time.”

“I wish Bernie well, it will be interesting to see how he does,” Trump said, adding that he was not treated “with respect” by Clinton.

Sanders walloped Clinton in the New Hampshire primary in 2016, a victory that showed that he was more than just a protest candidate against the presumptive front runner. He fell short in the delegate count, and his loss left lingering tensions between supporters of both candidates that dragged into the general election.

He did raise a significant amount from the entertainment industry during his last campaign — almost $1.3 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. But he ran against the big money sums being raised by Clinton and the Democratic establishment. His supporters, in fact, protested Clinton when she headlined a high-dollar fundraiser at the home of George Clooney.

Sanders himself has taken on The Walt Disney Co., backing efforts by workers in Anaheim seeking a “living wage.” He appeared at a rally last June.

Sanders is 77, and if elected president, he would be 79. He would be far and away the oldest president elected. He told Dickerson that you have to look at “the totality of the person.”

“I have been blessed, thank God, with good health and good energy.”

Brent Lang contributed to this report.

More Politics

  • Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie

    Democrats Debate: Warren and Sanders Talk Women and Electability

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders sparred on Tuesday night over the question of electability, as Sanders denied having said that a woman could not win the presidency. Warren said on Monday that Sanders had told her in December 2018 that a woman could not be elected — while Sanders said the claim was “ludicrous.” [...]

  • Cory Booker

    Cory Booker Drops Out of Presidential Race

    Sen. Cory Booker announced Monday morning that he is dropping out of the presidential race, with three weeks to go before the Iowa caucus. In a message to supporters, Booker cited fundraising struggles and his failure to make the debate stage, and said he no longer sees a path to victory. “Our campaign has reached [...]

  • Ari Shapiro

    'All Things Considered' Host Ari Shapiro Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    “All Things Considered” host Ari Shapiro has signed with CAA, Variety has learned. Before serving as one of the hosts of NPR’s award-winning afternoon news magazine program, Shapiro was NPR’s White House and international correspondent based in London. He was the first NPR reporter promoted to correspondent before the age of 30. “Many of the [...]

  • Jackie Lacey and George Gascon

    Los Angeles D.A. Challenger Questions Timing of Weinstein Rape Charges

    The leading challenger in the race for Los Angeles County district attorney has questioned the timing of rape charges against Harvey Weinstein, saying it “smacks of politics.” District Attorney Jackie Lacey is running for a third term in the March 3 primary election. On Monday, she held a press conference to announce four charges against [...]

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to 'Step Back as Senior Members of Royal Family'

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they are “stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family.” In an Instagram post, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex explained that they made the decision to work towards “becoming financially independent” and to raise their son between the United States and the United Kingdom. Speculation is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content