By Phil Roeder
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that he would run in the 2020 presidential election.
By Katy Savage
Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his bid for president on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
In an email to his supporters, Sanders said he was running in part to defeat President Donald Trump, who Sanders called “the most dangerous president in modern American history.”
“Now more than ever, we need leadership that brings us together – not divides us up,” Sanders said.
Sanders further criticized Trump in his email, calling Trump a “pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction.”
“I’m running for president because we need leadership that will fight for working families and the shrinking middle class, not just the 1 percent,” Sanders said.
Sanders, 77, is jumping into a crowded field after he lost the 2016 election to Democratic ticket to Hillary Clinton 55-43. Sanders said he believes he has enough support this time.
He launched a grassroots campaign similar to his previous campaign. He’ll be going forward without his former campaign manager, Jeff Weaver.
In his lengthy email to supporters, Sanders talked about popular messages from his previous election – Wall Street, universal health care and and increase in the minimum wage.
“We should not have 30 million Americans without any health insurance, even more who are underinsured and a nation in which life expectancy is actually in decline,” Sanders said.
Moments after he made his announcement, Vermont Republican Party chairwoman Deborah Billado asked him to resign from his position as Senator.
“It is clear that he has once again put his own interests in front of the interests of Vermonters.” said Billado in a statement. “Vermonters deserve the opportunity to have full representation in Washington. If Sanders is keen on continuing his presidential campaign, then he must resign and vacate his seat immediately.”
Rep. Jim Harrison, R-Chittenden, wasn’t surprised about the announcement.
“For the sake of democracy, having as many views out there to talk about some of the issues is a positive thing,” he said. “It’s a different dynamic than it was a couple years ago. It will be interesting.”