Bernie Sanders has announced that he will run for President again in 2020.
The 77-year-old Vermont senator, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, is very popular among millennials for his progressive ideas.
His campaign says it raised $1m (£777,000) within three and a half hours of launching. But does he have what it takes to make Americans ‘feel the Bern’ again?
RT reports: Sanders first confirmed his plans in an interview aired on Vermont Public Radio on Monday. “I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first,” he said.
Speaking to CBS This Morning, the politician revealed that he will launch an “unprecedented” grassroots movement “to lay the groundwork for transforming the economic and political life of this country.”
He promised that it will be a “very different campaign” to 2016 when the senator narrowly lost the Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton.
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. Say you’re in: https://t.co/KOTx0WZqRf pic.twitter.com/T1TLH0rm26
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 19, 2019
An independent and self-described democratic socialist, Sanders has consistently taken the top spots in various polls on possible and declared Democratic Party contenders in recent weeks.
His progressive platform that focused on eliminating income inequality, ‘Medicare-for-all’ healthcare, and combating climate change solidified in the 2018 midterms, with several Democratic candidates backed by him winning congressional elections.
.@BernieSanders hasn’t even announced yet and he’s already in the lead among millennials.
— Millennials for Bernie Sanders (@mils4bernie2020) January 20, 2019
Sanders has been a vocal critic of US President Donald Trump and is seen as a strong candidate in a potential match-up against him. He blasted the president for overseeing the longest government shutdown in US history on Friday in a speech on the Senate floor and on social media.
How pathetic. On Dec. 19, the Senate unanimously passed essentially the same legislation that we will vote on today. We are back to exactly where we started. Thank you, Mr. President, for shutting down the government and holding 800,000 federal employees hostage. All for nothing!
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 25, 2019
“I think that the time is long overdue for the American people to tell this president he is not a dictator, he is not a king,”Sanders said.
“He cannot and he must not continue to threaten to shut down this government and hold hundreds of thousands of… federal workers hostage,” Sanders said, adding that “over one million contract employees” are not likely to receive back-pay.
He went on to talk about other crises affecting the nation, including the “30 million Americans who have no health insurance,” millions working for “starvation wages,” the broken criminal justice system, and climate change. He also spoke about the urgency to change the “immigration system that does not work.”
Before Sanders announced his intentions to run, he was forced to address allegations about sexual misconduct in his 2016 campaign.
He enters the race in a stronger position than in 2016 when he lost the nomination to Clinton, who the Democratic National Committee secretly supported, as was later revealed in documents published by WikiLeaks.
With no support from the establishment or big donors, Sanders still won the majority in 23 states before eventually conceding and endorsing Clinton.