Speed Reads

Still Berning

Bernie Sanders announces he's running for president in 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is making a second run for the Democratic presidential nomination, he told Vermont Public Radio on Tuesday morning. "We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it's time to move that revolution forward," Sanders told VPR's Bob Kinzel. "I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first." He followed that up with an emailed announcement to supporters. Sanders is not the underdog he was in 2016, when he gave Hillary Clinton an unexpectedly strong challenge. But this year's primary is also much more crowded and more in line with Sanders' ideology.

"It turns out that many of the ideas that I talked about — that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that we've got to move toward a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system: very, very popular," he said. Kinzel asked if a 77-year-old white man is going to be a hard sell for Democrats this year, and Sanders said he shouldn't be judged on his looks: "We have got to look at candidates not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or gender, and not by their age. I think we have got to try to move us toward a nondiscriminatory society that looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for."

Sanders also said that after recent revelations of sexual misconduct in his 2016 campaign, he'll provide staff and volunteers "a whole lot of education" about sexual harassment. And he highlighted the importance of beating President Trump in 2020. "I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country," he said. "I think he is a pathological liar" as well as "a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants." You can listen to Sanders' interview at Vermont Public Radio.