February 21, 2019
The Independent senator from Vermont has joined the race: Senator Bernie Sanders announced his 2020 presidential bid on February 19 in a no-nonsense campaign video designed to knock President Donald Trump back on his heels.
“You know as well as I do that we are living in a pivotal and dangerous moment in American history,” he said in his “I’m Running for President” video, adding, “We are running against a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, xenophobe, and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction.”
Saying that he needed one million grassroots supporters to succeed in “bringing [Americans] together again” Sanders offered a message calculated to mobilize his audience of “…women and men, black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian American, gay and straight, young and old, native-born, and immigrant. “
Indeed, his campaign reported raising $5.9 million during the first 24 hours after his presidential announcement.
The 77-year-old candidate—whom many, including President Donald Trump had openly believed “had missed his time” and had lost his luster since the 2016 race—received donations from more than 225,000 individuals in the first day of his campaign, a haul that far outpaced his Democratic rivals and some of his biggest fundraising days during his primary challenge to Hillary Clinton, The Wall Street Journal reported.
With Sanders’ entry, the field now includes a dozen major Democratic candidates and could grow larger with expected decisions soon by former Vice President Joe Biden and former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke.
By comparison, Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) raised $1.5 million from 38,000 donors online in the 24 hours after she announced her campaign last month.
In his previous campaign, Sanders—an outlier to begin with because of his Independent politics—had labeled himself a Democratic socialist, a platform seen as too radical by the Democratic Party establishment. This time around, those same ideas—Medicare for all, a higher minimum wage, free college tuition— have gained widespread acceptance and are being embraced by mainstream candidates seeking the Democratic nomination.
“Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice,” Sanders said. “Our campaign is about taking on the powerful special interests that dominate our economic and political life. I’m talking about Wall Street, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex, the private-prison industry and the large multi-national corporations that exert such an enormous influence over our lives.”
Sanders promised to “fight for working families and the shrinking middle class, not just the 1%.”
His campaign slogan represents a jab at the current administration: “Not me. Us.”
Research contact: @BernieSanders