Bernie Sanders is not quite done with his bid for the presidency yet, officially throwing his hat into the 2020 Democratic field on Tuesday with a promise to finish the work that he started in his unsuccessful 2016 run.
“Together, you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revolution. Now, it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for,” Sanders said in a video announcing his campaign.
Sanders’ agenda remains progressive, as he reiterated his intentions to expand health care, raise the minimum wage, make public higher education free, make the wealthy pay a fair share in taxes and protect the most vulnerable in our society, including children, the elderly and those who live in poverty – among other issues in his agenda.
“Three years ago, during our 2016 campaign, when we brought forth our progressive agenda we were told that our ideas were ‘radical,’ and ‘extreme,'” Sanders said. “These policies and more are now supported by a majority of Americans.”
“Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice,” he said. “They may have the money and the power. We have the people.”
NBC News notes that the 77-year-old Vermont independent senator enters the fray with huge popularity. Early polls show him leading the rest of his Democratic contenders, only coming in behind former Vice President Joe Biden – who has yet to decide if he will, in fact, enter the race.
And as Sanders enters the growing Democratic field, he finds himself surrounded by a more racially diverse and progressive field, with many other Democrats supporting and pushing some of the policies he first demanded, including Medicare for All and free public education.
According to NBC, some of Sanders’ former staffers have already moved on to work with other candidates, although many have remained loyal.
Another thing Sanders seems set to focus on is the current administration. Sparing no criticism, he lashed out at the current president in his campaign video, 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 am running for president because now more than ever, we need leadership that brings us together, not divides us up,” he said.
“So here is my question for you,” he added. “Will you stand with me as part of a million-person grassroots movement, which can not only win the Democratic nomination, not only win the general election but most importantly help transform this country so that finally we have a government that works for all of us and not just a few?”