Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday launched his second run for president, again seeking the Democratic nomination.
“We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it’s time to move that revolution forward,” the Vermont independent, 77, said as he announced his bid on Vermont Public Radio.
“I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least a million people from across the country,” he added afterward in an email to supporters.
Sanders, relatively unknown before he ran and lost his bid for the Democratic nomination in 2016 to Hillary Clinton, managed to shift the conversation after his positions generated a surprising amount of enthusiasm, especially among millennials. His platform includes making higher education free, raising minimum wage above “starvation levels,” supporting women’s reproductive rights including abortion, and taking on corrupt special interests.
Now, he enters the race as a known political force to be reckoned with.
“I’m running for president because, now more than ever, we need leadership that brings us together – not divides us up,” he wrote in an email that went out to supporters. “Women and men, black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian American, gay and straight, young and old, native born and immigrant. Now is the time for us to stand together.”
“Powerful special interests may have the money, but we have the people,” he warned.
Sanders also took a shot at President Trump directly, calling him “the most dangerous president in modern American history,” and “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.”
Sanders enters a slightly more crowded field vying for the nomination than in 2016, when Clinton was the clear favorite. Senators Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand are all running. Former Vice President Joe Biden is still weighing his decision, but he would have a substantial polling lead if he announced a run. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is also running, as are South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Obama administration secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, among other candidates with less name recognition.