In August, Bernie Sanders told ABC News that if he ran for president, he’d have “a damn good platform.” The Independent Vermont senator further articulated his agenda this week, fueling increased speculation about a presidential run in 2016.
A self-described socialist who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, Sanders said in March that he’s “prepared to run for president” in a potential showdown with former Sen. Hillary Clinton or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
In a Huffington Post op-ed published Monday, Sanders urged his supporters “to gain control over the national debate,” identifying seven must-win policy issues necessary “to turn this country around.”
Condemning income inequality as “the greatest moral, economic, and political issue” of our time, the senator warned of an unsustainable system that privileges the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
Sanders called for campaign finance reform that “moves us toward public funding of elections,” an end to corporate tax loopholes and for special interests “to begin paying their fare share of taxes.”
Sanders described health care as “a human right of all people, not a privilege,” while declaring that “quality education should be available to all Americans regardless of their income.”
Sanders urged his supporters “to gain control over the national debate,” identifying seven must-win policy issues.
According to the senator, a trillion-dollar infrastructure investment could combat unemployment by creating “13 million decent paying jobs.”
Identifying climate change as the culprit of “devastating problems in the United States and through the world,” Sanders called on the nation to move “away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”
Sanders concluded his broad “progressive vision” by characterizing the contrasting “Republican right-wing agenda” as an out-of-touch effort fronted by Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh and corporate America. “It is not,” he insists, “an agenda supported by the American people.”
The op-ed represents the most recent development in Sanders’ ongoing exploration of a potential presidential campaign.
He has already visited the battleground state of Iowa four different times this year. In November, he hired Tad Devine, formerly a top political consultant for both the Al Gore and John Kerry’s presidential campaigns.
The day after Christmas, Sanders told the Associated Press that he would decide by March whether to launch a presidential campaign. He rejects the idea of running a marginal campaign just to influence the debate.
“I don’t want to do it unless I can do it well,” Sanders explained. “I don’t want to do it unless we can win this thing.”