Sanders stirs up 2016 speculation, says he's got a 'damn good platform' to run on
August 11th, 2014
11:15 AM ET
1 month ago

Sanders stirs up 2016 speculation, says he's got a 'damn good platform' to run on

(CNN) - Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont says his brand of liberalism could serve as a "damn good platform" to run for president.

In an interview posted Monday to ABC/Yahoo News, Sanders, an independent who aligns himself with the Democratic Party, said income inequality is at its highest point in over eight decades - and the American people are ready to elect someone who's able to close that gap.

"You have today in America more income and wealth inequality than any time in this country since 1928 and more than any major country in the world. So you have the top one percent owning 38% of the wealth of America," he said.

Asked by interviewer Jeff Zeleny, ABC’s senior Washington correspondent, if that's a stake a potential White House hopeful could run on, Sanders said, "Yeah. I think it's a damn good platform."

A self-described Democratic socialist, the Vermont senator didn't shy away from the volunteered label: “Do you hear me cringing? Do you hear me running under the table?”

Sanders is openly considering a run for president in 2016 - and he isn't without some backing.

As the Vermont senator travels around the country, some progressives see him as an opportunity to steer the party further to the left. A small group of Iowans recently created the "Draft Bernie Sanders for President" committee to urge Sanders to run for the Democratic nomination.

Asked about that support, Sanders said: "“Look, it's easy for me to give a good speech, and I give good speeches."

But he also noted that “it is harder to put together a grassroots organization of hundreds of thousands (or) millions of people prepared to work hard and take on the enormous amounts of money that will be thrown against us.”

And what about Hillary Clinton? The former secretary of state and senator from New York is currently the overwhelming 2016 favorite among Democrats.

Sanders, who served in the House before being elected to the Senate in 2006, threw cold water on the idea that his former colleague is the prohibitive nominee.

"I've known Hillary Clinton for many, many years,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for Hillary Clinton, and she has accomplished a lot of really positive things in her career. But I'm not quite sure that the political process is one in which we anoint people.”

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Bernie Sanders • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Sen. Sanders is far to the left. I know that he would be eager to debate anyone on the right, on any topic.

    August 11, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    I for one will support a Sanders presidential run.

    August 11, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Caring about Americans is not a republican trait.

    August 11, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Sanders is openly considering a run for president in 2016 – and he isn't without some backing."

    Yes, well. He's going to need more than "some" backing ... but I do welcome debate; should Hillary decide to run, she will need to articulate what her goals and accomplishments are. Considering that her opponents on the right can't seem to come up with anything beyond forked-tongue rhetoric, it ought not be too hard for her to come up with positive and populist ideas the public can relate to.

    August 11, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Sanders/Warren 2016

    Moonbats 'R Us

    August 11, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. it must be said

    A self-described Democratic socialist, the Vermont senator didn't shy away from the volunteered label: “Do you hear me cringing? Do you hear me running under the table?”
    As the Vermont senator travels around the country, some progressives see him as an opportunity to steer the party further to the left.
    --

    This is what I have been saying all along. The Democrat Party is an extreme far left party that wants to socialism and communism, not capitalism. Progressive is a name they use because nobody would vote for them if they called themselves what they are, socialists and communists. Wake up America. Today's Democrat Party is NOT the party of JFK, it is the party of Karl Marx and Lenin.

    August 11, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Bill from GA

    So how does Bernie plan to change the balance of income and wealth equality?
    Federal maximum Wage??
    Tax hikes for the rich (whoever that is)?
    What else is out there?

    Does he expect his Grand Socialist Agenda to get past Congress?

    I don't disagree with Bernie, but it Ain't Gonna Happen.

    August 11, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Red River

    Sanders is a self-proclaimed socialist (communist). Unlike Obama, at least Sanders has the courage to admit what he really is.

    August 11, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Lizzie

    The GOP Solution, you must love this copy and post, because that's the only thing you got. Maybe you should read the democratic prayer, please no existing god, make sure they stay slaves and do not question our so-called wisdom.

    August 11, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Today's Republican Party is the party far right of the Taliban.

    August 11, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Seen It All Before

    Elizabeth Warren?
    Bernie Sanders?
    Hillary Clinton?

    I am going to get a bowl of popcorn and watch this freak show in 2016.
    Hillary beware, there is another young, articulate black man lurking in the shadows (Corey Booker). You remember what happened last time, don't you?

    August 11, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Dead Bear

    @it must be said... And we all know that you believe that (insert name here) will win the Republican nomination, win the general election in a landslide, right the ship with sound economic policies that reward the wealthy and punish the impoverished, and restore this nation to the shining beacon of light that God intended it to be... Pardon the rest of us who paid attention in history class if we don't share your delusional enthusiasm.

    August 11, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Long Shot

    With a population of 626,630 of which 1.2% are African-Americans, how in the world does the city of Vermont rate two U.S. senators? How do the 7,519 African-Americans in Vermont feel about Comrade Sanders?

    August 11, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "This is what I have been saying all along. The Democrat Party is an extreme far left party that wants to socialism and communism, not capitalism. Progressive is a name they use because nobody would vote for them if they called themselves what they are, socialists and communists. Wake up America. Today's Democrat Party is NOT the party of JFK, it is the party of Karl Marx and Lenin."
    --------------------------
    You have no idea what Karl Marx was really all about. Marx aspired to imperial capitalism, as practiced by the British Empire in the late 1800s. Your beloved Ayn Rand was an avid fan of Marx, who inspired her fantasy world, "Atlas Shrugged".

    You folks on the right love to call other people Marxists, when in fact you value and cherish everything that Marx did.

    August 11, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Say WHAT???

    Bernie Sanders as President?!! Holy mackerel!! I never thought it could get any worse that Jimmy Carter and the Democrats foist Obama on us to make Carter look like a bloody genius. Is electing Bernie Sanders going to be the Democrats way of making us long for the good old torturous disaster days of Obama?!!

    Heck, why not just see if Raul Castro wants to come and run on the Democrat ticket? Or maybe your commie friend that Obama likes so much, Putin?

    It now appears the mask is off the "Democrat" Party and they are ready to come out of the closet.

    August 11, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Tommy G

    Bill from GA
    So how does Bernie plan to change the balance of income and wealth equality?
    Federal maximum Wage??
    Tax hikes for the rich (whoever that is)?
    What else is out there?
    Does he expect his Grand Socialist Agenda to get past Congress?
    I don't disagree with Bernie, but it Ain't Gonna Happen.
    ---

    Executive Orders. Obama and the Democrats have shown that the Congress is now optional under our new form of leftist government. The term "President" will be abandoned and the term "Dear Leader" will be used instead.

    August 11, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. J Anthony

    Of course Sanders will be ripped as an evil far left communist by the numbskulls out there. The fact is he's just average-left. If talking about closing the insane gap in wealth in this country and focusing on our own people is "far-left" to anybody, then you've fallen way down the rightwing rabbit-hole. But he's going to find it hard to make any progress witthin the centrist Democratic establishment.

    August 11, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Peace

    Bernie Sanders should go and take a nap. We will wake him up at midnight Nov. 6, 2016 and tell him who is the President. By the way how old is this man? I presume he is older than Hillary and GOP wants to bring the age issue to the campaign.

    August 11, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. salty dog

    make sure they stay slaves, you mean like denying them opportunities for an education, impeding their ability to vote, its not just the poor, eliminate social security, and Medicaid, which are not handouts, I've paid into them over thirty years. Tax my 401k, tax my employer healthcare contribution, my mortgage interest deduction, and give the savings to the richest, what kind of working person would seriously want that .

    August 11, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Wes

    communism is a disaster.

    August 11, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Tony D

    JFK is rolling over in his grave... what have the Democrats become?!

    August 11, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Silence DoGood

    Hey if the Radical Right can propose a violent take over to create a iron-fist Theocracy and dispose of the Amendments to the Constitution as we know it, I think we can now talk about anything on the political stage.

    August 11, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. sonny chapman

    Sanders is more for the Middle Class & in line with the Message of Jesus Christ as found in the Four Gospels than ANY Repub. So throw your labels all you want.

    August 11, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    it must be said says:
    August 11, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am
    A self-described Democratic socialist, the Vermont senator didn’t shy away from the volunteered label: “Do you hear me cringing? Do you hear me running under the table?”
    As the Vermont senator travels around the country, some progressives see him as an opportunity to steer the party further to the left.
    ——

    This is what I have been saying all along. The Democrat Party is an extreme far left party that wants to socialism and communism, not capitalism. Progressive is a name they use because nobody would vote for them if they called themselves what they are, socialists and communists. Wake up America. Today’s Democrat Party is NOT the party of JFK, it is the party of Karl Marx and Lenin.

    This guy does not represent the entire Democratic Party. But the entire GOPT is right of the Taliban.

    August 11, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Winning

    I'd be interested to hear Sanders' policy ideas. Love how the conservabots here rail on about Sanders being a communist when they probably cannot name a single policy idea or legislative proposal of his without first having to use google.

    August 11, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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