05 May / Meet the boldest presidential candidate who is sure to light a fire under his conservative opponents
Citing a history of surprising victories, Bernie Sanders said on Sunday the political world shouldn’t discount his chances of winning the presidency.
“Don’t underestimate me,” the Vermont senator said on ABC’s “This Week.” His success in getting elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, to the U.S. House and to the Senate, he said, illustrates the appeal of a political style that observers have been to ready to write off in the past. “We need a political revolution in this country,” he declared, “and I want to lead that effort.”
An independent socialist, Sanders is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. And while many political observers believe he cannot win, he can push Hillary Clinton to take more liberal positions on the campaign trail. His campaign launch on Thursday came as Congress considers granting the Obama administration fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal he opposes and that Clinton has not yet taken a decisive stand on. In addition to trade, Sanders said inequality, tax avoidance by the rich and climate change were issues on which he would challenge Clinton. ”I respect her and I like her, but … maybe it’s a time for a real political shake-up in this country,” he said. Sanders named Robert Reich, a liberal economist and a labor secretary in Bill Clinton’s administration, as someone he would consider for his Treasury secretary. He said, though, he was not ready to name anyone he would consider for defense secretary.
Sanders praised the democratic socialism of Norway, Denmark and Sweden, which he said do more than the U.S. government to serve average citizens, pointing to free health care and higher education. And following up, ABC host George Stephanopoulos told Sanders he could imagine a Republican attack ad accusing him of wanting America “to look more like Scandinavia.”
“That’s right,” Sanders said. “What’s wrong with that?”
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