This article titled “Bernie Sanders announces run for presidency in 2020: ‘We’re gonna win'” was written by Lauren Gambino in Washington and Tom McCarthy in New York, for The Guardian on Wednesday 20th February 2019 02.31 UTC
Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont whose 2016 presidential campaign helped energize the progressive movement and reshaped the Democratic party, has entered the 2020 race for the White House.
Sanders, a self-styled democratic socialist who spent much of his nearly 30-year congressional career on the political fringe, cast his candidacy as the best way to accomplish the mission he started three years ago when he ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
“Together, you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revolution,” he said in an email announcing his decision to supporters on Tuesday morning. “Now, it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for.”
Sanders, 77, running as a Democrat again, believes he can prevail in a crowded and diverse field that includes several female and minority candidates, and then beat Donald Trump, whom he called on Tuesday “the most dangerous president in modern American history”.
Asked in an interview on CBS on Tuesday morning what would be different about his 2020 campaign, Sanders replied: “We’re gonna win.”
Whether he can once again capture grassroots support, and whether the energy of his past campaign will pass to other candidates, will likely be a central factor in determining who Democrats nominate to take on the sitting president.
The progressive policies Sanders helped popularize in 2016 – Medicare for All, a -an-hour federal minimum wage, tuition-free college, demands to fight climate change more aggressively and to tax the wealthy at a higher rate – have now been broadly embraced by several other presidential candidates.
Sanders wrore: “Three years ago, during our 2016 campaign, when we brought forth our progressive agenda we were told that our ideas were ‘radical’ and ‘extreme’. Well, three years have come and gone. And, as result of millions of Americans standing up and fighting back, all of these policies and more are now supported by a majority of Americans.”
Sanders will face opposition from moderate Democrats and from Republicans who are likely to use his candidacy to paint the party as too liberal. In a preview of Trump’s re-election campaign, the president used his State of the Union speech this month to warn against what he said was the creep of socialism in America.
Trump 2020 campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement: “Bernie Sanders has already won the debate in the Democrat primary, because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism.
“But the American people will reject an agenda of sky-high tax rates, government-run health care and coddling dictators like those in Venezuela. Only President Trump will keep America free, prosperous and safe.”
Sanders made clear on Tuesday that he plans to go after Trump directly in his campaign.
In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, where he first announced his bid, he said: “I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country. I think he is a pathological liar. I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants.”
After a midterm election cycle that saw women and minority candidates sweep to power, the nominating contest is likely to be fought not only over ideology but over identity and electoral strategy. Already, the 2020 candidates are being pushed on how they can appeal to the Democrats’ broad range of demographic groups, which includes working-class families, black and Latino voters, suburban women and young people.
This year, Sanders apologized publicly and privately to former female staffers after allegations of sexual harassment by male staffers on his 2016 campaign. He has also continued to stumble on questions about race, despite a years-long effort to improve his standing with minority voters.
Still, no candidate will enter the race with as many advantages as Sanders, who ended the 2016 primary with more than 13m votes and nearly 0m raised, much of it through small donations. Now he begins a second run not as a political outsider but as a top-tier candidate with near-universal name recognition, a dedicated following and an unrivaled donor list.
Yet he will likely face far greater scrutiny, in a growing field already populated by colleagues and allies including the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, his closest friend in Congress.
Senators Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have all entered the race, as have lower-profile contenders including the former San Antonio mayor and federal housing secretary Julián Castro and Pete Buttigieg, the young mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
The former vice-president Joe Biden, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg are all weighing whether to run.
With a fractured Democratic field, advisers believe Sanders’ core support, should he retain it over the next year, will be enough to power his campaign in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, the early voting states that helped lift his 2016 campaign.
He is likely to benefit from a campaign waged by his allies to reform the party’s primary process, which succeeded in stripping voting power from the so-called “superdelegates”, a major source of controversy in 2016 when Sanders lost the battle for the nomination to Clinton.
Born to Jewish parents with roots in Poland and Russia, Sanders grew up poor in a cramped apartment in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from the University of Chicago, where he became involved in the civil rights movement. In 1981, he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont. In 1990, Sanders became the state’s sole representative in Congress, where he served until he joined the Senate in 2006.
Following the election of Trump, Sanders published a book titled Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In. He has four children and is married to Jane O’Meara, a former president of Burlington College and his closest adviser.
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Montana Governor Steve Bullock Enters 2020 Democratic Presidential Race
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday that he is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, distinguishing himself among nearly two dozen candidates as the field’s only statewide elected official to win a state that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.
The 53-year-old governor is running as a centrist Democrat who has advanced party values while navigating a Republican legislature and a GOP-leaning electorate. Bullock made his candidacy official in a video that capped months of speculationfueled by his political activity in Iowa, which hosts the nation’s first presidential caucus next February.
“What we need to do is get the country back on track, make sure everybody has a fair shot at success,” he told The Associated Press in an interview. “I’ve been able to get meaningful things done that impact the people of my state. I believe there’ll be a strong reception for that.”
His immediate challenge is corralling enough donors and support in the polls to qualify for the first Democratic debate in June. He told reporters during an appearance at the high school from which he graduated that he hopes to do that over the next month, but he’ll still be out campaigning even if he doesn’t make the cut.
“The debate stage would be lacking a bit if they didn’t have somebody who actually got reelected in a state where Donald Trump won,” he said. “I’ll do the best I can to get there.”
More broadly, as a white Trump-state Democrat, Bullock could face an uphill battle to break through in a primary that has been defined by former Vice President Joe Biden’s dominance and the progressive energy of a diverse party base.
Bullock plans a two-tiered argument.
He pitches himself as the rare Democrat who can win over rural and small-town voters — a constituency that helped Trump flip key battleground states in 2016. Bullock has done it three times in Montana, where Democrat Hillary Clinton got just 36 percent of the vote against Trump.
“We need somebody who can win back some of these places we lost in ’16,” Bullock said, adding, “Voters want somebody that they believe can win, that will fight for them.”
Yet Bullock emphasizes that he governs with mainstream Democratic priorities. He has expanded Medicaid insurancecoverage to nearly a tenth of Montana’s 1.06 million residents as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and embraced marriage equality for same-sex couples. He’s used executive orders to extend LGBTQ rights and protect net neutrality, and he’s vetoed gun bills backed by the National Rifle Association and measures that would have severely limited abortion access.
He also has spent years advocating for tighter regulation of money in politics, unsuccessfully challenging the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling as attorney general and then, as governor, signing a law that requires dark-money groups operating in the state to disclose their donors. Last year, he sued the Internal Revenue Service over a Trump administration rule change to stop requiring the disclosure of donor information from certain nonprofit organizations.
He’s aligned himself with conservationists, environmental activists and outdoorsmen by prioritizing public land use and conservation — a key issue in many Western states. But he’s also been at odds with them at times as the leader of an energy-producing state, such as when he criticized the Obama administration for “moving the goalposts” by proposing stringent carbon dioxide emission reductions under the now-defunct Clean Power Plan.
His time in office has largely been scandal-free, with the occasional hiccup. Earlier this year, Bullock apologized for not doing enough to warn others about a longtime aide who was accused of sexually harassing women while working first for the Democratic Governors Association while Bullock was chairman and later for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.
Bullock’s attendance at a Paul McCartney concert in Missoula in 2014 also opened the door for critics to scrutinize his use of a state plane that resulted in his having to reimburse $7,000 for flights that mixed official business and campaign trips. The state’s campaign regulator determined Bullock’s 2016 reelection campaign violated state law by failing to make timely expense reports related to use of the plane.
Bullock joins Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper as the only state executives vying for the nomination.
The Montana governor is likely among the final Democrats to join one of the biggest presidential fields in modern memory. De Blasio is expected to announce his decision this week on whether to run for the White House. And Stacey Abrams of Georgia continues to indulge speculation that she could scramble the field with a late launch this summer or fall.
Although he is not a household name, Bullock is well known and well regarded in Democratic circles beyond Montana. He currently chairs the bipartisan National Governors Association.
Some Democrats had hoped he’d challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines in 2020, but Bullock insisted Tuesday that he is focused solely on the presidential race.
“This isn’t for me a vanity project,” Bullock said. “I wouldn’t be getting into it if I didn’t think I had something really significant to offer.”
Bullock and his wife, Lisa, have three children, ages 16, 14 and 12, who attend the same Helena public schools where the governor was educated. Steve Bullock graduated from Claremont McKenna College in California and Columbia Law School. He spent part of his legal career in Montana state government and had stints at law firms in Washington, D.C., and New York, and his own private practice in Helena, before being elected attorney general in 2008. He won the governor’s race with 48 percent of the vote in 2012 and was reelected with 50.2 percent of the vote the same day that Trump won 56.2 percent of presidential ballots.
NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio Slated To Announce 2020 Presidential Run Next Week
Mayor de Blasio is expected to announce he’s running for president next week, according to three sources with knowledge of the plans.
The 2020 announcement could come as early as de Blasio’s birthday on Wednesday, when he’ll turn 58, said one source. The kickoff was initially expected this week but pushed back, according to another source.
De Blasio’s federal political action committee, Fairness PAC, recently polled Iowa voters. The PAC also bankrolled the mayor’s recent travel to key early voting primary states, including trips to Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
“Very hard to announce something without a decision – nearly impossible, some might say,” Casca said in a text message on Friday.
De Blasio would be joining a crowded field with at least 21 other Democratic candidates — and a handful more who haven’t declared yet. The mayor may not even qualify for the first debates, which have been capped by the Democratic National Committee at 20 participants split over two consecutive nights.
“The debates are important, there’s a lot of other factors in how…a campaign of this importance emerges,” he said on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” Friday.
(Reporting by New York Daily News)
Colorado Senator Enters 2020 Presidential Election, Becoming 21st Democrat To Enter
DENVER (AP) — U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado jumped into the packed Democratic presidential primary on Thursday, announcing a 2020 campaign that had been stalled while he was treated for prostate cancer.
Bennet, a former head of Denver Public Schools who has carved out a reputation as a policy-oriented moderate, made his announcement on CBS’ “CBS This Morning,” saying the country faces two “enormous challenges,” among others: “One is the lack of economic mobility and opportunity for most Americans, and the other is the need to restore integrity to our government.”
“I think we need to do both of those things,” he said.
The son of a former ambassador to India and a Yale law school graduate who worked in the Clinton administration, Bennet worked for Republican billionaire Phil Anschutz when he moved to Colorado in the late 1990s. But when he re-entered public life, he did so as a Democrat, serving as chief of staff to then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper went on to become Colorado governor and now is also competing for the Democratic presidential nomination .
The presence of two moderate Coloradans who started their political careers in Denver City Hall reflects how crowded the Democratic presidential field has become. Bennet’s understated style and distaste for the sound bites required in a political campaign have usually led to speculation that he’d seek a Cabinet position rather than try to become the next president. But he began moving to assemble a presidential bid late last year and planned an announcement in April. He had to pause after being diagnosed with prostate cancer this spring.
Bennet, 54, told Colorado journalist Mike Littwin that he’d resume the campaign if he was treated successfully but that he wanted to make a point by disclosing his medical condition.
“I don’t want to be hysterical, but if it was left in me undetected, it could kill me,” Bennet said. “It won’t because I have insurance and decent medical care. The idea that the richest country in the world hasn’t figured out how to have universal health care is beyond embarrassing. It’s devastating.”
Bennet has been a vocal opponent in the Democratic Party of the push for single-payer health care championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, another 2020 presidential candidate . Instead, Bennet proposes letting consumers buy into Medicare through insurance exchanges, arguing that that will be a more efficient and realistic path to universal coverage. Likewise, Bennet has pushed back against arguments by some other presidential hopefuls that Democrats should respond to Republican tactics by expanding the size of the Supreme Court, saying the party needs to avoid the same scorched-earth tactics that, he says, its main rival employs.
Indeed, in a 4-minute launch video released Thursday morning, Bennet positioned himself as a truth teller willing to level with voters.
“I’m not going to pretend free college is the answer,” he said. “I’m not gonna say there’s a simple solution to a problem if I don’t believe there is one.”
Despite his professorial reputation, Bennet has shown an ability to be a tough campaigner. Appointed in 2009, Bennet won his first election in 2010 by pounding his Republican rival for opposing abortion rights and comparing homosexuality to alcoholism, eking out a narrow win in an otherwise disastrous year for Bennet’s party. Four years later, Bennet chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a position that put him in contact with a network of national donors who also can help fund a presidential campaign.
Bennet gained internet fame this year when he blasted Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for backing a bill to pay Coast Guard members during the partial government shutdown but not reopen the government. Bennet said Cruz once led a 16-day government shutdown in a failed bid to derail funding for the Affordable Care Act at a time when Colorado was experiencing catastrophic flooding, delaying relief efforts.
“When the senator from Texas shut this government down in 2013, my state was flooded,” Bennet shouted. “People were killed. People’s houses were destroyed. Their small businesses were destroyed, forever.”
Bennet accused Cruz of crying “crocodile tears” this time around.
Cruz responded on the Senate floor by saying Bennet “spent a great deal of time yelling” and “attacking me personally.”
“I think we should discuss issues and substance and facts and not simply scream and yell at each other,” Cruz said.
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