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Election 2020

Bernie Sanders announces run for presidency in 2020: ‘We’re gonna win’

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis 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 theguardian.com on Tuesday 19th February 2019 15.35 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 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.”

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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 $15-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. 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 stumbled 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 $230m 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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Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump.

In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. Harris, a 55-year-old first-term senator, is also one of the party’s most prominent figures and quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.

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Breaking News

Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump.

In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. Harris, a 55-year-old first-term senator, is also one of the party’s most prominent figures and quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.

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Election 2020

Biden ‘absolutely convinced’ military would escort Trump from White House if he refuses to leave

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sounded an alarm Wednesday about GOP moves to limit voting access, saying his “single greatest concern” is that President Donald Trump will “try to steal this election.”

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(CNN) — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sounded an alarm Wednesday about GOP moves to limit voting access, saying his “single greatest concern” is that President Donald Trump will “try to steal this election.” But, the former vice president said, he is “absolutely convinced” the military would escort Trump from the White House if he loses the election but refuses to leave office.

Asked by Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show” if he’s ever considered what would happen if Trump would not leave the White House if he loses, Biden responded, “Yes, I have.”

Biden pointed to Trump’s history of spreading false conspiracy theories about voter fraud, including a recent series of lies about mail-in voting leading to widespread voter fraud — which Republican and Democratic-led states are increasingly embracing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He highlighted Georgia’s botched primary Tuesday, in which problems with voting machines and other issues led to hours-long waits at some polling places in predominantly black areas. He said his campaign is putting out a “major initiative of lawyers” to patrol voting issues.

“It’s my greatest concern — my single greatest concern. This president is going to try to steal this election,” Biden said.

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“This is a guy who said that all mail-in ballots are fraudulent, voting by mail, while he sits behind the desk in the Oval Office and writes his mail-in ballot to vote in a primary,” he said, referring to Trump voting by mail in Florida.

Still, Biden said Wednesday, he believes if Trump has lost the election, military leaders would not allow him to refuse to leave office.

Saying he was “so damn proud” of the military leaders who have recently criticized Trump, Biden continued, “you have so many rank and file military personnel saying, well, we’re not a military state, this is not who we are. I promise you, I’m absolutely convinced, they will escort him from the White House in a dispatch.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Biden’s remarks a “ridiculous proposition” during an appearance on Fox News Thursday.

Biden and other Democrats have long said they worry about Republican attempts to impose strict voting laws. Those concerns grew when in Wisconsin this spring, the national and state GOP opposed the Democratic governor’s bid to mail every voter an absentee ballot and successfully fought in court to hold an in-person spring election in April in the midst of the pandemic. At stake was a state Supreme Court seat that would cast the deciding vote in a case over whether to purge more than 200,000 voters from the state’s rolls ahead of Election Day in November. A Democrat won that election.

Two months ago, Biden said he believes Trump will attempt to move the election date because of the coronavirus — a claim Trump has rejected.

“Mark my words: I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Biden said in April.

Visit CNN’s Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race

Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat who is a co-chairman of Biden’s campaign, echoed Biden’s comments to CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday about the possibility of military intervention to ensure a peaceful transfer of power if Trump refuses to acknowledge an election loss.

“I believe the military generals and others will step up and make sure that there’s a peaceful transition of power,” Richmond said.

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