Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday morning told Vermont Public Radio that he is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. To listen to the streamed announcement click here.
“I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first,” Sanders told VPR, “and what I promise to do is, as I go around the country, is to take the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of — a belief in justice, in community, in grassroots politics, in town meetings — that’s what I’m going to carry all over this country.”
Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, lost his 2016 bid for the nomination of the Democratic party. However, he attracted a large grassroots support of young Democrats with his push for income equality, attacking American “millionaires and billionaires.”
But while in 2016 Sanders’ socialist ideas stood out in a field of centrist Democrats, especially when compared with candidate Hillary Clinton’s right-leaning agenda, the 2020 Democratic field is packed with candidates who sound just like Bernie, and some who are to his left.
This is normally the spot where Jewish reporters take a break to remind their readers that Sanders, 77, the sone of Jewish immigrants, grew up on East 26th Street in Midwood, Brooklyn, and in 1963 volunteered for a few months in kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim.
Other than that, President Sanders would likely make most Israelis long for Jimmy Carter, never mind Obama. He criticized Israel’s responses to Hamas rocket attacks on its civilians, blamed Israel for the economic malaise in the Gaza Strip, and on November 15, 2015, responded to the ISIS murder of more than 100 civilians in Paris by cautioning against “Islamophobia.”
About the riots that began last April at the Gaza Strip border, Sanders famously said: “Instead of applauding Israel for its actions, Israel should be condemned. Israel has a right to security, but shooting unarmed protesters is not what it is about.”
So much for examining facts before shooting one’s mouth off.
His VPR hosts asked Sanders about the multiple allegations of sexism and sexual harassment against members of his 2016 campaign which have surfaced in recent weeks. The Senator responded, saying, “We are gonna be providing a whole lot of education … and training to all of our employees, and we have on board as part of this campaign a very, very experienced and professional team of folks who do exactly this — they deal with sexual harassment and discrimination.”
OK, you tell me you’re not thinking it’s alarming that a campaign needs to keep an entire team just to deal with sex abuse?