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Last updated: 19 Feb, 2019  

US.Senate.Thmb.jpg US Senator Sanders launches second presidential bid

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IANS | 19 Feb, 2019
US Senator Bernie Sanders announced on Tuesday he is again running for President in 2020 and vowed to finish what he started in his last race for the White House.

Sanders lost the Democratic primaries in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. The former first lady lost the election to Donald Trump despite winning three million more votes than Trump.

The self-styled socialist, who represents Vermont state as an independent, is set to compete in the Democratic Party primaries. Sanders said he would run a grassroots campaign that re-addresses some of the major issues he focused on in his unsuccessful 2016 bid, such as Medicare-For-All, raising the minimum wage and tackling climate change and wealth inequality.

"We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign and now it's time to move that revolution forward," Sanders told Vermont Public Radio in an interview.

Sanders is one of the most outspoken critic of President Trump, whom he has repeatedly called a "pathological liar" and a "racist", the New York Times reported.

"Make no mistake about it, the powerful special interests in this country have unbelievable power and they want to maintain the status quo," said the 77-year-old senator, credited with revitalising the often-neglected left wing of the Democratic Party.

"They have unlimited amounts of money to spend on campaigns and lobbying and have huge influence over the media and political parties. The only way we will win this election is with a grassroots movement the likes of which has never been seen in American history. They may have the money and the power; we have the people," he said.

In his second presidential campaign, Sanders may face stiff competition in a crowded primary race populated by colleagues and allies, including US Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar.

Other Democrats, like Julián Castro, the former Mayor of San Antonio (Texas) and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Mayor of South Bend (Indiana) Pete Buttigieg or US Representative John Delaney have also declared their candidature for the White House.

Three years ago, Sanders was viewed as a protest candidate from the political fringe. But today, his policy agenda -- a suite of proposals to expand healthcare, broaden the social safety net and make higher education free -- has been embraced by many of the Democratic party's leading figures.

Sanders did not announce from where he would begin his campaign, nor any staffing decisions for new political operation.
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