Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator from Vermont is running for the Democratic nomination for President, he confirmed on Wednesday.
“I’ve run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates,” he said. “I think the message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country.”
Sanders said that the key focus of his campaign will be getting money out of politics and as a part of that he will push for an amendment to overturn the Supreme Courts’ 2010 decision on Citizen’s United.
“What you’re looking at here is a real disgrace,” he said. “It is an undermining of American democracy. But can we raise the hundreds of millions of dollars that we need, primarily through small campaign contributions to run a strong campaign? And I have concluded that I think there is a real chance that we can do that.”
He further outlined to the Associated Press his message for voters looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton. Sanders said that he wanted to see taxes raised on the wealthiest Americans and corporations, and that he wanted free tuition for all public-colleges and universities.
“What we have seen is that while the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, we have seen a huge increase in income and wealth inequality, which is now reaching obscene levels,” he said. “This is a rigged economy, which works for the rich and the powerful, and is not working for ordinary Americans. … You know, this country just does not belong to a handful of billionaires.”
He also differs from Hillary Clinton in that he wants to see tougher regulations of Wall Street, and unlike Hillary, Sanders voted against the Iraq War. Overall, he offers a more non-interventionist foreign policy than Clinton.
He called for the U.S. withdrawl from Afghanistan in 2011, was opposed to American involvement against ISIS and is in favor of the Obama Administration’s negotiations with Iran.
Sanders is 73 years-old. He grew-up in Brooklyn and is the son of a Polish immigrant.
He was first elected as Mayor of Burlington in 1981, and served Vermont in the U.S. House of Representatives until being elected Senator in 2006.[AP]