By Michael Hernandez
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders became the latest presidential hopeful to mount a White House bid Tuesday, joining an increasingly crowded pack of Democrats seeking to oust U.S. President Donald Trump from office.
But the Independent senator insisted in a lengthy email to supporters his campaign is not focused solely on defeating the president, whom he called "the most dangerous president in modern American history," but is instead seeking to unite a divided America.
"I’m running for president because, now more than ever, we need leadership that brings us together – not divides us up," Sanders said. "Women and men, black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian American, gay and straight, young and old, native born and immigrant. Now is the time for us to stand together."
Sanders' second White House run follows his unsuccessful attempt to win the Democratic nomination in 2016. That effort saw Sanders rise to national prominence with views that shook many in the Democratic establishment.
But unlike then, Sanders' leftist views have found a foothold in the Democratic Party where a budding progressive wing has edged out a growing share of the base as evidenced in the 2018 midterms when congressmwomen Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar entered the federal legislature.
This time, Sanders will face a Democratic field replete with progressives including fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren, as well as establishment Democrats including Senator Kamala Harris.
During a trip to New Hampshire, the first state to host a Democratic primary, on Monday Harris took an early swipe at Sanders and his fellow progressives.
"The people of New Hampshire will tell me what’s required to compete in New Hampshire," she said in Concord, the state capital. "But I will tell you I am not a democratic socialist."
In all, there are roughly a dozen individuals seeking the Democratic nomination with no clear-cut front-runner.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke are also widely considered to be mulling a White House bid.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.