Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., confirmed Tuesday he will seek the Democratic nomination to the presidency in 2020 to Vermont Public Radio.
A formal announcement is expected later today, VPR News reported.
Sanders said he wanted to share the news first with Vermont voters.
“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 told the station.
Sanders announced the news on Twitter just after 7 a.m. ET and posted his first campaign video on YouTube.
I'm running for president. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least 1 million people from across the country. Say you're in: https://t.co/KOTx0WZqRf pic.twitter.com/T1TLH0rm26— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 19, 2019
Sanders also emphasized the urgency of unseating President Donald Trump, who he called “an embarrassment to our country.”
“I 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,” Sanders said.
The three-term independent senator won 23 primaries or caucuses in 2016 before conceding to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and endorsing her campaign.
With Sanders entering the fray, the field of possible Democratic candidates includes at least seven senators, including Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, and Cory Booker of New Jersey. Sen Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has formed an exploratory committee and Sherrod Brown of Ohio has also said he’s considering getting into the race.
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