Bernie Sanders says he’s in Presidential Race to win
Senator Bernie Sanders has told Yahoo News that he intends to win the general election as the Democratic candidate.
Shrugging off suggestions that he is running merely to push Hilary Clinton to the left or to become her vice-presidential candidate, the Vermont senator says he is running to stand up for the middle class and oppose corporate greed.
“There are millions and millions of people who are tired of the establishment politics and corporate greed who are going to lead the mass movement in this country,” Bernie Sanders told Yahoo News’ Katie Couric.
Sanders recognised that the odds are against him, noting that he lacks the fundraising capacity of the Clintons and other corporate-backed candidates, having financially hamstrung himself by refusing to take money from super PACs.
“We’re going to do the best we can,” he said. “I don’t have a super PAC, I don’t want a super PAC, and that is that.”
Bernie Sanders claimed that his campaign will test whether any candidate not tied to corporate billionaires can run for office and win.
“I’m going to be honest with you, it may be too late,” the senator said. “The billionaires may be too powerful.”
The Vermont socialist said that, as President, he will take on the billionaire class and support the middle class, whilst also addressing issues of climate change and education reform.
Bernie Sanders also took aim at campaign finance, saying that he won’t nominate a Supreme Court justice who doesn’t pledge to overturn the Citizens United decision that removed campaign contribution limits.
Sanders further reiterated his opposition to the PATRIOT Act, agreeing with Rand Paul that the USA Freedom Act retains too many controversial elements.
He also stressed the need for demilitarization of police forces and greater policing engagement with minorities.
“We’ve got to demilitarize the police — we don’t need tanks, you don’t need heavy military equipment in the communities of the United States,” he said. “We gotta pay attention to the African American communities, to poverty so these kids get the education and job training they need.”
In a more jocular vein, Bernie Sanders responded to President Obama’s allusion to him as a “pot-smoking socialist”, claiming that he sampled marijuana twice but didn’t enjoy it.
“Because I coughed a lot, I don’t know,” he said. “I smoked marijuana twice — didn’t quite work for me.”
Despite this, he stopped short of endorsing the legalization of marijuana, maintaining that the drug should be decriminalised and that legalization should only be considered after observation of programs in states such as Colorado.