The only avowed socialist in the U.S. Senate says he may make a run for the White House in 2016.
Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, an independent who causes with Democrats, says he is “prepared to run for president of the United States” so he can help highlight working-class and middle-class issues.
“What I do wake up every morning feeling is that this country faces more serious problems than at any time since the Great Depression, and there is a horrendous lack of serious political discourse or ideas out there that can address these crises, and that somebody has got to represent the working-class and the middle-class of this country in standing up to the big-money interests who have so much power over the economic and political life of this country,” he told The Nation in an interview.
“So I am prepared to run for president of the United States. I don’t believe that I am the only person out there who can fight this fight, but I am certainly prepared to look seriously at that race.” (RELATED: Bernie Sanders’ hottest, sexiest moments)
While Sanders is not currently raising money, he says he is speaking to people about a possible run, and will be traveling around the country. Should he run, Sanders says he doesn’t know if he’d try for the Democratic nomination or campaign as an independent, although he’s concerned about the amount of coverage he’d receive if he went the latter route.
He added, however, that he does not have any specifics about a campaign yet including whether he would run as a Democrat or an independent. And while he has concerns about the level of coverage he would get running as an independent, he explained to The Nation, that he still has issues with the Democratic Party.
“But there is no question that the Democratic Party in general remains far too dependent on big-money interests, that it is not fighting vigorously for working-class families, and that there are some members of the Democratic Party whose views are not terribly different from some of the Republicans,” he explained. “That’s absolutely the case.”
“But the dilemma is that, if you run outside of the Democratic Party, then what you’re doing — and you have to think hard about this – you’re not just running a race for president,” he continued, “you’re really running to build an entire political movement. In doing that, you would be taking votes away from the Democratic candidate and making it easier for some right-wing Republican to get elected — the Nader dilemma.”