President Donald Trump’s campaign took the fairly rare step of reacting to an announced Democratic candidate after Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he will again seek the presidency in the 2020 election cycle.
“Bernie Sanders has already won the debate in the Democrat primary, because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism,” Trump campaign national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement Tuesday. “But the American people will reject an agenda of sky-high tax rates, government-run health care and coddling dictators like those in Venezuela. Only President Trump will keep America free, prosperous and safe.”
Sanders told Vermont Public Radio Tuesday morning that he would be running for president and released a subsequent campaign video.
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 in kind blasted Trump’s presidency, saying in an email to supporters, “we are running against a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction.” (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Accused Of Using Government To Target Company That Ran Political Ad Against Him)
Trump expressed some sympathy for Sanders during the 2016 presidential election cycle, often remarking that the Democratic presidential nomination was stolen from him by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Nonetheless, Trump has branded the senator “Crazy Bernie” and frequently has derided him since taking office.
President Trump: “Bernie Sanders, Crazy Bernie. It’s amazing that he was even more angry that the election got stolen from me. I don’t get it. You know he’s always like complaining complaining is jumping around, the hair’s going crazy.” pic.twitter.com/PUKz900W6C
— The Hill (@thehill) October 3, 2018
The only other Democratic presidential hopeful to garner a Trump campaign statement is Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The campaign noted, “Elizabeth Warren has already been exposed as a fraud by the Native Americans she impersonated and disrespected to advance her professional career, and the people of Massachusetts she deceived to get elected.”