President Donald Trump offered no criticism of Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Tuesday morning announcement that he will seek the presidency in 2020 during an afternoon Oval Office ceremony.
“Personally, I think he missed his time … but I like Bernie,” Trump said, adding, “I wish Bernie well … will be interesting to see how he does … what happened to Bernie, maybe, was not so nice … I think he was taken advantage of … he ran great four years ago and he was not treated with respect by Clinton.”
Trump, however, did not appear entirely phased by his candidacy, saying, “You have a lot of people running, but only one person is going to win … I hope you know who that person is,” before ushering reporters out of the Oval Office.
The president’s reaction lies in stark contrast to an earlier Tuesday morning statement from his campaign, which blasted the senator, saying, “Bernie Sanders has already won the debate in the Democrat primary, because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism.”
The campaign continued, “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 in 2020 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 for his announcement, “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)