Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has not ruled out a 2024 presidential campaign if President Joe Biden does not seek a second term in office, according to a memo circulated by a top aide.
Sanders, who will be 83 on Election Day 2024, finished in second place behind Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020 in seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination. Sanders has caucused with the party since entering Congress in 1991, despite never formally joining. He said in May 2020 after dropping out of the primaries that the likelihood of him running again was “very, very slim.”
Sanders is the sixth-oldest sitting senator, and suffered a heart attack on the campaign trail in 2019.
However, age and health issues may not keep Sanders from a third campaign, according to a memo circulate by former campaign manager Faiz Shakir and first reported on by The Washington Post.
“In the event of an open 2024 Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Sanders has not ruled out another run for president, so we advise that you answer any questions about 2024 with that in mind,” the memo instructs political allies.
Can confirm the @WaPoSean Scoop. Top @BernieSanders advisor @fshakir telling supporters that Sanders has not “ruled out” a 2024 bid for President. Here is the full memo. In a thread: pic.twitter.com/fHkX3P9w2I
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) April 20, 2022
The memo also provides candidates with talking points to help them push back against criticism that Sanders is too far left-wing to gain the support of swing voters. It describes Sanders as “the most popular office holder in the country right now,” while proclaiming his popularity with younger voters, Hispanics and voters without college degrees. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Hosting Spanish Only Town Hall For Bernie Sanders Campaign)
“Sen. Sanders is putting forward an extremely popular vision for the Democratic Party that will win back critical support that we have lost. In fact, Bernie wants to build power for the working class and take on the corporate socialism that our political system currently favors,” it tells candidates to say.
Similar to years past, Sanders has endorsed a slate of left-wing candidates, including challengers to Democratic incumbents. Most notably, he is supporting immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros, who is taking on Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar. Sanders endorsed Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri in 2020, both of whom knocked off Democratic incumbents in heated primaries.