By David Meyer
February 19, 2019

Bernie Sanders is running for president in 2020.

The democratic socialist, who made a strong showing against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries, made his long-awaited announcement Tuesday morning in an interview with Vermont Public Radio. In the interview, Sanders described President Donald Trump as a “pathological liar” and “a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe,” and said he wanted to create a “grassroots movement” to fight back.

“What I promise to do is, as I go around the country, is to take the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of—a belief in justice, in community, in grassroots politics, in town meetings—that’s what I’m going to carry all over this country,” he said.

The last time Sanders ran, the landscape was very different. He was relatively unknown at the time, and was much more of a fringe figure than he now is. On the one hand, he now offers strong name recognition and a well-understood platform that has become more mainstream within the Democratic Party.

However, that also means other Democratic candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand now offer primary voters strongly progressive platforms—though none goes so far as to self-identify as a socialist.

At the time of next year’s election, Sanders will also be 79 years old. In 2017, Trump became the oldest president to take office, at the relatively sprightly age of 70.

Is Sanders the sort of face the Democrats need to take on Trump next year? “We have got to look at candidates not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or gender, and not by their age,” Sanders told VPR. “I think we have got to try to move us toward a non-discriminatory society that looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for.”

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