“I am running for president.”
That’s how Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, explained his intentions to the Associated Press in Montpelier, Vermont, Wednesday evening. Sanders is the first major challenger to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination.
"I've been traveling around the country for the last year trying to ascertain whether there really is grassroots support in terms of people standing up and being prepared to take on the billionaire class," he told USA Today. “I believe that there is."
Sanders, 73, is a decided longshot as he vies with Clinton for the party’s nomination. Sanders, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native who became mayor of Burlington, Vermont, decried the “greed of corporate America.” He has long championed the rights of lower and middle income Americans. He was first elected to Congress in 1990 and was elected to the Senate in 2006, making him the longest-serving independent member of Congress in history.
He acknowledged he’s got a tough task ahead. "Most people in America have never heard of Bernie Sanders. More than 90 percent of Americans have heard of Hillary Clinton,” he said. Sanders plans a Washington news conference Thursday.