It seems Sen. Bernie Sanders has decided he's going to have enough money to run a credible campaign for president, because he's throwing his hat into the ring this week:
VPR News has learned from several sources that Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday.
Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks.
Audio from this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29.
Sanders' entry into the Democratic race ensures that Hillary Clinton will face a challenge to win the support of the liberal wing of the party.
Sanders' basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.
His opposition to a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (T.P.P.) shows how he plans to frame this key issue of his campaign.
"If you want to understand why the middle class in America is disappearing and why we have more wealth and income inequality in America than we have had since the late 1920s, you have to address the issue of trade,” Sanders said in a phone interview on April 23.
As the longest-serving Independent member of Congress, Sanders has been a vocal critic of the influence that large corporations have on the political process.
"All of the major corporations want to continue with this trade policy. Wall Street wants to continue this trade policy. The drug companies want to continue this trade policy. But organizations representing American workers and the environment do not want to continue the trade policy. They want new trade policies,” he said.
And Sanders says it is imperative that all the Democratic presidential candidates address the issue of trade and income inequality.
For anyone wondering if Sanders would have to register as a Democratic to be able to run, CNN has more on that: The Democratic presidential nominee that doesn't have to be a registered Democrat:
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Bernie Sanders might not be a member of the Democratic Party, but the independent senator from Vermont is openly considering a run at the party's presidential nomination -- and that might not be a problem after all.
According to a Democratic National Committee aide, Sanders would not have a problem getting on Democratic primary and caucus ballots because the current party rules do not call for presidential candidates to be registered members of the party.
The DNC defines a presidential candidate as someone who "has accrued delegates in the nominating process and plans to seek the nomination, has established substantial support for his or her nomination as the Democratic candidate for the Office of the President of the United States, is a bona fide Democrat whose record of public service, accomplishment, public writings and/or public statements affirmatively demonstrates that he or she is faithful to the interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party of the United States, and will participate in the Convention in good faith."
Sanders, according to the DNC aide who asked to be anonymous because he is not yet a candidate, appears to comply with those rules.
"There is no registration requirement," said the aide. "You have to be a good faith Democrats, but you don't have to submit some sort of proof of registration. There is no long form birth certificate required showing you were born a Democrat."
States do have the ability to write their own rules for who qualifies as a candidate in their respective primary or caucus, but the aide said no one at the DNC can recall a state that has ever included being a registered Democrat as a requirement for their presidential candidates.
That is the case for Iowa in 2016, too. Read on...