Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is considering a run for president if no other candidate embraces his progressive message.
The Vermont lawmaker, 72, told the Burlington Free Press
that there needs to be a candidate who wants to challenge Wall Street, focus on the shrinking middle class, defend Medicare and Social Security from cuts, combat the spread of poverty, and address global warming.
"Under normal times, it's fine, you have a moderate Democrat running, a moderate Republican running," Sanders told the newspaper. "These are not normal times. The United States right now is in the middle of a severe crisis, and you have to call it what it is."
He said that any presidential contender "is slightly crazy, because this is an unbelievably difficult job, given the crises that this country faces today."
"One of the difficulties for someone like me running is . . . I'm not going to get any money from Wall Street or corporate America . . . It's one thing to talk about raising money for a Senate campaign in a small state, another thing running for president of the United States."
He said he'd likely run as an independent if he ran.
"The disadvantages of being an independent are you're not going to get in these big debates that you have on television," he said. "But I'm very proud to be an independent."
Sanders said he hears from supporters almost daily who are urging him to run.
"I think in this country now there is much deeper concern and discontent than both the political establishment and the media establishment understand," he said. "This just reinforces that. The responses are just off the charts."
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