Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he is prepared to run for president and will look seriously at the race in 2016.
“I am prepared to run for president of the United States. I don't believe that I am the only person out there who can fight this fight, but I am certainly prepared to look seriously at that race,” he told The Nation in an interview published Thursday.
The Vermont independent said he had not decided how he would run — either as an independent third-party candidate or by entering the Democratic primary.
Running as an independent, he said, would require him to build a whole infrastructure, and there would always be the potential for, what he called, the “Nader dilemma,” in which a liberal third-party candidate peels off votes from a Democratic contender, making it easier for a Republican to win.
“The question that you asked is extremely important; it requires a whole lot of discussion. It’s one that I have not answered yet,” he said.
He said he is not actively raising money or organizing a campaign but he is talking to people about it and plans to make trips around the country.
“If I run, I'm not going to be raising hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said. “I think I have the capability of raising a lot of money, and that's important, but that at the end of the day, is not going to be what's most important.”
He said people underestimate the voters’ frustration with the status quo and are looking for a candidate to address it. He said the Democratic Party relies too heavily on “big money interests.”
Sanders gave a series of interviews with The Nation and Time magazine in which he discussed much of the same topic.
In the Time interview published Wednesday, Sanders said Hillary Clinton is not the Democratic candidate to lead the political revolution he envisions.
He said he would make a better president than her.
“I think, you know, if you talk about the need for a political revolution in America, I think it’s fair to say that Secretary Clinton probably will not be one of the more active people,” he said.
Sanders ticked off his populist wish list, which includes universal healthcare and access to college, a stricter tax system for corporations and the wealthy, and campaign finance reforms that would roll back the Supreme Court decision that opened up corporate political donations and led to the creation of super-PACs.
“Do you think that’s Hillary Clinton’s agenda? I don’t think so,” he said.