The odds might be against Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDo progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Texas House Republican tests positive for coronavirus in latest breakthrough case In defense of share buybacks MORE’s presidential bid, but he has a message for those who question his bid: “Don’t underestimate me."
“I fully concede that I get into this race as a major underdog. No question about it. I mean, Hillary Clinton is known by 95 percent of the American people. And clearly, in terms of money, I will be very, very, very heavily outspent,” the Vermont independent said in an interview with CNBC.
“Don't underestimate me. We're going to do better than people think. And I think we got a shot to win this thing.”
Sanders polls more than 50 percentage points behind Clinton in most surveys, and many Democrats don’t believe he has even an outside shot of defeating her.
But as Clinton continues to tout her hope to be the candidate for “everyday Americans,” Sanders criticized his rival’s wealth, arguing it can separate her from the struggles of average Americans.
The Clintons' recent financial disclosures showed that the couple made more than $30 million from speeches and book royalties since she left the State Department. Sanders said wealthy people who “hustle money” and spend “hundreds of dollars for dinner” can lose sight of true struggles.
“That's the world that you're accustomed to, and that's the world view that you adopt,” he said.
“You're not worrying about a kid three blocks away from here whose mom can't afford to feed him. So yes, I think that can isolate you — that type of wealth has the potential to isolate you from the reality of the world.”
Sanders, who identifies as a Democratic socialist, has called for action to reduce income inequality and says the nation’s wealthiest should pay more taxes. He said he’s willing to sacrifice some economic growth in order to even the playing field.
“You can't just continue growth for the sake of growth in a world in which we are struggling with climate change and all kinds of environmental problems,” he said.
“You don't necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.”