Mike Gravel announces run for president to get into debates, not to win

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska.) announced a presidential campaign this week saying his sole intention is to appear on the debate stage, not win the nomination. 

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“Sen. Mike Gravel has officially filed to run for president. Our only aim is pushing the field left by appearing in the Democratic debates. Donate as little as you like, but help us get to the necessary 65k donors!” the former senator tweeted Tuesday.

Gravel, a staunch anti-imperialist who served in the Senate from 1969-1981, ran for president in 2008 first as a Democrat before later joining the Libertarian Party.

His announcement follows calls from college-age supporters for Gravel to jump into the race to help push the contenders further to the left. 

“I'd like to add that our goal is 65,000 donors to qualify the senator for the debate; the senator is planning to drop out after that and endorse the most progressive candidate,” a campaign spokesperson told Fox News.

“Oh, and none of the senior staffers [like myself] are getting paid. Money will go toward basic campaign expenses, and all leftover funds will be donated to get Flint clean water,” the spokesperson continued, referring to the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Regardless of his ambitions, Gravel would be considered a long-shot candidate in an already packed primary crowd that is fielding several well-known political heavyweights with millions in the bank.

Though politicians often do run for president solely to push their platforms more into the mainstream, the efforts are rarely as blatant as Gravel’s bid. 

Staffers for Gravel have already had to push back on reports that he is a 9/11 truther as well as claims that he was linked to anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists, including a Holocaust denier, according to Fox News.