Sanders Says A Presidential Run Would Highlight Overlooked Issues

Mar 13, 2015

Senator Bernie Sanders says he'll make a decision about running for president in about a month, and says one of his major motivations to run is to bring a national debate over economic issues that he's championed throughout his political career.

It's clear that Sanders views a potential bid for the While House as an opportunity to highlight a core set of issues during the 2016 presidential campaign.

These include better jobs for middle class Americans, reducing climate change, and access to affordable health care.

Sanders is concerned that if he doesn't run, other candidates will not make these issues a top priority.

"There's a real chance that those issues will not in a significant way be brought up … and that's one of the reasons that motivates me to run,” Sanders said in an interview with Vermont Edition Friday.

Sanders says another motivation to run is to address the growing number of young people who are turned off by the political process in this country. 

"People are very alienated from the political process. They think that big money controls what's going on,” Sanders says. “They don't think that it's possible that we can bring about the change that we need, and I don't want to see that happen." 

"If I falter through my own limitations people will say, 'No one really cares about climate change, no one really worries that the rich are getting richer and everybody else is getting poorer. Sanders ran and he didn't do very well.' So that's the pressure that's on me." - Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sanders says a key factor in his decision will be his ability to put together an enormous national grass roots campaign.

"There's a lot of anger out there,” he says. “There's a lot of frustration, but are people willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved in an unprecedented grassroots campaign? I've been to many parts of this country there's a lot of support out there, but can we bring the hundreds of thousands of people maybe millions of people we need to get involved? I don't know the answer to that yet."

And Sanders says he'll run only if he has sufficient financial resources to wage an effective campaign.

"Those are enormously important issues to tens of millions of Americans and I carry that banner on my shoulders. It has to be done well, and if I falter through my own limitations people will say, ‘No one really cares about climate change, no one really worries that the rich are getting richer and everybody else is getting poorer. Sanders ran and he didn't do very well.’ So that's the pressure that's on me, it's not just my own ego."

Sanders is expected to make a decision about running for president by the middle of April.