Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) caucuses with the Democrats in the upper chamber, but hasn’t decided whether he’ll assume the party label should he decide to run for president.
Sanders has gained the support of high-level Democratic Party strategist Tad Devine, who told the Washington Post that he’s all in.
“If he runs, I’m going to help him,” Devine said. “He is not only a longtime client but a friend. I believe he could deliver an enormously powerful message that the country is waiting to hear right now and do it in a way that succeeds.”
Sanders stressed to MSNBC yesterday that he hasn’t hired Devine or decided if he’ll run.
“He’s an old friend, part of an inner circle, and is somebody I have talked to and will continue to talk to,” the senator said.
“I’m talking about this to people all over this country,” Sanders said, adding “there is massive disaffection and dissatisfaction in this country with what’s going on.”
“You know, the middle class is disappearing. We have more people living in poverty than almost any time in the history of America. And the gap between the very, very rich and everybody else is growing wider and wider,” he continued.
“And people are asking, what’s happening to America? How come the average person works longer hours for lower ages and yet 95 percent of all new income in the last few years goes to the people on top? How come we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on Earth?”
The American people, Sanders said, “want to hear an analysis, an understanding, of why the middle class in this country is disappearing and they want people to begin to stand up to the billionaire class and develop strategies which protect working families.”
Before he decides whether he goes independent or challenges Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, “I have to decide whether or not I will run,” he said.
“And the answer to that has to do with the kind of grassroots support that may or may not be there. Are people prepared to get engaged in a grassroots, unprecedented type campaign in which we are taking on the incredibly powerful billionaire class. That’s the Koch brothers, that’s Wall Street, that’s the private insurance companies, that’s the drug companies, that’s the people who own America.”
Sanders said he’s asking, “Is there the energy for people to begin to be engaged in that type of campaign, or are people sufficiently demoralized?”
“How do you raise the hundreds of millions of dollars that you need — I don’t get campaign contributions from the billionaire class. Can you do that?” he added. “So, I’ve got to answer those questions.”