Progressive US Sen. Bernie Sanders to run for re-election | Political News

Bernie Sanders, the 82-year-old leftist senator from Vermont and two-time presidential candidate, has announced that he will run for re-election amid rumors that he may retire.

Sanders, who drew support from young people and progressives in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, announced on Monday that he will run for a fourth six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

“I want to thank the people of Vermont from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to serve as a United States senator. It has been the honor of my life,” Sanders, an independent, said in the video recording. Ta.

“Today, I am announcing my intention to seek re-election.”

The announcement comes at a turbulent time for Democrats, who are facing intense backlash from key constituencies, especially young voters, over President Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza.

Sanders initially rejected calls for a ceasefire, but has emerged as one of Congress’ most outspoken critics of Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

The war has killed nearly 35,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, and there have been reports that Israeli forces have committed torture, indiscriminate bombing and other rights violations against civilians. .

In January, Sanders spearheaded a bill that would suspend security aid to Israel until the U.S. State Department completes a report evaluating allegations of human rights abuses in Gaza.

The bill was ultimately defeated by Mr. Sanders. Sanders, who identifies as Jewish, has also expressed his support for anti-war encampments that began on college campuses in April to show solidarity with Palestinians under Israeli siege.

The wave of protests has engulfed American university life and highlighted generational rifts within the Democratic Party over support for Israel. But Sanders compared his work on campus to his own experience protesting for civil rights in the 1960s.

“In 1962, we organized sit-ins to end racial segregation at the University of Chicago. In ’63, I was arrested protesting school segregation. But we were right,” Sanders said. he said in a recent social media post.

“I am proud to see students protesting the war in Gaza. Stay calm and focused. You are on the right side of history.”

He also criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who attacked the campus protests as “anti-Semitic.”

“Anti-Semitism is a vile, hateful bigotry that has caused untold harm to millions of people. “Don’t insult the intelligence of the American people by trying to distract us from war policy,” Sanders wrote. statement April 25th.

“Holding people accountable for their actions is not anti-Semitism.”

Sanders has won a passionate following by championing progressive causes such as universal health care, which guarantees access as a human right.

He ran against Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary and performed well in early voting states. For example, he finished second in the 2020 Iowa caucuses. He won first place in the New Hampshire primary.

However, Biden’s overwhelming performance in South Carolina led to changes in the race, and Sanders ultimately suspended his campaign in April 2020.

Nevertheless, he has since appeared with Biden to defend efforts to reduce health care costs. For example, in April, he held a joint press conference with Biden to tout improvements in the cost of inhalers used to treat asthma.

Biden: “You and I have been fighting this problem for 25 years.” Said Mr. Sanders from the podium. “Finally, we defeated Big Pharma.”

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders participate in the Democratic presidential primary debate in Washington, DC, in March 2020 [File: Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

Still, Sanders’ decision to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate underscores the continuing age debate within the Democratic Party.

Sanders is almost certain to win Vermont, a Democratic stronghold, but he will be in his late 80s by the end of his next term.

For example, voters have consistently expressed concern that President Biden, 81, is too old to run for a second term. An ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted in February found that 86% of all Americans think Biden is too old for the job.

In his announcement video, Sanders said he was also motivated to run again by the possibility of former President Donald Trump returning to the White House for a second term.

Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee and is scheduled to face Biden in a rematch of the 2020 presidential election.

“Will the United States continue to function as a democracy?” Sanders asked. “Or will we move towards an authoritarian form of government?”

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