World / Politics

Bernie Sanders records presidential campaign video as Joe Biden closer to deciding own White House bid

AFP-JIJI, Reuters

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has recorded a video announcing a 2020 run for president, Politico reported Saturday, an indication that he plans to enter the already crowded field of candidates.

But it still remains unclear when or if the video will be released, according to Politico, which previously reported that the senator from Vermont’s team has been conducting interviews to fill top staff positions.

The news came the same day as former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is also a Democrat, said he had not yet decided whether to run for president in 2020 but would do so “in the near term.”

Sanders, a 77-year-old independent who caucuses with Democrats, made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2016, losing out to Hillary Clinton, who was in turn defeated by Donald Trump.

Like Trump, Sanders was an outsider when the 2016 presidential primaries began, but came close to pulling off an upset over Clinton.

He garnered passionate support among young liberals with his calls for universal health care, a $15 minimum wage and free public university education.

Sanders served in the House until 2006 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2018.

While Sanders remains popular among many Democrats, some in the party have questioned whether their champion this time around should be a septuagenarian white man.

The 76-year-old Biden would also find himself at the centre of a debate among Democrats about whether their party would best be led in the November 2020 vote by a political newcomer or a seasoned veteran.

Still, Biden, who served two terms as vice president after decades in the U.S. Senate, would have the advantage of name recognition should he enter the race.

“I haven’t reached a decision,” Biden told reporters at the annual Munich Security Conference. “I’m in the process of doing that, and I will in the near term let everyone know what that decision is.”

“I think there is a sufficient amount of time to do that. And I think that we have a tendency particularly in the States to start the whole election process much too early,” he added.

“We should be focusing now on what needs to be done to alter some of the policies that are being promoted by the president.”