Report: Sanders to announce presidential run in video

Sources say Independent Senator has recorded a campaign video in which he says he is running for president in 2020.

Ben Ariel,

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, inching closer to a second bid for the White House, has recorded a campaign video in which he says he is running for president in 2020, two people familiar with the spot told Politico on Saturday.

According to the report, the Sanders team has been interviewing people for top staff positions. Chuck Rocha, a political consultant who advised Sanders’ 2016 campaign, is expected to join him again if a second bid materializes.

It is unclear when, or even whether, the Sanders video will be released, noted Politico. It’s possible that Sanders could launch a 2020 campaign with an exploratory committee and then formally declare his candidacy later, a route other presidential candidates have taken.

Sarah Ford, a spokeswoman for Sanders, did not respond to a request for comment about the video.

The report further said that Tim Tagaris and Robin Curran, two 2016 alumni who helped power Sanders’ successful small-dollar fundraising program, have agreed to join any second presidential campaign.

Sanders is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. He attempted to win the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost to Hillary Clinton, who ultimately lost the presidential election to Donald Trump. The report is in line with Sanders’ past hints that he may run again.

While Sanders is Jewish and spent time in a kibbutz when he was young, he has a history of problematic statements on Israel.

Last April, Sanders criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his policies, saying, "As someone who believes absolutely and unequivocally in Israel's right to exist... we must say loudly and clearly, that to oppose the reactionary policies of Prime Minister Netanyahu does not make us anti-Israel."

In June of 2017, Sanders recorded a video message to the Israeli leftist party Meretz, in which he said, “This occupation must end. Peace, real peace, means security not only for every Israeli, but for every Palestinian. It means supporting self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for both peoples.”

Should he run for the Democratic nomination, he will be joining a crowded field. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has already officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign at a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Numerous candidates including Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar are already in the race.

Other potential candidates include former Vice President Joe Biden, who recently claimed he is the “most qualified” person to serve as president, fueling speculation that he might make a 2020 bid for the White House.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday that he would decide by the end of the month whether to seek the presidency.