Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, is still considering a 2016 bid
He thinks the low voter turnout in the midterms helps boost his case
He made that argument on two shows Monday
Independent senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont argued Monday that the low voter turnout in the midterm elections reflected widespread negative opinions about both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.
“What I think really happened is about 64 percent of the American people rejected the two-party system,” Sanders said on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report.”
“They rejected Washington as it now functioned. They rejected a political system and a Congress which spends more time representing the wealthy and the powerful than ordinary Americans.”
Only about 36% of voters cast their ballots in this month’s elections, marking the lowest midterm turnout in decades, according to the United States Election Project.
A self-described Democratic socialist, Sanders also continued to keep the door open to a 2016 presidential bid.
“The news is I am thinking about running for president,” he said. “What we have to ascertain is whether or not in this country there is the appetite and the willingness to put together a strong grassroots movement to take on the billionaire class.”
Sanders made similar comments earlier Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” and it’s a message he’s carried to key earlier primary states this fall.
Pressed by co-host Chris Cuomo on how he plans to get elected if he wants to run against the wealthy donor class, Sanders said it’s “not an easy task.”
“We may have reached a tipping point, where candidates who are fighting for the working class and the middle class of this country may not be able to do it anymore, because of the power of the billionaire class,” he said.
Sanders said his agenda would focus on enacting a jobs program, raising the minimum wage, fighting for pay equity for women, and dealing with climate change.
“If I do it, I want to do it well,” he said. “If I do it, I know that I will need millions of people engaged in a grassroots campaign to take on big money.”