Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is officially running for president of the United States. In a Twitter message announcing his bid for the White House, Sanders wrote the following.
“I’m running for president. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least 1 million people from across the country.”
Enthusiasm for the self-described social democrat is through the roof: Sanders raised $1.2 million in the first 3.5 hours of his presidential campaign, according to the Daily Beast, immediately besting Kamala Harris’ first-day donor total.
But according to President Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders “missed his chance” for the White House.
Speaking to reporters during an Oval Office announcement on space policy, Trump shared his thoughts on the Vermont senator and his 2020 chances, the Hill reports.
“Personally I think he missed his time,” Trump said, and then went on to praise Sanders’ stances on trade.
“But I like Bernie because he is one person that, you know, on trade he sort of would agree on trade,” the president said, adding that even though Sanders agrees with him on trade, he “doesn’t know what to do about it.”
“But I wish Bernie well. It will be interesting to see how he does,” Trump said.
The president also discussed the Democratic Party’s treatment of Sanders during the 2016 election. As the Hill notes, emails obtained by WikiLeaks revealed that Hillary Clinton’s wing of the party had forcefully taken over the DNC’s finances and fundraising, which is one of the reasons Sanders’ supporters continue to accuse the DNC of “rigging” the primary against their preferred candidate.
One of the leaked emails, republished today by WikiLeaks on Twitter and sent out by then-chairman of the Clinton campaign John Podesta, recommends that the Democratic Party “grounds” Sanders “to a pulp” in order to “crush him” as hard as possible.
“He ran great four years ago and he was not treated with respect by Clinton and that was too bad,” the president said.
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) February 19, 2019
Although the president claims that Sanders’ time has passed, polls show otherwise. A 2018 Morning Consult poll, for instance, indicated that Bernie Sanders was the most popular senator in the United States, as per USA Today.
Similarly, a 2017 poll published by the Independent found that Bernie Sanders was the most popular politician in the United States by a large margin, with a 54 percent favorability among voters.
Furthermore, Bernie Sanders’ signature policies — universal healthcare, free college, living wage — are wildly popular and universally supported by the vast majority of Americans. Seventy percent of Americans support “Medicare for All,” according to CNBC.
I'm running for president. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least 1 million people from across the country. Say you're in: https://t.co/KOTx0WZqRf pic.twitter.com/T1TLH0rm26
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 19, 2019
Likewise, polls have shown that the majority of Americans — even the majority of Republicans — support free college, according to the Intercept.