Self-described "Democratic Socialist" Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is confident that he can put up a real fight against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
In an interview with ABC News following an official announcement that he is running for president in 2016, Bernie Sanders spoke to the ongoing issue of billionaire money in politics – and didn’t pull any punches when it came to naming Clinton as part of the problem.
“I think we’re going to have a surprise for you,” Sanders added. “We’re going to win this thing.”
Sanders said he believes that Americans have become fed up with “establishment politics,” which is an issue that he has been passionate about for years.
“We are a looking at a system where our democracy is being owned by a handful of billionaires,” he said. “That is wrong.” According to Sanders, “anybody now who is running for office, with few exceptions” is a part of the problem. He said he believes himself to be one of those exceptions.
“I am not going to start a super PAC. I’m not going to go around the country talking to millionaires. Now I'm saving my time because they wouldn't give me any money anyhow and that's fine,” he said. “Do I go into this thing as the underdog? Absolutely, no question about it. We're going to be heavily outspent, but I think the American people have had enough of establishment politics, i think they want real change i think they want to see a movement which stands up to the billionaire class.”
In a recent poll, Sanders trailed behind Clinton amongst Democrat and Democrat-leaning Independent voters by 61 percent.
President Obama acknowledged a potential Sanders campaign during his White House Correspondent’s Dinner speech, jokingly comparing a Sanders presidency to a third Obama term.
“Bernie Sanders might run. I like Bernie. Bernie’s an interesting guy. Apparently, some folks want to see a pot-smoking socialist in the White House,” Obama said. “We could get a third Obama term after all.”
“As a matter of fact, I'm not a pot smoker. I have admittedly some 30, 40 years ago,” Sanders said in response. “I know people get hung up on the word socialism … I think there are things we can learn from social democratic countries around the world where in fact government does work for ordinary people in a much greater degree than it does in our country.”
Photo Credit: politico.com, ABC News