Published On: Mon, May 4th, 2015

Bernie Sanders talks 2016 Presidential race, attack Koch Brothers, Clinton Foundation

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont socialist, seem to announce his bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination by declaring war on the “billionaire class” that he contends runs the political system.

In an address on the Capitol lawn, Sanders laid out an agenda that took aim at major conservative donors to Republican causes but also took subtle jabs at the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, a former Secretary of State.

“I don’t believe that the men and women who defended American democracy fought to create a situation where billionaires own the political process. That’s a huge issue,” Sanders told reporters.

Sanders cited his opposition to the Iraq war, when he was a member of the House in 2002 and then-Senator Clinton (N.Y.) supported the conflict, as well as his passionate opposition to an emerging trade deal with a dozen Pacific-Rim nations that had its initial phases negotiated when Clinton served as the nation’s top diplomat.

The Vermont Senator took aim at David and Charles Koch, their vast political spending on right-leaning candidate and then suggested that it was valid to raise questions about the Clinton Foundation, which has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for accepting foreign donations and ties to a Russian uranium deal.

photo/ donkey hotey

photo/ donkey hotey

“The issue here is not the Clinton Foundation — that’s a fair issue — the issue is the huge amount of money that it takes to run a campaign today,” he said.

Technically, Sanders had announced his candidacy in an email to supporters earlier Thursday, so this was just a chance for him to lay out an agenda.

He never said that he was running for president in a five-minute speech, never asked for anyone to vote for him and included a reminder that the nation was “looking at a guy indisputably who has the most unusual political history of anybody in the United States Congress.”

He is the longest-serving independent in Congress, first winning a House seat in 1990 and refusing to formally join the Democratic Party even as he caucused with Democrats in both chambers. Now seeking that party’s highest calling, he rejected any sense that he would register with the party now.

“No, I’m an independent,” he said.

Iowa party officials closest to the Democratic caucus agreed with Sanders and enthusiastic about it, especially his focus on stopping the unlimited political spending by corporations and unions that was unleashed by the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court in January 2010.

“The people here associated with the Democratic Party are all for it — for expanding Social Security, coming down on Wall Street, green energy. All of that. It’s just very much what we believe in,” said James Berge, Iowa Democratic Party chairman for Worth County, near the state’s border with Minnesota.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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