by Ashe Schow
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is running for president again, in case anyone is surprised. The man who calls himself an Independent or a Socialist, but who caucuses with the Democrats, is now unhappy with third-party candidates.
Sanders announced his presidential run Tuesday morning. He then appeared on “CBS This Morning” to discuss, according to Real Clear Politics. Sanders was asked about former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s third-party bid, a question that clearly irritated the Vermont senator. He claimed the media was only covering Schultz because “he’s a billionaire.”
“There are a lot of people I know personally who work hard for a living and make 40 or 50,000 dollars a year who know a lot more about politics, than with all due respect does Mr. Schultz. But because we have a corrupt system, anybody who is a billionaire and can throw a lot of TV ads around on television suddenly becomes very, very credible,” Sanders aid.
As if Sanders knows what Schultz knows about politics.
“So, Mr. Schultz, what is he blackmailing the Democratic Party? If you don’t nominate Bernie Sanders, he’s not going to run? Well, I don’t think we should succumb to that kind of blackmail,” Sanders added.
Logan Dobson, who will soon be the managing director for Targeted Victory and a political reporter for the Huffington Post, had a very poignant question for Sanders after his response to the Schultz questions.
“idk Bernie, were you blackmailing the Democratic Party when you ran as a third-party independent in 1972, 1974, 1975, 1981, 1986, 1988… ?” Dobson tweeted.
Indeed, Sanders has run as a third-party candidate for decades. He began his foray into elected politics by running as a member of the Liberty Union Party. He ran as a third-party candidate for U.S. senate and the Vermont governorship in 1972. He ran again as a Liberty Union candidate for the U.S. senate in 1974, and again for governor in 1976, according to Roll Call. Sanders ran against the incumbent Democrat mayor of Burlington, VT, and won, serving as mayor for eight years. In 1986, he ran as an Independent candidate for Vermont governor. In 1988, he ran as an Independent for the U.S. House of Representatives. He won in 1990 and served in the House until 2007. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.
He only started running for the Democrat nomination during his 2016 presidential bid and now for his 2020 bid because he has a better chance of getting the nomination (unless the Democrat National Committee rigs the primaries again for their preferred candidate) and winning the presidency than he would if he ran as a third-party candidate.
Perhaps Sanders only thinks third-party candidates are bad when they run for president (a press inquiry to the Sanders campaign did not receive an immediate response). There is definitely a fear on the Left that Schultz could undermine an attempt to overthrow Trump as a third-party candidate that could become another Ross Perot or Ralph Nader.
As a reminder, President Donald Trump ran as a third-party candidate in 2000 as a member of the Reform Party.