Bernie Sanders ‘hasn’t ruled out another presidential run’ if Biden doesn’t

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is set to run for president in 2024 if President Biden declines re-election, according to a campaign memo a top political adviser distributed to allies on Wednesday and shared with the Washington Post.

“In the event of an open Democratic presidential primary in 2024, Senator Sanders has not ruled out an alternate presidential bid, so we advise you answer all questions about 2024 with that in mind,” the memo reads. of Faiz Shakir, a close friend of Sanders. adviser who was his campaign manager when he ran in 2020.

The memo was shared by a person with direct knowledge of its contents on condition of anonymity as it has not been made public, and confirmed by a second person with direct knowledge of the contents.

Shakir did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“While this private memo leaked to the media is frustrating, the central fact remains true, which is that Senator Sanders is the nation’s most popular office holder,” Sanders spokesman Mike Casca said when asked. he was asked to comment. Casca and the memo based that claim on a recent poll.

Still, many Democrats see Sanders as a polarizing figure whose socialist label and association with Democratic candidates could hurt general elections, especially in transitional areas, dragging down candidates.

Shortly after ending his campaign, Sanders told a Washington Post Live event in May 2020 that the likelihood of him running for president again was “very, very slim.” Biden has said he intends to run for re-election, but warned last year that he had “never been able to plan 3 and a half, four years ahead, with certainty”.

The note on 2024 comes at the very end of Shakir’s note, titled “Embrace the Attacks,” which primarily advises Sanders-backed campaigns on how to respond to criticism and questions they may receive about his support.

“As the campaign heats up in states across the country, your political opponents and their corporate-aligned allies will try to put you on the defensive against Senator Bernie Sanders’ support for your nominee,” Shakir writes.

He adds: “Our advice is to embrace the attacks.”

The memo also provides an update on the senator’s endorsement and travel plans. “Sen. Sanders is interested in approving more candidates and we would like your help in identifying potential target races,” the memo reads. It also welcomes recommendations on where to travel.

Sanders, 80, has long been active in midterm campaigns and has tended to back more liberal candidates. Among other things this year, he is backing Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old immigration lawyer who is challenging Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.) in a runoff of the Democratic primaries in May. He is also supporting State Representative Summer Lee (D), a candidate for Congress from Pennsylvania.

The memo provides suggested responses to hostile inquiries. “We understand that corporate-backed campaigns will try to make Senator Sanders’ endorsement controversial, especially in a Democratic primary, so here are some answers to frequently asked questions,” he says.

“Sen. Sanders is an avowed Independent Democratic Socialist. Why do you accept his endorsement?” is one of the questions that might arise, Shakir writes.

The proposed answer, according to Shakir, is: “Sen. Sanders offers a wildly popular vision for the Democratic Party that will regain the critical support we have lost. In fact, Bernie wants to strengthen the power of the working class and tackle the corporate socialism that our political system currently promotes.

Another question suggested by the memo might arise: “Will you support Sanders if he challenges Biden in 2024?”

The proposed response: “Sen. Sanders is focused on helping Joe Biden have a successful presidency. As chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, no one fought harder for the president’s policy agenda than Bernie. He traveled to Republican congressional districts last summer to promote Build Back Better. Unfortunately, this legislation was stopped by Democratic business.

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