- Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday announced he’s running for president again in 2020.
- Sanders struggled to win over minority voters when he ran in 2016, but he believes his 2020 message will “resonate all over this country.”
- The Vermont senator also faces ongoing criticism over sexual harassment allegations against people who worked on his 2016 campaign, and on Tuesday outlined his plan to address this for 2020.
Two of the biggest challenges Sen. Bernie Sanders will face along the campaign trail will be winning over black voters and addressing the sexual harassment allegations linked to his 2016 bid for the presidency.
In 2016, the Vermont senator struggled to appeal to minority voters and faced criticism over his lack of engagement with black and Latino communities early on in his campaign. Some of that criticism has even come from former top aides and advisers from Sanders’ 2016 campaign.
But Sanders, who on Tuesday announced he’s running for president again, seems confident his 2020 campaign will not make the same mistakes.
In an interview with SiriusXM’s “Make It Plain with Mark Thompson” after his announcement, Sanders said he believes his campaign’s message will “resonate” in African-American communities.
“I think we have a message that is going to resonate, resonate all over this country, and in the African-American communities,” Sanders said. “It’s going to be a message which says we’ve got to end institutional racism, we’ve got to pay special attention to those people who have been hard hit economically. We have to invest in urban communities, and we have to deal with all of the massive disparities that currently exist in American society.”
Beyond concerns over how Sanders will win over minority voters, he’s also been pressured on how he’ll ensure female staffers on his campaign feel safe and respected along the campaign trail.
Several women who worked on Sanders’ 2016 campaign have said they were harassed by staff members and also experienced pay disparities. The allegations are not directed at Sanders himself, and he’s apologised to the women who’ve come forward.
Sanders also claimed he didn’t know about these issues when he was running for president three years ago. While facing questioning from CNN in January on whether he was unaware of the allegations, Sanders said, “Yes, I was little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case.”
In an interview with Vermont Public Radio on Tuesday, Sanders outlined his campaign’s plan to address concerns surrounding the allegations.
“We are gonna be providing a whole lot of education … and training to all of our employees, and we have on board as part of this campaign a very, very experienced and professional team of folks who do exactly this – they deal with sexual harassment and discrimination,” the senator said.
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