Bernie Sanders (AP/Cliff Owen)

Bernie Sanders: Unlike some candidates, I won't start a super PAC or court millionaires

The American people "have had enough of establishment politics -- they want real change"

Scott Eric Kaufman
April 30, 2015 10:05PM (UTC)

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl that he considers the role the obscenely wealthy play in politics to be "a very serious problem."

The independent specified that "it's not just about Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton [but] about a political system today that is dominated by big money -- it's about the Koch brothers being prepared to spend $900 million in the coming election."


He claimed that one of the benefits of his candidacy is that he is "one of the exceptions" -- the only national candidate who isn't part of that corrupt system. "We're going to be heavily outspent, but I think the American people have had enough of establishment politics," he said. "I think they want real change [and] I think they want to see a movement which stands up to the billionaire class."

"I am not going to start a super PAC. I’m not going to go around the country talking to millionaires," he added, before acknowledging that it's not as if a self-described Democratic socialist could expect much in the way of support from the moneyed classes. "I'm saving my time," Sanders confessed, "because they wouldn't give me any money anyhow -- and that's fine."

He took time to explain that "socialism" isn't a label that Democrats should shy away from, saying that he understands why they "get hung up on the word," even though "there are things we can learn from social democratic countries around the world," ones in which the "government works for ordinary people to a much greater degree than it does in our country."

Sanders announced his candidacy today, and while even he believes that he is definitely an "underdog," he hopes his presence will compel centrist supporters of Hillary Clinton to address issues important to the left wing of the Democratic caucus.

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bernie Sanders Bill Clinton Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton The Koch Brothers


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