Invariably described by political observers as a “long shot” for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stopped by CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday to prove them wrong. In fact, when pressed by host Bob Schieffer if it was realistic or even plausible for a self-described "independent socialist" to defeat such an entrenched and presumptive favorite, Sanders argued that it was.
“The answer is yes,” he said. “Because there is, in my view, massive dissatisfaction in this country today with corporate establishment and the greed of corporate America—and the incredibly unequal distribution of wealth and income, which currently exists.”
“Bob, when you have 99 percent of all new income generated today going to the top one percent. When you have the top one-tenth of one percent owning almost as much income as the bottom 90 percent … you know what?” he asked. “People don’t think that’s a good idea.”
Most pressingly, however, he pledged to fight to overturn Citizen United vs. FEC—a Supreme Court ruling that, in his view, is destabilizing the democratic process.
“If elected president, I will have a litmus test in terms of my nominee to be a Supreme Court justice,” he said. “And that nominee will say that we are going to overturn this disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United. Because that decision is undermining American democracy. I do not believe that billionaires should be able to buy politicians.”
This is why, as man of principle, he will refrain from launching a SuperPAC, he said. Instead, he will look to working and middle class income earners to subsidize his campaign.
“I understand we’re she’s coming from [but] I will not have a SuperPAC,” he said, referring to the fact that Hillary Clinton has expediently and fully embraced Citizens United. “Look, we announced a week and a half ago. And since that time we’ve had 200,000 people go to BernieSanders.com to sign up for the campaign and we’ve had close to 90,000 contributions. Do you know what the average contribution was? It was about $43.”
“So I don’t think we’re going to outspend Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush or anybody else,” he added. “But I think we are going to raise the kinds of money we need to run a strong and winning campaign.”