U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders this morning will declare his candidacy for president of the United States. The senator will send an email to hundreds of thousands of supporters declaring his intention to run in the Democratic Party and laying out themes of his campaign:
Here are key excerpts:
“I am writing to inform you that I will be a candidate for President of the United States. I ask for your support.
“For many months I have been traveling from coast to coast across our country, and have had the opportunity to meet with thousands of good, hard-working, and remarkable people. Like you and me, they are deeply concerned about the future of our country.
“They wonder why they are working longer hours for lower wages. They worry about whether their kids will be able to afford college or get decent jobs. They fear that they may not have the savings to retire with dignity and security.
“The challenges facing our country are enormous.
“It’s not just that, for forty years, the middle class has been disappearing. It’s that 99% of all new income is going to the top 1%, and the grotesque level of wealth and income inequality today is worse than at any time since the late 1920s. The people at the top are grabbing all the new wealth and income for themselves, and the rest of America is being squeezed and left behind.
“The disastrous decisions of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case and in other related cases are undermining the very foundations of American democracy, as billionaires rig the system by using their Super PACS to buy politicians and elections.
“And the peril of global climate change, with catastrophic consequences, is the central challenge of our time and our planet.
“The middle class in America is at a tipping point. It will not last another generation if we don’t boldly change course now.
“After a year of travel, discussion and dialogue, I have decided to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. But let’s be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: ‘Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.