This week on 4 The Record we focus again on the race for president.
We’re 127 days away from the Iowa Caucuses.
Did you know that there are still 23 people running? That’s because four of them are Republicans.
Of course, President Trump. But also former South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford, former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.
All of the challengers are longshots.
It’s like a box of cereal for the Democrats: Call it Product 19. That’s how many are still in the race.
Granted, there aren’t as many candidates as there used to be. But that’s still a large field.
Twelve Democrats qualified for the October debate.
This morning we’re focused on Bernie Sanders.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York, graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in political science.
Sanders was a civil rights activist in the 1960s and 1970s.
He spent his early career as a Head Start teacher, a psychiatric aide and a carpenter.
Sanders’ entry into politics came in the early 1980s.
He won the race for mayor of Burlington, Vermont and held the job for eight years.
Sanders moved up to the U.S. House of Representatives after that and spent 16 years in the lower chamber of Congress.
Then came his years as an outspoken senator as an independent in Vermont, a job he still holds today.
Sanders is the oldest candidate in the race at 78 years old.
Sanders is on the far left of the party and anyone who follows him knows he identifies himself as a democratic socialist.
I spoke with Senator Sanders last week when he came through the Quad Cities. That was before the news broke this week that Democrats will open an impeachment inquiry into the president.
That did not come up in our conversation.
Sanders and I met before when he ran for president four years ago.
Four years ago he was this upstart longshot presidential candidate who became a liberal darling, but he entered this race as one of the favorites.
Sanders told us what feels different this time.
I speak to a lot of everyday people, both Democrats and Republicans and we talk about the candidates.
One long-time Democrat told me he loves Sanders, except he feels like he’s like Adlai Stevenson. He likes his ideas but that’s not enough to win.
Sanders responded to that and if he considers it a win that a lot of his ideas that were once considered too extreme even for the Democratic party have largely been adopted by several of the other candidates.
He also addressed if this is a fight about the identity of the Democratic party as much as it is for the presidency, since there are moderates in this race and candidates with a more socialist agenda like him.
President Trump has a nickname for Sanders: “Crazy Bernie.”
When asked how much he would have to engage the president on these tactics if he becomes the nominee, he didn’t mince words.
View the entire conversation in the video above.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.