After the Democratic National Committee mandated that all of the party's candidates "run and serve as a member of the Democratic Party," Sen. Bernie Sanders, a longstanding independent, vowed to lead as a Democrat if elected president in 2020.
When it was first introduced, the regulation infuriated some of Sanders' 2016 aides. The DNC passed it last year. The Vermont senator signed the promise, as the Sanders campaign confirmed to POLITICO after The Washington Post broke the news first.
Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, spoke about racial tensions during his inaugural event for his 2020 campaign on Saturday in Chicago.
Sanders has, however, also submitted paperwork to run as an independent for reelection to the Senate in 2024.
He angered many establishment Democrats by running as a Democrat against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Sanders participates in Senate Democratic caucuses and frequently casts votes with them.
One senior strategist from Sanders' 2016 campaign attacked the new DNC rule when it was originally put into place, calling it a "shocking resolution."
Then, Mark Longabaugh told POLITICO, "I honestly don't grasp the motive behind the resolution at all. "You know, 13 million people voted for Bernie Sanders in 2016." Young people and independents that he recruited into the Democratic Party made up thousands, if not millions, of those votes.
Longabaugh continued, "And I'm just astounded that the Democratic Party's rules committee would try to make the Democratic Party an exclusive club, for which we want to exclude voters and significant portions of the American public.
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