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Sanders still mum on White House aspirations - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sanders still mum on White House aspirations

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

"I don't think it's one of the hot topics," said Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders is tired of talking about running for President.

It's a question he's been asked since winning his first Senate race in 2006. Over the last few weeks it's an issue that keeps popping up. That's because he says there's a one percent chance he'll run, to force the country's prospective leaders into a debate over the share of wealth going to America's top one percent.

"I worry very much that those issues are not being discussed -- you hear many Republicans talking about that? Not too many Democrats are talking about it as well," Sanders said. "That is the most important domestic issue that we have got to talk about."

Sanders cites a lack of jobs for young adults and a rising percentage of the country slipping into poverty, but says he'll only run if no one else is willing to champion those issues.
     
Dartmouth Government Professor Linda Fowler says he's not the only one testing the political waters. "You can expect a free-for-all. That's the one prediction I feel comfortable making," she said. Fowler says Sanders is closer to the political center of his caucus than many of the Republican primary candidates were in 2012 and could shift the dialogue as the Tea-Party did in that debate. She says many of the best known Democrats don't want to face-off against Hillary Clinton, and the progressives are disenchanted with her and her husband Bill. That could open the door for Sanders. "They might end up rallying around him as the non-Hillary candidate," She said.

Reporter Kyle Midura: Is there any one person that you say, 'If they enter the race I know I won't have to run'?

Senator Bernie Sanders: We will see what happens. There are virtually no formal candidates... It's too early to talk about that.

Sanders also says it's too early to say whether he would run as an Independent or Democrat -- but repeats, it's the issues that matter, not the politics.

Sanders has just more than $4 million left over from his last Senate campaign he could tap if he decided to run in 2016. Fowler says fundraising would not be a major obstacle for Sanders, and added that he wouldn't need an overflowing war chest to make a big splash in neighboring New Hampshire at the beginning of primary season.

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