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The Latest: Trump campaign claims Dems embrace socialism

February 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid (all times local):

10:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign claims Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders “has already won the debate in the Democrat primary, because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism.”

Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a democratic socialist, announced on Tuesday that he’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

In a statement, Trump campaign national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the American people “will reject an agenda of sky-high tax rates, government-run health care and coddling dictators like those in Venezuela.”

Sanders embraces proposals ranging from “Medicare for All” to free college tuition. He describes his 2020 White House bid as a “continuation of what we did in 2016.” He told CBS “these ideas and many more are now part of the political mainstream.”

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7:20 a.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is describing his new White House bid as a “continuation of what we did in 2016.”

Sanders notes that policies he advocated for in 2016 are now embraced by the Democratic Party.

Sanders says, “You know what’s happened in over three years? All of these ideas and many more are now part of the political mainstream.”

Sanders was asked Tuesday on CBS whether he believes the Democratic Party has come his way. He says, “I don’t want to say that. Most people would say that.”

Sanders announced his 2020 presidential bid earlier Tuesday. The 77-year-old self-described democratic socialist challenged Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary in 2016.

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6:45 a.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he’s running for president in 2020.

The 77-year-old self-described democratic socialist challenged Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary in 2016 and said on Tuesday that he planned to again seek the nomination.

Sanders has reshaped Democratic politics and earned a loyal following with his passionate defense of liberal proposals including free college tuition and single-payer health care. But he will face off against several other Democratic candidates who also want to appeal to the party’s base.

Still, Sanders’ name recognition, fundraising prowess and passion for liberal policies makes him a top-tier 2020 presidential contender.