‘Bernie Is Back’: ABC, CBS Tout Sanders Jumping into 2020 Race

The 77-year-old democratic socialist from Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders, threw his hat into the 2020 presidential race on Tuesday. And while they weren’t necessarily “feeling the Bern”, ABC’s World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News touted his entrance and wondered how far left his policies have pulled the Democratic Party.

Bernie is back. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders officially announced today he's running for president, again. In a video, he says he started the political revolution in 2016 and that he now wants to finish it,” announced ABC anchor David Muir.

Echoing Muir’s “Bernie is back” declaration, ABC congressional correspondent Mary Bruce highlighted how “the Vermont Senator sparked a progressive movement in 2016, taking on the establishment and Hillary Clinton.

While Bruce did note how other Democratic candidates like Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and California Senator Kamala Harris were either against his policies or rejected the “democratic socialist” label respectively, she hyped his fundraising machine. “But Sanders' fans are still feeling the Bern. On the first day of her campaign, Harris raised $1.5 million. Sanders today, raising $1.2 million in just the first three hours.”

The CBS Evening News was the only network evening news program to lead their broadcast with the Sanders news. “And we're going to begin tonight with an expanding field and a growing debate...Sanders, who challenged Hillary Clinton in 2016, is the only candidate calling himself a democratic socialist, and his entry stirs new discussion about whether the country is heading his way or the other,” anchor Jeff Glor said.

 

 

While CBS congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes downplayed Sanders’s influence on the Democratic Party, she seemed to huff about the GOP using him against them. “And Republicans are sure to cite his bid as another sign the party is lurching to the left.” She cited President Trump’s State of the Union address where he declared, “We are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country.”

Cordes also hyped Sanders’ ability to fundraise: “Within four hours, he had already raised $1 million, a reminder of the progressive groundswell that drove him to 23 caucus and primary victories in 2016.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows on ABC, though. Bruce did bring up allegations that he didn’t take sexual harassment allegations from female staff members seriously enough during his 2016 run:

Still this year, Sanders faces another hurdle. He’s up against six female Democratic candidates while facing accusations from women who worked on his 2016 campaign about sexual harassment by male staffers. The Senator has publicly apologized.

In contrast over at NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Hallie Jackson lumped Sanders’s campaign announcement into a general report about the President’s national emergency.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
February 19, 2019
6:41:39 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Next this evening, Bernie is back. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders officially announced today he's running for president, again. In a video, he says he started the political revolution in 2016 and that he now wants to finish it. He joins a growing field, 11 other candidates already in the race on the Democratic side. And tonight, what President Trump is now saying about Bernie Sanders running. And what we know about Joe Biden tonight. ABC's Mary Bruce on the race for 2020 already.

[Cuts to video]

MARY BRUCE: Tonight, Bernie is back.

BERNIE SANDERS: I'm running for president.

BRUCE: The Vermont Senator sparked a progressive movement in 2016, taking on the establishment and Hillary Clinton.

(…)

BRUCE: But this time around, he's got more competition. Some who also support his old rallying cries, like Medicare for all and free college tuition.

(…)

BRUCE: But other Democratic candidates are blunt about some of these progressive promises.

(…)

BRUCE: And while Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, his opponents, like Senator Kamala Harris, want no part of that label.

(…)

BRUCE: But Sanders' fans are still feeling the Bern. On the first day of her campaign, Harris raised $1.5 million. Sanders today, raising $1.2 million in just the first three hours. Still this year, Sanders faces another hurdle. He’s up against six female Democratic candidates while facing accusations from women who worked on his 2016 campaign about sexual harassment by male staffers. The Senator has publicly apologized.

(…)

CBS Evening News
February 19, 2019
6:31:33 pm. Eastern

JEFF GLOR: Good evening, I'm Jeff Glor. And we're going to begin tonight with an expanding field and a growing debate. Today, Bernie Sanders said he is in for 2020. He becomes the tenth candidate in the Democratic field. Sanders, who challenged Hillary Clinton in 2016, is the only candidate calling himself a Democratic Socialist, and his entry stirs new discussion about whether the country is heading his way or the other. Here's Nancy Cordes.

[Cuts to video]

(…)

NANCY CORDES: In an interview with John Dickerson, and a video online, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he's picking up where he left off three years ago.

BERNIE SANDERS: Revolutions do not happen overnight.

CORDES: Within four hours, he had already raised $1 million, a reminder of the progressive groundswell that drove him to 23 caucus and primary victories in 2016.

(…)

CORDES: Sanders argues the party has been moving his way ever since.

(…)

CORDES: Like Hillary Clinton then, his more moderate opponents now, think some of his plans, like free four-year college for all, are a pipe dream.

(…)

CORDES: And Republicans are sure to cite his bid as another sign the party is lurching to the left.

DONALD TRUMP: We are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country.

CORDES: That was the State of the Union. Today, the President showed a soft spot for Sanders.

TRUMP: Personally, I think he missed his time, but I like Bernie, because he is one person that on trade, he sort of would agree on trade.

CORDES: Sanders' view of Mr. Trump...

SANDERS: This guy is a pathological liar.

CORDES: ...Hasn't changed.

(…)

[Cuts back to live]

CORDES: Sanders is 77, but told Dickerson that should not be an issue, and he noted that some 90-year-olds have more energy, Jeff, than people half their age.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Labeling Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Mary Bruce David Muir Jeff Glor Nancy Cordes Bernie Sanders Donald Trump

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