Bernie Sanders is a current U.S. Senator from Vermont. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and initially attended Brooklyn College before earning his B.A. at the University of Chicago. Sanders is America's longest-serving independent politician in Congress. He gained national attention in 2010 for his eight-hour-long filibuster against the extension of the Bush era tax cuts. The Vermont senator considers himself to be a democratic socialist, a label that has resulted in attacks from many of his rivals. Sanders’ support has translated into massive crowds across the nation, as well as a campaign mostly founded by small donations. In January alone Sanders raised $20 million with a $27 donation average. If elected, he would be 75 years old on the day he’s inaugurated.
Bernie Sanders, October 2015
Brothers and sisters, our job is to end that rigged economy and create an economy that works for working people.
About the Candidate:
Birth September 8, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York.
Age on Inauguration Day 75 years old
Religion Raised Jewish, non practicing
Education University of Chicago
Family Sanders married Deborah Shiling in 1964, but the couple divorced in 1966 and had no children together. His son Levi was born in 1969 to Susan Campbell Mott. Mott and Sanders never married. In 1988, Sanders married Jane O'Meara who had three children from a previous relationship.
Net worth $330,506
Political career Sanders is America's longest-serving Independent politician in Congress. He served as a representative from the state of Vermont from 1991-2007 before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2012.
Top 5 donor industries Retired, Education, Democratic/Liberal, Lawyers/Law Firms, Health Professionals
Bernie Sanders on
Strongly pro-choice, touts his "lifetime" commitment to the issue.
“The current attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies."
Supports Black Lives Matter.
"We must reform our criminal justice system. Black lives do matter. And we must value black lives.”
Wants to pass a constitutional amendment so that Congress and the states have the power to regulate money in elections. Supports publicly financed, transparent system of campaign financing.
“I am very proud to be the only candidate up here who does not have a super PAC, who’s not raising huge sums of money from Wall Street and special interests.”
Believes climate change is real and manmade. Supports combating climate skeptics with overwhelming evidence. Was against the Keystone Pipeline.
He opposes the death penalty and has voted Yes on replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment.
"I just don't think the state itself, whether it's the state government or federal government, should be in the business of killing people."
Has stated support for recreational marijuana, to reduce arrests and jailings. Believes the war on drugs is a failed policy; prefers treatment over punishment
"We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away, and yet we are imprisoning young people who are smoking marijuana."
Plans to invest $1 trillion over five years to rebuild roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants, and other infrastructure needs. Sanders also supports raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2020.
Wants to make a college education at public universities free. Plans to end the federal government making profit off of student loan debt. Wants to pay for free public college by imposing a tax of a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators.
"We should look at college today the way high school was looked at 60 years ago. All young people who have the ability should be able to get a college education.”
Wants to aggressively transform our energy system away from fossil fuels into energy efficiency and sustainable energy.
“We've got to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fight for national and international legislation that transforms our energy system away from fossil fuel as quickly as possible."
Does not support unilateral action against terrorism. Has stated he does not believe the U.S. should be the policeman of the world; wants to focus on ISIS first. Supports cutting defense by $18B to pay for 55% of all college tuition.
The NRA has praised him for his stance on not holding weapons manufacturers liable for gun violence. However he did receive a D- rating by the NRA in 2012.
“I think the vast majority of the American people, as the president indicated, including gun owners -- I know that's true here in Vermont -- want sensible gun control legislation.”
Supports the The Affordable Care Act. Believes healthcare is a human right and wants a Medicare for all plan.
“I believe that health care in this country should be a right of all people, not a privilege.”
Has called for comprehensive reform with no border fence & no guest workers. Supports a path to citizenship. Secure borders without building a fence.
Believes in the right to love each other, regardless of sexual orientation. Supports Federal protections against discrimination. Vermont implemented ENDA 22 years ago; believes so should the feds.
Wants to strengthen and expand Social Security.
"It’s time to expand Social Security to make sure that everyone in this country can retire with the dignity and respect they deserve."
Plans to prevent corporations from moving their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Says he will create a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million.