Bernie Sanders used to moonlight as a comedy actor, and 9 other things you should know about the presidential hopeful

10 things you don't know about Bernie Sanders
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Bernie Sanders used to moonlight as a comedy actor, and 9 other things you should know about the presidential hopeful

1. He's a socialist, and he doesn't deny it. When he ran for office in 1990 he responded to an ad trying to link him to Fidel Castro by saying,  "I am a socialist and everyone knows that."

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

2. He used to moonlight as a comedy actor, appearing in the 1999 film "My X-Girlfriends Wedding Reception."

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

4. He made headlines in in 2010 when he tried to block a deal that included a tax cut extension for the wealthy with a filibuster-like stand. The stunt trended on Twitter with the hashtag #filibernie and later crashed the Senate video server.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

5. He is not religious. While all past presidents have been openly religious and Christian, Sanders says he identifies as Jewish but doesn't practice. 

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

7. He grew up in a working class family in Brooklyn, and his father was a Polish immigrant.

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

8. He released an album called 'We Shall Overcome' in which he reads speeches about peace and justice with a choir singing in the background. It's available on iTunes. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

9. He is a big believer in Scandinavian political thinking and has said that the U.S. should adopt some of their principles, including the idea that health care should be a right, and higher education should be free.

 (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)



Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders joined the race for the oval office last week, but the Independent and self-described socialist faces an uphill battle if he expects to pose a serious threat to Hillary Clinton.

The former secretary of state is steamrolling her fellow Democrats in the polls, with roughly 62 percent of Democrats or Democrat-leaning independents saying they would back her. Fellow Democrats including Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren trail with about 10 percent a piece, and neither is expected to enter the race at this point. Sanders is trailing at roughly 5 percent.

Many experts say that Sanders has little chance of clinching the nomination, but that he's not playing to win. So instead of entering the political battlefield that is the 2016 race with hopes of dominating the competition -- many suspect he instead aims to let his ideas dominate the conversation. His leftist views may force Clinton, and her opponents alike, toward more liberal policies during the race for the Democratic nomination.

He said last weekend he thinks America could get behind his leftist policies, as long as they really understand what "democratic socialism" is.

Sanders has been in politics a long time, but this is his first run for America's highest office. He began as the mayor of Burlington, which is Vermont's largest city, before he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The Brooklyn native has served in the U.S. Senate since 2006, when he was elected with the support of then-Senator Barack Obama.

Click through above to learn more about the Democratic candidate.

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