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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the self-described socialist from Vermont, said on Sunday that he is thinking about running for president in 2016, but that he's not sure if he would do it as an independent or as a Democrat — a case where he would likely have to go up against Hillary Clinton in a primary face-off.
Sanders, who is serving his second term in the Senate, has a message focusing on income inequality and corporate greed that he says resonates with many Americans.
"I think anybody who speaks to the needs of the working class and the middle class of this country and shows the courage to take on the billionaire class, I think that candidate will do pretty well," said Sanders on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
Sanders said he is going to test the waters in Iowa to weigh the advantages and disadvantages — and the feasibility — of running for president as an independent.
"One of the reasons I'm going to Iowa is to get a sense of how people feel about it," he said. "Look, the truth is (there is) profound anger at both political parties, more and more people are becoming independent. The negative is: how do you set up a 50-state infrastructure as an independent?"
Sanders, who caucuses with the Democrats, said he has "a lot of respect" for Clinton, but said, "The issue is not Hillary."
He also acknowledged that he has "a lot of disagreements" with Obama, saying, "I think he has not tapped the anger and the frustration that the American people feel on many, many issues."
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