A top adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) said Thursday he believes the Vermont lawmaker would give a 2024 bid for the White House a “hard look” if President Joe Biden decides not to run for a second term.
Faiz Shakir, a senior adviser to the senator who managed his 2020 campaign, told CBS News he believed Sanders would consider running for a third time if he felt the Democratic Party was “weak” in its ability to speak to working class voters.
“I assume that he would give it a hard look,” Shakir said. “I don’t want to make a judgment for him, obviously, it would be his choice to make. But I assume that he would want to reevaluate it.”
Biden has signaled he will indeed run for a second term, but he has yet to make a formal annoucement with two years left in his term. Former President Donald Trump declared his own bid last month, and other Republicans have jostled for national attention ahead of their own expected announcements.
Shakir went on to note that Sanders, now 81, is “very aware” he’s older than when he ran for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and 2020, adding the lawmaker would have to “make a real judgement about his own vigor and his stamina.”
“But if it were an open field? Yeah, I’m confident he would take another look at it and say, ‘Do I want to do this or not?’” Shakir said, noting Sanders would hope other candidates sharing his support of working class voters would throw their hats in the ring.
He added that should Biden leave the White House, he’d expect the Democratic competition for the nomination to be fierce.
“You’d have a lot of people in the field,” Shakir said. “Not three or four or five, but 15, 20 probably.”