"Not only can I lead it, I think I am the person to lead it. I think -- first of all, there remain strong differences of opinion -- opinions among the candidates. And while I'm very proud that we have been able to influence thinking among the American public. Such that virtually every one of the policy issues that I talked about four years ago which was seen to be radical and extreme at that time are now held by a majority of the American people."
"We're continuing to break brand new ground today. I mean it's not like I'm running on just the ideas that we have for years. I'm delighted that other people have caught up to me but we've got to go further. Right now what our 'Medicare for All' proposal says for example is not only will we guarantee health care to all people as a human right but nobody in America will be spending more than two hundred dollars a year on prescription drugs because we will take on the greed and corruption and price-fixing of the pharmaceutical industry."
"What is different between this campaign and the last one is obvious. But it's not very brilliant to make the point last time there were essentially two candidates. This time there are 20 candidates. I do not believe that any candidate is likely to get 50 % of the vote in any state. So the question is who is going to get the 30, 35, 40 % of the vote that you need to carry the states. I think because of our strong grassroots movement. We are in a position to do that."
Bernie Sanders says he is the person to lead a revolution. But his ideas no longer feel quite so revolutionary.
The Vermont senator acknowledges that many of his top proposals, which were dismissed as radical four years ago, have been adopted by much of the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary field: "Medicare for All," tuition-free college, spending trillions to combat climate change and a national $15 per hour minimum wage. But he's out to prove that his second presidential campaign is still about fresh energy and ideas even if its refrains now sound familiar.
"Not only can I lead it, I think I am the person to lead it," Sanders said in an interview at a plumbers and pipefitters union hall in Las Vegas, when asked if he could helm a revolution when so many of his White House hopeful rivals agree with him.
"What we need to do is to look at somebody who four years ago had the courage to break new ground in this country," he added. "We're continuing to break new ground today."
But there are signs that may be not enough. The campaign is restructuring its staff in key early voting states as the 78-year-old Sanders faces cross-currents that weren't in play four years ago. No longer the sole progressive alternative to an overwhelming favorite in Hillary Clinton, Sanders is one of several candidates making explicit appeals to the party's left wing. This time, his rivals have taken him seriously from the start, a sign of his name recognition but also a status that subjects Sanders to more scrutiny and criticism than at this stage of the 2016 campaign.
And some of Sanders' younger competitors are calling for generational change _ an issue that could resonate because of questions raised about the readiness for the presidency of another senior candidate, 76-year-old former Vice President Joe Biden.
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