POLITICS

Recuperating Sanders Says He May Slow Down Campaigning Pace

Oct 9, 2019, 9:06 AM
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) waves as he walks towards the stage d...
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) waves as he walks towards the stage during a campaign event at Plymouth State University on September 29, 2019 in Plymouth, New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Bernie Sanders began reintroducing himself to the 2020 campaign on Tuesday, venturing outside his Vermont home to say that he doesn’t plan on leaving the presidential race following last week’s heart attack — but that he may slow down a frenetic pace that might have contributed to his health problems.

“We were doing, in some cases, five or six meetings a day, three or four rallies and town meetings and meeting with groups of people. I don’t think I’m going to do that,” Sanders told reporters when asked what his schedule may look like going forward. “But I certainly intend to be actively campaigning. I think we’re going to change the nature of the campaign a bit. I’ll make sure that I have the strength to do what I have to do.”

Pressed on what that meant, Sanders replied: “Well, probably not doing four rallies a day.”

Sanders’ campaign has said he will be at next week’s Democratic presidential debate in Ohio. But it hasn’t commented on if or when he’ll resume campaigning before that — or what his next steps will be. NBC News announced it would air an “exclusive” interview with Sanders, his first since the heart attack, on Wednesday.

His health problems come at a precarious time, since Sanders was already facing questions about being the oldest candidate seeking the White House, and he has seen his recent poll numbers decline compared to 2020 rival Elizabeth Warren, his chief competitor for the Democratic Party’s most-progressive wing.

Sanders, a Vermont senator, also recently shook up his campaign staff in Iowa and New Hampshire, which kick off the presidential nominating process.

“I must confess, I was dumb,” Sanders said in front of his house, speaking in soft, calm tones with his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, looking on behind him. “Thank God, I have a lot of energy, and during this campaign I’ve been doing, in some cases, three or four rallies a day all over the state, Iowa, New Hampshire, wherever. And yet I, in the last month or two, just was more fatigued than I usually have been. And I should have listened to those symptoms.”

Supporters privately conceded that the timing of the heart attack — which came just as the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump was escalating — helped limit the political fallout. But they also acknowledge that he will have to more directly address lingering health concerns then, if not before.

And they hinted changes would be coming to better keep their candidate healthy.

“We’re going to look at everything — the whole campaign in its totality — and make adjustments where necessary,” said national campaign co-chair Nina Turner, who spoke with Sanders at length on Tuesday during a call with his four national co-chairs. “But make no mistake: Sen. Bernie Sanders is as committed — more so, even more now than he always has been, if that’s even possible.”

Last week began on a high note when Sanders announced that he’d raised $25.3 million during the year’s third quarter, more than Warren and any other Democratic presidential hopeful. But word of that was overshadowed hours later Tuesday, when Sanders was at a campaign event in Nevada, experienced chest discomfort and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a heart attack.

Doctors inserted two stents to open up a blocked artery in his heart. Sanders left the hospital on Friday and flew home to Vermont the following morning.

“It wasn’t a major heart attack. He had a minor heart attack. The stents will be extremely helpful in terms of blood flow. I assume he’ll be far more vigorous,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, a Sanders’ confidante and former executive director of National Nurses United. “Heaven help the opposition.”

His campaign noted that he had $33.7 million in cash on hand in the quarter that ended last month and, on Monday, he released a plan to impose stricter campaign finance limits. The plan was in the works for weeks before Sanders took ill, advisers say, but they declined to comment on the effectiveness of campaigning via press release — simply issuing policy statements without a candidate out there campaigning to back them up. Surrogates have taken Sanders’ place on the campaign trail in the meantime, including Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who visited New Hampshire on Saturday.

Sanders has been active in recent days communicating with his staff and broader network of longtime supporters. Those who have spoken to him say he is quick to shout down questions about his health, insisting that he’s fine — and that he vowed to remain committed to the 2020 race in a Monday conference call with his entire campaign staff.

Supporters also say the campaign has seen a surge in fundraising while he recuperates — though it hasn’t released figures to quantify that.

Sanders said Tuesday that he would be meeting with the cardiologist on a regular basis and getting some checkups, but that his main doctor is in Washington, meaning he didn’t have a physician in Vermont, “let alone a cardiologist.” He previously promised to release his medical records and reiterated that, saying, “We will release them at the appropriate time.”

___

Peoples reported from New York. Weissert reported from Washington.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Politics

FILE: Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. Repu...
MICHAEL R. SISAK, Associated Press

Judge ends Trump contempt order after lengthy legal fight

A New York judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump is no longer in contempt of court.
23 hours ago
MENDON, IL - JUNE 25: U.S. Representative Mary Miller (R-IL) cheers with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO)...
Associated Press

Hard-line conservative Reps. Boebert, Miller win primaries

Two of Congress’ staunchest conservatives repelled more centrist challengers to lock up Republican nominations on Tuesday.
23 hours ago
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Associate of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas (L) walks past criminal court on ...
LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press

Giuliani associate Parnas sentenced to 20 months in prison

An associate of Rudy Giuliani was sentenced Wednesday to a year and eight months in prison for fraud and campaign finance crimes.
23 hours ago
FILE: An exterior view of the U.S. Supreme Court building May 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by...
Associated Press

Justices say vet who lost job as Texas trooper can sue state

The Supreme Court is allowing a former state trooper to sue Texas over his claim that he was forced out of his job when he returned from Army service in Iraq.
23 hours ago
FILE: A woman with an  iPhone...
BARBARA ORTUTAY AP Technology Writer

EXPLAINER: Data privacy concerns emerge after Roe decision

With abortion now or soon to be illegal in over a dozen states and severely restricted in many more, Big Tech companies that collect personal details of their users are facing new calls to limit that tracking and surveillance.
23 hours ago
US President Joe Biden, speaks with Jens Stoltenberg (unseen) NATO Secretaty General at the NATO le...
DARLENE SUPERVILLE and ZEKE MILLER, Associated Press

US to boost military presence in Europe for Russia threat

President Joe Biden says the U.S. is enhancing its military presence in Europe for the long haul to bolster regional security after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Recuperating Sanders Says He May Slow Down Campaigning Pace