It was just last week during a campaign event in Las Vegas that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a top contender for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination, suffered chest pains and was rushed to a local hospital where two stents were inserted to open a blocked coronary artery.
It was later confirmed by doctors that Sanders had in fact suffered a heart attack, and now the candidate has announced that he will be significantly curtailing the heretofore frenetic pace of his campaign activities for the foreseeable future, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Sanders puts an end to hectic schedule
Flanked by his wife Jane, Sanders spoke to reporters gathered outside his home in Burlington, Vermont on Tuesday and fielded questions about his recovery from the heart attack and his plans for his presidential campaign going forward.
Asked if he would keep up his typically jam-packed schedule once he returns to the campaign trail, Sanders replied, “I don’t know. Not, certainly, immediately.”
“Look, we’re doing, in some cases, five or six meetings a day, three or four rallies and town meetings, uh, and then meeting with groups of people. I don’t think I’m gonna be doing that,” he added.
The senator went on: “But I certainly intend to be actively campaigning. I think we can change the nature of the campaign a bit, and I’ll make sure that I have the strength to do what I have to do.”
Asked what he meant by “change the nature” of his campaign, Sanders replied, “Well, probably not doing four rallies a day.”
“In the back of voters’ minds”
Sanders was asked later if he had any concerns that his age — 78-years-old — or his recent heart issues would “be in the back of voters’ minds” as they considered his candidacy.
“Look, everything that happens every day weighs on how people feel about you, and my own view — and I think it’s the voters’ view — you look at the totality of who a candidate is,” he replied.
“You look at what that candidate stands for, the integrity of that candidate, the history of that candidate. I have been fighting for working families my entire adult life,” Sanders added.
There had been some speculation that the heart attack suffered by Sanders would compel him to abandon his run for the presidency, but it appears that he isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel on his bid for the Oval Office just yet.
How effective his campaign will be with a dramatically reduced schedule of activities and appearances remains to be seen, however, and it is certainly possible that his family, friends, doctors, and donors may ultimately convince him to bow out gracefully at some point before the nomination process is complete.
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