Bernie 2020: Sanders addresses concerns about his age and how he'll compete in a diverse field of candidates

MONTPELIER, VT - NOVEMBER 04: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders attends a campaign event for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist on November 4, 2018 in Montpelier, Vermont. Hallquist made history in August after winning the Democratic nomination, becoming the first openly transgender person nominated by a major party in a governor's race. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders is running for president again in 2020.
  • Sanders confirmed his plans to run to Vermont Public Radio early on Tuesday morning.
  • The Vermont senator was asked if he's still the right person to be the "face of the new Democratic party" even though he's older and facing a diverse field of candidates.
  • Sanders, 77, said he still has a lot of energy and hopes voters will look at the "totality of who I am."

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday announced he's joining a crowded, diverse field of Democratic candidates for president in 2020.

Sanders confirmed his plans to run to Vermont Public Radio (VPR) early on Tuesday morning.

"I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first," Sanders told VPR. "And what I promise to do is, as I go around the country, is to take the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of - a belief in justice, in community, in grassroots politics, in town meetings-that's what I'm going to carry all over this country."

During the interview, Sanders was asked whether he's a sound choice to be the "face of the new Democratic party" given his age and other factors. Sanders is currently 77 and if elected in 2020 would become the oldest president in US history.

VPR's Bob Kinzel said, "We saw in the 2018 election that Democrats were able to elect a lot of younger and more diverse candidates to the US House. So, what do you those people who argue that an older candidate like yourself really isn't the face of the new Democratic Party?"

Read more: Bernie Sanders announces he's running for president again in 2020

"We have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender and not by their age," Sanders said in response. "I mean, I think we have got to try to move us toward a non-discriminatory society which looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for."

"I have been very blessed in my life with good health," Sanders added. "I'm very lucky that as a kid I was a long distance runner and I think I had and still have a great deal of energy. I would also people to look at the totality of who I am. My energy level, my record in the US Senate, and not just at one criterion."

Sanders told VPR he's running for president again, after a notable but ultimately unsuccessful 2016 campaign, primarily for two reasons: to oppose President Donald Trump and to continue the movement focused on a progressive agenda he started three years ago.

"I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country," Sanders said. "I think he is a pathological liar ... I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants."

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