Bernie Sanders Has Already Taken More Press Questions Than Hillary Clinton

The Vermont senator starts his presidential campaign by engaging with the press, something Clinton has so far avoided.

Sen. Bernie Sanders announces his presidential campaign on April 30.Jacquelyn Martin/AP

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Unlike Hillary Clinton, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders didn’t use a splashy, big-budget video to announce his campaign. Instead, the Vermont senator opted for a series of one-on-one television interviews Wednesday followed by a low-key launch event outside the US Capitol Thursday morning. “I believe that in a democracy, what elections are about are serious debates over serious issues,” he said Thursday. “Not political gossip, not making campaigns into soap operas. This is not the Red Sox vs. the Yankees. This is the debate over major issues facing the American people.”

Pundits are already dismissing Sanders—who has, in the past, described himself as a socialist rather than a Democrat—as a long-shot candidate with little chance of defeating Clinton for the Democrats’ 2016 nomination. But Sanders is already beating Clinton on one metric: answering questions from the press.

Earlier this week, National Journal‘s Zach Cohen counted all of the times Clinton has answered press questions since she announced her presidential campaign on April 12. Cohen counted just seven “answers”—about half of which ignored the actual question. When asked about whether a super-PAC would support her campaign, she said, “I don’t know.” When she was quizzed about her chances in Iowa, she said “I’m having a great time, can’t look forward any more than I am.”

Sanders, who needs all the press attention he can get, kicked off his presidential campaign by fielding a barrage of questions from TV news reporters in interviews Wednesday. Over the course of one five-minute exchange with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday, Sanders answered seven separate questions. The trend continued at Sanders’ campaign launch event Thursday morning, when he took six more questions.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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