Liberal independent Sanders, 72, covered a raft of issues in an
hourlong speech before taking questions from an audience of about
220 people at Saint Anselm College's New Hampshire Institute of
Politics in Manchester, New Hampshire.
"What exists all over America today is that millions and millions
and millions of people — working people, low income people, young
people — they look at the political process and they say, 'Not for
me,'" Sanders said in a speech that touched on the widening wealth
and income gap in the United States, national security, health care
and climate change.
"There are a lot of angry people out there."
Earlier in the week, Sanders told his hometown Burlington Free Press
newspaper that if he were to run for president in 2016, it would be
important to perform well in the neighboring New Hampshire's
first-in-the-nation nominating primary.
On Saturday he said he still had "plenty of time" to make up his
mind on whether to run.
"We're giving thought about it, but we've got many, many months," he
said in an interview.
Sanders would face an uphill battle were he to seek the Democratic
nomination or run as an independent. Polls show former Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton, who has not yet said whether she will run in
2016, as the undisputed front-runner with about five times the
support of Vice President Joe Biden, her closest potential
High school history teacher Branden Grant, 27, said he drove 100
miles from Pomfret, Connecticut, to hear Sanders speak.
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"He's very authentic and sticks to his word and fights the good
fight," Grant said. "I like what Bernie says."
But Richard Polonsky, 68, of Bedford, New Hampshire, said he doubted
Sanders would have a shot at the White House.
"I would be surprised if he would have a chance of winning, even
though I think he should," Polonsky said. "It's a tough road at this
Even Sanders had more immediate goals, urging voters to support
Democratic candidates in the 2014 Congressional election, to help
the party he is most closely allied with hold its 55-43 majority in
the upper chamber.
"The first thing we have to do is make sure the Republicans do not
gain control over the Senate," said Sanders, who is not up for
re-election this year. "I'll be working very hard on it."
(Editing by Scott Malone and Gunna Dickson)
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