In the 24 hours since launching his second presidential bid, Bernie Sanders has raised roughly $6 million, he said, announced a campaign manager — and drawn the notice of President Trump.
The independent senator from Vermont, who built a deep stable of low-dollar donors during his 2016 campaign, touted his fundraising haul in a Wednesday morning tweet, in which he claimed 225,000 contributors since making his new bid official Tuesday morning.
There will be no official record of early campaign donations for several weeks.
Sanders has also tapped Faiz Shakir, a veteran political operative who had been serving as the national political director for the American Civil Liberties Union, to manage his campaign. Shakir has worked for two Democratic legislative leaders, former senator Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).
In morning tweets Wednesday, Trump also greeted Sanders’s entry into the contest.
“Crazy Bernie has just entered the race. I wish him well!” Trump said, using the same nickname he used to deride Sanders when he sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, responded on Twitter shortly afterward.
“What’s crazy is that we have a president who is a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and a fraud,” he wrote. “We are going to bring people together and not only defeat Trump but transform the economic and political life of this country.”
Sanders announced his second White House bid on Tuesday, calling Trump “the most dangerous president in modern American history.”
Later in the day, Trump sized up Sanders’s prospects for reporters in the Oval Office, saying, “Personally, I think he missed his time.”
“It will be interesting to see how he does,” Trump added.
Sanders ran a surprisingly robust primary campaign in 2016, extending the race well beyond what Hillary Clinton’s team had expected.
“I think what happened to Bernie maybe was not so nice,” Trump told reporters. “I think he was taken advantage of. He ran great four years ago, and he was not treated with respect by Clinton.”
In an email to supporters Tuesday, Sanders said he would push some of the same issues in his new run for the White House that animated his 2016 bid, including health care, climate change, student debt and income inequality.
Trump made a habit of using nicknames for his opponents in 2016, including Clinton — whom he dubbed “Crooked Hillary” — and several Republicans.
Trump, for example, regularly referred to GOP primary opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) as “Lyin’ Ted” and former Florida governor Jeb Bush as “low energy.”
As the 2020 race gears up, Trump has continued to refer to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as “Pocahontas,” a reference to a controversy over her claims of Native American heritage.