Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a self-described socialist who recently announced his bid for the 2020 presidential election as a Democrat, has amassed a personal fortune that includes three homes and millions of dollars in the bank.
I’m running for president because, now more than ever, we need leadership that brings us together – not divides us up. I need you to be a part of this million person movement to transform our country. Join me: https://t.co/qF3DpJmRX3 pic.twitter.com/3wtNIEkH32
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 20, 2019
“Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice,” he said.
But despite Sanders’ efforts to position himself as your average man of the people, Sanders has a history of acquiring millions of dollars in property and assets.
Sanders owns three different homes— including one $575,000 four-bedroom lakefront house in the Champlain Islands in Vermont, a Washington, DC, row house in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and a residence in Burlington, Vermont, the Vermont outlet Seven Days reported in 2016.
Sanders also made more than $1 million from book royalties and cash advances, according to a 2018 Breitbart News report on financial disclosures of the Vermont senator’s income from 2017.
He also made more than $1 million in reported income the year before. Breitbart News reported that the self-described socialist raked in $1,052,000 in 2016.
Although Sanders is a millionaire according to his financial disclosures, his estimated $700,000 net worth pales in comparison to other 2020 Democratic candidates.
Sanders’ fellow 2020 Democratic challenger Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reported an estimated net worth of $7.8 million, according to an OpenSecrets report on Warren’s personal finances from 2015.
Despite Sanders’ owning millions in assets, he bashed billionaires on Twitter for owning multiple “yachts” and “cars”:
How many yachts do billionaires need? How many cars do they need? Give us a break. You can't have it all.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 21, 2017
The Vermont senator is also a big spender on travel. In October 2018, he spent nearly $300,000 on private air travel to give speeches in nine battleground states in the days leading up to the November 2018 midterm elections.
Not too long after his campaign paid for fossil fuel-heavy private jet travel, Sanders— who recently endorsed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal aiming to cut down on air travel— penned a tweet calling climate change “a planetary crisis”:
Climate change is a planetary crisis. Our task is clear. We must take on the fossil fuel industry that's largely responsible for global emissions and accelerate our transition toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources. https://t.co/661WsIZJYt
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 10, 2018
In light of Sanders’ recently announced 2020 presidential candidacy, some conservatives have criticized Sanders’ massive wealth despite promoting himself as a “grassroots” candidate promoting socialist ideals:
How does someone:
Own three homes
Become a millionaire in a free market system
Honeymoon in the USSR
Never hold a real job
Spend hundreds of thousands on private air travel
…claim to be a Socialist and qualified enough to be President?
I don't know—ask @BernieSanders
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 19, 2019
Bernie Sanders is an arrogant, power hungry, hypocrite who's been living on the public dime for 40 years, amassing wealth and buying real estate while shaming the rich even as he lives the same lifestyle as them. Now he wants to be our first 80 year old president. No thanks.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) February 20, 2019
Even though Sanders’ lifestyle is at odds with the values he preaches, Democrats have donated millions of dollars to his campaign coffers since his Tuesday campaign launch.
In the 24 hours after he announced his 2020 campaign, Sanders raised $5.9 million.