The morning after taking the podium at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and giving a full-throated endorsement of his political rival Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders told reporters that he will return to the Senate as an independent.
“I was elected an independent,” Sanders told reporters at a Bloomberg-hosted breakfast the morning after.
The move is somewhat expected, but the gravity of the decision feels a little off-putting, coming only hours after he tried to unify the Democratic Party, pleading for his own supporters to rally behind presumptive Democratic nominee Clinton.
Bernie Sanders tells @bpolitics breakfast w/reporters he’ll return to the Senate as an Independent, not a Dem: ‘I was elected as an Ind.’
Sanders, a self-described “Democratic Socialist,” has been officially been an independent politician since 1979, though he has often caucused with Democrats. Last year, he made the move to the Democratic Party in an attempt to win the presidency.
When he submitted his paperwork to run for president last April as a Democrat, he seemed relatively uncommitted, or even conflicted about the designation.