Bernie Sanders Asked Not to Run in 2020 by Vermont Newspaper, 'You Need to Know When to Step Out of the Way'

Bernie Sanders has yet to announce a 2020 campaign for president, but that hasn't stopped a Vermont newspaper from urging the senator not to run for the nation's highest office.

The request came in the form of an editorial published January 5 by The Barre Montpelier Times Argus.

"Bernie Sanders should not run for president. In fact, we beg him not to," the editorial began, before explaining that the board's opinion was sure to be an unfavorable one in Vermont.

"We fear a Sanders run risks dividing the well-fractured Democratic Party, and could lead to another split in the 2020 presidential vote. There is too much at stake to take that gamble. If we are going to maintain a two-party system, the mandate needs to be a clear one. There is strength in numbers, and if anything has been shown in recent years, it is that unless tallies are overwhelming, there can always be questions or challenges raised over what "vote totals" really mean: popular vote vs. Electoral College results," the editorial board stated.

"For us, this comes down to principle over ego. It is one thing to start a revolution, but at a certain point you need to know when to step out of the way and let others carry the water for you."

Sanders, who was elected to his fourth term as U.S. senator for the Green Mountain State, reportedly is exploring the possibility of another presidential campaign.

The editorial board sourced a New York Times article from January 2, though Sanders told MSNBC's Al Sharpton that "we are looking at running" in November 2018.

"Now, as the Vermont senator tries to build support for a second run at the White House, his perceived failure to address this issue has damaged his progressive bona fides, delegates and nearly a dozen former state and national staff members said in interviews over the last month.

"And it has raised questions among them about whether he can adequately fight for the interests of women, who have increasingly defined the Democratic Party in the Trump era, if he runs again for the presidential nomination in 2020," the Times article read.

Last week, Sanders told CNN's Anderson Cooper that he had no knowledge of claims of sexual harassment during his 2016 presidential campaign.

"I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case," Sanders said.

bernie sanders, beto o'rourke, 2020 election, progressives
Senator Bernie Sanders in Washington, D.C., on December 13. Sanders has not declared his intention to run for president in 2020, but recent straw polling shows he is the top progressive choice. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The editorial board also stated that Sanders could usually be found on national news networks rather than at "home" in Vermont.

"In this space, we have repeatedly hit the senator on where his loyalties lay: Vermont or a bigger calling? We have asked him to make a choice, which he would argue was his recent re-election to Congress. But in his previous run for the presidency, Sanders, an independent who ran for the White House as a Democrat, missed dozens of votes that likely would have helped Vermonters. And, while he handily defeated his challenger, can Vermonters point to Sanders' record and say definitively, 'This is what he's done for us?'" read the editorial.

"While he makes regular visits 'home,' you are more likely to catch Sanders on Colbert, CNN or MSNBC than you are to see him talking to reporters here in Vermont. Evidently, microphones here don't extend far enough."

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus chose to endorse Hillary Clinton rather than Sanders for the 2016 presidential election.