Independent Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) isn’t currently running for office. He was elected for a second term in 2012 and isn’t up for re-election for another four years. Sanders did, however, announce on last Sunday’s Meet the Press that he was considering running for president in 2016, as a Democrat.
With the election still more than two years away, no candidate from either party has officially announced they are running for president, although both the Democrats and the GOP have their frontrunners.
Despite Sanders not officially running, a former George W. Bush appointee has already started airing attack ads against the Senator, according the Burlington Free Press.
Skip Vallee, a Vermont-based fuel dealer, funded a television ad criticizing Sanders “for bemoaning the advantages enjoyed by rich Americans while benefiting from a $200,000 ‘golden parachute’ his wife, Jane Sanders, received when she left her job as Burlington College president in 2012,” The Press reported.
The ads will begin airing on two channels in Vermont, with the ad time on one station costing Vallee $10,000.
A Sanders’ spokesperson, Michael Briggs, said in a statement:
“Bernie Sanders will not be intimidated by a Republican millionaire Bush fund-raiser who has crawled into the cutter and bought TV ads attacking Bernie’s wife.”
There is no love loss between Vallee and Sanders, as the Senator has been critical of Vallee’s price gouging at fuel pumps he owns in Vermont.
“Vallee clearly doesn’t like it that Bernie has exposed his ripoffs,” read Briggs’ statement. “He clearly doesn’t like it that other Vermont leaders are joining Bernie’s call for real competition. So instead of treating his vermont customers fairly, he is dipping into his fortune to bankroll a smear ad campaign. How pathetic.”
Watch the “Golden Parachute” ad.