Check for warming centers near you
WEATHER WATCH: Arctic chill sets in over the Northeast
What’s on your Fall #CTBucketList?
Register for the 83rd Manchester Road Race

‘I am back,’ Bernie Sanders tells supporters at NYC rally

Basking in loud chants of “Bernie’s back,” Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders resumed campaigning weeks after being sidelined by a heart attack and told supporters he was ready to resume “the epic struggle” for the White House.

Energized by thousands of backers gathered for a Queens rally, the 78-year-old Vermont senator said, “When I look at this huge crowd, brothers and sisters, I have no doubt that the political revolution is going to sweep this country, sweep Donald Trump out of office and bring the change that this country has long needed.”

He said he was “more ready than ever to carry on with you the epic struggle that we face today. I am more than ready to assume the office of president of the United States.”

To raucous applause, he declared: “I am back.”

It was the start of what he is calling a “vigorous” return to campaigning as he tries to give his stagnant bid an instant shot of energy.

Among those who introduced Sanders from the stage was New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders’ latest high-profile endorsement.

Sanders had emergency heart surgery this month but insists that he’s more committed than ever to the 2020 race. With the first voting contests less than four months away, he has some work to do.

Beyond health concerns, Sanders suddenly finds himself looking up at progressive rival Elizabeth Warren and establishment favorite Joe Biden in the polls. Now he must reassure voters that he has the physical stamina to go forward while addressing broader concerns that his policies may be too far left to defeat Trump in a general election.

The endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez, the 30-year-old high-profile progressive, “sends the message that the movement is growing, that it’s gaining influence, that it’s gaining traction,” Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir said.

While Sanders pledged during this week’s presidential debate to move forward with a “vigorous” campaign, he’s moving cautiously in the short term. The rally in Queens was his only scheduled appearance before he returns to Iowa late next week.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.