Cenk Uygur has long pushed the Democratic Party to fight harder for progressive policies.
Cenk Uygur, a popular progressive YouTube personality who is currently ineligible to serve as president, nonetheless confirmed his decision on Wednesday to mount a long-shot Democratic primary challenge against President Joe Biden.
Uygur told Semafor, which first reported the news of his run, that he hopes to persuade Biden not to proceed with his bid for a second term, on the grounds that Biden would lose to former President Donald Trump.
“I’m going to do whatever I can to help him decide that this is not the right path,” he told Semagor. “If he retires now, he’s a hero: He beat Trump, he did a good job of being a steward of the economy. If he doesn’t, he loses to Trump, and he’s the villain of the story.”
Uygur, 53, a naturalized citizen and California resident who came to the United States from Turkey in 1978, does not meet the Constitution’s clause that only “natural-born” U.S. citizens are eligible to become president.
Uygur plans to fight for his eligibility in court and believes that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in his favor.
That, in itself, is a reason to run, Uygur argued. “I’m tired of 25 million Americans having this albatross around their neck,” he said.
Despite Democrats’ oft-stated concerns about Biden’s age and competitiveness against Trump, the field of people challenging him for the Democratic nomination is small ― and shrinking.
Progressive author and spirituality guru Marianne Williamson is still running in the primary, but environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. withdrew from the primary on Monday to run as an independent. Cornel West, a left-wing academic and activist, is also running as an independent.
Uygur, who maintains that Biden should have fought harder to pass progressive policies like the $15 minimum wage, does boast a large media platform. He is a founder of The Young Turks, a popular network of left-leaning YouTube shows with over 5.6 million subscribers.
This is not Uygur’s first time running for public office. Uygur netted less than 6% of the vote in a 2020 bid for a Southern California House seat.