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Sen. Sanders plans return to heavy campaign schedule after heart attack

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at the Iowa State

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Aug. 11. Credit: AFP / Alex Edelman via Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders Sunday tamped down concerns about his recent heart attack, signaling a return to a heavy campaign schedule, and painting a contrast with his chief ideological rival, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

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"There’s nobody who has run a more vigorous campaign than I did. And we’re talking about three or four rallies a day and town meetings and so forth and so on, but I think after a short period of time, we’ll probably be able to return to that," Sanders said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week." But Sanders added, "not the first day back."

Sanders (I-Vt.) told ABC anchor Jonathan Karl that doctors were okay with him returning to his hectic campaign schedule. He said he would release all his medical records "as soon as we can."

Sanders also appeared to take on Warren, who has been rising in national polling and in early voting states.

"There are differences between Elizabeth and myself," Sanders said. "We need a political revolution. I am, I believe, the only candidate who’s gonna say to the ruling class of this country, the corporate elite, enough, enough with your greed and with your corruption. We need real change in this country.

"Elizabeth considers herself...to be a capitalist to her bones. I don’t. And the reason I am not is because I will not tolerate for one second the kind of greed and corruption and income and wealth inequality and so much suffering that is going on in this country today, which is unnecessary."

Addressing his health, Sanders said that " 'heart attack' is a scary word." He said he underwent a roughly 45 minute procedure in which stents were placed in his heart, where an artery was blocked.

"It’s a fairly common procedure, and people are back on their feet pretty soon, as is the case with me," Sanders said. "I think you gotta watch yourself, you gotta watch your diet, you got to be better at exercising, you gotta be more aware."

Sanders said he overlooked some symptoms leading up to his heart attack. "I was more fatigued, despite a heavy schedule, than I should have been. I wasn’t sleeping as well as I should have been. Occasionally, I was a little bit wobbly."

"I should have put two and two together, and I didn’t," Sanders said. "And I’m sorry about that."

Twelve Democratic candidates, including Sanders, will share a debate stage Tuesday night at Otterbein University in Ohio, to be co-sponsored by CNN and The New York Times.

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