(Bloomberg) -- Bernie Sanders said Tuesday he plans to “change the nature” of his campaign after he had a heart attack last week, scaling back his vigorous schedule to ensure he has the stamina to continue his candidacy.
“We were doing, in some cases, five or six meetings a day, three or four rallies and town meetings, and meeting with groups of people. I don’t think I’m going to do that,” he told reporters outside of his Burlington, Vermont, home after visiting his cardiologist. “But I certainly intend to be actively campaigning.”
He said he’ll “probably not do three or four rallies a day — do two, or do other things.”
Sanders, 78, also acknowledged that the heart attack would likely raise questions about his age. “Everything that happens every day weighs on how people think about you. You look at the totality of who a candidate is,” he said.
His campaign said last week that he would participate in the fourth debate of Democratic candidates, in Westerville, Ohio, on Oct. 15.
Sanders has kept a packed campaign schedule as he barnstorms the country in the hopes of converting his 2016 runner-up bid for the Democratic nomination into victory in 2020. He could substantially scale back his rallies and still hold more events than younger rivals with slimmer schedules.
He faces tough competition, polling in third place behind moderate Joe Biden and progressive Elizabeth Warren, who are statistically tied as front-runners.
Warren is competing with Sanders for the progressive vote, though she has also attracted plenty of mainstream Democrats who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. Surveys show that Sanders’s supporters rate Warren as their clear second-choice preference if he were to exit the race.
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