WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Monday said that, should he run for president in 2016, his progressive platform would include breaking up the largest Wall Street banks.

"You cannot regulate Wall Street — Wall Street is regulating the Congress," Sanders said at the National Press Club. "If Teddy Roosevelt were around today, you know what he would say? Break them up. And he would be right. It's time to break up the large Wall Street banks."

Sanders — the longest-serving Independent in Congress and perhaps the Senate's most outspoken liberal — has openly considered a run for the White House. He said his reasons to run include rising income inequality and the eroding wealth of middle-class Americans.

While he would be a longshot in the presidential campaign, Sanders would most likely draw his primary support from among the far left wing of the Democratic Party. In Congress, Sanders has been one of the loudest critics of the big banks, and has sponsored legislation to break up the largest institutions.

In his remarks Monday, Sanders also said he would support legislation, which is largely championed by Republicans, to further inspect the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. Sanders had sponsored one of the so-called "Audit the Fed" bills in 2009. He had also supported an amendment in the Dodd-Frank Act that forced the Fed to reveal more about its activities in assisting large banks during the financial crisis.

"Boy, did we learn a lot," Sanders said. "The idea of auditing the Fed does make sense to me."

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