By Katelyn Caralle, U.s. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com In Westerville, Ohio
Published: 02:34 BST, 16 October 2019 | Updated: 02:41 BST, 16 October 2019
Bernie Sanders returned to the debate stage Tuesday night – just a little over two weeks after suffering a heart attack – hoping to deflect the message from impeaching Donald Trump back to issues he says Americans care about.
The 78-year-old senator appeared reinvigorated in his first campaign-related event since he was taken to a Nevada hospital on October 1 where he had two stents implanted to clear a clogged artery in his heart.
Questions emerged over Sanders' age and ability to handle the office of the presidency after he admitted a packed campaign and rally schedule had him more 'fatigued' than usual ahead of his heart attack.
In his first interview after his surgery, Sanders said he 'misspoke' when he said he was fatigued and said he would be returning the the campaign trail 'soon' and run an even more 'vigorous' campaign than before.
Even though the self-described Democratic socialist said Democrats have 'no choice' but to impeach Donald Trump, he made it clear he didn't want to make combatting the current president the focus of his campaign.
'I think it's absolutely imperative we go forward with impeachment. I hope that he is impeached,' Sanders said. 'But I think what would be a disaster, if the American people believe that all we were doing is taking on Trump.'
'We cannot and must not turn our backs on the pain