Bernie Sanders is surging in the Democratic primary in a race that had been written off as belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton months before he entered the running. Sanders in recent months has emerged as a candidate to be reckoned with in the Democratic field by espousing progressive policies aimed at lifting the poor out of poverty and equal rights.

But for those who aren't as politically obsessed as activists, the name may still be a bit unfamiliar. The Vermont senator has served in the United States Congress and is known for his consistent views on topics like universal healthcare, combating climate change, addressing income inequality and fighting for gay rights. Here are some memorable quotes from the senator.

In the pope's view -- and I agree with him -- we are living ... in a world which worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth.

-- Sanders said this at Liberty University, Sept. 14. His remarks came ahead of the first U.S. visit by Pope Francis. Sanders was also speaking at the site where Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announced his candidacy.

I think many people have the mistaken impression that Congress regulates Wall Street. In truth that's not the case. The real truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress.

-- Sanders said this on CNN's "The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer" in May 2012.

There is a lot of sentiment that enough is enough, that we need fundamental changes, that the establishment -- whether it is the economic establishment, the political establishment or the media establishment -- is failing the American people

-- Sanders said this during a Brookings Institution discussion in April.

Can these guys talk about anything other than their desire to go to war?

-- Sanders tweeted this during the second Republican debate, which focused on foreign policy, in September.

A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much while so many have so little … We need a tax system which asks the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene degree of wealth inequality in America.

-- Sanders said this while proposing a tax on billionaires to reduce wealth inequality in June.

Higher education is a strategic investment in our nation’s future. Education should be a right, not a privilege. We need a revolution in the way that the United States funds higher education. You are leading that revolution. Keep up the good work.

-- Sanders said this while introducing student loan reforms to ensure affordable tuition for college students.

We must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Millions of homes and buildings need to be weatherized, our transportation system needs to be energy-efficient, and we need to greatly accelerate the progress we are already seeing in wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and other forms of sustainable energy. Transforming our energy system will not only protect the environment, it will create good-paying jobs.

-- Written on Sanders' campaign website.