Sanders Denies ‘Democrat Socialist’ Label Wouldn’t Cost Him General Election

Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-VT) denied Tuesday night that being labeled a “Democrat Socialist” will not turn off voters or hurt his chances because his campaign will “expose the fraudulence” to defeat President Trump.

“Nope, not at all and that is because the campaign that we are going to run will expose the fraudulence of who Donald Trump is,” Sanders said at Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate when asked if being labeled a “Democrat Socialist” would risk his chance of defeat the president in November.

Sanders added, “Donald Trump is corrupt. He is a pathological liar and he is a fraud.”

The Vermont independent and self-described democratic socialist said the president had no grounds to decry socialism when he has received tax breaks and subsides to “build luxury housing.” 

“When Trump talks about socialism, what he talks about is giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry,” Sanders said. “Donald Trump as a businessman received $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury housing.”

Sanders went on to list a litany of progressive policies he said will help him win this election.

“My Democratic Socialism says health care is a human right. We’re going to raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. We’re going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. We’re going to have a Green New Deal and create up to $20 million, saving the planet for our children and our grandchildren. We are going to take on the greed and corruption of the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance company,” Sanders said.

“That is what Democratic Socialism is about and that will win this election,” Sanders added.

The Pew Research Center published a poll in June found that 55 percent of Americans have a negative view of socialism. Among the majority of Americans who have a negative impression of socialism, about 19% say socialism undercuts people’s initiative and work ethic, making people too reliant on the government for support, while 17% say it is not consistent with democracy in the United States or is simply not right for the U.S. 

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