Sanders: Why don’t you ask Republicans if they’re capitalists?

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDems rally behind Wasserman Schultz How did Hillary Clinton do? Pundits react to speech Winners and losers of the Democratic National Convention MORE (I-Vt.) says he's tired of questions about whether he’s a socialist, asking why more people don't want Republicans to defend themselves as capitalists.

“Look, when one of your Republican colleagues gets on the show, do you say, ‘Are you a capitalist?’” the Democratic presidential candidate said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “Have you ever referred to them as capitalists?”

The self-proclaimed Democratic socialist said he is ready to take on Wall St. and corporate America in the first Democratic primary debate on Tuesday.

He said he wants to talk about his record in Congress of “standing up for working class families and the middle class" and his willingness "to take on virtually every aspect of corporate America.”

If elected president, Sanders said he will force Republicans in Congress to compromise by lining up “a million young people demonstrating and marching in Washington” to protest for affordable higher education.

“I think we can do it,” he said. “And I think that’s what the bully pulpit is about. And that’s what organizing effort’s about. And that’s what this campaign is about.”

Sanders pointed to his track record of going after Wall St. as a distinguishing characteristic between himself and Democratic primary front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“Whose track record for the last 25 years has been to say to Wall St., ‘You know what? We are going to have to break up the large financial institution.’”

He also differentiated himself from the Democratic field by pointing out he has been opposed to the Keystone Pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) from day one.

“From day one, I opposed the Keystone Pipeline because I believe if you’re serious about climate change, you don’t encourage the excavation and transportation of very dirty oil,” Sanders said. “That was my view from day one.”

Sanders also lauded Pope Francis for his efforts to raise awareness about climate change and poverty on his recent U.S. tour.

The senator said he admires the social programs in nations like Denmark and Sweden, and he thinks “we can look to those countries” for guidance.

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