Sanders: I'll do a better job explaining democratic socialism

Sanders: I'll do a better job explaining democratic socialism
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul MORE (I-Vt.) said in an interview broadcast Monday that he intends to do a better job explaining what he means by the term "democratic socialism" as the GOP seeks to use the concept as a line of attack in the 2020 presidential race.

"What I mean by democratic socialism is that I want a vibrant democracy," Sanders told NPR. "I find it interesting that people who criticize me are busy actively involved in voter suppression, trying to keep people of color or low-income people from voting, because they don't want a vibrant democracy. I do."

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He added that the idea of democratic socialism means that all people in the U.S. should have a "decent standard of living."

"That's not utopian dreaming; that is a reality," he told the public radio network. "Health care for all can be done and we can save money in doing it. We can have a minimum wage which is a living wage, and I'm delighted to see that you know, right now, five states already passed $15 an hour minimum wage. The House of Representatives is gonna do it. We have got to do that."

Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, but other 2020 Democratic candidates have sought to distance themselves from the label and stress their support of capitalism.

Sanders is one of several candidates who has entered the 2020 field, joining former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeDeval Patrick enters 2020 race O'Rourke says he 'absolutely' plans to stay in politics Krystal Ball: Buttigieg is 'the boomer candidate' MORE (D-Texas) and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris endorses Christy Smith in bid to fill Katie Hill's seat Poll: Biden holds 11-point lead over Warren in Arizona Poll: Biden and Warren are neck and neck in California MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean Klobuchar2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders official predicts health care, climate change will be top issues in fifth Democratic debate Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock MORE (D-Minn.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerKrystal Ball issues warning to Biden supporters Sanders official predicts health care, climate change will be top issues in fifth Democratic debate 2020 Democrats seek investigation into 'toxic culture' at NBC ahead of debate MORE (D-N.J.), among others.