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 SandersJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad 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'RourkeKrystal Ball: Voters are coming to their own judgements about who is electable Warren campaign to host series of events in Texas Democrat attacks Trump's rhetoric, policies in Spanish-language State of the Union response MORE (D-Texas) and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Budget hawks frustrated by 2020 politics in entitlement reform fight MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisConway: Trump is 'toying with everybody' by attacking Bloomberg for stop-and-frisk comments The Hill's Campaign Report: New challenges for 2020 Dems in Nevada, South Carolina Beleaguered Biden turns to must-win South Carolina MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Judd Gregg: Bloomberg rising MORE (D-Minn.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSpeculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Conway: Trump is 'toying with everybody' by attacking Bloomberg for stop-and-frisk comments Democratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises MORE (D-N.J.), among others.