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 SandersButtigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' Buttigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' The generational divide of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party 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'RourkeDemocratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement Teachers union to host 2020 Democratic presidential forum focused on education MORE (D-Texas) and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' Julián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' O'Rourke unveils plan to support women, minority-owned businesses MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe generational divide of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party 2020 Democrats mark 7th anniversary of DACA 2020 Democrats mark 7th anniversary of DACA MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Julián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' MORE (D-Minn.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe generational divide of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party Booker, O'Rourke, Buttigieg rally with striking McDonald's workers in South Carolina Booker, O'Rourke, Buttigieg rally with striking McDonald's workers in South Carolina MORE (D-N.J.), among others.