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

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

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms 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'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeOn The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems prep for Mueller report's release MORE (D-Texas) and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Defense: Reports detail effect of transgender military ban | Watchdog auditing 8 billion submarine program | Warren questions top general on climate change Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms Warren praises Ocasio-Cortez in Time 100 MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisEx-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Pollster says Trump's approval rating in 2020 will be impacted by Dem nominee 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall MORE (D-Minn.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall MORE (D-N.J.), among others.