Sanders denies 'socialist' label would hurt him in general election

Sanders denies 'socialist' label would hurt him in general election
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNew campaign ad goes after Sanders by mentioning heart attack Biden on whether Sanders can unify party as nominee: 'It depends' Steyer rebukes Biden for arguing with supporter he thought was Sanders voter MORE (I-Vt.) insisted Tuesday night that being labeled a “socialist” will not hurt him in a general election against President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE, maintaining that his agenda will help him win in November.

“No, not at all, and that is because the campaign we are going to run will expose the fraudulency of who Donald Trump is,” he said at Tuesday night’s debate when asked if the “socialist” label would hurt him.

“Donald Trump is corrupt. He is a pathological liar. He is a fraud. When Trump talks about socialism, he’s talking about giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Donald Trump as a businessman received $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury housing,” Sanders added.

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Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, has advocated a litany of progressive policies throughout his presidential campaign. The policies, several of which hinge on raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, have sparked concerns that moderate swing voters could be turned off by his campaign, though Sanders has expressed confidence that he could defeat Trump this year.

“My democratic socialism says health care is a human right. We’re going to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. We’re going to make public colleges and universities tuition free. We’re going to have a Green New Deal and create up to 20 million [jobs], saving the planet for our children and our grandchildren. We’re going to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance industry,” he said.

“That is what democratic socialism is about, and that will win this election,” he added.

Sanders has maintained his top-tier positioning in the Democratic primary field for nearly all of his White House campaign thus far, enjoying a boost in recent months to be at or near the top of most national and early state polls. Recent surveys show him passing Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden on whether Sanders can unify party as nominee: 'It depends' Overnight Health Care — Presented by Philip Morris International — HHS has no plans to declare emergency over coronavirus | GOP senator calls for travel ban to stop outbreak | Warren releases plan to contain infectious diseases Biden lines up high-profile surrogates to campaign in Iowa MORE (D-Mass.), with whom he’s fighting for the progressive mantle in the race.