Sanders denies ‘socialist’ label would hurt him in general election
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) insisted Tuesday night that being labeled a “socialist” will not hurt him in a general election against President Trump, 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.
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 Warren (D-Mass.), with whom he’s fighting for the progressive mantle in the race.
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