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Sanders: 'Cheap shot' for Bloomberg to attack 'democratic socialism' as 'communism'

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersObama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom Ocasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden MORE (I-Vt.) blasted Michael BloombergMichael BloombergTexas and North Carolina: Democrats on the verge? The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in Biden breaks all-time television spending record MORE on the debate stage Wednesday night after the former New York City mayor likened democratic socialism to communism.

Sanders called the remark a "cheap shot" before asking the billionaire candidate where he holds the majority of his assets.

"We're not going to throw out capitalism. We tried that. Other countries tried that," Bloomberg told Sanders. "It was called communism, and it just didn't work."

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Sanders took a question from the moderator before saying, "But let's talk about democratic socialism, not communism, Mr. Bloomberg, that's a cheap shot."

He then argued that citizens in Denmark, which former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegLGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress Buttigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 MORE had mentioned moments earlier, were living with "a much higher quality of life, in many respects" than the U.S.

Sanders is a proponent of Nordic-style democratic socialism and frequently points to countries such as Denmark and Sweden as inspiration for some of his proposals like "Medicare for All."