Sanders: ‘Obviously I am not a communist,’ but maybe Trump ‘doesn’t know the difference’
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 White House hopeful, on Sunday dismissed concerns that his status as a self-proclaimed democratic socialist would be a liability in a general election and said President Trump’s description of his ideology as “communist” was inaccurate.
“Obviously I am not a communist,” Sanders told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” in response to a clip of Trump using the designation in a Fox News interview, adding that Trump “maybe doesn’t know the difference.”
Sanders also called Trump a “pathological liar” for claiming Sanders was “married in Moscow.”
Wallace continued to press Sanders on how he would address criticisms that agenda items such as the Green New Deal, “Medicare for All” and forgiveness of college debt are radical and prohibitively expensive.
“In many respects, we are a socialist society today,” Sanders responded, noting the tax breaks and subsidies Trump received from the government as a businessman.
“The difference between my socialism and Trump’s socialism is I believe the government should help working families, not billionaires,” he added.
Addressing his specific proposals, Sanders said the price tags and the overhaul of the status quo were preferable to the alternative.
“If we leave the [health care] status quo alone, in the next 10 years, we’re going to be spending $50 trillion,” he said. “Medicare for All will cost the average American less than the $12,000 a year they are paying the insurance companies.”
Similarly, while discussing the Green New Deal, he described climate change as an “existential crisis.”
“How much do you think it’s going to cost when we have increased disturbances?” he asked.
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