In trying to buttress his position among left-leaning Democrats, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont labeled his rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as a capitalist.
Sanders, who for months placed second behind former Vice President Joe Biden in many polls, has now slipped to third following Warren’s rise in the polls last month.
During a Sunday interview for ABC’s “This Week,” Sanders said he is the real deal when it comes to fighting the rich.
“There are differences between Elizabeth and myself. Elizabeth I think, as you know, has said that she is a capitalist through her bones. I’m not,” Sanders said.
“I am I believe the only candidate who’s going to say to the ruling class of this country, the corporate elite, enough, enough with your greed and with your corruption. We need real change in this country.”
“I mean, Elizabeth considers herself, if I got the quote correctly, to be a ‘capitalist to her bones.’ I don’t,” he continued.
“And the reason I am not is because I will not tolerate for one second the kind of greed and corruption and income and wealth inequality and so much suffering that is going on in this country today, which is unnecessary.”
Sanders was referencing a 2018 report which quoted Warren as saying, “I am a capitalist to my bones.”
Sanders’ comments come in a political environment in which many Democrats now embrace socialism.
A Pew Research poll released in June shows 65 percent of Democrats said they had a positive view of socialism. That contrasts with Republicans, with 84 percent having a negative view of socialism, including 63 percent with a very negative view, according to the Pew poll.
On the subject of capitalism, there was a less stark difference. The poll found 55 percent of Democrats had a positive view of capitalism, while 78 percent of Republicans had a positive view.
A 2019 Cato Institute Survey had similar results, with 64 percent of Democrats embracing socialism.
The survey also found that 50 percent of all Americans 18-29 had a favorable impression of socialism, the highest of any age group polled. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed who were between 18 and 29 had a favorable view of capitalism.
“If you look at all the presidential Democratic candidates, they are falling over themselves to get farther to the left. But farther to the left is emulating Bernie Sanders and AOC and emulating people who are proud of the label ‘Democratic Socialist.’ We’ve never had a time like this,” said Paul, referring to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Paul said many who support socialism “sort of excuse socialism and say, ‘Oh, well, these are just accidents of history that we ended up with these genocides or these totalitarian regimes.’ But it keeps happening over and over again and how we have another generation saying, ‘Well, I guess if it’s Democratic socialism, and a majority votes for it, it’s going to be a lot different and better and we won’t have the terrible things that happened in the past,’” he said.
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