Feb 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Sanders defends socialism: "We are living, in many ways, in a socialist society right now"

In this image, Sanders stands behind a podium on the debate stage

Sanders in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders again defended on Wednesday's debate stage his embrace of Democratic socialism.

What he's saying: "Let's talk about Democratic socialism — not communism, Mr. Bloomberg, that's a cheap shot. Let's talk about what goes on in countries like Denmark, where Pete correctly pointed out, they have a much higher quality of life in many respects than we do."

  • He added: "We are living, in many ways, in a socialist society right now," Sanders said. "Problem is, as Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us, we have socialism for the very rich, rugged individualism for the poor."

The big picture: Democratic insiders are queasy about whether a Democratic socialist at the top of their presidential ticket has a shot at being elected, Axios' Margaret Talev reported last week. Sanders is currently polling ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Go deeper: Sanders: There's a difference between "my socialism and Trump's socialism"

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