Vermont Senator and 2020 Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders raised eyebrows across the country over the weekend; saying he’s “spent his whole life” fighting against authoritarian regimes like the Soviet Union and Venezuela.
“I have spent my whole life fighting for democracy, fighting against authoritarianism, whether the Soviet Union, Venezuela or anyplace else,” claimed Sanders during a recent interview.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders: "I have spent my whole life fighting for democracy, fighting against authoritarianism, whether the Soviet Union, Venezuela or anyplace else." pic.twitter.com/w8ky6hdz2Y
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 9, 2019
The self-described Democratic Socialist has been caught on tape publicly praising the Soviet Union and Cuba following his “honeymoon” to the communist nation in the late 1980s.
Undated Footage of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared online weeks ago; showing the potential 2020 presidential nominee praising the Soviet Union for its public transportation, youth programs, and more.
Bernie Sanders was lucky to be able to get to the Soviet Union in 1988 and praise all its stunning socialist achievements before the entire system and empire collapsed under the weight of its own spectacular failures. pic.twitter.com/bENmwVKi0g
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 25, 2019
“When we were in Moscow, we were extremely impressed by their public transportation system. The stations themselves were absolutely beautiful… It was a very, very effective system,” said Bernie.
“Also, I was impressed by the youth programs that they have. Their Palaces of Culture for the young people, a whole variety of programs for the young people, and cultural programs that go far beyond what we do in this country,” he added.
Sanders changed his tune in recent weeks after announcing his run for the White House.
“Obviously, Soviet Union was an authoritarian society with no democratic rights, and I think if you know history, you know the democratic socialists fought and stood up against that,” the 2020 Democratic hopeful said.
“You can look at what existed in the Soviet Union or Venezuela, that is not what I’m talking about at all,” he added.
“If what you say in life is, ‘all I want to do is as much money as I possibly can and screw everything else, I don’t give a damn,’ then no, I don’t think democratic socialism is your cup of tea,” he said.
“But if you have a decent heart and say ‘look, I’m doing really well, but I also want to be a contributor to the wellbeing of society, so I’m going to pay my fair share of taxes.’”
A new poll released last month shows a whopping 43% of Americans think “socialism” would be a “good thing” for America.
“Americans today are more closely divided than they were earlier in the last century when asked whether some form of socialism would be a good or bad thing for the country. While 51% of U.S. adults say socialism would be a bad thing for the country, 43% believe it would be a good thing. Those results contrast with a 1942 Roper/Fortune survey that found 40% describing socialism as a bad thing, 25% a good thing and 34% not having an opinion,” reports Gallup.
The surprising survey comes as countless Democratic presidential candidates -such as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and others- press for massive federal spending programs like Medicare for All.