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Sanders To Bloomberg: It’s A ‘Cheap Shot’ To Compare Democratic Socialism To ‘Communism’

It was a heated evening at the Democratic Party’s debate in Nevada Wednesday night, with a number of candidates shooting barbs at one another — particularly toward debate newcomer Michael Bloomberg.

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The former mayor of New York City took hits for his billionaire status as well as allegations of sexual harassment made against him by a number of women in the past.

But Bloomberg wasn’t just on the receiving end of criticism: he dished some out, too. In one exchange, he compared the ideology that Sen. Bernie Sanders subscribes to (democratic socialism) to communism.

“This is ridiculous. We’re not going to throw out capitalism,” Bloomberg said, according to the New York Post. “Other countries tried that. It was called communism and it just didn’t work.”

Bloomberg also suggested that the debate over Sanders’s ideas on socialism would help get President Donald Trump elected in the general election.

Sanders has frequently defended his beliefs, noting that his version of socialism is more akin to what’s seen in places like Denmark rather than in socialist nations like Venezuela — or even Soviet Russia during the Cold War. Later in the debate, Sanders called out Bloomberg’s comparison.

The Vermont senator described Bloomberg’s comments as being a “cheap shot,” and pointed out that implying the U.S. is a strict capitalist society is wrong as well. “We are living, in many ways, in a socialist society right now,” he said.

“The problem is as Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us, we have socialism for the very rich, rugged individualism for the poor,” Sanders added.

King did indeed make comments similar to what Sanders described in some of his speeches.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren also came to Sanders’s defense in the debate after Bloomberg’s attack, voicing disdain with the comparison of democratic socialism being akin to communism. But when asked by moderators, Warren said that she doesn’t subscribe to the same nomenclature necessarily that Sanders does, describing herself personally as a capitalist.



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