VENEGAS: During the debate, there was a point where you looked visibly upset when Bloomberg said your policies were those of communism governments, not socialism. What was going through your head when you answered?
SANDERS: Well, it’s the same old ugly red-baiting that goes on. I think most Americans understand that democratic socialism is not communism. What we’re talking about are policies that exist in Canada- policies that exist in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France, Finland...uh, countries all over the world. Guaranteeing healthcare to all people is a human right, is not “a communist idea”.
SANDERS: In fact, we are the only major country on Earth not to do that. Making sure that all of our kids get a good education and that you don’t have to go deeply into debt when you go to college is not “a communist idea”. So, you know, it’s another example of red-baiting, it’s from people who are desperate- who cannot debate the issues.
VENEGAS: Now, we have a lot of Hispanic viewers who, when they think of socialism...now, I’ve been to Denmark. Beautiful country. I love it. You get paid to go to college- everything’s great, right? But when you ask Hispanic viewers, Hispanic voters...socialism makes them think of Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, where things are not well.
VENEGAS: So are we talking about two different types of socialism? What do you tell these voters?
SANDERS: We are. Very much. Very much. Look- in those countries that you’re talking about, Venezuela, Cuba, now Nicaragua unfortunately, you’re talking about authoritarian societies. You’re talking about the old Soviet Union, you’re talking about an authoritarian, communist society. What I am talking about are policies...
VENEGAS: Which, sorry to interrupt you, you don’t support those governments…
SANDERS: Of course I don’t support those! I have, my entire life, been fighting authoritarianism whether it is communism, whether it is fascism- whatever it may be.