Bernie Sanders: The USSR Was Not a Socialist Country

Bernie Sanders: The USSR Was Not a Socialist Country

Presidential candidate says what happened in the Soviet Union was not socialism

Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders claimed that “what happened and existed” in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics wasn’t socialism.

Bernie was asked during a Fox News town hall, with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, what the difference is between the socialism of the USSR and his brand of “democratic socialism.”

“As someone from Russia, a country that was greatly impacted by the negative effects of socialism, what assurances can you offer myself and other people impacted by socialism that democratic socialism will not have the same effects?” an audience member asked Sanders.

Bernie responded by denying that what happened in the Soviet Union was socialism.

“What happened and existed in the Soviet Union was not socialism, it was authoritarian communism,” Sanders said.

Sanders added that Finland is a “very democratic society with strong democratic socialist principles.”

“When we talk about democratic socialism, Margaret, I’m talking about Finland, I’m talking about Denmark, I’m talking about Sweden, I’m talking about countries all over the world that have used their government to try to improve life for working families, not just the people on top,” Sanders continued.

MacCallum explained to sanders that countries like Sweden and Denmark had embraced market-based reforms that allowed them to maintain their large welfare state.

Bernie replied saying, “I am not an expert on the current economy in Sweden” before praising the successes of Nordic country social programs.

“All I can say is that they have gone a long way to eliminate poverty, to make sure that their people have all the basic needs that they need in order to live good lives.”

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Sanders also told Fox News he did not regret defending cruel communist dictator Fidel Castro or communist China.

“You mentioned Cuba and authoritarian regimes,” Fox News’ Bret Baier said.

“There are few moments in races that seem like turning points, and many experts looked at that moment on ‘60 Minutes’ when you talked about Fidel Castro’s literacy program as a turning point in this race.”

“Do you regret at all saying what you said at that time in this race?” Baier asked.

“No,” Sanders responded.

“Look, I have spent my entire life fighting for working people and fighting for democracy.”

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