Sen. Bernie Sanders pointed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s evolution on various policy issues, suggesting Sunday his “consistency” was an asset against her in the Democratic presidential primary.
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sanders listed a number of progressive stances he had held from the start, that Clinton only recently came around to — opposition to the Keystone Pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, in particular.
Voters will have to “contrast my consistency and my willingness to stand up to Wall Street and corporations, big corporations, with the secretary,” he said.
Sanders also he embraced a title that could come to haunt him in the primary, telling host Chuck Todd that “no,” he’s not a capitalist but rather he identifies himself as a “Democratic Socialist.”
“But what I mean is, I’ve been elected as an Independent throughout my political career. I am running now in the Democratic nomination process,” he said.
Though he dismissed the initial question about his economic philosophy, Sanders — who represents Vermont in the Senate as an Independent — held up two socialist countries as examples.
He said the U.S. can look to Denmark and Sweden — “where health care is a right and virtually free to all people, public college education is free” and workers make better wages — for “guidance.”
During the interview, Sanders also sought to draw clear distinctions between himself and President Barack Obama.
Sanders criticized Obamacare, the state of Syria and Obama’s willingness to negotiate with House Republicans.
The presidential hopeful said “we can do a little better than Obamacare,” suggesting he’d “build on” the law by offering Medicare for all Americans.
On foreign policy, Sanders said that the administration’s strategy of arming and training moderate Syrian rebels — which the Pentagon recently suspended — “failed” and called Syria a “quagmire inside of a quagmire.”