A question concerning Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) Democratic Socialist views gave way to a larger tete-a-tete between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on capitalism during Tuesday’s Democratic Party debate.
“The question is really about electability here,” moderator Anderson Cooper told the senator, saying that a Republican attack ad slamming Sanders for saying he was not a capitalist “writes itself.”
“You don’t consider yourself a capitalist, though,” Cooper asked.
“Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little by which Wall Street greed and recklessness wrecked this economy?” Sanders replied. “No, I don’t. I believe in a society where all people do well, not just a handful of billionaires.”
Clinton entered the discussion when Cooper asked if anyone else would be willing to follow Sanders’ lead.
“When I think of capitalism, I think of all the small businesses that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom in our country for people to do that and to make a good living for themselves and their families,” she said. “I don’t think we should confuse what we have to do every so often in America, which is save capitalism from itself.”
She then seized on Sanders’ remark that the US should look to nations like Denmark for economic policy models.
“We are not Denmark. I love Denmark,” Clinton said. “We’re the United States of America, and it’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so that it doesn’t run amok and doesn’t cause the kind of inequities that we’re seeing in our economic system.”
“You can have all of the growth that you want, and it doesn’t mean anything if all that new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent,” Sanders responded. “What we need to do is support small and medium-size businesses — the backbone of our economy — but we have to make sure that every family in this country gets a fair shake.”
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Tuesday, below.