Democratic presidential candidate and millionaire socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) previously described millionaire senators as being “immoral” during his first campaign for office in 1971, according to a new report from CNN.
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Nathan McDermott reported that Sanders “harshly criticized the wealth of US senators” at the time, “calling it ‘immoral’ that half the members of the Senate were millionaires.”
“Sanders’ decades-old comments, which were picked up in December 1971 by the Bennington Banner, a local Vermont newspaper, are resurfacing as the US senator from Vermont has acknowledged that he is now a millionaire in large part due to his 2016 best-selling book, ‘Our Revolution,'” CNN’s report added.
The Sanders campaign responded by acknowledging that Sanders did make the comments and noted that “Sanders believes elected officials should represent the interests of working people, not corporations, special interests or the ultra-wealthy.”
“This view has guided his work in politics, not the pursuit of personal wealth,” Sanders campaign spokesman Josh Orton added. “Senator Sanders’ family has been fortunate, and he is grateful for that because he knows the stress of economic insecurity. That is why he works every day to ensure every American has the basic necessities of life, including a livable wage, decent housing, health care and retirement security.”
Critics of CNN’s report on Sanders noted that the report highlighted that “taking inflation into account, $1 million in 1971 is nearly $6.2 million in 2019.”
CNN further noted that Sanders made the comments while he was running for Senate “under the banner of the Liberty Union Party, a self-described ‘radical political party’ that advocated nationalization of industries and redistribution of wealth to tackle inequality.”
Sanders, who owns three homes, has not dealt well when pressed about living by the policies that he has advocated for his entire political career.
During a Fox News town hall event two weeks ago, Sanders exploded when asked about “accepting tax breaks that he voted against and why he did not send the money back given the fact that he constantly is claiming that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes,” The Daily Wire reported.
Fox News host Bret Baier pressed Sanders on the issue. Sanders responded: “Pfft…come on…I am, I paid the taxes that I owe…why don’t you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes.”
Moments later, Fox News host Martha MacCallum pressed Sanders again, asking: “So would you be willing to pay 52% on the money that you made? You can volunteer, you can send it back.”
“You can volunteer too,” Sanders responded. “Martha, why don’t you give? You make more money than I do.”
“I didn’t suggest a wealth tax,” MacCallum replied.
“And she’s not running for president,” Baier added.
Sanders had decried the notion of millionaires getting a tax break during his 2016 presidential campaign.
“Our movement understands that what we don’t need is Trump’s huge tax breaks for millionaires,” Sanders tweeted.
In 2017, Sanders tweeted: “How many yachts do billionaires need? How many cars do they need? Give us a break. You can’t have it all.”