Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-declared socialist who ran and won in Vermont as an independent – but who serves as the sole senator on the Congressional Progressive Caucus and is currently seeking the Democratic Party’s nod for the presidency – now says he’s a Democrat.
“Of course I am a Democrat and running for the Democratic nomination,” he said, during a New Hampshire town hall, the Hill reported.
His statement came in response to a question from CNN host Anderson Cooper about a Twitter message from Sen. Barbara Boxer, who called him an occasional Democrat. Boxer made that remark because Sanders said Hillary Clinton was a progressive on “some days,” the Hill reported.
Boxer, who stands firmly in Clinton’s camp, tweeted: “Hillary is a progressive EVERY day. Bernie is a Democrat ‘some days.'”
Cooper quoted Boxer and then asked Sanders: “In your heart, are you a Democrat?”
And Sanders cited his long-running services in both House and Senate Democratic caucuses, and said: “Sure.”
His service in those caucuses was as an independent, however.
Meanwhile, Discover the Networks reminds Sanders is a “self-identified socialist” who “founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”
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The site goes on: “At [University of Chicago], Sanders joined the Young Peoples Socialist League (youth wing of the Socialist Party USA … H[and] worked briefly (as an organizer) for the United Packinghouse Workers Union which, like all the CIO unions, had a number of influential communists among its ranks.”
Following college, Sanders sought political office in Vermont, calling in his platforms for “the nationalization of all U.S. banks, public ownership of all utilities and the establishment of a worker-controlled federal government,” Discover the Networks reported.
He later became a political Independent and was elected to the office of mayor for Burlington, Vermont, stirring controversy by hanging a Soviet flag in his office to honor Burlington’s sister Soviet city.
In the 1990s, he “participated multiple times in the Socialist Scholars Conferences” in New York City; in 2006, he co-sponsored legislation to impeach President Bush over the Iraq conflict; and openly admitted to the Washington Post during his 2006 run for the U.S. Senate he was a socialist.
As Discover the Networks reported, Sanders was asked, “Are you now or have you ever been a socialist?”
And his reply: “Yeah. I wouldn’t deny it. Not for one second. I’m a democratic socialist.”