During a town hall on the Fox News Channel on Monday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that he doesn’t regret his comments about Fidel Castro and stated that China has reduced extreme poverty, but saying that doesn’t mean he approves of China’s government.
Moderator Bret Baier asked, “Do you regret at all saying what you said, at that time, in this race?”
Sanders responded, “No. Look, I have spent my entire life fighting for working people and fighting for democracy. And, Bret, if you check my record, I have condemned authoritarianism, whether it is in the Soviet Union, whether it’s in Cuba, whether it is in Saudi Arabia. … Whether it’s the United Arab Emirates, wherever it may be. I happen to be old-fashioned, and I believe in democracy. So, if you look at a country like China, for example, today, is China a democracy? Of course it’s not a democracy. It is an authoritarian country. And Xi is taking it in a bad direction. But what can we say about China in the last 50 years? Would anybody in their right mind deny that extreme poverty in China has been reduced? Can anyone deny that? Of course not. Does that mean we approve of the Chinese government? No, it doesn’t.”
He continued, “But I think, sometimes — and I know it’s hard given — not you — given the media that we deal with and everything else, you say something, and people can beat up on you. I think you’ve got to tell the truth. So, if, in China, they have reduced extreme poverty, does that make me a communist who supports China? No. I’m just telling you a simple fact.”