Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg attacked Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) economic agenda during Wednesday's debate, saying, "It was called communism and it just didn't work."
Asked if he would support Sanders's economic proposals as a business owner, Bloomberg said, "Absolutely not," adding that Sanders's communist policies have failed historically.
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"We're not going to throw out capitalism, we tried that, other countries tried that. It was called communism and it just didn't work," Bloomberg said.
Sanders responded that his political philosophy is "democratic socialism, not communism." Although Sanders called Bloomberg's attack a "cheap shot," the Vermont senator has a history of praising communist regimes.
He said communist China has "made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization" in an August interview. In 1986, Sanders blasted the New York Times for not telling the "real truth" about Nicaraguan communism and spoke of being "very excited" about former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro "rising up against rather ugly rich people." The Vermont senator also defended communist North Vietnamese fighters in his 1972 gubernatorial run, saying U.S. military action in Vietnam was "almost as bad as what Hitler did."