Former Bernie Sanders spokeswoman Symone Sanders said Sunday the word "socialism" doesn't spook millennials the way it does older citizens, while also saying there aren't any socialists running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
CNN's "State of the Union" panel discussed President Donald Trump's efforts to upend the 2020 Democratic primary process and tie the party to socialism, as it embraces policies further to the left like "Medicare for all" and the Green New Deal.
Sanders, who served as national press secretary for Sen. Sanders (I., Vt.) when he ran for the Democratic nomination in 2016,
"I think that Donald Trump thinks that using the term ‘socialism' is really going to whip up something on the left and cause all this chaos, and it's absolutely not," she said. "I'm a millennial, and the word ‘socialism' doesn't have the bite that it has for the folks under the age of 35 that it maybe had 40 years ago."
"No one is a socialist that's running," she added, differentiating between self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and the catch-all term of socialism. She encouraged Democrats not to get caught up in the trap Trump may set by engaging that debate.
Trump supporter David Urban noted after Sanders's remark that people over 35 did react badly to socialism and tended to vote in far greater numbers than millennials.
"The caravan of candidates" on the Democratic side is running to the left to embrace proposals like the GND, Urban pointed out.
Republicans often point to the disastrous situation unfolding in Venezuela under a socialist regime as evidence of the dangerous road Democrats are going down. Sen. Sanders has refused to call autocratic leader Nicolas Maduro a dictator, leading to criticism from his own party.