Sanders: Breadlines Are 'A Good Thing'

February 19, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) in 1985 praised countries where people "line up for food," calling breadlines a "good thing."

The video of Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, resurfaced on Tuesday after the senator announced that he is running for president in 2020. In the interview from the mid-80s, Sanders was asked about breadlines in Nicaragua and his support for the socialist Sandinistas who ruled the country at the time.

"You know, it's funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is because people are lining up for food," Sanders said. "That's a good thing. In other countries people don't line up for food. The rich get the food, and the poor starve to death."

Sanders's presidential campaign will be his second bid for the White House, after losing his Democratic primary bid to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Still, despite losing, Sanders said that his more progressive stances helped push the Democratic Party further to the left in the two years following his loss.

"I can tell you very happily, and I think any objective observer would confirm what I'm saying, is that in the last year and half or so, the Democratic Party has moved in a far more progressive direction than they were before I ran for president," he said in an interview last year.

In an email to supporters on Tuesday morning, Sanders announced that he will be resurrecting many of the positions he ran on in 2016.

"Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial, and environmental justice," he wrote. Sanders has campaigned on Medicare for All and a $15 minimum wage in the past.

Sanders has long identified as a democratic socialist, and has drawn praise from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, including from presidential candidate Peter Buttigieg, now the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who wrote a prize-winning essay in high school praising Sanders for his "energy, candor, conviction, and ability to bring people together to stand against the current of opportunism, moral compromise, and partisanship which runs rampant on the American political scene."

Buttigieg supported Clinton in 2016.

President Donald Trump addressed Sanders's entrance into the 2020 race during a press conference on Tuesday.

"Personally, I think he missed his time," Trump said.