Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) seemed to think Thursday that describing the Soviet Union as an "enemy" deserved scare quotes in a speech on foreign policy.
Sanders delivered a speech on his vision of "progressive foreign policy" at Westminster College.
"I was Mayor, as some of you may know, of the city of Burlington, Vermont, in the 1980s, and that was a time when the Soviet Union was our ‘enemy'," Sanders said, emphatically flexing his fingers to suggest his disagreement with the labeling.
Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington running against the incumbent Democrat; while in office, he self-styled as a "socialist mayor."
"We established a sister city program with the Russian city of Yaroslavl, a program which still exists today," Sanders said. "I will never forget seeing Russian boys and girls visiting Vermont, getting to know American kids, and becoming good friends."
Sanders, who describes himself as a "democratic socialist" and made a strong challenge to Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president, has a history of friendliness towards the communist USSR. He took his honeymoon there in 1988.
The U.S. and the Soviet Union were Cold War foes for nearly 50 years following World War II.