Sanders Ignores Question About Whether U.S. Would Turn Socialist Under Him

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) ignored a question Monday at CNN's town hall about whether the U.S. would become a "socialist country" under his hypothetical presidency.

President Donald Trump said at his State of the Union address that the U.S. would "never be a socialist country," and cameras caught Sanders looking less than pleased as Trump torched the far-left political ideology.

Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday if Trump's promise would hold true under a Sanders presidency, he didn't engage the question and instead launched into his agenda items.

"If I am elected president, we will have a nation in which all people have health care as a right, whether Trump likes it or not," he said. "We are going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. We are going to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least 15 bucks an hour, and whether Trump likes it or not, when I talk about human rights, you know what that also means? It means that our kids and grandchildren have the human right to grow up in a planet that is healthy and habitable.

"And it is really a disgrace and an embarrassment that we have a president who rejects science, who does not even understand that climate change is real and caused by human activity, who does not understand what this planet will look like in years to come if we do not go forward boldly and transform our energy system away from fossil fuels."

Blitzer didn't follow up and moved on to the next question. Sanders has joined other 2020 Democratic presidential contenders in endorsing the Green New Deal, which seeks an economic transformation of the country and complete shift onto zero-emissions energy sources.

Sanders identifies as a democratic socialist, and his left-wing, populist platform in the 2016 primary is widely credited with moving Democrats to the left since Hillary Clinton's defeat.