Sanders's 2016 Spokeswoman: Bernie's Socialism Can't Beat Donald Trump

She previously claimed none of the Democrats running in 2020 were socialist

February 5, 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) former campaign spokeswoman criticized the Vermont senator's brand of socialism Wednesday, saying that running on socialism will help President Donald Trump win in 2020.

"The last point that I will make, and I think it's something many people are talking about today, Senator Sanders branded himself as a socialist. That is a moniker he himself has embraced, but that is not a moniker that folks across this country, when it comes to down-ballot candidates will be able to embrace and be successful," said Symone Sanders, who now serves as a senior adviser to Joe Biden. "This is about keeping the House, this is about gaining seats in the Senate, and this is about beating Donald Trump. And you can't beat Donald Trump with double-talk on health care and ... we can't beat Donald Trump with socialism across this country."

CNN anchor Brianna Keilar pointed out that Symone Sanders was a spokeswoman for Sen. Sanders in 2016, who had a lot of support across the country then. Before joining the Biden campaign, Symone Sanders specifically said none of the Democrats running for president are socialists, including Bernie Sanders.

"No one is a socialist [who is] running," she said shortly after Bernie Sanders announced his 2020 campaign.

Keilar called Symone Sanders out on her apparent flip-flop.

"I am curious. I have a number of other questions to ask you, but just having covered Bernie Sanders and dealing with you a lot when you worked for him in 2016, it just strikes me you are making a case against the very thing you were making a case for," Keilar said.

"I was a good spokesperson in 2016 and I would offer that I'm a great spokesperson now," Symone Sanders responded.

She also criticized Bernie Sanders for his Medicare for All plan.

"He said, by his own accounts earlier in this race, that his plan will raise taxes on middle-class Americans and is going to cost $30 to $40 trillion. Now, he's saying we don't know what it will cost. That is not going to fly with Donald Trump," she said.