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Rep. David Cicilline Bristles When Asked If Democrats are Moving Too Far Left: ‘Silly’ Argument With ‘No Evidence’

Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) got a bit testy on Wednesday when asked if mainstream Democrats are becoming increasingly progressive.

In an interview with CNN, Cicilline said its too early to know if Bernie Sanders (D-VT) is the left’s best chance for beating President Donald Trump now that the senator has confirmed his 2020 bid. After that, Poppy Harlow asked him about recent poll data indicating that Democrats have a more favorable view of socialism than capitalism these days.

“Do you believe that the Democratic Party is moving more towards socialism?” Harlow asked. “Are you supportive of that?”

Cicilline dismissed the idea, saying “we don’t have socialist candidates running for president” and socialism-affiliated ideas like Medicare and Social Security are already entrenched in American society. He went on to argue that the socialism narrative is being driven by critics hoping to smear Democrats for their interest in universal health care and resolving income inequality.

“I don’t see any movement in the Democratic Party towards socialism,” Cicilline said. “I know the president is making that argument. I think it’s a silly one, I think it’s one he thinks is politically advantageous, and there’s no evidence to support it.”

Harlow responded by bringing up criticisms of Democrats from people like Howard Schultz, asking “do you believe the party is leaning too far left?” Cicilline responded that Sanders has “contributed significantly” to the debate around many key issues, but he’s not a member of the Democratic Party, and the nominee, in the end, will be someone who supports capitalism and progressive policies.

Watch above, via CNN.

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