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WATCH: Bernie Sanders Confronted on ‘Failures of Socialism’ By Student Whose Family Fled Soviet Russia

Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked by a Harvard student whose father’s family fled Soviet Russia how he squares his support for democratic socialism with the “failures of socialism” across the world.

“My father’s family left soviet Russia in 1979 fleeing from some of the very same socialist policies that you seem eager to implement in this country,” the student said. “How do you rectify your notion of democratic socialism with the failures of socialism in nearly every country that has tried it?”

“You think that…” Sanders began, before he was cut off by applause. “Thank you for asking that question,” he continued. “Is it your assumption that I supported or believe in authoritarian communism that existed in the Soviet Union? I don’t. I never have, and I opposed it. I believe in a vigorous democracy.”

Sanders went on to argue that he believes there is “something fundamentally wrong” when “we have three families owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society, 160 million people. Something wrong when the top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 92%. Something very wrong when 49% of all new income today is going to the top 1%.”

Sanders moved on to his support for universal health care and tuition free public colleges and universities.

“I believe that in a democratic, civilized society, health care is a human right,” Sanders said. “Government should make that happen.”

“What democratic socialism means to me is we expand Medicare, we provide educational opportunity to all Americans, we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. In other words, government serves the needs of all people rather than just wealthy campaign contributors. That’s what it means to me.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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