Bernie Sanders claims the USSR wasn't socialist, gets called out for Sweden comparison by Fox News host

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a democratic socialist presidential candidate, tried to separate his brand of socialism from that of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics when questioned Monday during a Fox News town hall by woman from Russia, the Daily Caller reported.

What was the question?

A woman named Margaret, who said she was from Russia, asked Sanders to address the concerns of her and others who had suffered under socialism and explain why his so-called democratic socialism would be different.
"As someone from Russia, a country that was greatly impacted by the negative effects of socialism, what assurances can you offer myself and other people impacted by socialism that democratic socialism will not have the same results?"

Bernie's response

"What happened and existed in the Soviet Union was not socialism. It was authoritarian communism," Sanders responded, as the audience began applauding. "And communism, whether in Cuba, whether in the Soviet Union, whether in other countries, was marked by totalitarianism, was marked by throwing millions of people into the gulag — Stalinism was about as bad as it got.
"But right near — you're from Russia; I don't know if you've ever visited Finland. Finland is a neighbor to Russia. They have a very democratic society with strong democratic socialist principles," Sanders continued. "Everybody in Finland has health care as a right. Their educational system is perhaps the best in the world, and college there is free. They take environmental responsibility very, very seriously. They have one of the lowest rates of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. And you know what? Their voting rate — people who participate in their elections — is a lot higher than it is in the United States. So when we talk about democratic socialism, Margaret, I'm talking about Finland, I'm talking about Denmark, I'm talking about Sweden, I'm talking about countries all over the world who have used their government to try to improve life for working families, not just the people on top."

Not so fast, Bernie

Fox News host Martha MacCallum, who was hosting the town hall along with Bret Baier, didn't let Sanders off the hook on his reference to Sweden — she had a response ready pointing to the numerous ways Sweden has moved toward a more free market system over the last few decades.
Sanders' response? "I'm not an expert on the current economy in Sweden."

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