When Bernie first ran for office he said millionaire senators were ‘immoral.’ Now of course, he is one

In 1971, socialist candidate Bernie Sanders called it “immoral” that half of the members of the U.S. Senate were millionaires. Today, Sen. Sanders of Vermont is an unapologetic millionaire himself.

Apparently, the only moral path to wealth in America is to write a best-selling book. Sanders told the New York Times in an interview, “I wrote a bestselling book. If you write a bestselling book, you can be a millionaire too.”

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images

The book, “Our Revolution,” was published in 2016 and has reportedly earned upwards of $2.5 million for the radical, two-faced presidential candidate.

CNN has reported the 1971 comments, having found them in the archives of a local Vermont newspaper, the Bennington Banner.

Sanders’ campaign spokesman Josh Orton provided a statement to CNN saying:

As the son of an immigrant who grew up living paycheck to paycheck, Senator Sanders believes elected officials should represent the interests of working people, not corporations, special interests or the ultra-wealthy. This view has guided his work in politics, not the pursuit of personal wealth. Senator Sanders’ family has been fortunate, and he is grateful for that because he knows the stress of economic insecurity. That is why he works every day to ensure every American has the basic necessities of life, including a livable wage, decent housing, health care and retirement security.

 

The comments made by Sanders decades ago came at a time when he ran for the Senate as a member of the Liberty Union Party, which called itself a “radical political party” advocating the nationalization of industries and redistribution of wealth to combat inequality. Clearly, at the time, running under the banner of “pinko communist” was not going to be a winning political label in America.

Vermont in the early ’70s was not ready for a socialist revolution as his doomed initial campaign drew less than 3% of the vote in a January ’72 special election. Later that year, he ran for governor of Vermont, again attacking the wealth of his opponents. Sanders ran for office unsuccessfully still again twice more as a Liberty Unionist before leaving the party in 1977. He never earned more than 7% of the vote at a time when citizens were still on board with traditional, moderate politics.

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