Sanders faces blowback over 'democratic socialism' speech

WASHINGTON (WCAX) Bernie Sanders is getting blowback for his Wednesday speech defending what he calls "democratic socialism."

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Celebration, Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont senator drew parallels between the economic and social crises that President Roosevelt faced in the 1930s and those facing Americans today.

"We must recognize that in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, economic rights are human rights. And that is what I mean by democratic socialism," said Sanders, I-Vermont.

But not everyone is onboard.

Another 2020 Democratic hopeful, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, says that socialism is the most effective attack line Republicans can use against Democrats.

"The urgency now is even greater than before. Democrats must say loudly and clearly that we are not socialists. If we do not, we will end up helping to re-elect the worst president in our country's history," Hickenlooper said.

Sanders is still polling in second place in the RealClearPolitics Average behind Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, has been climbing in polls around the country. She's averaging 10.8 percent in national polls.

Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is fourth in the poll.

That same polling data has John Hickenlooper with less than half a percent of the vote.