Bernie Sanders sought to wrap himself in the mantle of Franklin D. Roosevelt on Thursday afternoon, seeding a long-anticipated speech about his brand of democratic socialism with references to the post-Great Depression work of the New Deal architect, who has also featured in Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“Against the ferocious opposition of the ruling class of his day, people he called economic royalists, Roosevelt implemented a series of programs that put millions of people back to work, took them out of poverty, and restored our faith in government. He redefined the relationship of the federal government to the people of our nation. He combatted cynicism, fear and despair. He reinvigorated democracy. He transformed the country, and that is what we have to do today,” said the Vermont senator, an independent who caucuses with Democrats while identifying as a democratic socialist.
“And, by the way, almost everything he proposed, almost every program, every idea, was called ’socialist.’”