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Bernie Sanders tries to credit communism for reducing poverty in China — inadvertently makes argument for free market instead

'[H]e ended up praising capitalism'


Joshua Lott / Stringer/ Getty Images

During an interview with The Hill, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) praised China's communist leadership by crediting them with making "more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization."

Presumably, Sanders was referencing China's economic growth following the death of Mao Zedong, the chairman of the Communist Party of China in 1976. Indeed, nearly 700 million Chinese have risen from poverty in the past 40 years — after the Chinese government abandoned its communist economy in favor of a free market economic system.

"Socialist Bernie Sanders, one of the leading presidential candidates, yesterday tried to praise communist China, which is in and of itself an interesting thing to do, but he ended up praising capitalism," Glenn Beck said on Wednesday's radio program.

Glenn played a clip from Sanders' interview, in which the Democratic presidential candidate can be heard saying, "[I]n fairness to China and its leadership is, if I'm not mistaken, they have made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization."

"What he didn't talk about was the free-market principle that China started to enact -- that they got from us. It wasn't communism," Glenn said

"What happened over the last few decades can be summed up in a few sentences," he continued. "China embraced the tenets of a free market economic system. It introduced private ownership [and] gradually reduced the influence of the once all-powerful state over the Chinese economy. Now, they're still communists and it's still state-controlled, much of it. But you also have these independent companies, these companies that are not collapsing.The companies that are run by the state are collapsing."

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