WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference is feeling the Bern. Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders – and his Medicare for All plan – came under fire at the annual conference of politically conservative groups.
“You surely don’t want socialized medicine,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said.
Rep. Scalise was quick to criticize Sanders’ signature Medicare for All plan and how it might’ve impacted his treatment after the 2017 congressional baseball shooting.
“I would not be here today without the greatest healthcare system on the planet,” he said. “I’m surely not going to let them take that away from you or anyone else.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told the crowd a Sanders presidency would change more than healthcare.
“They will tell you what your education is going to be, where you’re going to live, what kind of car you’re going to drive,” Blackburn warned.
Sanders has defended his policies for years arguing that, in many respects, the U.S. already operates a socialist government by propping up corporations.
“What I want is a Democratic socialism that works for working families, not just billionaires,” Sanders has said.
But Blackburn even likened Sanders’s policies to a dictatorship, focusing on his recent comments about Fidel Castro’s literacy program when he first came to power.
“My goodness, he was probably excited that Castro was teaching them how to read the communist manifesto,” Blackburn said.
Sanders, however, stands by his comments.
“Teaching people to read and write is a good thing,” he said. “I have been extremely consistent and critical of all authoritarian regimes all over the world.”
As the 2020 election season gets into full swing, voters will decide who gets the last word.
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