Bernie Sanders didn't care if you called him 'Communist' in 1972
Despite President Donald Trump calling Bernie Sanders a "communist" as an insult, the senator might not been taking it as one. Back in 1972, he didn't mind being called one.
Sanders was a gubernatorial protest candidate for socialist Liberty Union Party. He visited an alternative high school in Rutland Vermont where he was to give his campaign pitch. In the question-and-answer portion, the 31-year-old Sanders simply ignored the accusations of him being a "left-wing radical." He answered, I don't mind people coming up and calling me a communist. At least, they're still alive."
In an interview by Fox News'Sean Hannity, the president said "communist" was the first word that comes to his mind when he thinks of Sanders. He stated "I think he's a communist. Look, I think of communism when I think of Bernie. You could say socialist but didn't he get married in Moscow? That's wonderful. Moscow is wonderful." However, he was corrected by Hannity who said that Sanders only had his honeymoon in the Soviet Union in 1988.
Sanders may not identify himself as communist but he has ties with far-left Marxists from way back. The Washington Examiner reported his ties with far-left political parties, one of which was the Socialist Workers Party. In his time as mayor of Burlington, his office was filled with newspapers and pamphlets from revolutionary organizations.
From 1980 and 1984, he endorsed SWP presidential candidates Andrew Pulley and Mel Mason. Their presidential platforms includes promises of dismantling the entire U.S. Military and nationalize most industries. He was then investigated by the FBI due to his ties with the party. No charges were brought up.
In 1983, Soviet Embassy First Secretary Vadim Kuznetov congratulated Sanders for winning the reelection. That was days after he attended a conference in the city when he gave Sanders the letter of congratulations.