Moments after Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his second presidential bid Tuesday morning, the hosts of Fox & Friends warned viewers that the “legitimate socialist” may actually have a shot at clinching the 2020 nomination.
Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who self identifies as a Democratic Socialist, announced he’s entering the race for the Democratic nomination Tuesday morning in a 1,500-word email, after losing against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary.
“More and more people are supporting the socialist agenda. You make a lot of money? Give it away,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt said Tuesday, insisting that the other eight official candidates for Democratic nomination have also “embraced” some socialist ideas, like free college tuition and health care for all Americans.
Earhardt added that in a Fox News poll, Sanders is polling second behind former Vice President Joe Biden as the favorite Democratic candidate. Since Biden has not yet announced his candidacy, that makes Sanders the current favorite among the network’s conservative viewership.
“If you vote for Bernie, this is what you’re getting: free tuition, $15 minimum wage, health care as a right for all people. Radical ideas are now mainstream ideas because of your support,” co-host Brian Kilmeade said. “Everyone gets everything for free because these horrible rich people have had it too good for too long. He’s a legitimate socialist, there’s those that dabble, but he’s been there.”
Kilmeade then pointed to the timing of the announcement, which occurred just one day after President Donald Trump denounced socialism and reiterated his support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido at a Miami rally.
“The timing of a socialist declaring for president one day after the president of the United States condemned socialism in Miami, and we look at Venezuela as a case in point of what could happen to America with all our natural resources, with all our history like Venezuela, much richer than Venezuela, and all their oil resources,” Kilmeade said.
He continued: “They have gone into the toilet as a country, they can’t even stock their shelves with food that would be too expensive to buy anyway because of inflation.”
On Monday, Trump told a crowd at Florida International University that “America will never be a socialist country,” while condemning Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s regime.
The Fox & Friends hosts also condemned Democrats for supporting Sanders, an outspoken opponent of the two-party system. Sanders has repeatedly stated that independent candidates are forced to run under the Democratic or Republican parties to stay relevant in elections—despite differing ideals.
“If I am a Democrat, if I am running the Democratic committee, I’d be outraged right now. He won’t even join my party, yet he wants my nomination. I say hit the road. In or out?” Kilmeade said.
— With reporting from Matt Wilstein