Harris reassured those present at the event that she is not trying to start a political revolution, pointing out — without mentioning Sanders by name — that she considers herself to be a capitalist, not a socialist.
“I’m not trying to upend and blow up systems. I’m not trying to start a revolution. I am not a socialist,” she said.
Harris acknowledged the issues ordinary Americans are facing, arguing that a political revolution is not necessary to address them. What is needed, according to the California Democrat, is to lift up ordinary Americans.
“The majority of people aren’t starting out on the same base, and we’ve got to lift people up, and in particular working people.”
According to Harris, “capitalism assumes that everyone is starting out on the same base and then people will compete and the best will rise.”
Harris’ comments come days after the Democratic primary debate in Atlanta, as she continues to slip in the polls. The former Attorney General of California is polling at 4 percent in national polls, and averaging at around 3 percent in the key early state of Iowa.
The senator’s remarks also come on the heels of former President Barack Obama’s suggestion that the Democratic Party should not move “too far left.”
Obama criticized what he described as the “activist wing” of the Democratic Party, arguing that most Americans are not on board with progressive policies, and that the Democrats could lose to Trump if they nominate a candidate championing such policies, according to CNBC.
Unlike Harris and Obama, Sanders has unapologetically pushed populist policy proposals to the forefront, calling for a political revolution. Sanders claims such action is necessary in order to address the income and wealth inequality in the United States and address the issues the American working class is facing.
Voters appear to be on board with Sanders’ agenda, however, given that he is one of the Democratic frontrunners. Since entering the race, Sanders has polled at the top of national and state polls, competing for the nomination with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Furthermore, an Emerson College poll released earlier this week found that Sanders is the only candidate beating Trump in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups. The president is tied with Warren, and beating Biden, according to the poll.
According to renowned linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky, although Sanders describes himself as a Democratic socialist, his policies are that of a New Deal Democrat. Some decades ago, the vast majority of them would have been considered mainstream.