Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared irritated Monday night when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer repeatedly pressed him to take a stance on slavery reparations.
Sanders, who is running in the Democratic primary for the 2020 presidential election, participated in a town hall on CNN to make his case to potential voters.
Sanders responded to an audience question about reparations for the descendants of slaves by asserting that there are “disparities” in society that “must be addressed.”
“There is legislation I like introduced by Rep. Jim Clyburn. It’s called the 10-20-30 legislation, which focuses federal resources in a very significant way on distressed communities — communities that have high levels of poverty,” Sanders explained. “I think we have to do everything we can to end institutional racism in this country.” (RELATED: Maxine Waters Promises Reparations For Black Americans)
“So what is your position specifically on reparations?” Blitzer jumped in. “I ask the question because Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro, they’ve indicated they want — ”
“What does that mean?” Sanders said, cutting off Blitzer. “What do they mean? I’m not sure anyone is very clear.”
Blitzer replied by reading exactly what Warren and Castro have said about reparations, and Sanders said he agrees with what Warren said.
“So you would support — ” Blitzer tried again, but Sanders interrupted and began aggressively pointing at Blitzer’s notes.
“Read what she said, what does that mean?” Sanders asserted. “It means, I think — I don’t want to put words into her mouth — what I said.”
Blitzer refused to relent, noting that Sanders previously said that reparations would be “divisive.”
“Well again, it depends on what the word means. And I know that you don’t want to be divisive tonight,” Sanders concluded.