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Hillary Clinton: We need to ‘save capitalism from itself’

·White House Correspondent
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LAS VEGAS — Hillary Clinton declared during the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday evening that America must sometimes “save capitalism from itself.”

“It’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so that it doesn’t run amok and doesn’t cause the kind of inequities that were seeing in our economic system,” Clinton said, adding, “But we would be making a grave mistake to turn our backs on what built the greatest middle class in the history of the world.”

Clinton, who is the frontrunner, made her point after debate moderator Anderson Cooper asked her main rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., whether he believes Democrats will vote for him in a primary even though he identifies as a Democratic Socialist. Sanders responded to this question with an explanation of “what Democratic Socialism is.”

”What democratic socialism is about is saying that it is a moral wrong that the top one 10th of 1 percent in this country own almost 90 percent,” Sanders said. “I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.”

Slideshow: First Democratic debate >>>

Sanders has gained ground against Clinton with his focus on income inequality. After his explanation, Cooper pressed Sanders to label his ideology.

”You don’t consider yourself a capitalist though?” Cooper asked Sanders.

”Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little? By which Wall Street greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I don’t,” Sanders answered. “I believe in a society where all people do well, not just a handful.”

Cooper then asked the other candidates on stage at the Wynn Las Vegas if any of them were “not a capitalist.” Clinton piped in with a nuanced defense of the capitalist system.

”Let me just follow up on that, Anderson, because when I think about capitalism, I think about all the small businesses that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom in our country for people to do that and to make a good living for themselves and their families,” Clinton said. “And I don’t think we should confuse what we have done every so often in America, which is save capitalism from itself. And I think what Sen. Sanders is saying certainly makes sense in terms of the inequality that we have, but we are not Denmark. I love Denmark. We’re the United States of America.”

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