Trump: Socialism 'easy to campaign on but tough to govern on'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE asserted Monday that it’s “easy” and “seductive” to campaign on socialist ideas, but cautioned that it would be a catastrophic idea in practice.

Trump detailed his views on ideas he deems socialist creeping into the campaign trail during an interview with conservative outlet Breitbart News. The remarks are the latest example of Trump and Republicans seeking to stoke fear about socialism and tie the ideology to 2020 Democratic candidates.

“You always have to be very careful, because socialism is easy to campaign on but tough to govern on, because the country goes down the tubes,” Trump told Breitbart.


He cited a single-payer health care system as an example of a “seductive” idea that would be unaffordable for the country.

“But the truth is when you’re up on the debate stage, and they say we’re giving you free education, we’re giving you free health care, we’re giving you everything you want and a Rolls-Royce in everyone’s pocket, it’s not an easy situation,” Trump said. “But what happens is 10 years later the country is gone. OK, whether it’s this country or any other country.”

Trump suggested the 2020 election could be a referendum on socialism versus capitalism, Breitbart reported.

Republicans have attempted to portray progressive Democrats as in favor of socialist policies as the party’s left wing pushes policies like the Green New Deal, “Medicare for all” and increased tax rates on wealthier Americans.

While Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) has identified as a democratic socialist, most candidates in the 2020 presidential field have attempted to tamp down any connections to the label. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) have all rejected the moniker in recent weeks.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) drew some scrutiny when he declined to say in an interview last week that he’s a “proud capitalist.” On Sunday, he clarified that he’s “happy to say” that he’s a capitalist, but dismissed the debate over labels as “silly.”

Trump referred to Hickenlooper in the interview.

“I watched a certain gentleman — I won’t mention his name, but he made a couple of bucks, he refuses to acknowledge capitalism. You saw that over the weekend — Hickenlooper. He was ashamed of the word, and yet I’ve seen others maybe going in the other direction,” he said.

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