NEW YORK CITY — Sen. Bernie Sanders credits “the schoolyards of Brooklyn” with teaching him the ways of democracy, according to a new video featuring the candidate with actor Mark Ruffalo.
The Vermont senator reminisced about his Brooklyn childhood while speaking with the Academy Award-nominated actor as they toured the CUNY Brooklyn College campus in Flatbush where Sanders went to school for a year.
“In those days, and I think it was a good thing, kids played without adult supervision,” the 74-year-old said. “So we made up our own games and worked these things out ourselves. I learned a lot about democracy in the schoolyards of Brooklyn, New York, and it was a great experience.”
Sanders also said New York’s diversity helped him develop his pluralistic view of the world.
While walking in the university quad, Sanders said CUNY schools are “good schools” and were “virtually free” when he attended. He also highlighted that his proposal for free college tuition is “not a radical idea.”
Tuition at Brooklyn College is currently $3,165 per semester for New York state residents, according to its website.
Because of his family’s background, Sanders’ mother would’ve been surprised by his candidacy, he said.
“You know, when you come from a rent-controlled apartment, you don’t talk about the kids becoming President of the United States,” Sanders said. “That’s not a good discussion.”
The video was released a day before the state primary on Tuesday as candidates like Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump try to prove they are authentic New Yorkers.