Sanders explains self-description as 'democratic socialist'

DERRY, N.H. (AP) — Democratic voters wondering what exactly Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders means when he calls himself a "democratic socialist" now have their answer.

Sanders, who is chasing Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic party's 2016 presidential nomination, says the phrase means supporting health care for everyone as a basic right, backing paid family and medical leave policies and creating a stronger childcare system that is affordable for middle-class families.

He tells voters at a Friday town hall in New Hampshire that being a democratic socialist isn't the same as being a communist, he says. Instead, he says, it means backing policies that will help working families get ahead.

Sanders, a longtime independent, is planning a major speech to explain his definition of the phrase.