Bernie Sanders: 'I Woke Up One Day and Said We Need a Political Revolution'

Part 7: Democratic presidential candidate talks with Barbara Walters about his stance on the economy and ISIS.
4:25 | 12/18/15

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Transcript for Bernie Sanders: 'I Woke Up One Day and Said We Need a Political Revolution'
If you were to predict which candidate was going to capture the hearts and minds of young America, you would obviously pick a 74-year-old jewish grandfather, right? Well, Bernie sanders is reaching young voters by employing a disarming seldom-seen tactic in American politics -- authenticity. When Bernie sanders announced his candidacy, no one expected this socialist senator from Vermont to pose a threat to the front-runner, Hillary Clinton, but his campaign took off. His views on income inequality struck a chord with voters. The great middle class of America, once the envy of the entire world, has been disappearing. Reporter: In Iowa and new Hampshire, he's up in the polls and could win those states. Suddenly, a lot of people are "Feeling the Bern." I don't want to insult you, but if you were creating the perfect candidate, it probably would not be you. You're not insulting me. Reporter: Well -- I agree with you, Barbara. Reporter: You would be younger, you might be better-looking. Now you're insulting me, Barbara. I would tend to agree with you, 100%. Reporter: So did you wake up one day and say, "I can do better"? Well, I woke up one day and said, "We need a political revolution. We need to bring millions of people into the political process to demand that the government represents all of us, not just the wealthiest people in this country." And that's what our campaign is trying to do. Reporter: You grew up in a home where your parents argued about money because there wasn't enough. Yes. Reporter: Tell me about that. What was the atmosphere? My dad came to this country at the age of 17 without any money. Reporter: From -- Poland. And my mother had dreams, you know? One of her big dreams was she wanted to own a home of her own -- small home -- rather than rent. And my dad worked all of the time but he never made a lot of money. So there was always pressure in the family and constant bickering. When you're a kid, you pick up on that. Reporter: Did this lack of money, this arguing about money, shape your policies? Absolutely. When you don't have a lot of money, your family lives under stress. That's happening all over America today, and that's a lesson that I have never forgotten, and I hope that I never will forget. Reporter: Are you concerned at all that muslims in this country are beginning to get a bad rap? I am very concerned that people are taking out their anger against fellow Americans who happen to be Muslim. If you're Muslim and you read the newspapers and you read what people are saying, you know what? You're gonna be scared, too, and that's not what we should be having here in the United States of America. People have got to stand together to take on the real issues, stand together to destroy Isis, but not start picking on immigrants and scapegoating muslims. Reporter: What would you do about Isis? Isis is a barbaric organization that must be destroyed, but we must learn the lessons of Iraq. So what do we do? We form a coalition, and other Muslim nations have got to have troops on the ground to destroy Isis. That fight has got to be led by the Muslim nations with a strong support of the United States, the U.K., France, Russia, Iran, et cetera. I do not want us getting sucked in to what Isis wants us to get sucked into -- what they call a war of civilization here. Reporter: You have said that you are a socialist. Democratic socialist, yes. Reporter: Just what is that? Barbara, what I see is every other major country on Earth now provides health care to all of their people as a right. All of their people. We still don't do that. We are the only country on Earth that doesn't provide paid family and medical leave. Many other countries around the world are making college, or at least their public colleges and universities tuition-free. We are not. Reporter: Are you against capitalism? No, I am for the concept of a mixed economy, similar to what you see in scandinavia. I mean, they produce a lot of wealth. They create a whole lot of products. But what they do a lot better than we do is that wealth is much more equitably distributed than it is in this country. If you are elected president, in one word, what would you want to have been known for? Compassion.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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