Franklin Graham expressed his displeasure about the popularity of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont with young voters, and tried to sway them away with former president John F. Kennedy April 9.
Graham wrote on Facebook:
If JFK were alive today would he be a Republican? I don’t know—but I’m sure he wouldn’t be happy with the Democratic Party! President John F. Kennedy promoted people serving their country.
Today the Democratic Party is all about how much money and entitlements they can give away. But they’re not giving away their own money—they’re giving away your money.
Many university students are clamoring to vote for Bernie Sanders because he promises to give free everything. I wish every one of those students would listen to JFK’s 1961 inauguration speech.
And I wish our politicians and our leaders would challenge young people as President Kennedy did: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
Sanders has never called for "free everything," but he does advocate for a free college education (which has been done before in states) on his website to strengthen the U.S.:
In a highly competitive global economy, we need the best-educated workforce in the world. It is insane and counter-productive to the best interests of our country and our future, that hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and that millions of others leave school with a mountain of debt that burdens them for decades. That shortsighted path to the future must end.
...In fact, it’s what many of our colleges and universities used to do. The University of California system offered free tuition at its schools until the 1980s. In 1965, average tuition at a four-year public university was just $243 and many of the best colleges – including the City University of New York – did not charge any tuition at all. The Sanders plan would make tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout the country."
MediaMatters.org said in 2013 that Republicans have often tried to claim that JFK would be a Republican today, but the fact-checking website noted that Kennedy was despised by conservatives during his presidency and stated in 1960:
What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal."
But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."
JFK strongly supported Medicare (government health care), which many Republicans opposed and defeated; Medicare was eventually passed in 1965. The late president also supported other social programs for the poor.
Sanders has advocated for universal healthcare (government healthcare) and government services for low-income Americans.
As far as "giving away your money," both Democrats and Republicans have repeatedly voted for tax subsidies, financial giveaways and tax loopholes for billion-dollar corporations, as well as financial aid for foreign countries.