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Story highlights

Bernie Sanders defended his policy proposals against Hillary Clinton's attacks

Sanders argued that other countries prove his ideas aren't "fantasy"

(CNN) —  

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders defended his policy proposals Sunday, saying that “this is not fantasy – this is reality” in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”

The Vermont senator cited other nations as models: Canada, the United Kingdom and France for his Medicare-for-all health insurance proposal and Germany and Scandanavia – a region that typically includes Norway, Sweden and Denmark – for free public college tuition.

He was pushing back against rival Hillary Clinton who has cast his policy proposals as unrealistic.

“All of that may be fantasy to the ruling class and the big money interests in this country. I don’t think that’s fantasy to the working people in this country who have worked longer hours for lower wages, who are tired of establishment politics and establishment economics,” Sanders said.

“Every proposal that we have brought forward, we’ve paid for … Maybe the drug companies don’t like it and the insurance companies don’t like it. I think the American people do like it,” he said.

In the interview, Sanders also stuck by his claim that he’ll stay in the Democratic presidential race through the convention in July. He predicted wins in West Coast states, including California, which doesn’t vote until June.

He wouldn’t answer directly, though, whether he’d drop out if Clinton accumulated enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination before the convention starts.

“You are speculating – I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Sanders said. “We think we have momentum and we think we’re going to do just fine.”