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Sanders: 'Judgment' as Important as Foreign Policy 'Experience'

Bernie Sanders fends off critics who say he has a lack of foreign policy experience.
Image: Democratic Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sanders Debate In Durham, New Hampshire
DURHAM, NH - FEBRUARY 04: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks as he debates with Democratic presidential candidates former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during their MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate at the University of New Hampshire on February 4, 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the New Hampshire primaries. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Senator Bernie Sanders defended himself Sunday against criticism that he does not have sufficient depth or interest in foreign policy matters.

“Let me reassure the American people…it goes without saying that a president must be well-versed in foreign policy, must have a foreign policy position. And I will of course do that,” Sanders said on NBC’s "Meet the Press" when asked to respond to negative headlines reviewing his Thursday debate performance on the issue of foreign policy.

Sanders has faced intense scrutiny during his presidential campaign for not being as comfortable or fluent as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when discussing foreign affairs.

"There’s no question that Hillary Clinton has a great deal of experience regarding foreign policy,” admitted Sanders.

“But it is not just experience that matters, it is judgment,” argued the Vermont senator.

Sanders then jumped to his go-to validator of his foreign policy credentials: His initial opposition to the War in Iraq.

“I think that we have the judgment in terms of what we should do with ISIS right now, that we should learn the lesson of the Iraq War, which I rigorously opposed,” said Sanders.

Related: Madeleine Albright Slams Sanders on Foreign Policy

Sanders has taken heat in recent months, however, for not expanding his foreign policy vision beyond those initial differences over the invasion of Iraq.

“A vote in 2002 is not a plan to defeat ISIS,” Clinton shot back at Sanders when he brought up the two opponents’ Iraq War votes at this past week's MSNBC Democratic debate.

In a Saturday interview with NBC News, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright said she was “very concerned” about Sanders’ “lack of knowledge” on foreign policy.

Albright, a Clinton campaign surrogate, commented that she had not seen him at “any [foreign policy] briefings” on Capitol Hill.

“Number one, I have been to briefing after briefing after briefing,” responded Sanders on Sunday, adding that during his recent sit down meeting with President Barack Obama, “one of the things that we talked about was Iran and foreign policy."

Sanders continued to dismiss Albright’s criticism by hypothesizing that the former Secretary of State had supported the war in Iraq as well, calling her judgment into question.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if she supported that war. So you know, the issue here is not just experience, the issue is judgment,” the presidential hopeful repeated.

When asked who his foreign policy advisors are, Sanders named Larry Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, and Arab American Institute president Jim Zogby as people he’s spoken with on the subject.

In the same interview, Sanders also doubled down on his then-eye-raising debate statement that “the business model of Wall Street is fraud.”

“What I said I believe to be true,” said the candidate, highlighting a recent multi-billion-dollar settlement Goldman Sachs reached with the United States government.

On a lighter note, Sanders loosely predicted that the Denver Broncos would win the Super Bowl, though he insisted he is still a Patriots fan.

The interview came after Sanders made his debut on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” alongside his unofficial doppelgänger, comedian Larry David.