Bernie Sanders on Joe Rogan Experience #1330 – #Transcripts2020

As part of our #Transcripts2020 project, we are pleased to release the transcript of Bernie Sanders on Joe Rogan Experience #1330. An editable version is available here. All transcripts of this series are available here.

0:00:03 Joe Rogan: And we’re live. Hello, Bernie.

0:00:05 Bernie Sanders: How are you, Joe?

0:00:06 JR: Wonderful. Pleasure to meet you.

0:00:07 BS: Nice to meet you.

0:00:08 JR: It’s exciting to have you here, man. And it’s obviously an exciting time for you. Presidential campaign is up in full swing. Do you get frustrated by the time constraints of the debates?

0:00:21 BS: Absolutely. You shouldn’t even call them a debate. What they are is a reality TV show in which you have to come up with a sound bite and all that stuff. And it’s the meaning, it’s the meaning to the candidates, and it’s the meaning to the American people. You can’t explain the complexity of healthcare in America in 45 seconds, nobody can.

0:00:45 JR: Why is it still done that way? Have you tried to… Let’s pull this thing, bring it right there. There you go.

0:00:51 BS: I think the DNC is in a difficult position. They have 20 plus candidates and they wanna give everybody a fair shot, which is the right thing to do. And then if you’re gonna have 10 candidates up on the stage, what do you do? But there are other ways that we’ve gotta do it because the issues facing this country are so enormous and in some cases so complicated, nobody in the world can honestly explain them in 45 seconds. And then that what encourages people to do is to come up with sound bites or do absurd things up. So if I yelled and screamed on this show, I took my clothes off, it would get a lot of publicity, right?

0:01:25 JR: Yeah.

0:01:25 BS: But if you give a thoughtful answer to a complicated question, it’s not so sexy for the media.

0:01:29 JR: Well, you don’t even have a chance to give a thoughtful answer. Like Tulsi Gabbard went after Kamala Harris and then Kamala Harris had about 12 seconds to reply to it. It was so ridiculous. To have something that’s such an important issue, like, “Did you or did you not put all those people in jail for marijuana? Did you laugh about it? Did this happen? Did that happen?” All these different things. “Was evidence withheld?” These are a long conversations.

0:01:55 BS: But it takes us to another issue, that as a nation we do a pretty bad job in analyzing and discussing the serious issues facing our country. And I hold the media to some degree responsible for that. You know, other countries, what they do is they say, “Joe, you wanna run for president?” It’ll tell whether you’re a party in the general election. “We’re gonna give you a certain amount of time, hours, on television, and you use those hours anyway you want. You wanna 15 minute discourse… ” Do you remember Ross Perot?

0:02:24 JR: Yes.

0:02:25 BS: And people used to laugh at Ross Perot because he used to get up there with a chart and all this stuff and the media made fun of him. But in fact, he tried in his own way to explain his point of view to the American people. And we need serious discussion on serious issues.

0:02:39 JR: Well, he had the… Because he was so rich, he had the ability to buy airtime on network television, which is pretty unprecedented. He just bought a chunk of air time and then plead his case.

0:02:50 BS: But you know what goes on in other countries? You don’t have to buy that time. The obligation is, if you are a network you’re gonna make that time free and available to candidates.

0:03:00 JR: Do you think that that’s something that could be viable in America? Could you convince CBS and NBC and ABC to go along with something like that?

0:03:08 BS: No, you couldn’t convince them. You’d have to pass legislation to make that happen.

0:03:11 JR: But everyone’s online today. I mean the entire country is essentially getting email and Facebook and all that jazz. Like why bother doing it in this particular medium that has an inherent time constraint?

0:03:24 BS: Well, you’re right. I mean the internet has revolutionized politics. And in many ways, good ways. We use our social media, our email list, which is very large, everyday we’re sending out stuff and other candidates are doing it the same way. But television still has a very important role to be playing.

0:03:41 JR: I’m sure it does, but I mean the ability to discuss things in long form like you can do online, like you can do right here right now, you can’t get that on television.

0:03:51 BS: Well, you could. I mean if you had…

0:03:53 JR: Could you?

0:03:53 BS: Sure, you could.

0:03:54 JR: But they would have to interrupt you every 15 minutes or so for commercials.

0:03:56 BS: No, no, no, no. No, what I’m saying about is what goes on in other countries. If I’m not mistaken, don’t hold me to this. I think in the UK, you remember the Labor Party? You’re a candidate. “Here’s 30 minutes of time and you do with it as you want. You wanna speak 30 minutes on healthcare, whatever it may be, you can do that.”

0:04:12 JR: Really?

0:04:13 BS: Yeah.

0:04:13 JR: And they don’t interrupt with commercials or just… Right.

0:04:14 BS: No, no, no, no. That’s the law that they have given… This is the candidate’s opportunity to speak at length to the people of the country.

0:04:23 JR: What are the misconceptions of you? ‘Cause here’s the… If you go to the knee-jerk conservative reaction, you talk to people who are not interested in anyone that wants to be a democratic socialist, they hear the name Bernie Sanders. The negative implications are that you are somehow or another going to take their money.

0:04:42 BS: Right.

0:04:42 JR: Right? Is that annoying to you?

0:04:44 BS: Yes, it is. Of course, it is. And also then I’m Mr. Maduro. I’m a dictator, I love dictatorships and all that stuff. And the truth is, Joe, that if you look at the issues that I campaign on and what I believe in, they are really not terribly radical. They exist in many countries all over the world. For example, we can start on healthcare if you’d like. Is the idea that healthcare is a human right, not a privilege, a radical idea?

0:05:13 JR: I don’t think it is.

0:05:14 BS: It’s not. And the truth is we are the only major country on Earth… Many people don’t know this. We’re the only major country on Earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people as a human right, and yet we end up spending almost twice as much per capita on health care. The function, and you can argue with me if you want, but the function of the current healthcare system is not to provide quality care to all, it is to make tens of billions of dollars in profit for the drug companies and the insurance companies. That’s the function. If you go to Canada, and I live 50 miles away from the Canadian boarder, you have major heart surgery, you’re in the hospital for a month. Do you know what the bill is when you get out?

0:05:52 JR: Zero.

0:05:52 BS: You got it. You go to any doctor you want, you don’t have to take out your wallet. And yet they guarantee healthcare to all of their people and they spend one half of what we spend. That’s kind of what I wanna do and I don’t think that that’s terribly radical. We have a program now, which everybody knows, it’s called Medicare, it was started by Lyndon Johnson back in 1965. It is a popular program. All that I wanna do, over a four-year period, is to expand it. Today, eligibility age is 65, I wanna take it down to 55, 45, 35, everybody, over a four-year period, that’s about it. And I wanna expand benefits to include dental care, hearing aids, and eyeglasses as well. That’s about it, not too radical.

0:06:31 JR: That doesn’t sound radical at all. Now, when you say that they… That Canada spends less, obviously they have less people. You mean less per capita?

0:06:37 BS: Yes, half per capita. Exactly, per capita.

0:06:38 JR: Half per capita.

0:06:39 BS: And the quality of care is as good or better. Do they have problems? Yeah, they have problems. Everybody has problems. But overall the healthcare experts will tell you the quality of care there is as good or better than it is in our country.

0:06:53 JR: So what’s the hurdle?

0:06:54 BS: Okay, I’ll tell you exactly what the hurdle is. The hurdle is exactly the same thing as in every other aspect of our lives, it’s the power of money. Alright, listen to this. Over the last 20 years the drug companies alone have spent $4.5 billion in 20 years on lobbying and campaign contributions. That’s what we’re up against. The knowledge… And I… Mark my words, within a short period of time you will see TV ads in California, all over this country demonizing Bernie Sanders, “He wants to do this terrible thing to you, he wants to do that.” They have unbelievable amounts of money, and politicians are frightened of that power. I’ll give you one example. Back in 2016, I got involved here in a little way with an effort on the part of the nurses to control the cost of prescription drugs in California. You may recall that effort.

0:07:48 JR: I do.

0:07:50 BS: It was a ballot item in one state here in California. Do you know how much the drug companies alone spent to defeat that effort? They spent $131 million on one ballot item in one state. Alright, last year the top 10 drug companies made $69 billion. A week ago, I went to Canada with a number of Americans who are dealing with diabetes. We bought insulin in Windsor, Ontario for one-tenth of the price, 10% of the price, same exact product being charged in America. So you’ve got drug companies that are engaged in collusion and in price fixing who are incredibly greedy and the result is many elderly people, many working people, simply cannot afford the medicine they need. This is… It’s unbelievable. And the reason for all of that stuff is we are the only country in the world that does not negotiate with the drug companies. They can charge you any price they want, and that has to do with the fact that we don’t have a national healthcare program, Medicare is not negotiating, etcetera.

0:08:47 JR: Is this something that can really be implemented inside of four years?

0:08:50 BS: Yeah, surely…

0:08:50 JR: It seems like it’s an enormous endeavor.

0:08:53 BS: Well, I want you to think back. Think back, Joe. In 1965 you had Lyndon Johnson as President. And by the way, this idea of national healthcare, this has been talked about literally since Teddy Roosevelt. It’s not a new concept. Healthcare is a human right. That’s what Teddy Roosevelt was talking about, that’s what FDR was talking about. Harry Truman was talking about it. Kennedy was talking about it. Kennedy got killed, Lyndon Johnson picked up the mantle. And their idea was, according to people in their administration, “We’ll start with the elderly who are most impacted by healthcare costs and sickness. We’ll start… ” And they did. In 1965 without the technology we have today, they implemented Medicare, 19 million people, elderly people, signed up in the first year. So, if you could start a brand new program and have 19 million people sign up with the technology that is way, way behind where we are today, why can’t we over a four-year period simply expand that program? I don’t think it’s such a difficult operation.

0:09:55 JR: So when you talk about the drug companies and the lobbyists and the enormous amount of money that they spend, is this… Does this exist anywhere else other than the United States, lobbyists on that level?

0:10:05 BS: No, no, of course not. And the reason… You know, in Canada what you have is you have a national healthcare program and so forth. And they sit down and a, they negotiate with the drug companies. They have their own approach. But every other major country on earth says to the drug companies, “Of course you can’t charge us any price you want. This is a reasonable price. Tell me what your profits are, what your expenditures are, this is the price.” For us, you can walk in… You know, if you have an illness, you could walk into the pharmacy tomorrow and the price has been doubled and you say to the pharmacist, “What happened?” He’s like, “They just raised their prices.” They could do it any day they want, any price they want.

0:10:40 JR: Now, lobbyists are… In general, when people talk about lobbyists, it’s an unattractive term. We think of it in terms of a negative, we don’t think of, “Oh, thank God there’s lobbyists.” We think, “Wow, there’s someone with enormous amounts of money using that money to gain influence on politicians and it shapes regular people, it shapes our lives mostly in a negative way.” This is the way most people look at them. I’m not saying it’s correct. Why do we have that system in place? Like, why do we have lobbyists? Why is it legal for someone to spend exorbitant amounts of money to affect our civilization, to affect the way our culture works?

0:11:19 BS: Alright, now you’re taking us into a whole new area.

0:11:23 JR: Yeah.

0:11:23 BS: Alright, let’s look. Can I… Let me detour and I’ll come back.

0:11:25 JR: Yes. Please do, please do.

0:11:26 BS: Okay, alright. Today in America you’ve got three people earning more wealth than the bottom half of the American society. You don’t see that on television too much, yeah?

0:11:39 JR: No, you don’t.

0:11:40 BS: Three people. You’ve got the top 1% earning more wealth than the bottom 92%. Listen to this, this is a statistic we recently saw, came from the Federal Reserve. Over the last 30 years the top 1% has seen a $21 trillion increase in their wealth, the bottom half of America has seen a $900 billion decline in their wealth. So what you have in America today is a relatively small number of incredibly wealthy people. And I deal with these guys every day. People say, “Oh, you’re talking about rich. You don’t know what rich is, what multi-billion dollar operations are.” Incredible power over our society. And if you were the pharmaceutical industry, and last year 10 companies made $69 billion in profit, you’re sitting around right now saying, “Alright, that’s great. How do we do better next year? What strategy do we have? We gotta put up a lot of ads on.”

0:12:31 BS: “We’re gonna work with other… ” During the CNN debate that I participated in recently, in the debate, right in the middle of the debate, the drug companies and the insurance companies had an ad telling how bad so-called… How bad Medicare-For-All would be. So they’re smart guys, and they use their power over politicians, they use their power over the media, they spend billions of dollars on advertising on media to make sure that they make as much as they can in profit. But it’s not any different with Wall Street, it’s not any different with the fossil fuel industry, or the prison industrial complex. These guys have wealth, they have power, and they could care less about the needs of working people in this country. And that’s the dynamic of American politics right now. And in our campaign, look, we’re taking them all on, and I know it makes a lot of people uncomfortable. But we are taking on all of these entities, and all of their wealth, and all of their power, and that’s what a political revolution is about.

0:13:27 JR: So the real problem seems to be that they have this strategy of unlimited growth. Not that they’re not providing medication that people need to save their lives. It’s obviously important to have pharmaceutical companies.

0:13:38 BS: Absolutely. Of course, of course.

0:13:40 JR: Right. So there’s good that they provide, but the business aspect of it is where the problem lies, right?

0:13:45 BS: Right. Look, they have great researchers, but if you check how they even spend their money… They will tell you that they spend all of their money on research and development, “We’re tackling cancer, we’re tackling diabetes, Alzheimer’s.” The truth is, of course they are. But the bulk of their money is going often to what we call “Me too” drugs. They make modest changes in a drug which really doesn’t improve people’s well-being in order to make profits. So the answer is yes, we need obviously vigorous research and development. And by the way, your tax dollars, all of our tax dollars, often goes to that research and we don’t get the benefit of it in terms of lower prices.

0:14:21 JR: So it’s just… It’s a business model issue?

0:14:24 BS: Exactly.

0:14:24 JR: It’s a greed issue?

0:14:25 BS: You’ve got it.

0:14:26 JR: And how would one stop that? When you’re dealing with the kind of influence that you’re talking about with $69 billion dollars in a year, the resources that they have, how would you stop that?

0:14:38 BS: Well, that is kind of what we call the $64 question.

0:14:41 JR: Yeah.

0:14:44 BS: And I’ll tell you what I think, this is what I believe. If you think back on American history and you think about the real changes that have taken place in society, you think about the labor movement and working class people standing up and saying to their employers, “We’re not gonna be treated like animals anymore. You can’t hire and fire us, you can’t work us 15 hours a day. We deserve dignity.” And you think about the growth of the labor movement, of millions of people beginning to stand together and fight. You think about the civil rights movement. And it wasn’t just Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it was, again, millions of African-Americans and their white allies saying, “We’re gonna end segregation and racism in this country.” Think about the women’s movement. 100 years ago women in America didn’t even have the right to vote. Think about the gay rights movement, think about the environment. The only way that change takes place is when ordinary people come together and stand up and fight and say that the status quo is not working. And that’s what I believe, and that’s what we’re trying to do.

0:15:46 BS: So the message of our campaign is it’s us not me, ’cause I can’t do it alone. Let me be very honest with you. If I were elected President tomorrow, I can’t do the things that I would like to do, that I’m campaigning on, unless millions of people were working with me to tell the corporate elite that they cannot get it all.

0:16:07 JR: So how would that be implemented? Let’s say you become President. You gonna become President? What do you think?

0:16:11 BS: I think we got a shot at it.

0:16:12 JR: You gotta shot. Alright. President Bernie, what do you do? You get in there, what do you do?

0:16:17 BS: Okay. First of all, you make a very clear… You make it clear to the American people what your agenda is. And I appreciate the opportunity to talk about an agenda in more than 12 seconds. What does that mean? Alright, we’re gonna fight for Medicare-For-All. We’re gonna raise the minimum wage to a living wage. We are gonna deal with education in a profound way, ’cause I worry about what’s going on in education today. Everybody knows that the ages of 0-4 are the most important years for human intellectual and emotional development. Right? Every psychologist will tell you that. And yet we have a totally dysfunctional early childhood system. We pay our child care workers starvation wages, yet working class families cannot find affordable quality child care. You got our public school systems all around this country, and many of them really being challenged right now. Teachers are underpaid, teachers are working two or three jobs. You got kids who can’t afford to go to college. And here’s something that is just unbelievable, kids who have gone to college leaving school with $50,000, $100,000 in debt. Unbelievable.

0:17:31 BS: These are issues that we have to deal with, and I will deal with them. And we are gonna substantially improve the quality of education in America, we’re gonna cancel student debt by imposing a tax on Wall Street speculation. Alright? You gotta deal with education. You gotta deal with climate change. The truth is that Donald Trump is dead wrong, climate change is not a hoax, it is a very, very dangerous reality for our country and the rest of the world. Scientists tell us we have less than 12 years to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel or there will be irreparable damage. So those are… And health care, of course, for all. So those are some of the major issues. Criminal justice, immigration reform. You lay it on the table. You say, “These are the issue that we are gonna focus on.” And you rally the American people around those issues, and you tell people like Mitch McConnell, who represents a very poor state in Kentucky, that, “Mitch, if you are going to oppose raising that minimum wage to at least 15 bucks an hour, I will be in Kentucky as President of the United States and we’re gonna have a rally, because you’re gonna have to stop representing… ” And I hope, by the way, that Mitch McConnell is not the leader. I hope the Democrats can gain control over the Senate.

0:18:45 BS: But if he is, we’ll put enormous pressure on him to do what the people want. Every idea, Joe… Here’s the bottom line on this thing; every idea that I’ve just talked to you about is supported by a majority of the American people, these are not radical ideas.

0:18:58 JR: Let’s take these one step at a time, ’cause you mentioned a lot of important things there. Let’s go with the minimum wage thing. Now the argument that I’ve heard about the minimum wage being raised to $15 an hour is that they are entry level positions for high school kids, for people that are just getting their feet wet in the marketplace, they’re learning how to work, they’re making some money after school. That if you charge or if businesses have to pay $15 an hour to people like that, to entry-level people that they won’t be able to stay open.

0:19:27 BS: Well, first of all, they will be competing against… If you are a business, and I’m a business and both of us have to raise our wages at the same level, we both have the same burden so it’s spread across. That is what my conservative colleagues will tell you. The truth is, I don’t have the numbers right in front of me, that while it certainly is true that young people do work at McDonald’s and minimum wage jobs, a significant and majority of the workers are not kids, they are often… And I’d met them at McDonald’s, they are workers who have children themselves. When we… We worked very hard to raise the minimum wage at Amazon and at Disney. We put pressure on both of those companies and they did the right thing. And when you talk to the people at Amazon who got that raise, these are not kids, these are people in their 30s, these are ordinary adults who cannot make it on 12 or 13 bucks an hour. So I think the argument that “Oh, they’re all kids.” is not really quite accurate.

0:20:30 JR: Well, not even that, oh they’re all kids, but that if they are kids, what would you think about making a minimum wage for someone who’s under 18, that’s different from a minimum wage of someone who’s a legal adult?

0:20:41 BS: I’m not for that, I think we do it. And look, many of these young people have their own needs. I just talked to a young woman last night, who is working, going to college working full-time trying to take care of her family as well. So I think, look, the minimum wage has not been raised in 10 years, it is now $7.25 an hour, which is clearly unacceptable. The cost of housing, California, all over this country is rising fairly rapidly. People can’t afford healthcare, can’t afford college, I don’t think it’s asking our employers too much to pay at least $15 an hour minimum wage.

0:21:19 JR: Now, I’m glad you brought up Amazon. So one of the things that always freaks me out is when I find out that enormous corporations that make billions of dollars have tax loopholes where they literally pay no money. How is that possible and how do you stop that?

0:21:33 BS: Well, it’s the same thing as the drug companies. How is it possible that we pay 10 times more for insulin in this country and for other drugs, than the one in Canada or countries around the world? And the answer is, it’s power. So what it is the goal of major corporations in America? It’s to be deregulated, as much as possible. So in some cases, they can pollute our water, our air, our environment. It’s also not to pay any taxes. Trump campaign as you recall he said, “My tax plan is not gonna benefit the wealthy, it’s gonna benefit working people.” Well it turns out over 10 years, 83% of the benefit at the end of 10 years goes to the top 1%. That’s what these guys do. I remember, on the… Called the ranking member on the budget committee, in the senate. And some guy came forward, representing, I don’t know, one of the big business organizations. And this is their agenda. Their agenda was to cut social security, Medicare and Medicaid, and to do away with all corporate taxes. So what you have right now that’s what greed is about. They want it all. So as you indicated you have a company like Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos, who happens to be the wealthiest guy in America worth about $150 billion, Amazon paid zero in federal income taxes. And it’s not just them, dozens of corporations paid nothing or very, very little.

0:23:00 BS: And on top of all of that, you got these guys able to stash all over the world, trillions of dollars, trillions of dollars in the Cayman Islands, in Bermuda, in Luxembourg and other tax havens. That is insane and that has got to end.

0:23:17 JR: Yeah. How is it legal to do that? Why is it legal?

0:23:20 BS: Joe it is legal because they make the laws.

0:23:23 JR: Right.

0:23:24 BS: Alright? You know that is what… Here, you’re touching now on the heart and soul of the tragedy of American politics. How does it happen that on issue after issue, the American people, the working class of this country wants something, nobody pays any attention to it, but billionaires want something and it gets done. And that has to do with a corrupt political system. So right now, if you are the Koch brothers, or some multi-billionaire you say to the leadership of the Republican party and in some cases to the Democratic party, “Hey, guess what? We’re prepared to put hundreds of millions of dollars into your campaign.” Hundreds of millions of dollars coming from one or two people. “And here is my agenda: I want tax breaks, I want a trade system which will enable me to shut down in this country and go to China or Mexico and pay people there 2 bucks an hour. I wanna be able to do more pollution ’cause I don’t like all of this, you know, money I have to spend preventing pollution of the air or the water, that’s what I want you to do. And by the way, I’m worried about the deficit, so you may as well cut social security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

0:24:31 BS: How many Americans actually believe that we should give tax breaks to billionaires and cut social security, Medicare and Medicaid. Very few. That is… Talk to Mitch McConnell. Get Mitchell on the show. That is exactly what he believes.

0:24:45 JR: But that’s ridiculous. And it seems that if you just took away those tax breaks, the enormous amount of money that would come from those corporations having to pay their fair share, would take care of a lot of the expenses of all these things that you’re proposing.

0:25:00 BS: Exactly.

0:25:00 JR: How… Like, okay, let’s talk about the education. Because the idea of free education is a wonderful thing for people. The idea that you get out of college and you’re in debt, in an insane amount that you might have 10, 20 years where you have to pay it back. And I know many people that are in that situation.

0:25:21 BS: Joe, there are people who are getting their social security checks garnished right now. It’s not 10 to 20 years. In some cases, it’s literally a life time.

0:25:29 JR: Now, a lot of that is… I mean it’s gotta… In some way be preventable by what we’re talking about here.

0:25:37 BS: Absolutely, alright.

0:25:38 JR: And is that how you would pay for it? How would you…

0:25:40 BS: I’ll tell you exactly how I would pay for it.

0:25:42 JR: Okay.

0:25:42 BS: Okay. And we pay for every idea that we have, we pay for them. And we pay for it by understanding that today, we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality. And we have in many cases, the wealthy and large corporations paying nothing or very little in taxes. Here is the issue in terms of education, 40-50 years ago, you were an average American working class person, you graduated high school. Especially if there was a union around, you can go out and get a job and make it into the middle class. You could own your own home, you could send your kids to school, you lived a pretty good life. You made it in the middle class.

0:26:16 BS: 40 0r 50 years later, there’s an explosion of technology, there’s a growth in un-feted free trade, and it is clear now that most people to make it into the middle class are gonna need a higher education. That’s college or maybe it’s technical training in order to become a skilled worker. It is insane to me to deny working class people and lower income people the opportunity to get that education because the cost of college has soared. So all that I say, is that 100 plus years ago the American people said that we should have free public education. I went to a public school. My parents didn’t pay a nickel. Went to kindergarten. I went through the 12th grade; pretty good education in Brooklyn, New York. All that I’m saying is the world has changed and a high school degree is not good enough anymore. So expand that concept through college. Now, guess what? 50 years ago, Do you know how much the University of California, a very great university, cost in terms of tuition?

0:27:20 JR: How much?

0:27:21 BS: Virtually free.

0:27:23 JR: What’s it now?

0:27:23 BS: I don’t know, but it’s pretty high. It is hard; it’s thousands and thousands of dollars. So you had great universities, like the University of California, City University of New York, state colleges all over this country where tuition was virtually free. And then what happened for a variety of political reasons, states and the federal government started cutting back on higher education and put more and more burden on the student with higher and higher tuition, which is where we are today. So all that I’m saying is in the year 2019, 2020, if our working class kids are gonna go out and get the jobs that are out there, they need a higher education, which should be tuition-free. In terms of the cancellation of debt, which is my view, you got 45 million people who are dealing with that. I’ll never forget this. This is where it really hit me. I was in Burlington, Vermont and I had a meeting on an issue. And a young woman comes up and she says she’s a doctor. She graduated medical school, she’s very happy. She’s practicing in the Community Health Center, loves what she’s doing. Said, “Bernie, I gotta tell you though. I am $300,000 in debt probably going to medical school.”

0:28:31 BS: I couldn’t believe it. I was in Iowa, a young woman $400,000 in debt. This is not unusual for medical schools and dental schools. And ordinary people, 50,000, $100,000 for going to college or getting a Master’s degree. We promise these young people, we said, “Go to college. Go out and get an education. You’ll get decent paying jobs.” Well, the answer is they have not been able to do that. So what we have proposed, in one piece of legislation, or two actually, is to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, cancel all student debt in this country. That will cost $2.2 trillion, a lot of money, over a 10-year period. We do this through a tax on Wall Street speculation, which will bring in $2.4 trillion. We bailed out Wall Street 11 years ago, and by the way, these are crooks on Wall Street who engaged in illegal behavior. Taxpayers, against my vote, bailed them out. If we can bail out Wall Street, you know what? We can cancel student debt and provide public colleges and universities tuition-free.

0:29:31 JR: When you say a tax on Wall Street speculation, what exactly do you mean by that?

0:29:35 BS: It will be a tax on all of the… Every sale of a tax. People buy and sell stocks and bonds all of the… We have a very modest tax on that. And by the way, it will have an impact on speculation by cutting back on the high frequency trading, which we now see.

0:29:51 JR: So you would just… There’s no current tax on?

0:29:54 BS: Correct.

0:29:55 JR: So you would put a small amount and that would do the job? That would finance…

0:30:00 BS: That would raise more than enough money. It’s a very small tax. It exists…

0:30:03 JR: When you say small, how much?

0:30:04 BS: It depends on the nature of the transaction, but it’s less than one half of 1%.

0:30:08 JR: Really?

0:30:08 BS: Yeah.

0:30:09 JR: And that would cover…

0:30:10 BS: Yeah. Because the amount of stocks being sold, bought and sold. And this is not, again, a new idea, it’s being done in countries all over the world.

0:30:17 JR: What about… Here’s one of the darkest things about student loans, is that if you go bankrupt, it doesn’t matter, you still owe that and that’s kind of crazy. If you have a serious medical issue, if you’re held up, whatever, whatever happens to you that’s awful, you go bankrupt, most of those things are resolved, but not student loans.

0:30:38 BS: Correct. Again, this talks to the… And that has to do with bankruptcy law which was passed against my vote. And while you’re on bankruptcy, and actually I should have mentioned this before, when you talk about the healthcare system, a half a million Americans every single year go bankrupt because of medical bills that they can’t pay. But you’re right, with student loans… I talked to this guy in Nevada, never forget it. The guy says, “Bernie, I’m owing my… ” The guy was in his 50s. And he said, “I’ve been paying off my student debt for years. I’m going nowhere because the interest rates are high, and I feel very much… ” which is the case, “that they will start garnishing, taking away my social security checks, taking money away from me.” So people are carrying this burden. The result is that they can’t, in many cases, get married and have kids. They certainly can’t buy a home. They can’t buy a car. They are really crushed by this debt. And what was their crime? What did they do? They tried to get a higher education. I think that’s pretty crazy.

0:31:38 JR: And a lot of them, when they do this higher education, they’re 18-years-old. Imagine making a decision when your brain isn’t even fully formed that’s gonna affect you for the rest of your life.

0:31:46 BS: You got it, yeah, exactly right. And then you talk to these kids and say, “Well, how much debt do you owe? What kind of interest rates are you paying?” “Gee, I really don’t know. They just told me to sign up.” Yeah, it’s alright.

0:31:57 JR: Now, right now, we are a week, not even a week out, just a few days away from two mass shootings in a row, and whenever these things happen, there’s all these people that want action, but nobody knows exactly what to do. There’s calls for gun control. There’s calls for mental health reform. There’s calls for… I mean, what, if anything, can be done to stop these things from happening? And have you sat down and tried to come up with some sort of a solution? And is there a solution?

0:32:31 BS: Look, I would be lying to you if I told you I had a magical answer. Well, I don’t. And this is such a horrific situation. We were in… We had a town meeting… We were in Nevada actually in Las Vegas when El Paso happened and we did a town meeting and and I said, “Okay, let’s take a moment of silence to remember the victims and pray for the survivors.” literally the next day in another part of Las Vegas I had to do it again and I said, “I can’t believe that just yesterday we did this and I have to do it again.” This is, I don’t know what the words… You know my friend Beto O’Rourke would say, you don’t know what words, what can you say this happens again and again, who can imagine some lunatic walking into a school or a mall or just on a night club area and taking out an assault weapon shooting down people and that we almost… We come to accept this as a normal part of American life is incredible, is just totally demoralizing.

0:33:40 BS: Alright, so here’s what I think. There’s no magical answer but let me tell you what I think. First of all this is the reality. The reality is that today as we speak there are approximately 400 million guns in America today, we have more guns than we have people. We have between 5 to 10 million assault weapons. And an assault weapon as you know is a military-style weapon designed to kill human beings kind of rapidly so that’s… And then on top of that we have again nothing to be proud of but we have a number of mentally unstable people, people for whatever reason are walking the streets, they’re suicidal, they’re homicidal and that’s the mix that we have.

0:34:22 BS: I think the answer is and I’m not the guy to invent all these ideas but here’s some of what we have to do. First of all, if you wanna own a gun in America we have got to know that you are a stable person and that means that we need to expand the background checks that currently exist. Okay, so we gotta know did you beat up your wife? Have you committed crimes, etcetera, etcetera? What is the state of your mental health? Number two, we gotta make that universal. Number two, right now there is a background check if you walk into a gun shop but you can buy guns in various states at a gun show and you don’t have to do any of that. ’cause if you and I go to a gun show you sell me a gun I don’t have to… I don’t have to do that. Third of all, I can today legally walk into a gun show, pass the background check and buy a dozen guns walk out and sell them to criminal elements who will use them for bad things. So I think those are issues that most Americans believe we have got to deal with and we can.

0:35:40 BS: Fourthly, I happen to believe and I’ve believed this for 30 years that we should not be selling or distributing assault weapons in this country. They are weapons of mass destruction in a sense, they kill people rapidly as we saw and thank God by the way when we talk about both Dayton and El Paso thank God, cops went there very, very quickly and did an incredible job ’cause if that guy had walked into the night club there could have been dozens and dozens more people killed within a few minutes time. I happen to believe A, that we should not be selling or distributing an assault weapons in this country, that’s my view, period. So I believe in a ban on assault weapons and I think we have got to begin thinking about when we have 5 to 10 million assault weapons which is more than the US military has we have to think about a strong licensing procedure in terms of who owns these assault weapons. So that’s some of what I think and there are many other things but those are some of the ideas that are out there.

0:36:40 JR: Now, the legal gun owners who are law-abiding citizens who would never in a million years think about going around shooting people but they love guns. They hear this kind of stuff about banning assault rifles, banning assault weapons, they don’t even like the term assault weapons. They like to refer to them as their individual names or whatever they are. These people feel like this is an inexorable part of being an American, that you should be able to own a gun, it’s written into our Bill of Rights, it’s written into our… The way this country was founded, it’s the Second Amendment. What do you say to those people that don’t wanna give up their guns, but they wouldn’t do… And they wanna protect themselves, they feel like these guns are viable options to protect themselves from criminals?

0:37:29 BS: I understand that, and Joe, if… You may know him, a senator from the State of Vermont, and the State of Vermont is one of the most rural states in America, every forum you’ve got a whole thousands and thousands of people who are out in the woods hunting, and it’s something that’s part of our tradition, I believe in it, I believe in the second amendment. But all that I ask of the gun owners, and you’re absolutely right, 99.9% of gun owners would never in a million, billion years think of doing these horrible things. But in the moment that we are living in, I think that we’re all gonna have to make some concessions to the reality of what is going on, and that is that there is a small number of, call them what you want, the brave people, who are prepared to do that. In Australia, you remember that terrible… New Zealand, I’m sorry, the terrible shooting at the mosque, and they moved pretty quickly in an aggressive way. So I wish I can say, in the best of all possible worlds, yeah, you can own any weapon you want and so forth and so on, we’re not living in the best of all possible worlds, we living in a world where we’re shocked every day by horror, so.

0:38:40 JR: I agree we are living in a terrible situation, there’s hundreds of mass shootings a year now, which is insane. And if you look at the number in comparison to the rest of the world, it’s crazy, a big one in another country’s three mass shootings in a year. We had more than 270. It’s crazy, but how would you implement something like this?

0:39:00 BS: Well, the idea of banning assault weapons has been done in 1994. We banned assault weapons, I believe, it was for 10 years, that ban was undone by a Republican majority. And it didn’t… I’m not suggesting, by the way, that anything here, that if we banned assault weapons tomorrow, that would radically change everything. But we have got to do the best that we can do. And again, I prefaced my remarks by telling, “I don’t have a magical solution.” You got hundreds of millions of guns out there, you have people who should not be owning these guns, who gets set off by god knows what, and do terrible things. All we can do is the best that we can do. But to say we can’t do anything, I think it’s a real disservice to the American… And I’ll tell you something else that bothers me in addition to the horror of seeing people lying on the street dead, is what this is doing to the children of this country, and I think we underestimate that.

0:40:00 BS: I have seven grandchildren, and for them and for kids all over this country, you’re gonna see the… Fall’s coming, kids coming back to school, you’re gonna see in schools all over America drills, “Alright, this is what you do if somebody walks into the school, alright? You’re gonna hide under here, you go over there.” Kids… A couple of months ago, I was in Iowa, this guy is about 6’2, big guy, probably a football player. And he says, “Senator Sanders, I gotta tell you that the young people in my school are increasingly frightened, terrified about what could happen in the school.” Think about what this… The trauma, the trauma of what this gun violence is doing. So I think we’re all… As Americans, there ain’t no easy answers here but I think we we’re all gonna have to come together and figure this one out, and do the best that we can.

0:40:49 JR: Now would that mean forcibly removing these guns from people’s homes?

0:40:55 BS: I don’t think you’re gonna have the FBI knocking on somebody’s doors and taking their… That’s not what we do in America.

0:41:00 JR: But we have 400 million guns already out there and we’re building more every year. Right now, as we speak, gun manufacturers are making more guns, this is happening right now. So if those guns already exist, it’s more than enough.

0:41:13 BS: Oh yeah.

0:41:14 JR: How would you stop?

0:41:16 BS: Well again, I think… Look, I do think there should be a ban on assault weapons, so that means that manufacturers would not be able to produce or sell those weapons, period.

0:41:26 JR: To American citizens but not to the military obviously.

0:41:29 BS: Right, obviously, right. Okay, so… And your point was well taken, if you have 400 million guns out there… So I think there are approaches… No one has any magical solution, but I’ve given you… I’ll tell you something else that I didn’t mention, and that is the role of gun manufacturers is that if you are a gun manufacturer and you are selling a hell of a lot of guns to a gun store in an area which normally you would not think… These guys know what cities buy, what towns buy, how many guns. And if suddenly, there is a tremendous demand, you gotta be thinking, “Why is this gun store buying so many guns? It doesn’t reflect the population in the area.” You gotta deal with that issue where the gun owners will have to take some responsibility.

0:42:16 JR: Besides the guns…

0:42:17 BS: The gun manufacturers, I’m sorry.

0:42:20 JR: Right, but besides the guns and the gun manufacturers, the other gigantic issue is mental health.

0:42:24 BS: Yup.

0:42:25 JR: The only way any of this ever happens is someone has to be insanely, mentally depraved, that’s the only way. And many of them are medicated, and many of them are on pharmaceutical drugs, and they have been since they were children, including amphetamines like Adderall and Prozac and all this different stuff that has varied effects on the human brain. What could be done, what would you done to analyze this, to find out what the cause and effect are, and to try to figure out what role and how much these drugs are responsible?

0:43:02 BS: Well, two things. Let me respond first by saying… It goes without saying that we have a mental health crisis in America before we even talk about drugs. And for whatever reason, there are a whole lot of people… And the nature of our healthcare system, getting back to healthcare, is… I just talked to a woman literally last night, and we had a town meeting and she said… This is unbelievable, she said, “Bernie, I was in Las Vegas when the terrible shooting took place, okay? And now I am… ” And I can understand this perfectly. “I’m seeing Dayton and I’m seeing… Watching television, El Paso, and I’m getting a PTSD reaction.” That’s totally… If you were in a place where people were shot down… And she… “I’m trying to get counseling, I can’t find it.” I remember a guy called up… A woman called up my office in Burlington, Vermont, and she said, “I’m worried about my husband, what he… ” My brother… “His brother, what he might do to himself or somebody else. We’re looking for mental health counseling, we can’t find something that we can afford.”

0:44:13 BS: So we need, above and beyond gun violence, we need… And this is why I believe in Medicare for all, mental health is healthcare. You break your arm, that’s a health issue, that’s a medical issue. Mental health is a medical issue and we have got to make mental health counseling available to all people in this country when they need it, not six months from now, at a price they can afford, and under Medicare for All, it would be free. So that’s number one. Number two, your point about studying the impact of drugs on people’s behavior and possibly resulting in violence absolutely deserves to be studied. We should be studying the impact of drugs. In my view, this is a layman’s view, I’m not a psychiatrist, I worry very much that we are over-medicating kids in schools, we have this deficit… Deficient issue, kids are running around and they’re active. When I was a kid, people used to run around, they were active, they weren’t drugged up. So I worry about that whole business, but your point is well taken, I think we need to study this and make sure that these drugs, in fact, are not causing kinds of reactions that we will regret later.

0:45:27 JR: Now on the subject of drugs, marijuana is obviously a big issue in this country and we’ve seen many states make it recreational, including this one. What do you think could be done, and what should be done to have this across the… Especially federally? There’s a guy that I have on the podcast coming up soon, his name’s John Norris, and he wrote a book on the cartels growing marijuana illegally all over this country and selling it, especially… Particularly in California now because it’s a misdemeanor, because it’s legal recreationally, and selling it with all sorts of horrible pesticides on it, all sorts of very, in fact, deadly chemicals. All of this because it’s not federally legal because we can’t have sanctioned licensed companies doing an ethical job of growing something, then any responsible law-abiding person should be able to consume.

0:46:19 BS: Okay. Let me say this. When I ran for President with the Democratic nomination in 2016, I talked about a broken criminal justice system which ends up having, in The United States, more people in jail than any other country. We have more people in jail than China does, which is a communist, authoritarian country. And what I called for then and I call for now is the legalization of marijuana in America. Right now, you have a federal law, it’s called the Controlled Substance Act. Here’s heroin, here is marijuana, they are at the same level. That is insane. Heroin is a killer drug. You can argue the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but marijuana ain’t heroin. So we have to end that, and that’s what I will do. As President of The United States, I believe we can do that through executive order, and I will do that.

0:47:13 BS: Second of all, what we have now is, a number of states, and I’m very proud, I talked about it during 2016, what seemed radical, the need to legalize, to decriminalize marijuana, very radical idea four years ago. It is spreading all over the country. And by the way, it blows my mind to drive through Nevada, or I think, here, even in California, now you see signs, corporations, “Buy our marijuana.” And four years ago, people were getting arrested doing that, their lives being destroyed.

0:47:39 JR: Particularly in Nevada, there was life sentences given out in the ’70s.

0:47:42 BS: Can you believe that? And now you have corporations selling the damn product to people went to jail for. So I think, ultimately, we’ve got to legalize marijuana. And what’s good news, in a sense, is some communities, some cities are expunging the records. So if you were arrested, have a criminal record for selling marijuana, that is being expunged, and that is the right thing to do. We can argue about the pluses and minuses, I’m not a great fan of drugs, I smoked marijuana a couple of times, didn’t do much for me. Other people, I guess, have different impact.

0:48:14 JR: Just a couple of times?

0:48:16 BS: That’s true.

0:48:16 JR: It didn’t do much for you?

0:48:17 BS: Yeah, maybe cough.

0:48:18 JR: Where were you getting it?

0:48:20 BS: [chuckle] That was in Vermont, Northern Vermont.

0:48:21 JR: Oh, that’s the problem, maybe you should get it from here, it’ll do something for you.

0:48:24 BS: Well, made me cough a whole lot. But I gather other people have had different experiences, correct?

0:48:29 JR: Oh, for sure. Yeah, I certainly have. The other problem is, of course, with illegal drugs comes… You get this horrible cycle, particularly in inner cities, where you have people that are incarcerated for illegal drugs, illegal drugs seem to be the only way out. The hard drugs, when we’re talking about cocaine and all these other drugs, how does one stop that? And would you ever consider legalizing all drugs or de-criminalizing all drugs?

0:49:00 BS: Not at this point, no, I wouldn’t. But you’re touching on a real tragedy. And when we talk about criminal justice in America, we have over 2 million people in jail, they are disproportionately African-American, Latino, and Native American. And here’s what I think, I think in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, what we have got to do, instead of building more jails and locking up more people, we really do have to invest in our young people, especially young people in distressed communities. What does that mean? If we can, and we can do this with the proper amount of resources, make sure that kids are not dropping outta school. If you drop outta school today… So you drop out in your second or third year of high school, you don’t have an education, you don’t have any job skills, What are you gonna do with your life? And the answer is you may well do drugs. Or you’ll get in trouble, self-destructive activity or destructive activity, and you’re gonna end up in jail.

0:49:58 BS: It makes so much more sense from a humane perspective, protecting our people. As well as our financial situation, we’re spending $80 billion here to invest in these kids. What does that mean? It means making sure they get the education that they need. Paying attention, having good schools, making sure that they get the jobs that are out there, doing job training. There was a principal in a school in Southern Vermont, I’ll never forgot what she said, it was a working class school. And she said, “Bernie, I love these kids, I am not gonna let them drop out.” And she had a mentoring program, just watching the kids who were mostly at risk so that they would not end up going through the cracks and getting into trouble. That’s what we should be doing as a nation. And when we do that, we invest in the kids, we get them jobs, we get them education. The likelihood of them falling into bad ways is significantly reduced.

0:50:48 JR: All those things sound great. The uncomfortable reality about drugs, though, is that when drugs are illegal, criminals sell them, and there’s obviously a need for drugs in terms of… Not necessarily a need, but a demand for drugs. Is it demand for drugs in this country that’s absolutely fueling Mexican cartels and illegal drug runners inside this country? There’s a lot of that, how do you curb that if drugs are illegal?

0:51:17 BS: You’re raising a deep question. The question, essentially, that you’re asking is, what is the cause of the opioid epidemic? Yes?

0:51:25 JR: That’s one aspect of it.

0:51:27 BS: Heroin?

0:51:29 JR: But the opioid epidemic is interesting because there’s so much of it that’s coming legally. That’s not the drug cartels, that’s the pharmaceutical industry.

0:51:35 BS: You’re right, but the heroin is illegal?

0:51:37 JR: Yes.

0:51:38 BS: Alright. Now you’re asking, this is a very, very deep question which we don’t talk about terribly much. Why is it that so many of our people are turning to drugs, to alcohol, by the way, and I don’t mean a drink at night, but I mean serious alcohol problems, and tragically to suicide. We now have for the last three years, something that is ahistorical, never happened before in modern history, and that is, our life expectancy is actually going down. And this is hitting all over the country but it is especially hitting rural areas. And what the doctors are saying is that these are diseases of despair, despair. So you’re in West Virginia, you’re in rural Ohio or any place, Vermont, any place, and the job you used to have earning a decent living is now in China. Your kid can’t afford to go to college, maybe you can’t afford healthcare, you got nothing to look forward to. Under that scenario, drugs become, alcohol becomes a way out. Then the worst case scenario is suicide.

0:52:53 BS: So I think what we’re talking about is why is this happening often in rural areas and urban as well? And how can we re-establish hope and optimism in the American people? And that gets back to a whole lot of other issues. It means if people have health care as a right, that will certainly play a role in this thing, they walk in to the doctor when they need. But it also means that people need decent jobs that pay them a living wage. That means we have to rebuild rural America, we have to rebuild the depressed communities in urban America. It means that we have to have a great educational system. And people say, “Oh, that’s great, Bernie, that’s utopian.” It is not utopian. This is something that, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we can afford and we should be doing rather than creating a situation where Amazon pay zero in federal income taxes. So to answer your question, this is a deep question, and again, I’m not here to tell you I have all the answers, but there are a lot of people out there who have basically given up hope, and for those people, I guess, drugs is the alternative.

0:54:00 JR: So what you’re saying essentially is that if we can do something to mitigate despair, then we’ll do something to at least stop some of the demand for these illegal drugs?

0:54:10 BS: I believe that is the case. Look, if I am optimistic, if I’m excited about going to work tomorrow and I’m seeing my kid doing great in school, and when I get sick I can go to the doctor’s office, that happy sense of community, my downtown is not all bordered up because businesses have left, but we have a community. Yeah, the strong likelihood is there will be less diseases of despair and drugs than we’re currently seeing.

0:54:33 JR: Now when we’re talking about impoverished communities, and chronically, when you’re talking about cities like Baltimore or parts of Chicago and Detroit that have just been in a terrible state of despair for long periods of time and it doesn’t seem like there’s a way out, the people that are born there, the people that live there, they live in this state of despair. What can be done to resolve all of these terribly impoverished communities and bring them up to a standard where these kids that grow up there, that they feel like there is an out, that they do have an opportunity? And why is this not addressed when we talk about making America great? Wouldn’t fixing the worst parts of the country be the primary concern? The less people that grow up in a terribly disadvantageous position from birth, wouldn’t be an important thing, and what can you do to resolve that?

0:55:29 BS: Well Joe, I think you said it better than I can. I think you’re right. When we talk about what it means to live in a great society and a great nation, a nation that we’re proud of, I’m afraid there are some people who have incredible wealth and power who say, “You know what’s great? Is that we’re seeing a growth in the number of billionaires in America, isn’t that terrific? And we’ve got one guy who’s worth $155 billion. How great. Oh by the way, we’re building more nuclear weapons and we’re spending $750 billion a year on the military, isn’t that extraordinary? And by the way, did you see the yacht that that billionaire has? It’s three miles long, isn’t that great?” Your point is that we have to, I think as I understand what you’re saying, we have to redefine what being a great nation is about. We are not a great nation when we have 40 million people living in poverty and in despair. We’re not a great nation when we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, when 87 million people can’t afford to go to a doctor today. So to answer your question, I think that as a nation, we have got to focus a great deal of attention on those distressed communities.

0:56:39 BS: Often they’re African American, often they’re Latino, often they are rural white communities. And that means making sure that the kids they get the quality education that they deserve, making sure that we’re creating good paying jobs in those communities. I voted against NAFTA, permanent normal trade relations with China and other trade agreements because I knew that those agreements were written by corporate America with the goal of shutting down plants in this country and moving abroad. And the result of that has been the loss of millions of good paying jobs and the complete destruction of communities all across this country in the south and all across this country.

0:57:19 BS: So we have got to rebuild those communities. We have got to bring high tech jobs, not just to Silicon Valley, but to rural America. Again, I don’t have magical answers but the goal is we will not under a Sanders administration, turn our backs on distressed communities. We will rebuild those communities. We will build the millions of units of affordable housing that we need. Now, think about what it means to a community now where people are living in terrible housing or housing they cannot afford. When we put young people to work, rebuilding their own communities, will that become an indication of hope and optimism? I think it will.

0:58:00 JR: We’re talking about so many deeply important issues and all of them that will be under the control, or at least to the direction of the one person who winds up becoming the president of United States. Is it a impossible job? It seems like being the president, you are managing so many different aspects of our economy, our culture, our safety, our environment, international communication, and… It’s so in-depth. How does one person do a job like that?

0:58:32 BS: Well, one person doesn’t do it. And you certainly don’t do it by tweeting every other day, major policy issues.

0:58:39 JR: I think he tweets a lot more than every other day.


0:58:43 BS: What you do, and this is the way any sane president operates, is you need to be working with the smartest men and women from all walks of life who understand these issues. Every issue we have touched on Joe is enormously complicated and I can send out a 20-word tweet on it, but that doesn’t solve it. Unlike Trump, we will bring together the best and most knowledgeable people in this country to address the housing crisis, to address the issue of these diseases of despair.

0:59:16 BS: We didn’t even touch on climate change and then the future of the planet. How do we lead the world in transforming our energy system and creating the kind of jobs that we need? How do we revitalize American democracy? So that instead of suppressing the vote we’re getting more young people involved in the political process. So, to answer your question, it is not a one-person job and anyone who thinks it is is dead wrong.

0:59:35 BS: You need the help of a very strong administration that knows the issues, that comes from the ranks of the working class and this is the promise I will make, my administration, unlike Trump’s, is not gonna be filled with billionaires who’s basically very often greedy type people who… It is gonna be filled with the best people. Often from the working class itself, from the Trade Union movement. People who are gonna help us create policies that work for workers and not just the billionaire class.

1:00:03 JR: Now, we’re getting to the end of your hour here. So climate change is obviously an enormous issue for our country, and for the world. What could be done? And what do you think you can do, as president, that can somehow or another slow down this process?

1:00:20 BS: First of all, we have to have a president, who unlike Trump, believes in science, and I do. And what the scientists are telling us, as I mentioned earlier, is that we have fewer than 12 years to transform our energy system, or else there will be irreparable damage done, not only to our country, but to the world. Now, climate change is not just an American issue, so we could do tomorrow, do all the right things, but if China, and Russia, and India, and the rest of the Brazil and Africa does not do the right thing, we’re not gonna make the progress we need.

1:00:54 BS: So, here is what we have to do in my view. Number one, we have to tell the the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits, and they make a whole lot of money, their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet. I don’t think that’s a hard sell to make. You cannot keep producing a product which is destroying the planet in the United States and around the world.

1:01:18 JR: So, by saying that, you’re saying you would have to move, we would have to move consciously away from fossil fuels.

1:01:22 BS: Absolutely. No ifs and buts and maybes.

1:01:25 JR: And if we do that, how do you tell the fossil fuel companies, do you tell them, “You can’t sell fossil fuels anymore?”

1:01:30 BS: Yeah. There are a variety of ways to do that but that is the bottom line. And by the way, in the midst of that, we do what we call is a just transition. The guy out on the oil rig today simply wants to feed his family, and the coal miners today wanna feed their families, and we’re not gonna leave them. I’m a pro-worker. I have probably the strongest pro-worker record of any member of the Congress, so it is not my intention to throw these guys out on the… And women, out on the street and ignore the pain that they will go through. We are proposing billions of dollars to rebuild those communities and make sure that those guys and women get new jobs. So we’re not just discarding people in the fossil fuel industry.

1:02:12 BS: But ultimately, the product that they are producing, which is now carbon emissions, is destroying the planet. We have to move away from fossil fuel in a very bold way into energy efficiency. Right now, in my own state of Vermont and all over this country, there are buildings which are incredibly wasteful. We don’t have the windows, we don’t know the insulation, we don’t have the roofing, the doors that we need to keep the buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and we can create just an incredible number of jobs, just retrofitting our buildings.

1:02:49 BS: Second of all, we need to move very aggressively to sustainable energies, like wind. And so in California, you’re doing a good job with wind. Iowa, is doing a good job. Texas, doing a good job, we gotta do much more. Solar, there is incredible potential out there. Price of solar has dropped in recent years and we have got to not only transformed the energy system in our own country, we gotta lead the world in working with Russia and China, because in this issue we are in it together. And here’s my dream, and this may be a utopian dream. The world right now is spending $1.5 Trillion on weapons of destruction designed to kill each other. And maybe, just maybe, if we had a kind of leader, and I hope to be that leader, who says to the world, “Instead of spending $1.5 Trillion killing each other, maybe we use those resources to transform the global energy system and save the planet for our kids and our grandchildren.” That’s the goal that I have.

1:03:43 JR: Well, these ideas sound great, but in the competitive environment of global politics, how would you convince Russia, or China, or any of these countries, to do something that would put them in some sort of a competitive disadvantage?

1:03:56 BS: And the answer is, Joe, if we do not do that in 50-100 years, everybody is gonna be in a terrible disadvantage. And look, I’m not… You know, I’m saying that… I’m not telling you that tomorrow it’s gonna happen. But you gotta make the case, these people… Putin is a dictator, I dislike him intensely. Xi in China, very authoritarian, so and so, but they’re not crazy people. And presumably, they have concern about their kids and their grandchildren. This is a planet under siege and I don’t wanna become a science fiction. You’ve all seen the movies, the meteor racing toward earth, we’re gonna blow up the earth. What do we do? Well, we gotta get together. This is in a sense what that is about, you know when I think about, in 1941, after Pearl Harbor. Alright. We were faced with a war in the east with China, a war in the west in Europe with Hitler. Within two years, the United States had transformed its economy to address and win the war, basically in two or three years by re-industrializing America, we can do it, we can lead the world. That’s what we have to do.

1:04:57 JR: So in your odds, we have to look at the economy almost as if the same threat or excuse me, the environment, as if it’s the same kind of threat as Nazi Germany back together.

1:05:07 BS: Look, if you asked the Defence department, you asked the CIA, you asked the defense people all over the world, tell us what the great national security threat is. You know what it is? It is climate change.

1:05:16 JR: There’s a lot of people though, that are skeptical of this. How would you convince them? This is a big part of the problem, there’s a narrative that you hear from a lot of people that, “Oh, climate change is not approving science. And climate change is a hoax,” this is something that’s repeated, over and over again, and I’m sure some of it has to do with lobbyists and some of it has to do with the merchants of doubt that go out there and seed the world with disinformation to try to increase their profits and…

1:05:43 BS: Yes.

1:05:43 BS: Continue the practices that they’re currently enjoying.

1:05:46 BS: You know Joe, when I’m thinking back, I don’t know if all of your listers can remember this, ’cause I’m older than most, but I can remember tobacco and cigarette ads on television, you remember that?

1:05:56 JR: Yes.

1:05:56 BS: Doctor guy dressed in a white frock…

1:05:58 JR: Sure.

1:05:58 BS: Smoking away. “This is a great cigarette. It’ll improve your health.” They lied. The tobacco industry knew exactly what was going on. And the fossil fuel industry is lying right now. And the President of the United States is either too stupid to understand what the scientists are telling us, or he is lying as well. Look, I am not the scientist, that’s not my idea. I listen to the scientist. The debate is long over. Climate change is real. My God, look at what’s happening around the world, the quite worst… July was, I think the warmest July, or warmest month in the modern history of the world. The Arctic ice is melting, heat waves in Europe, just look out the window at what’s going on. This is not Bernie Sanders talking, this is the scientific community. Climate change is real. It will only get worse if we do not act boldly to cut carbon emissions.

1:06:55 JR: Well, we just did an hour sir, so I’m gonna let you go ’cause I know you got very important things to do. One last question, if you got into the office and you found out something about aliens. If you found out something about UFOs would you let us know?

1:07:10 BS: Well, I’ll tell you, my wife would demand that I let you know. [chuckle]

1:07:13 JR: Is your wife a UFO nut?

1:07:14 BS: No, she’s not a UFO nut but just, “Bernie, what is going on? Do you have any access to rockets?”

1:07:19 JR: And you don’t have any access?

1:07:20 BS: I don’t. Honestly, I don’t know.

1:07:22 JR: Okay. You’ll let us know, though?

1:07:23 BS: Alright, I’ll be on this show. We’ll announce it on this show, how’s that…

1:07:25 JR: Please. Please do.

1:07:26 BS: Alright. You got too.

1:07:27 JR: Thank you sir, I appreciate your time.

1:07:28 BS: Joe, thank you very much.

1:07:40 JR: Thank you very much.

Full Democratic Presidential Debate Night One July 30 – #Transcripts2020

As part of our #Transcripts2020 project, we are pleased to release the transcript of night 1 of the Democratic Presidential Debate held on July 30, 2019. An editable version is available here. All transcripts of this series are available here.

0:00:00 Jake: And as moderators, we will attempt to guide the discussion. You will each receive one minute to answer questions, 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals and 15 additional seconds if a moderator asks for a clarification. The timing lights will remind you of these limits. Please respect that and please refrain from interrupting your fellow candidates during their allotted time. A candidate infringing on another candidate’s time will have his or her time reduced. We also want to ask our audience inside the historic Fox Theatre to remain silent when the candidates are actively debating. The candidates need to be able to hear the questions and hear one another.

0:00:37 Dana: Time now for opening statements. You’ll each receive one minute. Governor Steve Bullock, please begin.

0:00:43 Governor Steve Bullock: Thanks Dana. I come from a state where a lot of people voted for Donald Trump. Let’s not kid ourselves, he will be hard to beat. Yet, watching that last debate, folks seemed more concerned about scoring points or outdoing each other with wish list economics, than making sure Americans know we hear their voices and will help their lives. Look, I’m a pro-choice, pro-union, populous democrat that won three elections in a red state, not by compromising our values, but by getting stuff done. That’s how we win back the places we lost; showing up, listening, focusing on the challenges of every day Americans. That farmer getting hit right now by Trump’s trade wars, that teacher working a second job just to afford her insulin, they can’t wait for a revolution. Their problems are in the here and now. I’m a progressive, emphasis on progress, and I’m running for President to get stuff done for all of those Americans Washington has left behind.

0:01:48 Dana: Marianne Williamson.

0:01:50 Marianne Williamson: Thank you. In 1776 our founders brought forth on this planet an extraordinary new possibility. It was the idea that people, no matter who they were, would simply have the possibility of thriving. We have not ever totally actualized this ideal, but at the times when we have done best we have tried, and when forces have opposed them, generations of Americans have risen up and pushed back against those forces. We did that with abolition and with women’s suffrage and with civil rights, and now it is time for a generation of Americans to rise up again, for an amoral economic system has turned short-term profits for huge multinational corporations into a false god, and this new false god takes precedence over the safety and the health and the well-being of we the American people and the people of the world and the planet on which we live. Conventional politics will not solve this problem, because conventional politics is part of the problem. We, the American people must rise up and do what we do best and create a new possibility, say no to what we don’t want, and yes to what we know can be true. I’m Marianne Williamson, and that’s why I’m running for President.

0:03:05 Dana: Congressman John Delaney.

0:03:08 Congressman John Delaney: Folks, we have a choice. We can go down the road that Senator Sanders and Senator Warren wanna take us, with bad policies like Medicare for All, free everything and impossible promises that’ll turn off independent voters and get Trump re-elected. That’s what happened with McGovern. That’s what happened with Mondale. That’s what happened with Dukakis. Or we can nominate someone with new ideas to create universal healthcare for every American, with choice, someone who wants to unify our country and grow the economy and create jobs everywhere, and then we win the White House. I’m the product of the American Dream. I believe in it. I’m the grandson of immigrants, the son of a construction worker. My wife April and I have four amazing daughters. I was the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange, created thousands of jobs, and then served in Congress. That’s the type of background, and my platform is about real solutions, not impossible promises, that can beat Trump and govern. Thank you.

0:04:09 Dana: Congressman Tim Ryan.

0:04:12 Congressman Tim Ryan: America is great, but not everyone can access America’s greatness. The systems that were built to lift us up are now suffocating the American people. The economic system that used to create $30, $40, $50 an hour jobs, that you can have a good solid, middle class living now force us to have two or three jobs just to get by. Most families, when they go to sit at the kitchen table to do their bills, they get a pit in the middle of their stomach. We deserve better. And the political system is broken too, because the entire conversation is about left or right. Where are you at on the political system. And I’m here to say, this isn’t about left or right. This is about new and better, and it’s not about reforming old systems, it’s about building new systems. And tonight I will offer solutions that are bold, that are realistic and that are a clean break from the past.

0:05:18 Dana: Governor John Hickenlooper.

0:05:20 Governor John Hickenlooper: Last year, Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the house, and not one of those 40 Democrats support the policies of our front runners at center stage. Now, I share their progressive values, but I’m a little more pragmatic. I was out of work for two whole years until I started what became the largest brewpub in America, and I learned the small business lessons of how to provide service and teamwork, and became a top Mayor, and as Governor of Colorado, created the number one economy in the country. We also expanded healthcare reproductive rights. We attacked climate change head on. We beat the NRA. We did not build massive government expansions, as some will promise at will tonight, or a plan for tonight. What we focused on was making sure that we got people together to get things done, to provide solutions to problems, to make sure that we work together and created jobs. That’s how we’re gonna beat Donald Trump. That’s how we’re gonna win Michigan and the country.

0:06:26 Dana: Senator Amy Klobuchar.

0:06:28 Senator Amy Klobuchar: Let’s get real. Tonight we debate, but ultimately we have to beat Donald Trump. My background, it’s a little different than his. I stand before you today as a granddaughter of an iron ore miner. As a daughter of a union teacher and a newspaperman man. As the first woman elected to the US Senate from the State of Minnesota, and a candidate for president of the United States. That’s because we come from a country of shared dreams, and I have had it with the racist attacks. I have had it with the President that says one thing on TV that has your back, and then you get home and you see those charges for prescription drugs and cable, and college. You’re gonna hear a lot of promises up here, but I’m gonna tell you this. Yes, I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality. And yes, I will make some simple promises. I can win this. I’m from the Midwest and I have won every race, every place, every time. And I will govern with integrity, the integrity worthy of the extraordinary people of this nation.

0:07:32 Dana: Congressman Beto O’Rourke.

0:07:35 Congressman Beto O’Rourke: I’m running for president because I believe that America discovers its greatness at its moments of greatest need. This moment will define us forever, and I believe that in this test America will be redeemed. In the face of cruelty and fear from a lawless president, we will choose to be the nation that stands up for the human rights of everyone, for the rule of law for everyone, and a democracy that serves everyone. Whatever our differences, we know that before we are anything else, we are Americans first. And we will ensure that each one of us is well enough and educated enough and paid enough to realize our full potential. We will meet these challenges here at home, and we will lead the world in those that we face abroad, successfully confronting endless war and climate change. At this moment of truth, let us pursue our national promise and make a more perfect union of everyone, by everyone and for every one.

0:08:41 Dana: Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

0:08:44 Mayor Pete Buttigieg: I’m running for president because our country is running out of time. It is even bigger than the emergency of the Trump presidency. Ask yourself how somebody like Donald Trump ever gets within cheating distance of the Oval Office in the first place. It doesn’t happen unless America is already in a crisis. An economy that’s not working for everyone. Endless war, climate change, we have lived this. In my industrial midwestern hometown, my generation has lived this, as long as we have been alive, and it’s only accelerating. Science tells us we have 12 years before we reach the horizon of catastrophe, when it comes to our climate. By 2030, the average house in this country will cost half a million bucks, and a woman’s right to choose may not even exist. We are not going to be able to meet this moment by recycling the same arguments, policies and politicians that have dominated Washington for as long as I have been alive. We’ve got to summon the courage to walk away from the past, and do something different. This is our shot. That is why I’m running for president.

0:09:50 Dana: Senator Elizabeth Warren.

0:09:52 Senator Elizabeth Warren: Donald Trump disgraces the office of presidents every single day. And anyone on this stage tonight or tomorrow night would be a far better president. I promise no matter who our candidate is, I will work my heart out to beat Donald Trump and to elect a Democratic Congress. But our problems didn’t start with Donald Trump. Donald Trump is part of a corrupt rigged system that has helped the wealthy and the well-connected and kicked dirt in the faces of everyone else. We’re not gonna solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness. We’re gonna solve them by being the Democratic Party of big structural change. We need to be the party that fights for our democracy and our economy to work for everyone. Now, I know what’s broken in this country. I know how to fix it, and I will fight to make it happen.

0:10:58 Dana: Senator Bernie Sanders.

0:11:01 Senator Bernie Sanders: Tonight in America, as we speak, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. But the healthcare industry made $100 billion in profits last year. Tonight, as we speak right now, 500,000 Americans are sleeping out on the street. And yet, companies like Amazon that made billions in profits did not pay one nickel in federal income tax. Tonight, half of the American people are living paycheck to paycheck, and yet 49% of all new income goes to the top 1%. Tonight, the fossil fuel industry continues to receive hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks, while they destroy this planet. We have got to take on Trump’s racism, his sexism, xenophobia and come together in an unprecedented grassroots movement, to not only defeat Trump, but to transform our economy and our government.

0:12:11 Jake: Thank you Senator Sanders. Let’s start the debate with the number one issue for Democratic voters, healthcare. And Senator Sanders, let’s start with you. You support Medicare for all, which would eventually take private health insurance away from more than 150 million Americans, in exchange for government-sponsored health care for everyone. Congressman Delaney just referred to it as bad policy and previously, he has called the idea political suicide, that will just get President Trump re-elected. What do you say to Congressman Delaney?

0:12:43 SS: You’re wrong.


0:12:49 SS: Right now we have a dysfunctional healthcare system, 87 million uninsured or underinsured, $500,000, 500,000 Americans every year going bankrupt because of medical bills, 30,000 people dying, while the healthcare industry makes tens of billions of dollars in profit. Five minutes away from here John is a country. It’s called Canada. They guarantee healthcare to every man, woman and child as a human right, they spend half of what we spend. And by the way, when you end up in a hospital in Canada, you come out with no bill at all. Healthcare is a human right. It’s not a privilege. I believe that, I will fight for that.


0:13:35 Jake: Thank you Senator Sanders. Congressman Delaney?

0:13:38 CD: Well, I’m right about this. We can create a universal healthcare system to give everyone basic healthcare for free, and I have a proposal to do it, but we don’t have to go around and be the party of subtraction and telling half the country who has private health insurance, that their health insurance is illegal. My dad, the union electrician, loved the healthcare he got from the IBW. He would never want someone to take that away. Half of Medicare beneficiaries now have Medicare Advantage, which is private insurance or supplemental plans. It’s also bad policy. It’ll under-fund the industry. Many hospitals will close…

0:14:09 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:14:12 CD: And it’s bad policy.

0:14:12 Jake: Senator Sanders, I wanna…

0:14:12 S?: Sir, my name was also mentioned in this.

0:14:14 Jake: We’re gonna come to you in one second, but let me go to Senator Sanders right now. Senator Sanders?

0:14:19 SS: The fact of the matter is, tens of millions of people lose their health insurance every single year when they change jobs, when their employer changes that insurance. If you want stability in the healthcare system, if you want a system which gives you freedom of choice with regard to doctor or hospital, which is a system which will not bankrupt you, the answer is to get rid of the profiteering…

0:14:45 Jake: Thank you sir.

0:14:45 SS: Of the drug companies and the insurance companies…

0:14:48 Jake: Thank you Sir.

0:14:48 SS: Move to Medicare for all.

0:14:49 Jake: Congressman Delaney?

0:14:49 CD: But now he’s talking about a different issue. What I’m talking about is really simple. We should deal with the tragedy of being uninsured and give everyone healthcare as a right, but why do we gotta be the party of taking something away from people?

0:15:00 SW: No, no one is the party…

0:15:01 Jake: Hold on one second sir.

0:15:01 CD: That’s what they’re running on.

0:15:02 SW: No…

0:15:03 CD: They’re running on telling half the country that your health insurance is illegal. It says it right in the bill.

0:15:09 Jake: Alright. Thank you…

0:15:09 CD: We don’t have to do that. We can give everyone healthcare and allow people to have a choice. That’s the American way.

0:15:15 SW: Look…

0:15:16 Jake: Thank you Congressman. Senator Warren?

0:15:17 SW: So look, let’s be clear about this. We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away healthcare from anyone. That’s what the Republicans are trying to do.


0:15:27 SW: And we should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that healthcare.


0:15:37 SW: Now, I wanna have a chance to tell the story about my friend Eddie Barkin. Eddie is 35 years old, he has a wife, Rachel. He has a cute little boy named Carl. He also has ALS and it’s killing him. Eddie has health insurance, good health insurance…

0:15:53 Jake: Senator…

0:15:54 SW: And it’s not nearly enough. Look, this isn’t for…

0:15:55 Jake: Senator, I want us to… I’m coming right… I’m staying with you, I’m staying with you, but you’ve exceeded your time and so let me just stay with you on Medicare for All.

0:16:04 SW: Alright.

0:16:05 Jake: At the last debate you said you’re “with Bernie” on Medicare for All. Now Senator Sanders has said, the people in the middle class will pay more in taxes to help pay for Medicare for All, though that will be offset by the elimination of insurance premiums and other costs. Are you also “with Bernie” on Medicare for All when it comes to raising taxes on middle class Americans to pay for it?

0:16:26 SW: So, giant corporations and billionaires are going to pay more, middle class families are going to pay less out-of-pocket for their healthcare. And I’d like to finish talking about Eddie, the guy who has ALS. This isn’t funny. This is somebody who has health insurance and is dying. And every month he has about $9000 in medical bills that his insurance company won’t cover. His wife Rachel is on phone for hours and hours and hours begging the insurance company, please cover what the doctors say he needs. He talks about what it’s like to go online with thousands of other people to beg friends, family, and strangers for money, so he can cover his medical expenses. The basic profit model of an insurance company is take in as much money as you can in premiums and pay out as little as possible in healthcare coverage. That is not working for Americans…

0:17:27 Jake: Thank you.

0:17:27 SW: Across this country.

0:17:29 Jake: Thank you Senator.

0:17:29 SW: Medicare for All will fix that and that’s why I’ll fight for it.

0:17:32 Jake: Thank you Senator. Just a point of clarification in 15 extra seconds…


0:17:36 Jake: Would you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All, offset obviously by the elimination of insurance premiums. Yes or no?

0:17:42 SW: Costs will go up for billionaires, and go up for corporations, for middle class families costs, total costs will go down. But I…

0:17:51 GB: Let me…

0:17:51 Jake: Governor Bullock, Governor Bullock I wanna bring you in. You do not support Medicare for All. How do you respond to Senator Warren?

0:17:58 GB: No, healthcare is so personal to all of us. Never forget when my 12-year-old son had a heart attack within 24 hours of his life. Had to be life-flighted to Salt Lake City, but because we had good insurance, he’s here with me tonight. At the end of the day I’m not gonna support any plan that rips away quality healthcare from individuals. This is an example of wishlist economics. It used to be just Republicans wanted to repeal and replace, now, many Democrats do as well. We can get there with a public option, negotiating drug prices. Ending…

0:18:31 Jake: Thank you Governor Bullock. I wanna bring in Mayor Buttigieg on the topic of whether or not the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for guaranteed healthcare and the elimination of insurance premiums? How do you respond, mayor?

0:18:42 MB: So, we don’t have to stand up here speculating about whether the public option will be better than… Or a Medicare for All environment will be better than the corporate options. We can put it to the test. That’s the concept of my Medicare for All Who Want It proposal. That way, if people like me are right, that the public alternative is going to be not only more comprehensive, but more affordable than any of the corporate options around there, we’ll see Americans walk away from the corporate options into that Medicare option, and it will become Medicare for All without us having to kick anybody off…

0:19:11 Jake: So just…

0:19:12 SW: We have…

0:19:13 Jake: 15 Seconds on the clarification. You are willing to raise taxes on middle class Americans in order to have universal coverage, with the disappearance of insurance premiums. Yes or no?

0:19:24 MB: I think you can buy into it. That’s the idea of Medicare for All Who Want it. Look, this is a distinction without a difference whether you’re paying the same money in the form of taxes or premiums. Look, in this country, if you have health coverage… If you don’t have health coverage you’re paying too much for care. And if you do have health coverage you’re paying too much for care.

0:19:41 Jake: Thank you Mayor Buttigieg.

0:19:41 S?: Jake.

0:19:41 Jake: I want ot bring in Congressman O’Rourke on the topic of whether the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for universal coverage and the elimination of insurance premiums. What’s your response?

0:19:49 CO: The answer is no, the middle class will not pay more in taxes in order to ensure that every American is guaranteed world-class healthcare. I think we’re being offered a false choice. Some who want to improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins, others who want a Medicare for All program that will force people off of private insurance. I have a better path. Medicare for America, everyone who’s uninsured is enrolled in Medicare tomorrow. Those who are insufficiently insured are enrolled in Medicare.

0:20:19 Jake: Congressman… Just in 15 seconds.

0:20:21 CO: And those who have employer-sponsored insurance.

0:20:21 Jake: Who’s offering… Who’s offering a false choice here?

0:20:23 CO: Jake, this is important.

0:20:24 Jake: Who’s offering a false choice here?

0:20:25 CO: You have some, Governor Bullock who said that we will improve the Affordable Care Act at the margins with a public option. You have others to my right, who are talking about taking away people’s choice for the private insurance they have, or members of unions. I was listening to Dee Taylor…

0:20:41 Jake: Thank you Congressman. And to bring in Governor Bullock…

0:20:44 CO: His numbers.

[overlapping conversation]

0:20:44 Jake: He just said you’re offering a false choice, sir.

0:20:47 GB: Congressman, not at all. You know, it took us decades of false starts to get the Affordable Care Act. So let’s actually build on it, a public option allowing anyone to buy in. We pay more for prescription drugs than any place actually in the world, we’ve got nothing to show for it. Negotiate prescription drug prices. End surprise medical billing. That’s the way that we can get there without disrupting the lives of 160 million people…

0:21:16 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke, you can respond.

0:21:16 GB: That like their employer sponsored health insurance.

0:21:19 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke, you can respond.

0:21:19 CO: Every estimate that I’ve seen of expanding ACA even through a public option still leaves millions of people uninsured and also means that people are not guaranteed the healthcare that they need, as the example, that Senator Warren showed us. Our plan ensures that everyone is enrolled in Medicare or can keep their employer-sponsored insurance. When we listen to the American people, and this is what they want us to do, they want everyone covered, but they want to be able to maintain choice.

0:21:46 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:21:47 CO: And our plan does that.

0:21:48 Jake: Thank you Congressman. I wanna bring in Senator Klobuchar. Senator Warren, at the beginning of the night, said that “Democrats can not bring, cannot win the White House with small ideas and spinelessness”. In the last debate you said, “The politicians who are not supporting Medicare for All, simply lack the will to fight for it.” You do not support Medicare for All. Is Senator Warren correct? Do you just not lack the will to fight for it?

0:22:10 SK: That is incorrect. I just have a better way to do this. And in one of my first debates, Jake, I was called a street fighter from the Iron Range by my opponent, and when she said it, I said, “Thank you.” So this is what I think we need to get done. We need the public option. That’s what Barack Obama wanted. And it would bring health care costs down for everyone. And by the way, I just don’t buy this. I’ve heard some of these candidates say that it’s somehow not moral, if you… Not moral to not have that public option. Well Senator Sanders was actually on a public option bill last year, and that was, Bernie, the Medicaid public option bill that Senator Schatz introduced. Clearly this is the easiest way to move forward quickly. And I wanna get things done. People can’t wait. I’ve got… My friend, Nicole, out there who’s son who has actually died trying to ration his insulin as a restaurant manager, and he died because he didn’t have enough money to pay for it.

0:23:06 Jake: Senator…

0:23:06 SK: And Bernie and I have worked on pharmaceuticals issues together.

0:23:09 Jake: Thank you senator.

0:23:10 SK: We can get less expensive drugs.

0:23:10 SS: As the author of…

0:23:11 Jake: Senator Sanders. I gotta go to Senator Sanders then Senator Warren because you both were mentioned. Senator Sanders?

0:23:14 SS: As the author of the Medicare Bill, let me clear up one thing. People talk about having insurance. There are millions of people who have insurance, they can’t go to the doctor, and when they come out of the hospital, they go bankrupt. Alright?


0:23:30 SS: What I am talking about, and others up here are talking about is no deductibles and no co-payments. And Jake, your question is a Republican talking point. At the end of the day, and by the way…


0:23:43 SS: And by the way, by the way, the health care industry will be advertising tonight on this program.

0:23:50 Jake: Thank you Senator. Senator Warren, it’s your turn.

0:23:52 SS: Oh, could I complete that please?

0:23:54 Jake: Your time is up, 30 seconds.

0:23:55 SS: They will be advertising tonight with that talking point.

0:24:00 Jake: Senator Warren.

0:24:00 SW: So we have to think of this in terms of the big frame, what’s the problem in Washington, it works great for the wealthy, it works great for those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers, and it keeps working great for the insurance companies and the drug companies. What it’s going to take is real courage to fight back against them. These insurance companies do not have a God-given right to make $23-billion in profits and suck it out of our healthcare system.


0:24:26 Jake: Thank you Senator.

0:24:27 SW: They do not have a God-given right…

0:24:27 Jake: Thank you Senator.

0:24:30 SW: To put forms in place so that…

0:24:32 SK: On page 8 of the bill it says that…

0:24:32 Jake: I wanna let congressman Delaney in.

0:24:33 SK: It will kick everyone off of their insurance. No, that is what it says on page 8.

0:24:34 SW: They want to deny coverage.

[overlapping conversation]

0:24:35 Jake: Thank you senator. If we could all just stick to the rules of the time, that would be great. Congressman Delaney?

0:24:39 CD: I’m the only one on this stage who actually has experience in the healthcare business, and with all due respect, I don’t think my colleagues understand the business. We have the public option…

0:24:47 SS: It’s not a business!

0:24:47 CD: Which is great. The public option is great, but it doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t go far enough. I’m proposing universal healthcare, where everyone gets healthcare as a basic human right for free, but they have choices. My plan Better Care is fully paid for without raising middle class tax options.

0:25:06 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:25:06 CD: So when we think about this debate, there’s Medicare for All, which is extreme…

0:25:09 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:25:09 CD: I was interrupted, one second here.

0:25:11 Jake: I wanna bring in Governor Hickenlooper. Governor Hickenlooper, I’d like to hear what you have to say about Senator Warren’s suggestion that those people on the stage who are not in favor of Medicare for All, lack the political will to fight for it.

0:25:23 GH: Well, obviously, I disagree with that as much as I respect both of the Senators to my right. It comes down to that question of Americans being used to being able to make choices, to have the right to make a decision, and I think proposing a public option that allows some form of Medicare that maybe is a combination of Medicare Advantage and Medicare but people choose it and if enough people choose it, it expands, the quality improves, the cost comes down, more people choose it, eventually in 15 years, you could get there but it would be an evolution, not a revolution.

0:25:55 Jake: Thank you Governor. Senator Warren?

0:25:57 SW: We have tried this experiment with the insurance companies and what they’ve done is, they’ve sucked billions of dollars out of our healthcare system, and they force people to have to fight to try to get the health care coverage that their doctors and nurses say that they need. Why does everybody, why does every doctor, why does every hospital have to fill out so many complicated forms? It’s because it gives insurance companies a chance to say no, and to push that cost back on the patients. That’s what we have to…

0:26:28 Jake: Thank you Senator Warren. I wanna bring in Marianne Williamson. Miss Williamson, how do you respond to the criticism from Senator Warren that you’re not willing to fight for Medicare for all?

0:26:38 MW: [chuckle] I don’t know if Senator Warren said that about me specifically. I admire very much what Senator Warren has said and what Bernie has said, but I have to say I have a… I’m normally way over there with Bernie and Elizabeth on this one. I hear the others and I have some concern about that as well, and I do have concern about what the Republicans would say, and that’s not just a Republican talking point. I do have concern that it will be difficult, I have concern that it will make it harder to win, and I have a concern that it will make it harder to govern because if that’s our big fight…

0:27:09 Jake: Thank you Miss Williamson.

0:27:09 MW: Then the Republicans will so shut us down on everything else.

0:27:12 Jake: I wanna bring in Mayor Buttigieg. Mayor Buttigieg. Your Response?

0:27:12 MB: It is time to stop worrying about what the Republicans will say.

0:27:16 MW: Yes.

0:27:17 MB: Look if…


0:27:18 MB: If it’s true, that if we embrace a far left agenda, they’re gonna say, we’re a bunch of crazy socialists. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they’re gonna do? They’re gonna say, we’re a bunch of crazy socialists. So, let’s just stand up for the right policy, go out there, and defend it.


0:27:34 MB: That’s the policy I’m putting forward, not ’cause I think it’s the right triangulation between Republicans here and Democrats here, because I think it’s the right answer for people like my mother-in-law, who is here, whose life was saved by the ACA, but who is still far too vulnerable to the fact that the insurance industry does not care about her.

0:27:47 Jake: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. Senator Sanders your response?

0:27:50 SS: Let’s be clear, what this debate is about. Nobody can defend the dysfunctionality of the current system. What we are taking on is the fact that over the last 20 years, the drug companies and the insurance companies have spent $4.5 billion of your health insurance money on lobbying, and campaign contributions. That is why when I went to Canada the other day, people paid one-tenth the price in Canada for insulin that they’re paying in the United States.


0:28:20 Jake: Thank you Senator. I wanna bring in Congressman Tim Ryan. Congressman Ryan, your response?

0:28:26 CR: So here we are in Detroit, home of the United Auto Workers, we have all our union friends here tonight. This plan that’s being offered by Senator Warren and Senator Sanders will tell those union members who gave away wages in order to get good healthcare that they’re gonna lose their healthcare ’cause Washington’s gonna come in and tell them they got a better plan. This is the left and right thing. New and better is this: Move Medicare down to 50, allow people to buy in. Kaiser Permanente said that if those 60 million people do that, they will see a 40% reduction in their healthcare cost.

0:28:57 Jake: Thank you Congressman. Thank you Congressman.

0:29:02 CR: Let businesses buy in, Jake…

0:29:04 Jake: Senator, let’s talk about that. If Medicare for all was enacted, there are more than 600,000 union members here in Michigan who would be forced to give up their private health care plans. Now I understand that it would provide universal coverage, but can you guarantee those union members that the benefits under Medicare for All will be as good as the benefits that their representatives, their union reps, fought hard to negotiate?

0:29:26 SS: Well, two things: They will be better because Medicare for all is comprehensive. It covers all healthcare needs for senior citizens. It will finally include dental care, hearing aids, and eye glasses.

0:29:38 CR: But you don’t know that.

0:29:38 SS: Second of all…

0:29:39 CR: You don’t know that, Bernie.

0:29:40 SS: Second of all…

0:29:40 Jake: We’ll come to you in a second congressman…

0:29:42 SS: I do know it, I wrote the damn bill.



0:29:45 SS: And second of all, second of all, many of our union brothers and sisters… Nobody more pro-union than me up here… Are now paying high deductibles and co-payments and when we do Medicare for All instead of having the company putting money into health care, they can get decent wage increases, which they’re not getting today.

0:30:05 S?: I just wanted to…

0:30:06 Jake: I wanna bring in Congressman Ryan to respond to what Senator Sanders has said.

0:30:09 CR: I mean, Senator Sanders does not know all of the union contracts in the United States. I’m trying to explain that these union members are losing their jobs, their wages have been stagnant, the world is crumbling around them, the only thing they have is possibly really good healthcare and the democratic message is gonna be, “we’re gonna go in and the only thing you have left, we’re gonna take it and we’re gonna do better.” I do not think that’s a recipe for success for us, it’s bad policy and it’s certainly bad politics.

0:30:38 Jake: Congressman Delaney?

0:30:40 CD: So, the bill that Senator Sanders drafted by definition will lower quality in healthcare because it says specifically that the rates will be the same as current Medicare rates and the data is clear, Medicare does not cover the cost of healthcare. It covers 80% of the cost of healthcare in this country, and private insurance covers 120%. So if you start under paying all the healthcare providers, you’re gonna create a two-tier market, where wealthy people buy their healthcare with cash and the people who are forced, like my dad, the union electrician…

0:31:12 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:31:12 CD: Will have that healthcare plan taken away from him.

0:31:14 Jake: Thank you Congressman.

0:31:15 CD: They will be forced to be in an under funded system…

0:31:17 Jake: I wanna give Senator Sanders… I wanna give Senator Sanders a chance to respond.

0:31:19 SS: On the Medicare for all the hospitals will save substantial sums of money because they’re not gonna be spending a fortune doing billing and the other bureaucratic things that they have to do today.

0:31:30 CD: I’ve done the math it doesn’t add up.

0:31:31 SS: Second of all… Maybe you did that and made money off of healthcare but our job is to run a nonprofit healthcare system. Furthermore, furthermore, when we save 500 billion dollars a year by ending all of the incredible complexities that are driving every American crazy trying to deal with the health insurance company hospitals will be better off…

0:31:52 Jake: Thank you Senator. Congressman Delaney, I wanna let you have a chance to respond.

0:31:56 CD: Listen, his math is wrong. That’s all I’m saying. That his math is wrong. It’s been well-documented that if all the bills were paid at Medicare rate, which is specifically, I think it’s in section 1200 of their bill, then many hospitals in this country would close. I’ve been going around rural America, and I asked rural hospital administrators one question, if all your bills were paid at the Medicare rate last year, what would happen? And they all look at me and say, “We would close.” But the question is, why do we have to be so extreme, why can’t we just give everyone healthcare as a right and allow them to have choice? I’m starting to think this is not about healthcare, this is an anti-private sector strategy.

0:32:33 Dana: Thank you congressman, so… Thank you congressman, thank you congressman. We’re gonna move on to the issue of immigration, now. There is widespread agreement on this stage on the need for immigration reform, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including dreamers, but there are some areas of disagreement. Mayor Buttigieg, you’re in favor of getting rid of the law that makes it a crime to come across the US border illegally. Why won’t that just encourage more illegal immigration?

0:33:01 MB: When I’m President, illegally crossing the border will still be illegal. We can argue over the finer points of which parts of this ought to be handled by civil law and which parts ought to be handled by criminal law. But we’ve got a crisis on our hands and it’s not just a crisis of immigration, it’s a crisis of cruelty and incompetence that has created a humanitarian disaster on our Southern border. It is a stain on the United States of America. Americans want comprehensive immigration reform and frankly, we’ve been talking about the same framework for my entire adult lifetime. Protections for Dreamers, making sure that we have a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, cleaning up lawful immigration. We know what to do, we know the border security can be part of that package and we can still be a nation of laws. The problem is, we haven’t had the will to get it done, in Washington. And now we have a president who could fix it in a month because there is that bipartisan agreement. But he needs it to be a crisis, rather than an achievement. That will end on my watch.

0:34:00 Dana: Just a point of clarification, you did raise your hand in the last debate, you do want to decriminalize crossing the border illegally.

0:34:07 MB: So in my view, if fraud is involved, then that’s suitable for the criminal statute. If not, then it should be handled under civil law. But these show of hands are exactly what is wrong with the way that this race is being played.

0:34:17 Dana: We’re not doing that here. Congressman…

0:34:18 MB: We appreciate that.

0:34:19 Dana: Thank you. Congressman O’Rourke, you live near the US-Mexico border in El Paso. You disagree with Mayor Buttigieg on de-criminalizing illegal border crossings, please respond.

0:34:29 CO: I do, because in my administration after we have waived citizenship fees for Green Card holders, more than 9 million of our fellow Americans, freed dreamers from any fear of deportation and stopped criminally prosecuting families and children for seeking asylum and refuge. End for-profit detention in this country, and then assist those countries in Central America so that no family ever has to make that 2,000 mile journey. Then I expect that people who come here follow our laws and we reserve the right to criminally prosecute them if they do not.

0:35:02 Dana: Thank you Congressman. Senator Warren, you say the provision making illegal border crossings a crime is totally unnecessary, please respond.

0:35:10 SW: So the problem is that right now the criminalization statute is what gives Donald Trump the ability to take children away from their parents, it’s what gives him the ability to lock up people at our borders. We need to continue to have border security, and we can do that, but what we can’t do is not live our values. I’ve been down to the border. I have seen the mothers, I have seen the cages of babies, we must be a country that everyday lives our values and that means we cannot make it a crime…

0:35:45 Dana: Thank you Senator Warren, just to clarify…

0:35:47 SW: When someone comes here.

0:35:47 Dana: Thank you senator, just to clarify, would you decriminalize…

0:35:50 SW: Yes.

0:35:50 Dana: Illegal border crossings?

0:35:51 SW: The point is not about criminalization, that has given Donald Trump the tool to break families apart.

0:36:00 Dana: Thank you senator.

0:36:00 S?: That’s not true.

0:36:00 SW: We need…

0:36:00 Dana: Governor Hickenlooper, your response.

0:36:03 GH: No, I agree that we need secure borders. There’s no question about that. The frustration with what’s going on in Washington, is they’re kicking the ball back and forth. Secure the borders make sure whatever law we have doesn’t allow children to be snatched from their parents and put in cages, how hard can that be? We’ve got… On the two debate nights we’ve got 107 years of Washington experience, somehow it seems like that should be fairly fixable.

0:36:27 SW: Well, and one way to fix it is to decriminalize, that’s the whole point. What we’re looking for here is a way to take away the tool that Donald Trump…

0:36:37 Dana: Thank you Senator Warren.

0:36:37 SW: Has used to break up families.

0:36:38 Dana: Thank you Senator Warren. Senator Klobuchar, your response.

0:36:41 SK: I would say there is the will to change this in Congress. What’s missing is the right person in the White House. I believe that immigrants don’t diminish America, they are America. And if you wanna do something about border security, you first of all, change the rules so people can seek asylum in those northern triangle countries. Then you pass the bill and what the bill will do is it’ll rightly reduce the deficit and give us some money for border security and for border help processing the cases. And most of all, it will allow for a path to citizenship because this is not just about the border.

0:37:16 Dana: Thank you.

0:37:16 SK: Donald Trump wants to use these people as political pawns.

0:37:19 Dana: Thank you Senator Klobuchar.

0:37:19 SK: When we have people all over our country, that simply wanna work and obey the law.

0:37:24 Dana: Thank you. Senator Sanders, you want to provide undocumented immigrants free healthcare and free college. Why won’t this drive even more people to come to the US illegally?

0:37:34 SS: We’ll have strong border protections. But the main point I wanna make is that what Trump is doing, through his racism and his xenophobia is demonizing a group of people. And as President, I will end that demonization. If a mother and a child walk thousands of miles on a dangerous path, in my view they are not criminals.


0:38:00 SS: They are people fleeing violence and I think the main thing that we’ve got to do, among many others, Beto made this point. We’ve gotta ask ourselves, “Why are people walking 2000 miles to a strange country where they don’t know the language?” So what we will do, the first week we are in the White House is bring the entire hemisphere together to talk about how we rebuild Honduras…

0:38:22 Dana: Thank You.

0:38:23 SS: Guatemala and El Salvador so people do not have to flee their own countries.

0:38:26 Dana: Thank you Senator. Governor Bullock, about two-thirds of Democratic voters, and many of your rivals here for the nomination support giving health insurance to undocumented immigrants. You haven’t gone that far, why not?

0:38:38 GB: Look, I think this isn’t part of the discussion that shows how often these debates are detached from people’s lives. We got 100,000 people showing up the border right now. If we de-criminalize entry, if we give health care to everyone, we’ll have multiples of that. Don’t take my word. That was President Obama’s Homeland Security secretary, that said that. The biggest problem right now that we have with immigration, it’s Donald Trump. He’s using immigration to not only rip apart families, but rip apart this country. We can actually get to the point where we have safe borders, where we have a path to citizenship, where we have opportunities for Dreamers. And you don’t have to de-criminalize everything. What you have to do is have a president in there with the judgement and the decency to treat someone that comes to the border, like one of our own.

0:39:33 SW: You know, I just…

0:39:34 Dana: Senator add on this. He just said your plan is unrealistic, how do you respond?

0:39:39 SW: I think that what we have to do is we have to be an America that is clear about what we wanna do with immigration. We need to expand legal immigration. We need to create a path for citizenship, not just for Dreamers, but for grandmas and for people who have been working here in the farms and for students who have overstayed their visas. We need to fix the crisis at the border. And a big part of how we do that is we do not play into Donald Trump’s hands. He wants to stir up the crisis of the border because that’s his overall message. It’s if there’s anything wrong in your life, blame them.

0:40:14 Dana: Thank you Senator Warren. Governor Bullock, your response.

0:40:17 GB: But you are playing into Donald Trump’s hands. The challenge isn’t, that it’s a criminal offense to cross the border. The challenge is that Donald Trump is president and using this to rip families apart. A sane immigration system needs a sane leader and we can do that without decriminalizing and providing healthcare for everyone. And it’s not me saying that, that’s Obama’s Homeland Security secretary that said, “You’ll cause further problems at the border, not making it better”.

0:40:50 SW: What you’re saying is ignore the law. Laws matter, and it matters if we say, “Our law is that we will lock people up who come here seeking refuge, who come here seeking asylum”, that is not a crime. And as Americans, what we need to do is have a sane system that keeps us safe at the border, but does not criminalize the activity of a mother fleeing here for safety.

[overlapping conversation]

0:41:19 Dana: Thank you senator Warren. Thank you. Congressman Ryan, are senator Sanders proposals going to incentivize undocumented immigrants to come into this country illegally?

0:41:27 CR: Yes. And right now, if you wanna come into the country, you should at least ring the door bell. We have asylum laws. I saw the kids up in Grand Rapids, not far from here. It is shameful what’s happening, but Donald Trump is doing it. And even if you decriminalize, which we should not do, you still have statutory authority. The president could still use his authority to separate families. So we’ve got to get rid of Donald Trump. But you don’t decriminalize people just walking into the United States if they’re seeking asylum. Of course, we wanna welcome them. We’re a strong enough country to be able to welcome them. And as far as the healthcare goes, undocumented people can buy healthcare too. Everyone else in America is paying for their health care. I don’t think it’s a stretch for us to ask undocumented people in the country, to also pay for healthcare.

0:42:17 Dana: Senator Sanders, your response.

0:42:19 SS: Well, I, two things, a sane immigration policy moves the comprehensive immigration reform. It moves to a humane border policy in which, by the way, we have enough administrative judges, so that we don’t have incredible backlogs that we have right now. But to answer your question, I happen to believe that when I talk about healthcare it’s a human right that applies to all people in this country and under a Medicare for All single-payer system, we could afford to do that.

0:42:52 Dana: Senator Sanders, thank you. Ms. Williamson your response.

0:42:54 MW: Everything that we’re talking about here tonight is what’s wrong with American politics. And the democratic party needs to understand that we should be the party that talks not just about symptoms, but also about causes. When we’re talking about health care, we need to talk about more than just the healthcare plan. We need to realize we have a sickness care rather than a healthcare system. We need to be the party talking about, why so many of our chemical policies and our food policies and our agricultural policies and our environmental policies and even our economic policies are leading to people getting sick to begin with.

0:43:23 Jake: Thank you.

0:43:23 MW: That’s what the democratic… But I want to say more about immigration…

0:43:26 Jake: Thank you Ms. Williamson. Thank you Ms. Williamson.

0:43:27 MW: Okay. I hope you’ll come back to me this time.

0:43:28 Jake: Go ahead. Thank you Ms. Williamson. Let’s turn now to the issue of gun violence. There were three large-scale shootings this past weekend in America, at a park in Brooklyn, on the streets of Philadelphia and one that left three dead and 12 injured at a food festival in Gilroy, California. Governor Buttigieg, excuse me, Mayor Buttigieg other than offering words of comfort, what are you specifically going to do to stop this epidemic of gun violence?

0:43:52 MB: Well, this epidemic of gun violence has hit my community too, far too many times. It’s the worst part of being Mayor. Getting the phone call. Consoling grieving parents. And we have a mass shootings worth of killings every day in this country. What we’re doing hasn’t worked, because we haven’t had a system in Washington capable of delivering what the American people have told us they want. 80, 90% of Republicans want universal background checks. Not to mention the common sense solution… Laws, that disarm domestic abusers, and flag mental health risks and an end to assault weapons, things like what I carried overseas in uniform that have no business in American neighborhoods in peacetime, let alone anywhere near a school. I was at an event a few days ago, and a 13-year-old asked me what we we’re gonna do about school safety and then began shaking and then began crying. And we could talk about these policies, but we already know the policies. The only thing I could think of looking into the eyes of this child is, we’re supposed to be dealing with this, so you don’t have to. High school is hard enough, without having to worry about whether you’re going to get shot.

0:45:00 Jake: Thank you.

0:45:00 MB: And when 90% of Americans want something to happen…

0:45:02 Jake: Thank you, Mayor.

0:45:03 MB: And Washington can’t deliver, we can’t expect the same…

0:45:04 Jake: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you, Mayor. Governor Hickenlooper, your response please?

0:45:06 SK: I disagree. I disagree with his diagnosis of the problem.

0:45:08 Jake: Please standby, Senator. Please stick to the rules. We’ll get to you, we’ll come to you in a just a minute. Governor Hickenlooper, please respond.

0:45:14 GH: Well, this is the fundamental nonsense of government, another thing, another place where, despite our best efforts, we can’t seem to make any progress. When I went to the movie theater in Aurora in 2012, and saw that footage of what happened at that crime scene, I’ll never forget it. And we decided that we were gonna go out and take on the NRA, and we passed, as a purple state, we passed universal background checks, we limited magazine capacity. We did the basic work that, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to be able to get done in Washington.

0:45:48 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

0:45:50 SK: Yes, this isn’t just about a system, or it’s not just about words. This is about the NRA. I sat across from the president of the United States after Parkland, because I’ve been a leader on these issues and have the will to close the boyfriend loophole. And I watched and wrote down when, nine times, he said he wanted universal background checks. The next day, he goes and he meets with the NRA, and he folds. As your president, I will not fold. I will make sure that we get universal background checks passed, the assault weapon ban, that we do something about magazines, and that we understand when that six little… Little six-year-old boy died, Stephen Romero, when his dad said, “He’s only six years old.” all I can say…

0:46:33 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Mayor Buttigieg, please respond.

0:46:33 SK: Is he’s six years old. We have to remember that.

0:46:36 MB: This is the exact same conversation we’ve been having since I was in high school. I was a junior when the Columbine shooting happened. I was part of the first generation that saw routine school shootings. We have now produced the second school shooting generation in this country. We’d better not allow there to be a third. Something is broken if it is even possible for the same debate around the same solutions that we all know are the right thing to do. They won’t prevent every incident, they won’t save every life, but we know what to do, and it has not happened.

0:47:08 Jake: Thank you, Mayor. Senator Klobuchar, please respond.

0:47:10 SK: Yes. What is broken is a political system that allows the NRA and other large, big money to come in and make things not happen when the majority of people are for it. The people are with us now. After Parkland, those students just didn’t march. They talked to their dads and their grandpas and the hunters in their family, and they said, “There must be a better way.” Then we elected people in the House of Representatives, and guess what? It changed. And they passed universal background checks. And now that bill is sitting on Mitch McConnell’s doorstep because of the money and the power of the NRA. As president, I will take them on.

0:47:44 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

0:47:44 SK: This is not about systems and words.

0:47:47 Jake: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.


0:47:47 Jake: Governor Bullock, how can Democrats trust you to be the leader on this fight for gun safety when you only changed your position to call for an assault weapons ban last summer?

0:47:58 GB: 40% of American households… I’m a gun-owner. I hunt. Far too many people in America… I’ve been personally impacted by gun violence. Had an 11-year-old nephew, Jeremy, shot and killed on a playground. We need to start looking at this as a public health issue, not a political issue. I agree with Senator Klobuchar, it is the NRA. And it’s not just gun violence, it’s when we talk about climate, when we talk about prescription drug costs, Washington, DC is captured by dark money, the Koch brothers, and others. That’s been the fight of my career. Kicking the Koch brothers out of Montana, taking the first case after Citizens United up to the Supreme Court, making it so that elections are about people. That’s the way we’re actually gonna make a change on this, Don, is by changing that system. And most of the things that folks are talking about on this stage. We’re not going to address until we kick dark money and the post-Citizens United corporate spending out of these elections.

0:49:00 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke, your response?

0:49:03 CO: How else can we explain that we lose nearly 40,000 people in this country to gun violence, a number that no other country comes even close to, that we know what all the solutions are, and yet nothing has changed? It is because, in this country, money buys influence, access, and, increasingly, outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control prevented from actually studying the issue in the first place. As president, we will make sure that we ban political action committee contributions to any member of Congress or any candidate for federal office. We will listen to people, not PACs, people, not corporations, people, not special interests. It’s not…

0:49:40 Jake: Congressman, thank you very much.


0:49:42 Jake: Senator Sanders, you said this in 2013, just months after the Sandy Hook massacre, and I quote here: “If you pass the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen.” Do you still agree with that statement today?

0:49:56 SS: I think we have got to do… I think what I meant is what President Obama said, in that nobody up here is gonna tell you that we have a magical solution to the crisis. Now, I come from one of the most rural states in America. I have a D-minus voting record from the NRA. And as president, I suspect it will be an F record. What I believe we have got to do is have the guts to finally take on the NRA. You asked me about my record. Back in 1988, coming from a state that had no gun control, I called for the ban of the sale and distribution of assault weapons. I lost that election. I will do everything I can not only to take on the NRA, but to expand and create universal background checks, do away with the Straw Man provision, do away with the gun show loophole, and do away with the loopholes that now exist for gun manufacturers who are selling large amounts of weapons into communities that are going to gangs.

0:50:56 Jake: Yeah. Mayor Buttigieg, your response.

0:50:57 MB: Still the conversation that we’ve been having for the last 20 years. Of course we need to get money out of politics. But when I propose the actual structural Democratic reforms that might make a difference, end the Electoral College, amend the constitution, if necessary, to clear up Citizens United, have DC actually be a state, and depoliticize the Supreme Court with structural reform, people look at me funny, as if this country were incapable of structural reform. Does anybody really think we’re gonna overtake Citizens United without constitutional action? This is a country that once changed its constitution so you couldn’t drink, and then changed it back because we changed our minds about that.

0:51:32 Jake: Thank you. Thank you, Mayor.

0:51:32 MB: And you’re telling me we can’t reform our democracy in our time?

0:51:35 Jake: Thank you, Mayor.

0:51:35 MB: We have to or we’ll be having the same argument 20 years from now.

0:51:38 Jake: Please respond, Governor Bullock.

0:51:41 GB: You can make changes. Even in Montana with a two-thirds Republican legislature, we passed a law that said if you’re gonna spend money in our elections. I don’t care if you call yourself Americans for America for America. You’re gonna have to disclose every one of those dollars in the last 90 days. I’ll never forget, run for re-election in 2016, even we stopped the Koch brothers from spending at that time. If we can kick the Koch brothers out of Montana, we can do it in DC, we can do it everywhere. And we’re also taking steps, additional steps, so we’ve taken, I passed an executive order. If you’re even in a contract with the state, you have to disclose.

0:52:15 Jake: Thank you. Governor Bullock, thank you very much. Ms. Williamson, how do you respond to this issue of gun safety?

0:52:17 MW: I want to have a chance on this. The issue of gun safety, of course, is that the NRA has us in a chokehold. But so does the pharmaceutical companies, so do the health insurance companies, so do the fossil fuel companies, and so do the defense contractors. And none of this will change until we either pass a constitutional amendment, or pass legislation that establishes public funding for federal campaigns. But for politicians, including my fellow candidates who themselves have taken tens of thousands, and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars from these same corporate donors, to think that they now have the moral authority to say we’re gonna take them on. I don’t think the Democratic Party should be surprised that so many Americans believe, “yada, yada, yada”. It is time for us to start over with people who have not taken donations from any of these corporations and can say with real moral authority, “that is over”. We are going to establish public funding for federal campaigns, that’s what we need to stand up to. We need to have a constitutional amendment, we need to have have legislation to do it, and until we do it, it’s just the same old, same old.

0:53:15 Jake: Thank you. Thank you Ms. Williamson. The debate will be right back, right after this short break.


0:53:23 Jake: We are live from Detroit, Michigan. In poll after poll, Democratic voters say that they want a candidate who can beat President Trump more than they want a candidate who agrees with them on major issues. Governor Hickenlooper, you ran a Facebook ad that warned, quote: “Socialism is not the answer”. The ad also said, “Don’t let extremes give Trump four more years”. Are you saying that Senator Sanders is too extreme to beat President Trump?

0:53:53 GH: I’m saying the policies of this notion that you’re gonna take private insurance away from a 180 million Americans, who many of them don’t wanna give it… Many of them do wanna get rid of it but some don’t, many don’t. Or you’re gonna… The Green New Deal, make sure that every American is guaranteed the government job that they want. That is a disaster at the [0:54:11] ____ you might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump. I think we gotta focus on where Donald Trump is failing. The word malpractice, and this is interesting, I always thought it was doctors or lawyers. It’s negligent improper, illegal professional activity for doctors, lawyers, or public officials. Google it, check it out. Donald Trump is malpractice personified. We’ve gotta point that out. Why is it soybean farmers in Iowa need 10 good years to get back to where they were two years ago? Where is the small manufacturing jobs that are supposed to come back? Why are we lurching from one international crisis to another? All things that he promised American voters, we gotta focus on that. And the economy and jobs and training, so that we can promise a future for America, that everybody wants to invest in.

0:55:00 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Senator Sanders, you are a proud democratic socialist. How do you respond to Governor Hickenlooper?

0:55:04 SS: Well, the truth is that every credible poll that I have seen has me beating Donald Trump, including the battleground states of Michigan, where I won the Democratic primary. Wisconsin, where I won the Democratic primary and Pennsylvania. And the reason we are gonna defeat Trump, and beat him badly, is that he is a fraud and a phoney and we’re gonna expose him for what he is. The American people want to have a minimum wage, which is a living wage, 15 bucks an hour. I’ve helped lead that effort. The American people want to pay reasonable prices for prescription drugs, not the highest prices in the world. I’ve helped lead the effort for that as well.

0:55:47 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Governor Hickenlooper, I want to bring you back to respond.

0:55:49 GH: So again, I think if we’re gonna force Americans to make these radical changes, they’re not gonna go along. Throw your hands up, but you have it in… Whoa I can do it, but you haven’t implemented the plans. Us governors and mayors are the ones that we have to pick up all the pieces. When suddenly the government’s supposed to take over all these responsibilities, and there’s no preparation, the details aren’t worked. You can’t just spring a plan on the world, and expect it to succeed.

0:56:15 SS: John.

0:56:15 Jake: Senator Sanders.

0:56:17 SS: John, I was a mayor, and I helped transform my city. I have some practical experience. Second of all, on… Interestingly enough, today is the anniversary of Medicare, 54 years ago, under Linda Johnson of the Democratic Congress, they started a new program. After 1 year, 19 million elderly people in it. Please don’t tell me that in a four-year period, we cannot go from 65 down to 55 to 45 to 35. This is not radical. This is what virtually every other country on earth wants. We are the odd dog out.

0:56:50 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. I wanna bring in Congressman Ryan. You’re from the state of Ohio. It’s a state that voted twice for Obama and then went to President Trump in 2016. Please respond to Senator Sanders.

0:57:00 CR: I would just say, Hillary Clinton was winning in the polls, too. To take a snapshot in the polls today, and apply it 16 months from now, whenever it is, I don’t think it’s accurate. Now, in this discussion already tonight, we’ve talked about taking private health insurance away from union members in the industrial Midwest. We’ve talked about decriminalizing the border, and we’ve talked about giving free healthcare to undocumented workers when so many Americans are struggling to pay for their healthcare. I quite frankly don’t think that that is an agenda that we can move forward on and win. We’ve gotta talk about the working class issues, the people that take a shower after work, who haven’t had a raise in 30 years. If we focus on them, we will win the election.

0:57:39 Jake: Thank you, Congressman. I wanna bring in Congressmen O’Rourke, your response, sir.

0:57:42 CO: Bernie was talking about some of the battleground states, in which we compete. There’s a new battleground state, Texas. And it has 38 electoral college votes. And the way that we put it in play was by going to each one of those 254 counties, no matter how red or rural, we did not write you off. No matter how blue or urban, we did not take you for granted and we didn’t trim our sales either. We had the courage of our convictions, talking about universal healthcare, comprehensive immigration reform, and confronting the challenge of climate before it is too late. We brought everyone in and now we have a chance to beat Donald Trump with Texas.

0:58:16 Jake: Thank you, Congressman. I wanna bring in Governor Bullock. We’re talking about whether Democrats are moving too far to the left to win the White House. President Trump won your home state of Montana by 20 points. How do you respond, sir?

0:58:26 GB: Yeah, it’s the only one of the field of 37 that actually won a Trump state. 25 to 30% of my voters voted for Donald Trump. I know that we do have to win back some of those places we lost and get those Trump voters back if we’re ever going to win. But this isn’t just a choice between the left and the center, it’s not a choice just between sort of these wish list economics or thinking that we have to sacrifice our values to actually win. What folks want is a fair shot. The way I won, the way we can win, is actually focusing on the economy and democracy aren’t working for most people.

0:59:01 Jake: Thank you, Governor.

0:59:01 GB: That’s how I win, that’s how we can take back the office.

0:59:04 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren, you make it a point to say that you’re a capitalist. Is that your way of convincing voters that you might be a safer choice than Senator Sanders?

0:59:11 SW: No, it is my way of talking about I know how to fight and I know how to win. I took on giant banks and I beat them. I took on Wall Street, and CEOs and their lobbyists and their lawyers and I beat them. I took on a popular Republican incumbent senator and I beat him. I remember when people said Barack Obama couldn’t get elected. Shoot, I remember when people said Donald Trump couldn’t get elected. But here’s where we are. I get it. There is a lot at stake and people are scared, but we can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in just because we’re too scared to do anything else. And we can’t ask other people to vote for a candidate we don’t believe in. Democrats win when we figure out what is right and we get out there and fight for it. I am not afraid. And for Democrats to win you can’t be afraid either.

1:00:11 Jake: Congressman Delaney, your response?


1:00:15 CD: So I think Democrats win when we run on real solutions, not impossible promises. When we run on things that are workable, not fairy tale economics. Look at the story of Detroit, this amazing city that we’re in. This city is turning around because the government and the private sector are working well together. That has to be our model going forward. We need to encourage collaboration between the government, the private sector and the non-profit sector, and focus on those kitchen table pocketbook issues that matter to hard-working Americans, building infrastructure, creating jobs, improving their pay, creating universal health care…

1:00:51 Jake: Thank you, Congressman.

1:00:51 CD: And lowering drug prices. We can do it!

1:00:52 Jake: Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren?

1:00:53 SW: I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for President of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for. I don’t get it. Our biggest problem in Washington is corruption. It is giant corporations that have taken our government and that are holding it by the throat, and we need to have the courage to fight back against that. And until we’re ready to do that, it’s just more of the same. Well, I’m ready to get in this fight, I’m ready to win this fight.

1:01:29 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Congressman Delaney?

1:01:31 CD: When we created Social Security, we didn’t say pensions were illegal, right? We can have big ideas to transform the lives. I started two companies and took them public before I was 40. I’m as big of a dreamer and an entrepreneur as anyone. But I also believe we need to have solutions that are workable. Can you imagine if we tried to start Social Security now, but said private pensions are illegal? That’s the equivalent of what Senator Sanders and Senator Warren are proposing with healthcare. That’s not a big idea, that’s an idea that’s dead on arrival, that will never happen. So, why don’t we actually talk about things, big ideas that we can get done.

1:02:07 Jake: Thank you, Congressman.

1:02:07 CD: The stakes are too high.

1:02:09 Jake: Senator Warren?

1:02:10 SS: He just mentioned my name.

1:02:11 Jake: We’ll come to you right after that. Senator Warren?

1:02:14 SW: He talks… He talks about solutions that are workable. We have tried the solution of Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. And what have the private insurance companies done? They’ve sucked billions of dollars out of our healthcare system, they’ve made everybody fill out dozens and dozens of forms. Why? Not because they are trying to track your healthcare. They just want one more excuse to say no. Insurance companies do not have a God-given right to suck money out of our healthcare system.

1:02:47 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

1:02:47 SW: And 2020 is our chance to stop that.

1:02:49 Jake: Senator Sanders?

1:02:50 SS: Well, Detroit was mentioned, and I’m delighted that Detroit is rebounding, but let us understand Detroit was nearly destroyed because of awful trade policy which allowed corporations to throw workers in this community out on the street, as they moved to low wage countries. To win this election and to defeat Donald Trump, which by the way, in my view, it’s not gonna be easy, we need to have a campaign of energy and excitement and of vision. We need to bring millions of young people into the political process in a way that we have never seen, by and among other things.

1:03:27 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

1:03:28 SS: Making public colleges and universities tuition free. And cancelling student debt.

1:03:35 Jake: Thank you, Senator.


1:03:39 Jake: I wanna bring in Senator Klobuchar. At the beginning of the night, you said, “You’re gonna hear a lot of promises on the stage.” And previously, you have said, when asked about your primary opponents, “A lot of people are making promises and I’m not gonna make promises just to get elected.” Who on this stage is making promises just to get elected?

1:03:57 SK: Everyone wants to get elected. But my point is this, I think, when we have a guy in the White House that has now told over 10,000 lies, that we better be very straightforward with the American people. And no, do I think that we are gonna end up voting for a plan that kicks half of America off of their current insurance in four years? No, I don’t think we’re gonna do that. I think there is a better way to get what we all wanna see which is lower costs for healthcare. Do I think that we’re gonna vote to give free college to the wealthiest kids? No, I don’t think we’re gonna do that. So that’s what I’m talking about. But what I don’t like about this argument right now, what I don’t like about it at all, is that we are more worried about winning an argument than winning an election.

1:04:43 SK: And I think how we win an election is to bring everyone with us. And yes, I have won in a state, every single time, statewide, I have won those congressional districts that Donald Trump won by over 20 points. He just targeted Minnesota last week, and I’ve done it by getting out there and talking to people, by knowing rural issues and farm issues and bringing metro people with me in this state that had the highest voter turnout in the country. That’s what we want.

1:05:05 Jake: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Thank you, Senator. I wanna bring in Congressman O’Rourke. Congressman O’Rourke, please respond.

1:05:14 CO: I think a big part of leadership and showing our commitment to the American people is delivering on our commitments. As a member of Congress, when I learned that the El Paso VA had the worst wait times for mental health care in the country, meaning that care delayed functionally became care denied, and was related to the suicide epidemic, we made it our priority, and we turned around the VA in El Paso. We took that lesson nationally, and I worked with Republican and Democratic colleagues to expand mental health care to veterans, and we got it signed into law by the one person with whom I agree on almost nothing, Donald Trump. To show that, at the end of the day, we will put the American people first before party, before any other concern.

1:05:53 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman O’Rourke. We’ve been asking voters to weigh in on what they’d most like to hear Democrats debate. Among the topics they told us they’re most interested in, the climate crisis. Congressman Delaney, I’ll start with you. You say the Green New Deal is about as realistic as Trump saying Mexico was going to pay for the wall. But scientists say we need, essentially, to eliminate fossil fuel pollution by 2050 to avoid the most catastrophic consequences. Why isn’t this sweeping plan to fight the climate crisis realistic?

1:06:25 CD: Well, first of all, because it ties its progress to other things that are completely unrelated to climate, like universal healthcare, guaranteed government jobs and universal basic income. So that only makes it harder to do. My plan, which gets us to net zero by 2050, which we absolutely have to do for our kids and our grandkids, will get us there. I put a price on carbon, take all the money, give it back to the American people in a dividend. That was introduced by me on a bipartisan basis. It’s the only significant bipartisan climate bill in the Congress. I’m gonna increase the Department of Energy Research budget by five-fold because we fundamentally have to innovate our way out of this problem. I’m gonna create a market for something called direct air capture, which are machines that actually take carbon out of the atmosphere. Because I don’t think we’ll get to net zero by 2050 unless we have those things. I’m gonna increase investment in renewables, and I’m gonna create something called the Climate Corps. That is a plan that’s realistic. It’s a bet on the US private innovation economy and creates the incentives to get us to net zero by 2050 for our kids.

1:07:29 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman. Senator Warren, you’re a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal. Your response to Congressman Delaney?

1:07:34 SW: So climate crisis is the existential crisis for our world. It puts every living thing on this planet at risk. I have a plan for a green industrial policy that takes advantage of the fact that we do what we do best, and that is innovate and create. So I’ve proposed putting $2 trillion in so we do the research. We then say, anyone in the world can use it so long as you build it right here in America. That will produce about 1.2 million manufacturing jobs right here in Michigan, right here in Ohio, right here in the industrial Midwest. And the second thing we will do is we will then sell those products all around the world. Right now, for every $1 the United States spends trying to market around the world, China’s spending $100.

1:08:20 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Senator Warren. Thank you, Senator Warren. Governor Hickenlooper, you take issue with the Green New Deal. Please respond.

1:08:29 GH: Well, I think the guarantee for a public job for everyone who wants one is a classic part of the problem. It’s a distraction. I share the urgency of every one up here. We have to recognize, I mean, everyone’s got good ideas. What we do in this country is no better than just a best practice, right? It’s what we do here is the best practice and a template, but it’s gotta be done all over the world. So we’ve gotta be building bridges right now with people like China, who were cheating on international agreements and stealing intellectual property. We need to work on that, but not with the tariff system. We need every country working together if we’re gonna really deal with climate change in a realistic way.

1:09:08 Dana: Thank you. Senator Warren, your response?

1:09:09 SW: Look, I put a real policy on the table to create 1.2 million new jobs in green manufacturing. There’s gonna be a $23 trillion worldwide market for this. This could revitalize huge cities across this country, and no one wants to talk about. What you wanna do instead is find the Republican talking point of a made-up piece of some other part and say, “Oh we don’t really have to do anything.” That’s the problem we’ve got in Washington right now. It continues to be a Washington that works great for oil companies, just not for people worried about climate change.

1:09:44 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Senator Warren. Congressman Ryan, we are here in Michigan where there are about 180,000 workers in auto manufacturing. Your state of Ohio has around 96,000 workers in that industry. Senator Sanders is co-sponsoring a bill that would eliminate new gas power car sales by 2040. Given the number of auto manufacturing workers in your state, how concerned are you about Senator Sanders’ plan?

1:10:14 CR: Well, if we get our act together, we won’t have to worry about it. My plan is to create a chief manufacturing officer so we could actually start making things in the United States again, that would pull the government, the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, work with the private sector, work with investors, emerging tech companies to dominate the electric vehicle market. China dominates it now, 50 to 60%. I want us to dominate the battery market and make those here in the United States and cut the workers in on the deal. The charging stations, solar panel, same thing. China dominates 60% of the solar panel market. So this person will work in the White House, report directly to me, and we’re gonna start making things again.

1:10:52 CR: But you cannot get there on climate unless we talk about agriculture. We need to convert our industrial agriculture system, over to a sustainable and regenerative agriculture system that actually sequesters carbon into the soil. And you can go ask Gabe Brown and Allen Williams, who actually make money off of regenerative agriculture, so we can move away from all the subsidies that we’re giving the farmers. They haven’t made a profit in five years. And we could start getting good food into our schools and into our communities. That’s gonna drive healthcare down. That’s another part of the healthcare conversation that we didn’t even have. How do we start talking about health instead of just disease care?

1:11:28 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman Ryan. Thank you. Senator Sanders, your response?

1:11:35 SS: I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas. Republicans are not afraid of big ideas. They could give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to billionaires and profitable corporations. They could bail out the crooks on Wall street. So please don’t tell me that we cannot take on the fossil fuel industry, and nothing happens unless we do that. Here is the bottom line. We’ve gotta ask ourselves a simple question, what do you do with an industry that knowingly, for billions of dollars in short-term profits, is destroying this planet? I say that is criminal activity.

1:12:18 Dana: Thank you.

1:12:18 SS: That can not be allowed to continue.

1:12:20 Dana: Thank you Senator Sanders. Congressman, your response.

1:12:22 CR: Well, yeah, I would just say, I didn’t say we couldn’t get there till 2040, Bernie. You don’t have to yell. All I’m saying is we have to invent our way out of this thing and if we’re waiting for 2040 for a ban to come in on gasoline vehicles, we’re screwed. So we better get busy now. And that’s why I’m saying get a chief manufacturing officer. Align the environmental incentives with the financial incentives, and make sure that people can actually make money off of the new technologies that are moving forward. And then, here’s what I’ll do as president…

1:12:57 Dana: Thank you, Congressman.

1:12:57 CR: Cut the worker in on the deal. Make sure these are union jobs and I will double union membership to make sure that these new jobs pay what the old fossil fuel jobs paid.

1:13:06 Dana: Senator Sanders, your response.

1:13:07 SS: Look, on this issue, my friends, there is no choice. We have got to be super aggressive if we love our children and if we want to leave them a planet that is healthy and is habitable. So I don’t disagree with Tim. What that means is we gotta A, take on the fossil fuel industry. B, it means we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and a hell of a lot of good union jobs as we do that. We gotta transform our transportation system.

1:13:46 Dana: Thank you Senator.

1:13:47 SS: And we have to lead the world.

1:13:47 Dana: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

1:13:49 SS: Because this is not just an American issue.

1:13:51 Dana: Governor Bullock, your response.

1:13:53 GB: You know, all of us agree that we have to address climate change. No one on this stage is talking about it, the Republicans won’t even acknowledge that climate change is real, Dana. And that’s because of the corrupting influence of money. That has been the fight of my career. And second of which, as we transition to this clean energy economy, you gotta recognize there are folks that have spent their whole life powering our country. And far too often, Democrats sound like they’re part of the problem. We gotta make sure to aid in those transitions as we get to a carbon neutral world, which I think we can do by 2040.

1:14:32 Dana: Thank you, Governor. Just to clarify, who is part of the problem?

1:14:38 GB: Who? Oh, no, I think Democrats, often, when they’re saying, “Oh, these fossil fuel industries, these workers, those coal miner workers.” Look, the world’s changing, we gotta make it change. But I think Democrats often sound like the people, that as Congressman Ryan would say, shower at the end of the day, that they’re part of the problem. And far too many communities are being left behind as we make this transition.

1:15:01 Dana: Thank you.

1:15:01 GB: Look, we’re having this discussion and we can talk about competing plans.

1:15:06 Dana: Thank you, Governor. I wanna give Senator Sanders a chance to respond.

1:15:09 SS: Look Steve, ain’t nobody in the Congress who’s more strongly pro worker than I am. So when I talk about taking on the fossil fuel industry, what I am also talking about is a just transition. Alright, we can create… And what the Green New Deal is about, it’s a bold idea. We can create millions of good paying jobs. We can rebuild communities in rural America that have been devastated. So we are not anti worker.

1:15:36 S?: No.

1:15:37 SS: We are gonna provide, make sure that those workers have a transition.

1:15:40 S?: Yeah.

1:15:40 SS: New jobs.

1:15:40 Dana: Thank you, Senator.

1:15:41 SS: Healthcare and education.

1:15:42 Dana: Governor Bullock, your response.

1:15:44 GB: And look… And look, Bernie, I was a union side labor lawyer. I fought day after day, and I know, but we’ve set this up as a false choice far too often. Are we gonna actually address climate change? Fire seasons are 80 days longer in the West now. Or are we going to give people a better shot at a better life? You can do both.

1:16:06 S?: Yes.

1:16:06 GB: So let’s actually have the scientists drive this. Let’s not just talk about plans that are written for press releases that will go nowhere else if we can’t get a Republican to acknowledge that the climate’s changing.

1:16:18 Dana: Thank you Governor. Congressman O’Rourke, your response.

1:16:18 CO: I’ve listened to the sciences on this and they’re very clear. We don’t have more than 10 years to get this right. And we won’t meet that challenge with half steps or half measures or only half the country. We’ve gotta bring everyone in. The people of Detroit and those that I listened to in Flint last week, they want the challenge, they want those jobs, they wanna create the future for this country and the world. Those community college students that I met in Tucumcari, New Mexico understand that wind and solar jobs are the fastest growing jobs in the country. And those farmers in Iowa say, “Pay me for the environmental services of planting cover crops and keeping more land in conservation easements.” That’s how we meet the challenge. We do it with everyone in this country. We bring everyone into the solution.

1:17:03 Dana: Thank you Congressman. Mayor Buttigieg, your response.

1:17:05 MB: We have all put out highly similar visions on climate. It is all theoretical. We will deal with climate, if and only if, we win the presidency. If and only if we beat Donald Trump. Nominate me and you get to see the President of the United States stand next to an American war veteran, and explain why he chose to pretend to be disabled when it was his chance to serve. Nominate me and we will have a different conversation with American voters about why the President of the United States thinks you’re a sucker, when the problem in your life is your paycheck is not going up nearly as fast as the cost of housing, or the cost of education.

1:17:44 Dana: Thank you.

1:17:45 MB: Or the cost of prescription drugs. And he has done nothing about it except a tax cut for the corporations.

1:17:47 Dana: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. Senator Klobuchar, I wanna ask you about something that CNN heard from a Michigan Democratic primary voter. We were reaching out and getting their questions. Kimber from Birmingham, Michigan has this question, “What is your plan to address infrastructure including the water issues so another Flint, Michigan does not happen again?”

1:18:09 SK: Thank you, Dana, and I was just in Flint and they are still drinking bottled water in that town and that is outrageous. So my plan, and I am the first one that came out with an infrastructure plan, and I did that because this is a bread and butter issue. It’s a bread and butter issue for people that are caught in traffic jams. I think the governor here in Michigan smartly ran on the slogan, “Fix the damn roads.”

1:18:32 SK: And it is an issue for union jobs. And so I think what we need to do is not have a president that’s promised he was going to do that on election night, if anyone remembers. And then he hasn’t followed through. He has done nothing. He blew up a meeting at the White House. I would put $1 trillion into this, and I would pay for it by, first of all, changing the capital gains rate by doing something when it comes to that regressive tax bill that left everyone behind, but really made his Mar-a-Lago friends richer, as he promised. And I would take that money and put it in to rural broadband and green infrastructure so you won’t have what you just saw in Detroit with the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood, the African neighborhood, that was African-American neighborhood that was most hit when you had those recent rainstorms. And I truly believe that if we’re gonna move on infrastructure and climate change, you need a voice from the heartland.

1:19:23 Dana: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar. Ms. Williamson, what’s your response on the Flint water crisis?

1:19:27 MW: My response on the Flint water crisis is that Flint is just the tip of the iceberg. I was recently in Denmark, South Carolina where it is… There is a lot of talk about it being the next Flint. We have an administration that has gutted the Clean Water Act. We have communities, particularly communities of color and disadvantaged communities all over this country, who are suffering from environmental injustice. I assure you, I lived in Grosse Pointe, what happened in Flint would not have happened in Grosse Pointe. This is part of the dark underbelly of American society.


1:20:00 MW: The racism, the bigotry, and the entire conversation that we’re having here tonight, if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days. We need to say it like it is, it’s bigger than Flint. It’s all over this country, it’s particularly people of color, it’s particularly people who do not have the money to fight back. And if the Democrats don’t start saying it, then why would those people feel that they’re there for us, and if those people don’t feel it, they won’t vote for us, and Donald Trump will win.


1:20:32 Jake: Thank you very much, Ms. Williamson.

1:20:32 MW: Thank you.

1:20:33 Jake: We wanna turn now to the issue of race in America. Congressman O’Rourke, President Trump is pursuing a re-election strategy based in part, on racial division. How do you convince primary voters that you’d be the best nominee to take on President Trump and heal the racial divide in America?

1:20:51 CO: We’ll call his racism out for what it is, and also talk about its consequences. It doesn’t just offend our sensibilities to hear him say “Send her back” about a member of Congress, because she’s a woman color, because she’s a Muslim-American, doesn’t just offend our sensibilities when he calls Mexican immigrants “rapists and criminals,” or seeks to ban all Muslims from the shores of a country that’s comprised of people from the world over, from every tradition of faith. It is also changing this country. Hate crimes are on the rise, every single one over the last three years. On the day that he signed his executive order attempting to ban Muslim travel, the mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground. So we must not only stand up against Donald Trump and defeat him in this next election, but we must also ensure that we don’t just tolerate or respect our differences, but we embrace them. That’s what we’ve learned in El Paso, Texas, my hometown. One of the safest cities in the United States of America, not despite, but because it’s a city of immigrants and asylum seekers, and refugees. We will show that our diversity is our strength in my administration.

1:22:00 Jake: Thank you. Congressman O’Rourke, thank you very much. Governor Hickenlooper, why are you the best nominee to heal the racial divide in America? Please respond.

1:22:06 GH: Well, the core value behind this entire country’s history is working towards a more perfect union, that all people are created equal. And we’ve fallen far away from that. I think the job is incumbent on any one of us to make the convincing case that we can deliver an urban agenda that represents progress in schools. In Colorado, when I was mayor, we got to universal pre-K for every kid in the urban city. We did major police reform 10 years before Ferguson. Why is it now that five years after Ferguson, we still don’t have anything? How do we get affordable housing? We created a scholarship fund for every kid. You’ve gotta deliver a vision like that for the whole country.

1:22:47 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Senator Warren, I’m coming to you now. Last week, the FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the majority of domestic terrorism cases this year have been motivated by white supremacy. In fact, the alleged shooter in this weekend’s attack in Gilroy, California referenced a well-known white supremacist book on social media. How are you gonna combat the rise of white supremacy?

1:23:08 SW: We need to call out white supremacy for what it is, “domestic terrorism.” And it poses a threat to the United States of America.


1:23:15 SW: We live in a country now where the president is advancing environmental racism, economic racism, criminal justice racism, health care racism. The way we do better is to fight back and show something better. So I have a plan, for example, on education, that says we have to build a better education system for all our kids, but we’ve got to acknowledge what’s happened on race. So my plan has universal, tuition-free college for all of our kids, but also increases the Pell Grants and levels the playing field by putting $50 billion into historically black colleges and universities.


1:23:58 SW: It cancels student loan debt for 95% of the kids with student loan debt and helps close the black-white wealth gap in America.


1:24:10 Jake: Thank you, Senator, very much. Mayor Buttigieg, you have been criticized for your handling of racial issues in your home city of South Bend, from diversity in the police force to housing policy. Given your record, how can you convince African-Americans that you should be the Democratic nominee?

1:24:25 MB: As an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial divide lives within me. I’m not saying that I became mayor and racism or poverty ended on my watch. But in our city, we have come together repeatedly to tackle challenges, like the fact that far too many people were not getting the help they needed in their housing and so we directed it to a historically underinvested African-American neighborhood. Right now, in the wake of a police-involved shooting, our community is moving from hurting to healing by making sure that the community can participate in things like revising the use of force policy and making sure there are community voices on the Board of Safety that handles police matters.

1:25:07 MB: I’ve proposed a Douglass plan to tackle this issue nationally, because mayors have hit the limits of what you can do unless there is national action. Systemic racism has touched every part of American life, from housing to health to homeownership. If you walk into an emergency room and you are black, your reports of pain will be taken less seriously. If you apply for a job and you are black, you are less likely to be called, just because of the name on the resume. It’s why I’ve proposed that we do everything from investing in historically red-lined neighborhoods, to build black wealth in homeownership, to supporting entrepreneurship for black Americans.

1:25:41 Jake: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you very much. Senator Klobuchar, what do you say to those Trump voters who prioritize the economy over the president’s bigotry?

1:25:51 SK: Well, first of all, there are people that voted for Donald Trump before that aren’t racist, they just wanted a better shake in the economy. And so I would appeal to them. But I don’t think anyone can justify what this president is doing. Little kids literally woke up this weekend, turned on the TV, and saw their president calling their city, the town of Baltimore, nothing more than a home for rats. And I can tell you, as your president, that will stop. The second thing I would say is that economic opportunity means economic opportunity for everyone in this country. I know that because I have lived it. And that means when we put out there better childcare and better education, and we pay teachers more, and we make sure there’s a decent retirement system in place… Yes, we help the African-American community and we must, because they have been the ones that have been most hurt by what we’ve seen in the last decades, but we help everyone. So what I say to the people in my rural parts of my state, just like I say to them in the city and bring them together, is that economic opportunity must be there for everyone.

1:27:00 Jake: Senator Klobuchar, thank you very much. Congressman O’Rourke, please respond.

1:27:03 CO: I wanna acknowledge something that we’re all touching on, which is the very foundation of this country, the wealth that we have built, the way we became the greatest country on the face of the planet was literally on the backs of those who were kidnapped and brought here by force. The legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression is alive and well in every aspect of the economy and in the country. Today, as president, I will sign into law a new voting rights act, I will focus on education, address health care disparities, but I will also sign into law Sheila Jackson Lee’s reparations bill so that we can have the national conversation we have waited too long in this country to have.

1:27:41 Jake: Thank you, Congressman O’Rourke. Speaking of reparations, Ms. Williamson, many of your opponents support a commission to study the issue of reparations for slavery. But you are calling for up to $500 billion in financial assistance. What makes you qualified to determine how much is owed in reparations?

1:27:57 MW: Well, first of all, it’s not $500 billion in financial assistance. It’s $500 billion, $200 billion to $500 billion payment of a debt that is owed. That is what reparations is. We need some deep truth-telling when it comes, we don’t need another commission to look at evidence. I appreciate what Congressman O’Rourke has said. It is time for us to simply realize that this country will not heal. All that a country is, is a collection of people. People heal when there’s some deep truth-telling. We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with. That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery followed by another 100 years of domestic terrorism.

1:28:45 MW: What makes me qualified to say $200 billion to $500 billion? I’ll tell you what makes me qualified. If you did the math of the 40 acres and a mule, given that there was 4 million to 5 million slaves at the end of the Civil War, four to five… And they were all promised 40 acres and a mule for every family of four, if you did the math today, it would be trillions of dollars. And I believe that anything less than $100 billion is an insult. And I believe that $200 billion to $500 billion is politically feasible today because so many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface, an emotional turbulence that only reparations will heal.

1:29:25 Jake: Ms. Williamson, thank you very much. Senator Sanders…


1:29:28 Jake: Senator Sanders, you don’t think cash payments are the best way to address this issue, but according to a new Gallup poll, 73% of African Americans are in favor of cash payments to black Americans who are descendants of slaves. How do you respond to them?

1:29:43 SS: Well, I respond to that by saying that I am supportive of Jim Clyburn’s legislation, which is called “10-20-30.” And what that understands is that as a result of slavery and segregation and the institutional racism we see now in health care, in education, in financial services, we are gonna have to focus big time on rebuilding distressed communities in America, including African-American communities. In terms of education, I also have a plan, it’s called the Thurgood Marshall Plan. And it would focus on ending the growth of segregated schools in America, it would triple funding for title one schools, it would make sure that teachers in this country earned at least $60,000 a year.

1:30:33 Jake: Senator Sanders, thank you very much. The debate continues right after this short break. Welcome back to the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate, live from Detroit.

1:30:43 Jake: Let’s turn now to the economy. Congressman Ryan, President Trump’s tariffs have boosted the US steel industry but hurt auto manufacturers like those here in Michigan, which could drive up the cost of cars. As president, would you continue President Trump’s steel tariffs?

1:30:58 CR: Look, I think President Trump was on to something when he talked about China. China has been abusing the economic system for a long time. They steal intellectual property, they subsidize goods coming into this country, they’ve displaced steel workers, auto workers across the board, eroded our manufacturing. And we basically transfered our wealth of our middle class either up to the top 1% or to China, for them to build their military. So I think we need some targeted response against China. But you know how you beat China, you out-compete them. And that’s why I put a chief manufacturing officer in place to make sure that we rebuild the manufacturing base. We’ve gotta fill these factories, that in Detroit and Youngstown that used to make cars and steel, we’ve gotta fill them with workers who are making electric vehicles, batteries, charging stations, make sure they’re making solar panels.

1:31:48 CR: As I said earlier, China dominates 60% of the solar panel market. They dominate 50 to 60% of the electric vehicle market. We’re gonna make 10 million electric vehicles somewhere in the world in the next 10 years. I want them made in the United States, that’s why I have a chief manufacturing officer that will sit in the White House and help drive this agenda.

1:32:05 Jake: Congressman. Thank you. Just as a point of clarification. As president, would you continue President Trump’s steel tariffs? Yes or no?

1:32:11 CR: Well, I would have to re-evaluate. I think some of them are effective, but he’s bungled the whole thing, obviously. See, here’s the problem with President Trump, he has a tactical move, one of many. He has a tactical move. What’s the grand strategy for the United States? China has a 100-year plan, a 50-year plan, a 30-year plan, a 20-year plan. We live in a 24-hour news cycle. That spells disaster for our economy and disaster for our global policies.

1:32:36 Jake: Thank you, Congressman. Congressman Delaney, your response.

1:32:40 CD: So listen. This is what I don’t understand. President Trump wants to build physical walls and beats up on immigrants. Most of the folks running for president wanna build economic walls to free trade and beat up on President Obama. I’m the only one running for president who actually supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Obama was right about that. We should be getting back in that. Senator Warren just issued a trade plan that would prevent the United States from trading with its allies. We can’t isolate ourselves from the world. We have to engage with fair, rules-based trade.

1:33:17 Jake: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman Delaney. Senator Warren, please respond.

1:33:20 SW: For decades, we have had a trade policy that has been written by giant multinational corporations to help giant multinational corporations. They have no loyalty to America, they have no patriotism. If they can save a nickel by moving a job to Mexico, they’ll do it in a heartbeat. If they can continue a polluting plant by moving it to Vietnam, they’ll do it in a heartbeat. I have put out a new comprehensive plan that says we’re not gonna do it that way. We’re gonna negotiate our deals with unions at the table, with small businesses at the table, with small farmers at the table, with environmentalists at the table, with human rights activists at the table. And then we’re gonna use the fact that everybody in the world wants to get to America’s markets. They wanna sell to you.

1:34:10 CD: That was the TPP.

1:34:11 Jake: Congressman Delaney.

[overlapping conversation]

1:34:13 SW: Is everyone wants to get to America’s markets.

1:34:16 Jake: Thank you, Senator.

1:34:17 SW: No. So the question is how…

1:34:18 Jake: Senator, thank you. Please abide by the rules.

1:34:19 SW: We need to raise our standards.

1:34:20 Jake: Congressman Delaney, it’s your turn. Thank you, Senator. Congressman Delaney.

1:34:24 CD: So, that was the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I think President Obama was right. He did include environmental standards, he did include labor standards. We would be in an entirely different position with China if we had entered the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We can’t isolate ourselves from the world. We can’t isolate ourselves from Asia. Senator Warren’s plan basically that she put out… We would not be able to trade with the United Kingdom, we would not be able to trade with the EU.

1:34:50 SW: No. What this is about…

1:34:51 CD: It is so extreme that it’ll isolate the American economy from the rest of the world.

1:34:56 Jake: Thank you, Congressman Delaney. Thank you, Congressman. Senator. Senator Warren. Senator Warren.

[overlapping conversation]

1:35:01 SW: I think he said Warren.

1:35:01 Jake: Senator Sanders, please let Senator Warren respond.

1:35:03 CD: Oh, I’m sorry.


1:35:05 SW: What the Congressman is describing as extreme is having deals that are negotiated by American workers for American workers. American workers want those jobs and we can build the trade deals that do it. People want access to our markets all around the world. Then the answer is, let’s make them raise their standards. Make them pay their workers more, let their workers unionize, raise their environmental standards before they come to us and say they wanna be able to sell their products. Right now, the whole game is working for the big multinationals. It’s just not working for the people here in the United States, and we can change that.

1:35:49 Jake: Senator, thank you very much. Congressman O’Rourke, your response.

1:35:51 CO: The question was about tarrifs, and they’re a huge mistake. They constitute the largest tax increase on the American consumer, hitting the middle class and the working poor especially hard. And farmers in Iowa and across the country are bearing the brunt of the consequences. When have we ever gone to war, including a trade war, without allies and friends and partners? As president, we will hold China accountable, but we will bring our allies and friends like the European Union to bear. And we’ll also negotiate trade deals that favor farmers and American workers and protect human rights and the environment and labor. Not just here in the United States but in the…

[overlapping conversation]

1:36:30 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke, thank you so much. Senator Sanders, please respond to Congressman O’Rourke.

1:36:31 SW: I would like to respond to this.

1:36:32 SS: Yeah, okay. You’re looking, I believe, at the only member of Congress who not only voted against these disastrous trade agreements, NAFTA, PNTR with China, which cost us over 4 million jobs, but also help lead the effort against these agreements. Now, Elizabeth is absolutely right. If anybody here thinks that corporate America gives one damn about the average American worker, you’re mistaken. If they can save $0.05 cents by going to China, Mexico, or Vietnam, or any place else, that’s exactly what they will do. As president, let me tell you what I will do. These guys line up at the federal trough, they want military contracts, they want all kinds of contracts. Well, under my administration, you ain’t gonna get those contracts if you throw American workers out on the streets.

1:37:23 Jake: Senator Sanders, thank you very much. Governor Hickenlooper, your response.

1:37:26 GH: I think… Again, I think Congressman Delaney has got a point here, and there is a way of looking at trade that is therapeutic. The bottom line is, you talk to any economist, there is not a single example in history where a trade war had a winner. Trade wars are for losers, and the bottom line is we gotta recognize, let’s negotiate a better trade deal, but you’re not gonna win against China in a trade war when they’ve got 25% of our total debt. And step back and look at it. Here’s Trump, gives that giant tax cut. And at the same time, we’re paying in tarrifs about $800 to $1,200 per household, and then we give this incredible tax cut to the rich. Essentially, what’s happening is now he’s transferred that tax obligation on to the middle class. That’s what’s outrageous, but tarrifs are not the solution.

1:38:13 Jake: Governor, thank you. Senator Warren.

1:38:14 SW: Anyone who thinks that these trade deals are mostly about tarrifs just doesn’t understand what’s going on. Look at the new NAFTA 2.0, what’s the central feature? It’s to help pharmaceutical companies get longer periods of exclusivity so they can charge Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans more money and make more profits. That’s what trade deals have become. They have become a way for giant multi-nationals to change the regulatory environment so they can suck more profits out for themselves and to leave the American people behind. We have to have the courage to fight back against that corruption.

1:38:56 Jake: Senator, thank you. Governor Bullock, your response.

1:39:00 GB: A farmer in Rippy said to me, “Every time that Trump tweets, we lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. If Montana had to eat all the wheat that we produce, every Montanan would have to eat 40 loaves of bread a day.” But by the same token, what we have is… I actually agree with Senator Warren on this in part. Corporations can move capital easy, workers can’t move, so going forward we need to make sure that our trade deals actually are protecting… Thinking about the workers, they can’t be the step-child, but the way to do it with this blunt instrument of tarrifs that the president’s doing, that’s not how we get a fair deal for farmers anywhere, or the manufacturers here in Detroit.

1:39:43 Jake: Governor, thank you very much.

[overlapping conversation]

1:39:44 Jake: Mayor… Stand by please, stand by please, please abide by the rules. Mayor Buttigieg, on Thursday of this week, a GM plant in Michigan will stop production, the latest auto plant to cease operations in the industrial Midwest. This comes as part of the company’s modernization plans, which will eventually result in 6,000 hourly workers losing their jobs or being reassigned to other plants. What is your plan for retraining workers whose jobs are at risk?

1:40:10 MB: This happened in my community, 20 years before I was born, and when I was growing up, we were still picking up the pieces. Empty factories, empty houses, poverty. I know exactly what happens to a community when these closures take place, and there will be more. It’s why we actually need to put the interests of workers first. Of course, we need to do retraining, we’re doing it now in South Bend, we should continue to do it. But this is so much bigger than a trade fight, this is about a moment when the economy is changing before our eyes. There are people in the gig economy who go through more jobs in a week than my parents went through in their lifetime. It’s why I’ve proposed that we allow gig workers to unionize, because a gig is a job, and a worker is a worker.


1:40:52 Jake: Thank you, Mayor.

1:40:52 MB: We have to respond to all of these changes, and, in addition to confronting tech, in addition to supporting workers by doubling unionization, as I propose to do. Some of this is low-tech too, like the minimum wage is just too low, and so-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when scripture says that whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.


1:41:18 Jake: Mayor, thank you very much. Congressman Delaney, I’m coming to you now. Your estimated net worth is more than $65 million. That would make you subject to Senator Warren’s proposed wealth tax on the assets of the richest 75,000 homes, households, or so in the United States. Do you think Senator Warren’s Wealth Tax is a fair way to fund childcare and education?

1:41:40 CD: I think wealthy Americans have to pay more. Listen, I grew up in a blue-collar family, first in my family to go to college, became a successful entrepreneur, created thousands of jobs, supported thousands of entrepreneurs all around this country, and I’ve done well financially. I think I should pay more in tax, I think wealthy Americans should pay more in tax, but we have to have a real solution. The real solution is to raise the capital gains rates. There is no reason why people who invest for a living should pay less than people who work for a living. That’s ridiculous.


1:42:14 CD: It’s the biggest loophole in our tax code. We act like wealthy individuals are endangered species, and if we raise their taxes, they won’t invest. That’s crazy. That’s how we get more revenues from wealthy individuals. We roll back the Trump tax cuts to wealthy individuals. I think the wealth tax will be fought in court forever. It’s arguably unconstitutional, and the countries that have had it have largely abandoned it ’cause it’s impossible to implement. But here again, real solutions, not impossible promises.

1:42:45 Jake: Congressman, thank you very much.

1:42:45 CD: Raise the capital gains tax. Roll back the taxes on wealthy Americans.

1:42:48 Jake: Thank you, Congressman.

1:42:49 CD: That we can do in our first few months as president.

1:42:51 Jake: Senator Warren, please respond.

1:42:53 SW: I have proposed a wealth tax, it’s now time to do that. It’s time to tax the top 1/10th of 1% of fortunes in this country. Your first $50 million you can keep free and clear, but your 50 millionth and first dollar, you gotta pitch in $0.02. Two cents. What can America do with $0.02? We can provide universal childcare for every baby in this country aged zero to five. We can provide universal pre-K for every three-year-old and four-year-old. We can raise the wages of every childcare worker and preschool teacher in this country. We can provide universal tuition-free college. We can expand Pell. We can put $50 billion into our historically black colleges and universities. And we can cancel student loan debt for 95% of the people who have it and start to close the wealth gap in America. It tells you how badly broken this economy is…

1:43:52 Jake: Senator, thank you very much. Congressman Delaney…

1:43:53 SW: That $0.02 from the wealthiest in this country would let us invest in the rest of America.

1:43:58 Jake: Senator, please. Congressman, please respond.

1:44:01 CD: This is not about whether wealthy Americans should pay more. I think we’re all in agreement on that. It’s a question of, do you have a real solution to make it happen? We can raise the capital gains rate to match the ordinary income. The last president to do that was actually Ronald Reagan. We can do that in our first year. I’ve called for that to be done and it’ll double the earned income tax credit. I’ve called for the expansion of universal pre-K so that every American has pre-K. And I do it through an additional tax on high net worth individuals.

1:44:29 Dana: Thank you.

1:44:30 CD: But we don’t need to come up with new taxes that are arguably unconstitutional, will be fought in court for years.

1:44:35 Dana: Thank you, Congressman Delaney. I want to turn to the issue of student debt.

[overlapping conversation]

1:44:39 SS: Can I just respond to that, please?

1:44:40 SW: I’d like to respond to this.

1:44:40 Dana: I’m gonna turn to the issue of student debt now. Mayor Buttigieg, you’ve talked about how you and your husband are paying down six figures of student loan debt. Under Senator Sanders’ proposal, to cancel all student loan debt, yours would immediately be wiped away. Why wouldn’t you support that?

1:44:54 MB: That’d be great for us. And then the next day, there would be a student loan program, and people would be out taking student loans wondering why they weren’t lucky enough, in timing, to get theirs wiped away completely too. We can have debt-free college for low and middle-income students by expanding Pell Grants and compelling states to pick up more of the burden. And on the back end, for those of us who do have a lot of debt, we can make it more affordable and we can expand a public service loan forgiveness program, which is an excellent program that is almost impossible to actually get access to right now. We can take these steps and have an approach that is actually fair.

1:45:30 MB: If we wanna start wiping away student debt, here’s where I would start. I would start with the for-profit colleges that took advantage of people, especially veterans, by the way. The moment I redeployed, my Facebook add feed started filling with ads from these for-profit colleges. Under President Obama, they were held accountable for whether they delivered results. President Trump, under a secretary of education, who regrettably is from this state, did away with those rules. There’s no accountability. On my watch, those colleges that turned the Department of Education into a predatory lender, that’s where we would begin when it came to getting rid of loans.

1:46:06 Dana: Thank you, Mayor Buttigieg. Senator Sanders, you want to forgive all student loan debt. Your response?

1:46:11 SS: Matter of fact, I do. But before I get into that, the major issue that we don’t talk about in Congress, we don’t talk about in the media, is the massive level of income and wealth inequality in America. You got three people who own more wealth than the bottom 90%. You have a top 1% that owns more wealth than the bottom 92%. 49% of all income goes to the top 1%. Companies like Amazon and billionaires out there do not pay one nickel in federal income tax. And we’ve got 500,000 people sleeping out on the street. What we need is a political revolution that tells these billionaires and corporate America that they are Americans, they’ll participate in our society, but they have got to start paying their fair share of taxes, period.

1:47:01 Dana: Thank you, Senator Sanders. Ms. Williamson?

1:47:03 MW: I want to respond.

1:47:04 Dana: You are proposing to make college free for all qualified students. Should the government pay for children from wealthier families to go to college?

1:47:13 MW: I think that all domestic and international policy should be based on the idea that anything we do to help people thrive is a stimulation to our economy. That’s how you stimulate your economy. So if a few people take advantage, but there are four or five people who were going to take the money that they then have in the bank… When you look at this $1.5 trillion college debt… This is why I agree with Bernie, or I would be, “Then okay, why don’t we swap it?” We had a $2 trillion tax cut, where $0.83 of every dollar goes to the very, very richest among us, that does not stimulate the economy. If we get rid of this college debt, think of all the young people who will have the discretionary spending, they’ll be able to start their business. The best thing you could do to stimulate the US economy is to get rid of this debt.

1:47:58 MW: This is not just about a plan to do it. It’s about a philosophy of governing. And I’ve heard some people here tonight, I almost wonder why you’re Democrats. You seem to think there’s something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people. That is what government should do. It should… All policies should help people thrive. That is how we will have peace and that is how we will have prosperity.

1:48:20 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Williamson. Congressman O’Rourke, you don’t support free four-year college. Your response to Ms. Williamson?

1:48:25 CO: I support free two-year college, earn that associate’s degree, realize your full potential, debt-free four-year college. But unlike some of the other candidates on the stage, that’s not just for tuition. That is room and books and board, the full cost of being able to better yourself so that you can better this country. And then for that schoolteacher who, in many places like Texas, is working a second or a third job, full forgiveness for her outstanding student loan debt, forgiveness for that person willing to work at the VA and serve our former service members. And we do not do that at the expense of unions. We elevate them as well and make it easier to join an apprenticeship to learn a skill or a trade that you can command for the rest of your life.

1:49:05 Dana: Thank you. Thank you, Congressman. Senator Klobuchar, your response?

1:49:10 SK: I wanna make it easier for kids to go to college. And I think we do it by focusing our resources on the people that need it most. And my problem with some of these plans is they literally would pay for wealthy kids, for Wall Street kids to go to college. There’s no difference. It says, “Everyone is free.” I don’t think that makes sense. And I’m very concerned if we do things like that. The debt we’re gonna pass on to the next generation and the next generation. So what I would do about student loan debt, is that I would allow people to refinance it at a better rate. And I would make sure that we improve those student loan repayment programs for our teachers and expand them, so that you literally over five, 10 years, can get it paid for if you go into occupations where we don’t have enough workers. I think we need to mesh what we were just talking about with the economy, with our education policy.

1:50:00 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. I wanna turn to foreign policy now. Senator Sanders, President Trump has argued that the United States cannot continue to be the quote: “policeman of the world”. You said the exact same thing on a debate stage in 2016. If voters are hearing the same message from you and President Trump on the issue of military intervention, how should they expect that you will be any different from him?

1:50:23 SS: Trump is a pathological liar. I tell the truth. We have been in Afghanistan, I think 18 years, in Iraq 16 or 17 years. We have spent $5 trillion on the war on terror, and there are probably more terrorists out there now than before it began. We’re gonna spend the Congress’s past and I will not vote for a $715 billion military budget, more than the 10 next countries combined. What we need is a foreign policy that focuses on diplomacy, ending conflicts like people sitting at a table, not by killing each other. As president of the United States, I will go to the United Nations and not denigrate it, not attack the UN, but bring countries together in the Middle East and all over the world, to come to terms with their differences and solve those problems peacefully. The United States cannot be the policemen of the world.

1:51:27 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. Governor Hickenlooper, how do you respond to Senator Sanders’ vision for America’s role in the world?

1:51:36 GH: Well, we share the recognition of the incredible cost. People don’t realize that half the soldiers that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan were National Guard. And so, I went and sent them off on their deployments, big, noisy hangars. But I also mourned with their families when they didn’t come back. We are able now to… I call it constant engagement, but we should have an international diplomatic approach where we’re talking to everybody, ’cause if we’re gonna deal with climate change and cyber security and nuclear proliferation, we gotta be talking to everybody. And tariff wars don’t work, they’re for losers.

1:52:12 Jake: Thank you, Governor. Thank you, Governor. I wanna go to Congressman Ryan, and I wanna turn to the subject of North Korea, which just hours ago launched two short-range ballistic missiles for the second time in less than a week. Congressman, you’ve said that you would not meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, unless you were at least close to a deal. Now, Senator Klobuchar says that she would quote: “Always be willing to meet with leaders to discuss policies”. Is that view wrong?

1:52:41 CR: Yeah, I think so. I love Amy Klobuchar, but I think she’s wrong on this one. I don’t think Presidents of the United States meet with dictators. We saw what just happened with President Trump. He goes to the demilitarized zone with the leader of North Korea, gives him a huge photo op. Gives him global credibility, because the most powerful person in the world is sitting there meeting with him, and weeks later, he’s lobing more missiles. That doesn’t make any sense. We’ve got to demilitarize our foreign policy, we’ve gotta make sure that we are engaging these countries all the time. This is very difficult work. I’ve been in Congress 17 years. I’ve sit on the Defense Appropriations Committee. I sat on the Armed Services Committee. This is long, tedious work, much of it done outside of the eye of the TV camera, and as president, you’ve gotta monitor that and be very disciplined every day. Don’t go give a dictator a huge win. Sit down and do your job and the same thing with what’s happening in Central America. He’s cutting the State Department budget. Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, where the migrants are coming from. Go fix the problem at its source, and use diplomacy to do it.

1:53:45 Jake: Thank you Congressman. Senator Klobuchar, your response?

1:53:52 SK: I think we agree. I just think you have to leave open the possibility of meeting with anyone at any place. What I don’t like is how this president has handled it. You’ve heard of the Truman Doctrine, the Monroe Doctrine. He’s done the go-it-alone Doctrine with the rest of the world. He’s taken us out of the climate change agreement, out of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, out of the Russian Nuclear Agreement and I don’t agree with that. And when he was just with Vladimir Putin at the G20, when he was asked about invading our democracy, he made a joke. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives on the battlefield to protect our democracy and our right to vote. Four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama, lost their life in a church at the height of the Civil Rights Amendment. So I do believe you meet with people, but you better have an agenda, and you better put our interest of our country first, not the Russians.

1:54:39 Jake: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator, Klobuchar. Mayor Buttigieg, you served in Afghanistan, where just yesterday two US service members were killed. There are currently about 14,000 US service members in Afghanistan. You’ve said, “One thing everybody can agree on is that we’re getting out of Afghanistan”. Will you withdraw all US service members by the end of your first year in office?

1:55:05 MB: We will withdraw. We have to.

1:55:07 Jake: In your first year?


1:55:09 MB: Yes. Look, around the world, we will do whatever it takes to keep America safe. But I thought I was one of the last troops leaving Afghanistan, when I thought I was turning out the lights, years ago. Every time I see news about somebody being killed in Afghanistan, I think about what it was like. To hear an explosion over there and wonder whether it was somebody that I served with, somebody that I knew, a friend, roommate, colleague. We’re pretty close to the day when we will wake up to the news of a casualty in Afghanistan, who was not born on 9/11.

1:55:44 MB: I was sent into that war by a congressional authorization as well as the President. And we need to talk not only about the need for a President committed to ending endless war but the fact that Congress has been asleep at the switch. And on my watch I will propose that any authorization for the use of military force have a three-year sunset and have to be renewed. Because if men and women in the military have the courage to go serve, members of Congress oughta have to summon the courage…

1:56:11 Jake: Thank you mayor.

1:56:11 MB: To vote on whether they oughta be there.

1:56:12 Jake: Thank you mayor.


1:56:12 Jake: I wanna bring in Congressman O’Rourke, congressman O’Rourke. Responding… Returning rather to the question of whether you would withdraw all US service members from Afghanistan during your first year in office as president, how do you respond sir?

1:56:25 CO: I would, in my first term in office, agree that there is nothing about perpetuating this war already in its 18th year, that will make it any better. We’ve satisfied the reasons for our involvement in Afghanistan in the first place, and it’s time to bring those service members back home from Afghanistan, but also from Iraq, also from Yemen and Somalia and Libya and Syria. There’s no reason for us to be at war all over the world tonight. As president, I will end those wars and we will not start new wars. We will not send more US service members overseas, to sacrifice their lives and to take the lives of others in our name, we can resolve these challenges…

1:57:04 Jake: Thank you, congressman.

1:57:04 CO: Peacefully and diplomatically.

1:57:05 Jake: Thank you, congressman. Governor Hickenlooper, you disagree, you’ve said that you’re open to keeping some service members in Afghanistan, beyond…

1:57:12 GH: Look at it as a…

1:57:14 Jake: Please respond.

1:57:14 GH: Humanitarian issue and with all due respect, you’re looking at the condition of women. If we completely…

1:57:19 S?: Thank you.

1:57:19 GH: Pull our troops out of there, you’re gonna see a humanitarian disaster that will startle and frighten every man, woman and child in this country. And I don’t think… We have troops in over 400 different locations around the world, most of them are small, they’re peace keeping, they’re not greatly at risk. We’re gonna have to be in Afghanistan… Look at the progress that’s happened in that country. We’re gonna turn our backs and walk away from people that have risked their lives to help us and build a different future for Afghanistan and that part of the world?

1:57:49 Jake: Thank you governor. Thank you governor. Senator Warren, you wanna make it US policy, that the US will never use a nuclear weapon, unless another country uses one first. Now, President Obama reportedly considered that policy, but ultimately decided against it. Why should the US tie its own hands with that policy?

1:58:08 SW: Because it makes the world safer. The United States is not going to use nuclear weapons preemptively and we need to say so to the entire world. It reduces the likelihood that someone miscalculates, someone misunderstands. Our first responsibility is to keep ourselves safe. And what’s happening right now with Donald Trump as they keep expanding the different ways that we have nuclear weapons, the different ways that they could be used, puts us all at risk. We talk about what’s happening around the world. I have three older brothers who served in the military, I see that they would do anything. Our military is the best on earth but we should not be asking our military to take on jobs that do not have a military solution. We need to use our diplomatic tools, our economic tools and if we’re gonna send someone into war, we better have a plan for how we’re gonna get them out on the other end.

1:59:09 Jake: Thank you, senator. Governor Bullock, your response to Senator Warren’s proposal to the US never use a nuclear weapon first.

1:59:17 GB: I wouldn’t wanna take that off the table. I think America’s strength, we have to be able to say that. Look, never I hope. Certainly in my term, or anyone else would we really even get close to pulling that trigger. But by the same token, America’s strength… And look this President’s made America versus America alone. Our allies no longer trust us, our adversaries are with us. But going from a position of strength we should be negotiating down, so there aren’t nuclear weapons. But drawing those lines in the sand at this point, I wouldn’t do it.

1:59:53 Jake: Thank you, governor. Senator Warren your response.

1:59:55 SW: We don’t expand trust around the world by saying, “You know, we might be the first ones to use a nuclear weapon.” That puts the entire world at risk and puts us at risk, right in the middle of this. At a time when Donald Trump is pulling out of our nuclear negotiations expanding the opportunities for nuclear proliferation around the world, has pulled us out of the deal in Iran and Iran is now working on its nuclear weapon. The world gets closer and closer to nuclear warfare.

2:00:29 Jake: Senator that… Senator.

2:00:29 SW: We have to have an announced policy that is one the entire world can live with, we need to make that clear. We will respond if someone else does but not first.

2:00:39 Jake: Thank you Senator Warren. Governor Bullock please respond.

2:00:41 GB: Part I agree with, but by the same token, we need to get back to nuclear proliferation.

2:00:47 SW: Why?

2:00:47 GB: But when you have de-proliferation, reducing them. But at the same time. When you actually have Korea, when you have others, I don’t wanna turn around and say, “Well Detroit has to be gone before we would ever use that.” When so many crazy folks are getting closer to have a nuclear weapon. I don’t want them to think I could strike this country. And I, and we as the United States of America wouldn’t do a thing. Part of the strength really is the ability to deter.

2:01:18 Jake: Governor Bullock.

2:01:19 SW: So don’t…

2:01:20 Jake: Governor thank you very much.

2:01:21 SS: Could I add something to that…

2:01:21 Jake: Moving on now, please senator. Senator please. Moving on now. As you know to serve as President of United States, all of you know this, you have to be at least 35 years old. So, Mayor Buttigieg you just qualified you’re 37, the youngest candidate in this field. Standing next to you is the oldest candidate, Bernie Sanders at age 77. Should voters take into consideration age, when choosing a presidential candidate?

2:01:48 MB: I don’t care how old you are, I care about your vision. But I do think it matters that we have a new generation of leaders stepping up around the world. Leaders like the… I actually think it’s good that the Prime Minister of New Zealand’s gotten a lot of attention in democratic debate. She’s masterful, she is younger than I would be when I take office. This is the kind of trend America might be leading instead of following. But only if it’s actually backed by the right vision. And we can have great presidents at any age. What I will say is, we need the kind of vision that’s gonna win. We cannot have a vision that amounts to back to normal. Because the only reason we got this president is that normal didn’t work. We have to be ready to take on this president. And by the way, something that hasn’t been talked about as much tonight, take on his enablers in Congress. When David Duke…


2:02:40 MB: When David Duke ran for Congress… Ran for governor, the Republican Party, 20 years ago, ran away from him. Today they are supporting naked racism in the White House, or at best silent about it. And if you are watching this at home and you are a Republican member of Congress, consider the fact that, when the sun sets on your career and they are writing your story, of all the good and bad things you did in your life, the thing you will be remembered for is whether, in this moment, with this president, you found the courage to stand up to him or you continued to put party over country.


2:03:11 Jake: Thank you, Mayor. Senator Sanders, as the senior statesman of the group, please respond to Mayor Buttigieg.

2:03:19 SS: Well, Pete is right. It’s a question of vision, that’s what it is, whether you’re young, whether you’re old, whether you’re in between. And my vision, among other things, says that if we’re gonna fight for health care, we don’t take money from the drug companies or the insurance companies. And I have asked all of the candidates who are running to say they will not accept money from those entities who, in my view, are going to war against the American people in terms of health care. That’s a new vision. A new vision says that we must cancel completely student debt because the younger generation in this country today, for the first time in modern American history, will have a lower standard of living than their parents.

2:04:10 Jake: Thank you, Senator Sanders.

2:04:11 S?: I’d like to respond on that, too.

[overlapping conversation]

2:04:15 Jake: The debate continues right after this, please. Thank you. The debate continues right after this short break.


2:04:18 Jake: Welcome back to the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate. We have covered a lot of ground tonight. Now it is time for closing statements. You will each receive one minute. Governor Bullock, we’re gonna begin with you.

2:04:30 GB: Thanks, Jake. I was raised in a single-parent household, at times paycheck to paycheck. Only knew there was a governor’s house in town ’cause I delivered newspapers to it, so I’ve made it about four blocks in life. Worked my way through college, paid my way through law school. But I had a chance to actually go from delivering newspapers to the governor’s house as a kid to now raising our three kids in it. We gotta recognize, for far too many people now in America, that shot no longer exists. And for far too many in this country, it never has. I’m running for president to beat Donald Trump, win back the places we lost, and make sure that Americans know that where Washington has left them behind in their economy, in the political system, I’ll be there. This isn’t a choice just between center and left, or about, “We don’t have to choose between what we don’t want and what we can’t afford.” Folks want a different way, they wanna believe the economy and our democracy can work for us. That’s why I’m running for president.

2:05:36 Jake: Thank you. Ms. Williamson?

2:05:39 MW: Yes, our problem is not just that we need to defeat Donald Trump. We need a plan to solve institutionalized hatred, collectivized hatred, and white nationalism. And in order to do that, we need more than political insider game and wonkiness and intellectual argument. Those things will not defeat Donald Trump. We need some radical truth-telling, not just to talk about health care, but talk about why are we so sick all the time. We need to have a serious conversation about race and what is truly owed. Even on the subject of foreign policy, it’s all about symptoms and not about cause. We need to talk about the fact that the United States has sacrificed our moral leadership. The fact that countries see us, not only domestically but internationally, with policies that simply support our corporate overlords. The fact that our national defense agenda is driven more by short-term profits for defense contractors than by genuine peace-building.

2:06:32 MW: There’s some corruption that is so deep, ladies and gentlemen. And until the Democratic Party is ready to speak to the deeper corruption, knowing that we ourselves, sometimes, because of our own corporate donations, have participated, then I’m afraid those who vote for Trump will continue to vote for Trump and those who might not like Donald Trump will continue to stay home. I want a politics that goes much deeper, I want a politics that speaks to the heart because the only way to fight… You keep talking about how we’re gonna fight Donald Trump. You can’t fight dog whistles, you have to override them. And the only way you can override them is with new voices, voices of energy that only come from the fact that America has been willing to live up to our own mistakes, atone for our own mistakes, make amends for our own mistakes, love each other, love our democracy, love future generations. Something emotional and psychological that will not be emerging from anything on this stage, it will emerge from something I’m the one who’s qualified to bring forth.

2:07:31 Jake: Congressman Delaney?

2:07:32 CD: Thank you, Jake. John F. Kennedy famously said, “We should not seek the Republican answer, we should not seek the Democratic answer, we should seek the right answer.” He was right when he said it and he’s right today as well. Donald Trump is the symptom of a disease, and the disease is divisiveness. And I’m the only one on this stage talking about curing that disease, which… With big ideas like national service, by focusing on actually solving problems. If we work together, we can fix health care and build infrastructure. We can invest in not just technology, but people and entrepreneurs, whether they be in Storm Lake, Iowa, or Detroit, Michigan, or Baltimore, Maryland. We can fight climate change and reimagine our education system. But we have to do it with real solutions, not impossible promises. Isn’t it time we had a president who was a leader in both the private sector and in government to lead us into the future? I promise, as president, I will restore vision, unity, and leadership, and decency to this country. And that’s why I’m running for president. Thank you.

2:08:46 Jake: Congressman Ryan.

2:08:49 CR: So in a few minutes all of the pundits are gonna be looking at this debate and saying, “Well, who captured the left lane? And who captured the center lane? And who captured the moderate lane? I hope tonight at some level I captured your imagination. Your imagination about what this country could be like if we united, if we put together real policies that weren’t left or right, but new and better. That’s how we win the future. It’s new and better. A new and better economy, a new and better education system, a new and better healthcare system that focuses on prevention, an education system that focuses on the trauma of our kids. There’s not gonna be a savior. Not gonna be a superstar that’s gonna fix all this. It’s gonna be you and me. It’s gonna be us, that’s how we fix this country. You and I coming together to do big things to imagine the new country that we want by coming together. Not left or right, new and better.

2:10:00 Jake: Governor Hickenlooper?

2:10:02 GH: Thank you, and what a night. I’ve loved it. I’d like to ask every American to imagine that you are facing life-threatening surgery tomorrow, would you choose a doctor who had a track record with proven success who’d actually done the work? Or someone who had just talked about it? That’s the question we’re facing in this primary. I’ve actually got a track record as a small business owner, as a mayor and as a governor. We expanded healthcare in Colorado and got near universal coverage. We fought climate change directly. We beat the NRA. And for the last three years, we’ve been the number one economy in the country. We can wrap all that out. I’m as progressive as anybody up on this stage, but I’m also pragmatic. And I’ve done the things that most these other people are just talking about and I know I can get results, and I can lead the people of this country toward a stronger, a healthier, and a more secure future, and defeat Donald Trump and return this country to its glory. Thank you.

2:11:11 Jake: Senator Klobuchar?

2:11:11 SK: Well, thank you, Detroit. To win we have to listen to people, and out there today is Casey Joe’s mom. Casey Joe was a champion high school swimmer from a small town. She got sick, went to the emergency room and got hooked on opioids. The last thing that she said to her mom was, “Mama, it’s not my fault” and she died. A lot of Americans say the same thing every day. And that is what I will stand up for, and what I will stand up against are companies like those pharma companies that got her hooked on those opioids, and didn’t tell the doctors or the patients what was gonna happen. We need someone that has people’s back, we also need someone that can win. And I have won in these red districts. I win in the Midwest. I can win in states like Wisconsin, and Michigan, and Iowa. I also will do my job without fear or favor, just like I did as a prosecutor; and get through the grid lock like I’ve done as a Senator, where I’ve passed over 100 bills where I’ve been the lead Democrat. And last yes, I will govern with integrity. We have a President where people turn off their TV when they see him. Not me. I will make you proud as your president.

2:12:24 Jake: Congressman O’Rourke?

2:12:26 CO: We are as divided and polarized as a country as we have ever been, and right now we have a President who uses fear to try to drive us further apart. To meet this challenge we have to have hope in one another and a faith in a future of this country that includes everyone. My whole life, I’ve been including people in the success of this country. Starting a small business with high value, high wage, high skilled jobs in the third poorest urban county in America. Serving on the city council and holding town hall meetings every single week to remind myself who it is that I serve at the end of the day. And in Congress being in the minority, but working with Democrats and Republicans alike to deliver for my constituents and this country. And then in Texas, this last year. Traveling to every county. Not writing anybody off, not taking anyone for granted. And at the end of the day, winning more votes than any Democrat had in the history of the State. Winning independence for the first time in decades, and winning nearly half a million Republicans. And those 38 electoral college votes in Texas are now in play, and I can win them. That is how we defeat Donald Trump in November of 2020 and how we bring this divided country together again in January of 2021. Thank you.


2:13:45 Jake: Mayor Buttigieg?

2:13:48 MB: There’s good news and bad news. I’m gonna start with the bad news. Our country is in trouble. GDP is going up and life expectancy is going down. Think about what that means. It’s only getting tougher. By 2030 we will have passed the point of no return on climate; there are gonna be 130 million more guns on our streets. I’ll be in my 40s then. If you have kids, think about how old they will be then. But here’s the good news, it’s not too late. We can tell our kids that before we ran out of time, just before we ran out of time. In 2020, we did what it took to deliver a climate that we didn’t have to wonder if it could support us. To deliver a society where race has no bearing on your health or your wealth or your relationship with law enforcement. That we did what it took to deliver an economy where a rising tide actually does lift all boats. We can do this. If and only if we are ready to walk away from what hasn’t worked with bold action, and win. Not only defeat this President, but defeat his Congressional allies. With a defeat so big that it reunites the Republican Party with its conscience, as well as bringing Democrats to office. Join me and let’s make it happen.

2:14:58 Jake: Senator Warren?

2:15:01 SW: From the time I was seven years old, I had a dream. I wanted to be a public school teacher, but my daddy ended up as a janitor and by the time I graduated from high school, my family didn’t have the money to send me off to college. My big chance, was what was then, a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. For me, what this election is all about, is opportunity. Every budget, every policy that we talk about, is about who’s going to get opportunity. Is it gonna go to the billionaires or is it gonna go to our kids? Right now for decades, we have had a government that has been on the side of the rich and the powerful. It has been on the side of the wealthy. And that means it has not been on the side of everyone else. Not on the side of people living on our Native American reservations, people living in inner cities, people living in small farms, and small communities across this country. How do we beat it? We beat it by being the party of big structural change. Give people a reason to show up and vote, and we beat it by building a grassroots movement across this country. Not showing up behind closed doors with millionaires, but actually building it person-by-person across this country. With small dollar donations, with volunteers, with people who show up and say, “I have a stake in this democracy” I will not only beat Donald Trump in 2020, I’ll start to make real change come 2021.


2:16:39 Jake: Senator Sanders?

2:16:44 SS: As somebody who grew up in a family that lived in a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, New York, and lived paycheck to paycheck. I’m running for president, not just to defeat the most dangerous President in the history of this country. A guy who’s a racist, and a sexist, and a homophobe. I’m running to transform this country, and to stand with the working class of America, which for the last 45 years has been decimated. Two days ago I had a remarkable experience, which should tell you everything you need to know about what’s going on in America. I took 15 people with diabetes from Detroit, a few miles into Canada, and we bought insulin for one-tenth the price being charged by the crooks who run the pharmaceutical industry in America today. But it’s not just the price-fixing, and the corruption, and the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s what’s going on in the fossil fuel industry, it’s what’s going on in Wall Street, it’s what’s going on with the prison industrial complex. We need a mass political movement. Please go to, become one of our million volunteers. Stand up and take on the greed…

Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Kickoff in Brooklyn – #Transcripts2020

As part of our #Transcripts2020 project, we are pleased to release the transcript of Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Kickoff in Brooklyn announcement speech. An editable version is available here. All transcripts of this series are available here.

00:00 Bernie Sanders: Brooklyn, thank you.


00:08 BS: What an incredible crowd, thank you so much. Let me… Let me thank Akila for her wonderful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. Let me thank Scott Chason who is standing up not just for the workers in Erie, Pennsylvania, against corporate greed, but for every worker in America. Scott, thank you very much.


00:45 BS: And let me thank representative Terry Alexander of South Carolina. And Terry is right, this is going to be a 50-state campaign. We’re not gonna concede one state to Donald Trump.


01:11 BS: And let me thank my very good friend, Nina Turner. Nina has been with me all across this country. Nina has helped develop one of the great grassroots organizations in this country, Our Revolution. And Nina is mobilizing people from one end of this country to the other… [01:44] ____ Nina, thank you very much. And let me thank Shaun King. All over this country, and I’m gonna say a few words about it today and more tomorrow, people understand we have a broken criminal justice system. And there are few people in American more than Shaun who are fighting to change that system. Shaun, thank you.


02:27 BS: And, lastly, let me thank my wife and my family. Thank you, Jane, and Levi, and David, and Heather, and Karina, and all my beautiful seven grandchildren for the support you’ve given me. Thank you all for coming out today.


03:00 BS: So, you let me thank the weatherman for giving us Vermont weather, thank you. And thank you all for being part of a political revolution which is going to transform America.


03:23 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

03:29 BS: No! No! No! It is not Bernie, it is you! It’s us together! And I want to thank all of you for being part of a campaign which is not only going to win the democratic nomination, which is not only going to defeat Donald Trump, who is the most dangerous president in modern American history, but with your help we are going to transform this country and finally create an economy and a government which works for all of us, not just the 1%.


04:34 BS: Today, at our very first rally, I want to welcome you to a campaign, which says loudly and clearly that the underlying principles of our government will not be greed, hatred, and lies. It will not be racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and religious bigotry. It will not be tax breaks for billionaires and efforts to throw millions off the healthcare that they currently have. This campaign is going to end all of that. The principles of our government will be based on justice: On economic justice, on social justice, on racial justice, on environmental justice. Today, I welcome you to a campaign which tells the powerful special interests who control so much of our economic and political life, that we will no longer tolerate the greed of corporate America and the billionaire class. Greed which has resulted in this country having more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on earth.


06:49 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

06:49 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

06:53 BS: No, we will no longer stand idly by and allow three families in this country to own more wealth than the bottom half of the American people. And while these families become richer, over 20% of our children live in poverty, veterans sleep out on the streets, and senior citizens cannot afford their prescription drugs. We are here to tell the 1% that we will no longer tolerate 46% of all new income going to the very richest people in this country, while millions of Americans are working two or three jobs just to survive and pay the bills.


08:02 BS: Today we launch our fight for a political revolution and we say to the private health insurance companies, whether you like it or not, the United States is going to join every other major country on Earth and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. And you can spend all the money you want against us, we will have a Medicare for all, single-payer system. And today we say to the pharmaceutical industry, that you will no longer charge the American people the highest prices in the world by far for the medicine they desperately need. Whether you like it or not, your greed is gonna end and we are gonna low the cost of prescription drugs in this country. Today we say to Walmart, to the fast food industry and to other low wage employers, stop paying your workers starvation wages. Yes, we are going to raise the minimum wage in this country to at least 15 bucks an hour and we are gonna make it easier for workers to join unions.

10:05 BS: Today we say to the American people that we will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, and our bridges, and our rail system, our water systems, our waste water plants, and our airports. And when we do that, we’re gonna create up to 13 million decent paying jobs. And today we say to the parents in our country that you and your children deserve quality affordable child care. And today, here at Brooklyn college, we say the young people all over this country, we want you to get the best education you can regardless of your income. Good jobs require a good education, and that is why we are going to make public colleges and universities tuition free. And why we are going to substantially lower the outrageous level of student debt in this country.

11:48 BS: America once had… Once had the best educated workforce in the world, and we are going to make that happen again. And today we say to our senior citizens in Vermont, in Brooklyn, in California, we know you cannot survive with dignity on 14,000 dollars a year social security. My republican colleagues in the senate wanna cut social security benefits. Well, we’ve got some bad news for them, we’re going to raise social security benefits.

12:43 BS: Today we say to Donald Trump and the fossil fuel industry, that climate change is not a hoax. But it is an existential threat to our country and the entire planet, and we intend to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy. And when we do that, we’re gonna create millions of good paying jobs. All of us, and every person in this country, has a moral responsibility to make certain that the planet we leave our kids and our grandchildren is a planet that is healthy and habitable.


14:01 BS: And today we say to the prison industrial complex that we are going to achieve real criminal justice reform in this country. We are going to end the international embarrassment of the United States having more people in jail than any other country on Earth. Instead of spending 80 billion a year in jails and incarceration, we are going to invest in jobs and education for our young people. No more private prisons, no more profiteering from locking people up, no more war on drugs that has destroyed so many lives.

15:13 BS: No more keeping people in jail because they are too poor to afford cash bail. And by the way, when we talk about criminal justice reform we’re gonna change a system in which tens of thousands of Americans every year get criminal records for possessing marijuana, but not one major Wall Street executive went to jail for destroying our economy in 2008. No, they didn’t go to jail, they got a trillion dollar bail out. Today we say to the American people that instead of demonizing the undocumented immigrants in this country, we’re gonna pass comprehensive immigration reform and provide a path toward citizenship.

16:42 BS: We’re gonna provide legal status to the 1.8 million young people eligible for the DACA program and develop a humane border policy for those who seek asylum. The United States will no longer snatch babies from the arms of their mothers. Today we say to the 1% and the large, profitable corporations in America, listen up because this applies to you. We say to the 1% in large corporations that under a Bernie Sanders administration, you’re not gonna be getting more tax breaks. Quite the contrary, we’re gonna end your tax breaks and your loop holes, you are gonna start paying your fair share of taxes.

17:56 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!


18:02 BS: We will no longer… We will no longer accept the absurd situation where large multi-billion dollar corporations like Amazon, Netflix, and General Motors pay nothing in federal income taxes. And we’re not gonna allow these corporations and the billionaires to stash their money in the Cayman Islands and in other tax havens. Yes, the wealthy and multinational corporations will start paying their fair share of taxes. We’re going to end austerity for working families and bring a little austerity for the wealthy and the powerful.

18:58 BS: Today we say to the military industrial complex that we will not continue to spend 700 billion dollars a year on the military, more than the top 10 nations combined. We’re gonna invest in affordable housing, we’re gonna invest in public education, and we’re going to invest in our crumbling infrastructure. No more major major investments in never ending wars.


19:49 BS: Brothers and sisters, we are going to win this election not because we have a super PAC funded by billionaires. We’re gonna win this election because we are putting together the strongest grassroots campaign in the history of American politics.


20:25 BS: Donald Trump wants to divide us up based on the color of our skin, based on where we were born, based on our gender, based on our religion or our sexual orientation. What we are about is doing exactly the opposite, we’re gonna bring our people together.


21:06 BS: Black and white, Latino, Asian-American, Native-American, gay and straight, young and old, men and women, native-born and immigrant, we are together and together we will transform this country.


21:35 BS: If I might take a moment, as I return here to the area that I was born, let me say a few personal words. As we launch this campaign for president, you deserve to know where I came from because family history, obviously, heavily influences the values that we develop as adults. I was born, literally, a few miles away from here on East 26th Street in King’s Highway. And my family and I lived in a three and a half room, rent-controlled apartment. My father was a paint salesman who worked hard his entire life but never made much money. And my mother raised my brother and me. I learned a great deal about immigration as a child because my father came from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket, without knowing one word of English. He came to the United States to escape the crushing poverty that existed in his community and to escape widespread anti-semitism.

23:10 BS: And it was a good thing that he came to this country because virtually his entire family was wiped up by Hitler and Nazi barbarism. I am not going to tell you that I grew up in a home of desperate poverty, that would not be true. But what I will tell you is that coming from a lower middle-class family, I will never forget about how money or really, lack of money was always a point of stress in our family. My mother’s dream was that some day our family would move out of that rent-controlled apartment to a home of our own. That dream was never fulfilled. She died young, while we still lived in that rent-controlled apartment. My experience as a child living in a family that struggled economically powerfully influenced my life and my values. I know where I came from. And that is something I will never forget. Unlike Donald Trump, who shut down the government and left 800,000 federal employees without income to pay their bills, I know what it’s like to be in a family that lives paycheck to paycheck.

24:58 BS: Now it is true, I did not have a father who gave me millions of dollars to build luxury skyscrapers, casinos, and country clubs. I did not come from a family that gave me a $200,000 allowance every year, beginning at the age of three. As I recall, my allowance was 25 cents a week. But I had something more valuable. I had the role model of a father who had unbelievable courage in journeying across an ocean, with no money in his pocket, to start a new and better life. I did not come from a family of privilege that prepared me to entertain people on television by telling workers, “You’re fired.” I came from a family who knew all too well the frightening power employers can have over every day workers.

26:24 BS: I did not come from a family that could afford to send my brother and me to an elite boarding school. In fact, I was educated proudly in high quality public schools here in Brooklyn. And began my higher education right here on this campus.


26:54 BS: I should also mention that my brother Larry graduated from Brooklyn College. I did not come from a family that taught me to build a corporate empire through housing discrimination, I protested housing discrimination, was arrested for protesting school segregation. And one of the proudest days of my life was attending the March on Washington for jobs and freedom led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


27:45 BS: Brothers and sisters, over the last two years and before that, you and I and millions of Americans have stood up and fought for justice in every part of our society, and we’ve had some successes. Together as billionaires and large corporations have attacked unions, destroyed pensions, deregulated the banks, and slashed wages, we have succeeded in raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour in states and cities all across this country. And together, we forced Amazon and the Disney Corporation to do the same.


28:35 BS: And together, we have stood with teachers all across this country who went out on strike to fight for better schools for their kids. Together, as the forces of militarism have kept us engaged in never ending wars, we have stored together and fought back. For the first time in 45 years, we have utilized the War Powers Act to move us forward to end the horrific Saudi-led war in Yemen.


29:21 BS: Together, as so many of our young people have received criminal records for non-violent offenses, we have fought to end the war on drugs and have seen state after state decriminalize the possession of marijuana. And are beginning to see states and communities expunge the records of those who are arrested for marijuana.


29:54 BS: We have won some victories but, clearly, we have a long, long way to go. And I am here to tell you that because all of the work we have done together, we are on the brink of not just winning an election but transforming our country.


30:24 BS: And let me tell you a little of what that means. When we are in the White House, we will enact a federal jobs guarantee to ensure that everyone in this country is guaranteed a job. There is more than enough work to be done in this country, let’s get it done.


30:58 BS: When we are in the White House, we will attack the problem of urban gentrification and build the affordable housing this country desperately needs. When we are in the White House, we will end the decline of rural America. We will re-open rural hospitals that I’ve been closed. And we will make sure that the young people in rural communities have decent jobs so that they can remain in the communities that they love.


31:47 BS: When we are in the White House, we’re gonna end the epidemic of gun violence in this country. And we are gonna pass the common sense gun safety legislation that the overwhelming majority of Americans wanna see.


32:10 BS: When we are in the White House, we’re going to address not only the national disparities of wealth and income, but the racial disparities of wealth and income. We are going together to root out institutional racism wherever it exists. Not only will we end the cowardly outrage of voter suppression, we’re gonna make it easier for people to vote, not harder.


32:52 BS: When we are in the White House, we are going to protect a woman’s right to control her own body.


33:04 BS: That decision is a woman’s decision, not the federal government, not the state government, not the local government. Please make no mistake about it. The struggle that we are undertaking is not just about defeating Donald Trump. This struggle is about taking on the incredibly powerful institutions that control the economic and political life of our nation. And I am… And let me be very specific, I’m talking about Wall Street, I’m talking about the insurance companies, the drug companies, the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, the fossil fuel industry, and a corrupt campaign finance system that enables billionaires to buy elections.


34:23 BS: Brothers and sisters, we have…

34:29 S?: Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!


34:41 BS: Brothers and sisters, we have an enormous amount of work in front of us and the path forward will not be easy. The wealthy and powerful elite who decade after decade have gotten everything they want will do all that they can to defend their financial interests, and they have an unlimited amount of money at their disposal. But we have something that they do not have, we have the people together.


35:37 BS: So this is what I believe. This is what I believe from the bottom of my heart, if we do not allow Trump and his friends to divide us up, if we stand together, black and white, and Latino, Asian-American, Native-American. If we stand together, urban and rural, north, south, east and west. If we stand together not as red state and blue state, but as working people fighting for dignity. If we stand together believing in justice and human dignity, if we stand together believing in love and compassion, if we stay together, brothers and sisters, the future of this country is extraordinary and there is nothing we will not be able to accomplish. Thank you all very much.

Bernie Sanders Full Speech Transcript at 2016 Democratic National Convention

Disclaimer: The views and opinions of authors expressed within do not necessarily state or reflect those of We’re transcribing the following political speeches in their entirety for posterity and use as a resource in aiding the flow of information. We’re transcribing major speeches from both presidential candidates as well as other public figures as we go into the heat of the election season. Read more about our stance here.



Bernie Sanders: Thank you. Thank you. It is an honor to be here tonight and to be following in the footsteps of my good friend Elizabeth Warren, and to be here tonight to thank Michelle Obama for her incredible service to our country.


BS: She has made all of us proud. Let me begin by thanking the hundreds of thousands of Americans who actively participated in our campaign as volunteers. Thank you.


BS: Let me thank the two-and-a-half million Americans who helped fund our campaign with an unprecedented eight million individual campaign contributions.


BS: Anyone know what that average contribution was?

Crowd: $27.

BS: Right, $27. And let me thank the 13 million Americans who voted for the political revolution.


BS: Giving us the 1,846 pledged delegates here tonight.


BS: And delegates, thank you for being here, and thank you for all the work you have done. I look forward…


BS: I look forward to your votes during the roll call tomorrow night.


BS: And let me offer a special thanks to the people of my own state of Vermont who have sustained me and supported me as a mayor, congressman, senator and presidential candidate. And to my family, my wife, Jane, our four kids and seven grandchildren, thank you very much.


BS: I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process. I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am.


BS: But to all of our supporters here and around the country, I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved.


BS: Together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution, our revolution, continues.


BS: Election days come and go, but the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us, and not just the 1%.


BS: A government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice, that struggle continues.

BS: And I look forward to being part of that struggle with you.


BS: Let me be as clear as I can be. This election is not about, and has never been about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates who sought the presidency. This election is not about political gossip, it’s not about polls, it’s not about campaign strategy, it’s not about fund-raising, it’s not about all the things that the media spends so much time discussing.


BS: This election is about, and must be about, the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and our grandchildren.


BS: This election is about ending the 40-year decline of our middle class.


BS: The reality that 47 million men, women and children today live in poverty. It is about understanding that if we do not transform our economy, our younger generation will likely have a lower standard of living than their parents. This election is about ending the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in America today.


BS: It is not moral, it is not acceptable, and it is not sustainable that the top one-tenth of 1% now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. Or that the top 1% in recent years has earned 85% of all new income. That is unacceptable. That must change. This election is about remembering where we were seven-and-a-half years ago when President Obama came into office after eight years of Republican trickle-down economics.


BS: The Republicans want us to forget that as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, our economy was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. That’s where we were. That is where we were. Some 800,000 people a month were losing their jobs, 800,000 people. We were running up a record-breaking deficit of $1.4 trillion, and by the way, the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse. That’s where we were when President Obama came into office. Well, we have come a long way in the last seven-and-a-half years and I thank President Obama and Vice-President Biden.


BS: I thank them for their leadership in pulling us out of that terrible recession. Yes, we have made progress, but I think we can all agree that much, much more needs to be done.


BS: This election is about which candidate understands the real problems facing this country and has offered real solutions.


BS: Not just bombast, not just fear-mongering, not just name-calling and the divisiveness. We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger.


BS: Not leadership which insults Latinos and Mexicans, insults Muslims and women, African-Americans and veterans and Sikhs, to divide us up.


BS: By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that, based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.


BS: The choice…


BS: This election is about a single mother, a single mom I saw in Nevada. Who, with tears in her eyes, told me she was scared to death about the future because she and her daughter were not making it on the $10.45 an hour she was earning. This election is about that woman and the millions of other workers in this country who are struggling to survive on totally inadequate wages.


BS: Hillary Clinton understands that if someone in this country works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty.


BS: She understands that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And she is determined to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, bridges, water systems and wastewater plants. But her opponent, Donald Trump, well, he has a very different point of view. He does not support raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a starvation wage. While Trump believes in huge tax breaks, huge tax break for billionaires, he believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25. Brothers and sisters, this election is about overturning Citizens United.


BS: Citizens United is one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in the history of our country. That decision allows the wealthiest people in America, like the billionaire Koch brothers, to spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections, and in the process, undermine American democracy. Hillary Clinton will nominate Justices to the Supreme Court who are prepared to overturn Citizens United.


BS: And end the movement toward oligarchy that we are seeing in this country. Her Supreme Court appointments will also defend a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants, and the government’s ability to protect our environment.


BS: If you don’t believe that this election is important, if you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court Justices that Donald Trump would nominate, and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country. This election is about the thousands of young people I have met all over this country.


BS: The thousands that I have met who left college deeply in debt, and, tragically, the many others who cannot afford to go to college. During the Primary campaign, Secretary Clinton and I, both focused on this issue but with somewhat different approaches. Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America.


BS: It will guarantee that the children of any family in this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less, 83% of our population, will be able to go to a public college or university, tuition-free.


BS: That proposal also substantially reduces student debt.


BS: This election is about climate change, the great environmental crisis facing our planet, and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and habitable for our children and future generations.


BS: Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists, who tell us that unless we act boldly to transform our energy system in the very near future, there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels. She understands that we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs transforming our energy system.


BS: And Donald Trump? Well, like most Republicans, he chooses to reject science. He believes that climate change is a ‘hoax’, no need to address it. Hillary Clinton understands that a president’s job is to worry about future generations, not the profits of the fossil fuel industry.


BS: This campaign is about moving the United States toward universal health care.


BS: And reducing the number of people who are uninsured or under-insured. Hillary Clinton wants to see that all Americans have the right to choose a public option in their Healthcare Exchange.


BS: She believes that anyone 55 or older, should be able to opt in to Medicare.


BS: And she wants to see millions more Americans gain access to primary healthcare, dental care, mental health counseling, low-cost prescription drugs, through a major expansion of community health centers.


BS: And what is Donald Trump’s position on healthcare? Well, no surprise there. Same old, same old Republican contempt for working families. He wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act, throw 20 million people off of health insurance, and cut Medicaid for lower-income Americans. Hillary Clinton also understands that millions of seniors, disabled vets and others are struggling with the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs. And the fact that Americans pay the highest prices in the world for the medicine we use. She knows that Medicare must negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry.


BS: And that drug companies should not be making billions in profit, when one out of five Americans are unable to afford the medicine they need. The greed of the drug companies must end.


BS: This election is about the leadership we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform and repair a broken criminal justice system.


BS: It’s about making sure that young people in this country are in good schools and in good jobs, not rotting in jail cells.


BS: Hillary Clinton understands that we have to invest in education and jobs for our young people, not more jails or incarceration.


BS: In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up.


BS: While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.


BS: Yes, we become stronger when black and whites, Latino, Asian-American, Native-American, when all of us stand together.


BS: Yes, we become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native-born and immigrant, fight together to create the kind of country we all know we can become.


BS: It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That is what this campaign has been about. That is what democracy is about.


BS: Well, I’m happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee, there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns, and we produced, by far the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.


BS: Among many, many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street.


BS: And the passage of a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act.


BS: It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing trade agreements, like the TPP.


Crowd: Go TPP, go TPP, go, TPP…

BS: Our job… [chuckle] Alright. We have got to make sure that TPP does not get to the floor of the Congress in the lame duck session.


BS: Our job now is to see that strong Democratic Platform implemented by a Democratic-controlled Senate.


BS: By a Democratic House, and a Hillary Clinton presidency.


BS: And I am going to do all that I can to make that happen.


BS: I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great First Lady, who broke precedent in terms of the role that a First Lady was supposed to play, as she helped lead the fight for universal health care.


BS: I served with her in the United States Senate, and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women and for the disabled.


BS: Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president, and I am proud to stand with her tonight. Thank you all very much.