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Bernie's Brilliant Des Moines Register Interview (The Most Important Newspaper in the Context of the Primaries)

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Full interview: Bernie Sanders meets with the Register's editorial board (12.6.19) Watch live as presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont meets with the Register's editorial board on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. Read more: ...
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This is completely brilliant, in every sense of the word, and in terms of every issue that the Editorial Board brings up in the form of profound and incisive questions.

It is clear that these folks are quite serious as they approach in the near future, as in about a month, from now, at the end of January 2020, when they make their endorsement for the Democratic Primary.

I have had a long and profound interest in and faith in the power of the Editorial pages of America.

I believe now, as I did in 2016, and as I did in the various elections in 2018, particularly Texas, that the Editorial pages ... can and will tip the scale for the ultimate victor.

This is something to be proud of as Americans, that despite many harsh criticisms, we still have a functioning free press that is not largely beholden to Wall Street or to corporate America.

editor's note: Here's the raw transcript of the interview, done by voice to text technology, by youtube:

well senator you want to make sure that

no one in America pays more than $200

for the medicine they need by capping

what Americans pay for prescription

drugs Medicare for part of Medicare for

all you should say you'll do that by

negotiating drug prices under Medicare

and also indexing drug prices to other

countries but still that almost sounds

too good to be true how did the fan

financing work first of all we have to

understand that right now as a nation we

are paying by far highest prices in the

world for richer dressed now let me be

clear when I'm using my words advisedly

we're dealing not only with the greed of

the pharmaceutical industry which made

69 billion dollars in profit last year

while one out of five Americans cannot

afford to fill the prescriptions that

doctors prescribed we're dealing with

corruption as well we're dealing with

price fixing we're dealing with

collusion and I don't even have to go

into the opioid epidemic it's another

example of what the pharmaceutical

industry is doing a couple of months ago

you may recall I took folks from the

Midwest for Michigan over the Canadian

border we purchased insulin for 1/10 the

price in Canada in terms of what we're

paying here in the United States so what

you got is an industry that has to be

taken on they have spent over the last

thirty years four billion dollars on

lobbying and campaign contributions so

today if you go into your pharmacy and

the pharmacist tells you your price of

your medicine is double or triple

nothing anybody can do it

do about it so we got to take them on

and what we do is three things number

one on like what goes on in other

countries medicare-for-all will

negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical

industry not let them charge any price

that they want number two we will do as

you indicate an index with major

countries around the world in the second

point if you're selling this drug in

France in the UK for X dollars why do

you think you're gonna sell it in the

United States for five times more third

I believe in prescription drug

re-importation which means that

pharmacists prescription drug

distributors should be able to buy

fda-approved medicine elsewhere and

charge it at that price in the United

States and then by doing that and also

terms of Medicare for putting public

money into subsidizing prescription

drugs we can have a program which says

nobody in America should pay more than

two hundred dollars a year for the

prescription drugs they need and the

drug man

well the drug makers argue that they

need the kind of income they're getting

for research into new drugs and may save

more lives but what is here is they're

lining up there this is a corrupt

industry and I really I respect the

researches and God knows that we need

research into housing business and

cancer and other serious illnesses and

we need to do that but as you may or may

not know they spent far more money on

advertising promotion executive salaries

than they do in fact in research and

development even research and

development sometimes y'all were they

called me to drugs you change the color

of the judge you modify a little bit

that's a new drug not really a new truck

we need breakthroughs in cancer we need

breakthroughs in Alzheimer's we need

break foods and diabetes terrible

illnesses ravaging the people of this

country and around the world talk

specifically about insulin because

that many of the reforms have been

around for a long time right what did

you do you've got a few manufacturers of

insulin they may just say to you we

won't tell well they may say that too

many but they're not going to say that

to my attorney general yes my attorney

general will charge them with antitrust

violations in terms of insulin it turns

out I learned this when I went on that


this is unbelievable but this is where

we are as an issue this is not only a

dysfunctional health care system but

dealing with pharmaceuticals there are

some seven and a half million people as

I recall who use insulin about 25% of

them are rationing insulin all right

that's insane and when your ration

insulin you get sick up sometimes you

die so what we will do is there has been

a patent and you're right three major

companies and it produce about 90

percent of insulin in this country and

just coincidentally no doubt one raises

that price the other one raises their

price that's what I mean by price fixing

and that's what I mean by Christendom

are you would just cross your break

would you support the government

manufacturing and something like that

there's not a question of when you're

president you don't threaten them price

fixing happens to be illegal

that is corruption no we just support

the government getting in the business

and meaning that what would you would do

is take away their intellectual property

there is air ownership of intellectual

property if they continue to engage in

illegal behavior right now in terms of

health care it is insane as I said

earlier that one out of five people are

walked into a doctor's office and get a

prescription cannot afford to fill that

prescription some of them die

some of them are becoming sicker and

then when you look at the opioid

epidemic what the state's attorneys

general are now doing all over this

country are suing the major opioid

manufacturers because they knowingly

underline knowingly was selling a

product that they knew was addictive

that was killing people and their

response was to hire more sales people

that is the mentality of the industry

kara let's jump in the editorialized

recently on your beyond your bed I heard

about that your wall I'm right okay

thanks to us of why we should have a

parallel system with infrastructure and

and I've talked to people about your

siphoning workers off this idea that you

want you know worried those health

workers gonna come from they're gonna

come out of the private sector so talk

about look you got on the former chair

of the US Senate Committee on Veterans

Affairs and have had the honor and the

privilege of working with the American

Legion the DAV of Vietnam that's and

that's you know all of the VFW all of

the major veterans organizations so I

think first thought and I will I

remember this distinctly as the chair we

had a hearing and we lined up every one

of the veterans organizations and we

said you tell me do the your membership

American Legion VFW DAV whatever it may

be how do they feel about VA health care

and I'm Chuck directed great good very

good excellent do you want to see it

privatized absolutely not absolutely not

are there problems within the VA

absolutely wrong all right and one of

the concerns that I have is that Trump

is trying to privatize the VA and I

think that that is a very bad idea

look here is the you know the bottom

line here is no matter what your view is

on this without war and you're looking

at somebody who led the opposition to

the war in Iraq Gulf War is when people

put their lives on the line and men and

women put their lives on the line to

defend this country they are entitled to

receive the very best health care that

this country can provide

and they are tiled also to understand

that when you come back for more

you walk into a private doctor's office

you're dealing with PTSD or maybe you

saw your buddy get blown up in front of

you not everybody appreciates that

experience and I think one of the things

and talk to veterans about this that

they like about the VA is that many of

the staff there are veterans themselves

they are familiar with veterans issues

they know what veterans have gone

through and they were able to

communicate better there's nothing more

frustrating I think to the veterans that

I have talked to when they talk to a

doctor really doesn't know what combat

is about so bottom line is I do believe

I do support what the major veterans

organizations want they want us not to

privatize the VA they want us to

strengthen the VA which now has tens of

thousands of they conceives in terms of

doctors and nurses and other steps so

where are you going to get the fifty

thousand workers you want add well we

need your touching on one part of the

healthcare crisis it is not just the VA

do we have enough doctors in America no

do we have enough doctors in rural

America absolutely not in urban America

no we don't what we need is a lot and

many of the doctors and dentists by the

way are getting older so we need to make

sure that when I talk about Medicare for

all and healthcare for a wall it's not

only guaranteeing healthcare is a human

right that doesn't do you any good if

there's not a doctor in your community

if there's not a hospital in your

community so what we have got to do is

to significantly expand the number of

doctors let me also tell you something

doctors of Cullum african-american

doctors and nurses Latino doctors and

nurses but we need to get doctors into

the communities that where they are

needed and that touches you know one of

the things you learn when you run for

president you'll excuse me you know I'm

here to answer any question yeah but

everything is related to everything else

that's what you learn

so let's segue into immigration I know

looks like wait one minute I'm gonna get

to our answer you answered your question

yeah but let me get to the issue of why

I'm calling for public colleges and

universities to be tuition free and


and canceling also yet if you've got a

medical school and you come out three

four hundred thousand dollars in debt

and I'll never forget being in Des

Moines talking to a young woman

graduated dental school four hundred

thousand dollars a night what you think

you're gonna practice in rural are you

want I don't think so

you're gonna go to some fancy place we

can make you money to pay off your

student debt so what we have got to do

is expand the programs like National

Health Service Corps would say to you if

you want to practice an underserved area

we're going to cancel all of your

student debt and then you can practice

an underserved areas all right

so number one I believe that health care

is a human right I think it is absurd

that we are spending twice as much per

person on health care as do the people

of any other country when eighty seven

million of Americans are uninsured or

underinsured $30,000 a year and some

500,000 people go bankrupt because of

medically related deaths that is an

insane system it is a dysfunctional

system got to move to Medicare for them

well to say we what I'm thinking of an

immigration though as many of our

doctors are here on visas

do we need is that where we can find

more health professional well well

that's one area but I think you we

educate young people we make we say to

to the young people in this country not

just in health care in climate change in

other areas we need you all right so you

want to go to medical school

all right you go to medical school gonna

forgive all of your student that and by

the way you know four years ago when I

came to the state now I want to thank

the people of Iowa for the strong

support they gave me and it's not just a

personal issue when I'm thanking them

for the ideas that I brought to Iowa

which a lot of the establishment thought

were crazy and radical maybe some in the

Des Moines Register turned out not to be

so crazy and radical so the idea of

making public colleges and universities

tuition-free you know that's an idea is

spreading all over the country New

Mexico for example has adopted that New

York state California people are moving

in that direction so you know we're

going to continue the struggle to make

sure that health care is a human right

for all people question Bob Walker

now I'll transition to what you really

should should almost go throw this thing

with the Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst


I know them both I like them both

Chuck and I often ride the tram to

voting together and I like Johnny as

well but where I am disappointed on them

and maybe we'll talk about climate

change is in this day and age we cannot

have members of the United States Senate

denying the reality and the severity of

the climate change crisis it's gonna hit

Iowa in terms of your agriculture terms

of the great cost that the floods are

going to result in for communities all

over the state it's too late for people

to say well we're not sure we are sure

I'm gonna listen to the scientists that

I wanna I just want to say hopeful

discuss climate change in a minute but

if there is anything we have got to

understand is that the scientists have

recently told us that they

underestimated the severity and the

extent to which climate change is

ravaging our country and the entire

world this is an existential crisis and

if we don't get our act together and

move aggressively extremely aggressively

um in terms of climate change then the

planet we are leaving our children and

future generations will be significantly

uninhabitable and unhealthy and we

cannot allow that to happen this is an

issue I feel very very strongly about

and when I'm looking at the fossil fuel

industry today I'm thinking back to the

tobacco industry and I'm thinking back

here some of you remember that famous

picture of the tobacco executives

raising their arms members of Congress

said do you believe that tobacco is

causing health habits that it's

addictive oh no no we have no evidence

to believe that they liked they had the

evidence my father smoked two packs a

day he died at the age of 58

okay true story proof you know we gave

the cigarettes out to the soldiers in

World War two okay they lied about the

the incredible health impact of tobacco

right now the the fossil fuel industry

this line when they deny the reality of

climate change were the severity of

climate change and as president I will

deal with my so whether you agree or

disagree the cause of climate changed is

there any disagreement

well let me let me let me stop you

let me stop you're right there I'll

answer your question I promise all right

we're beyond that okay five years ago

the fossil fuel industry put a lot of

money into these think tanks and had

these scientists on their payroll saying

well we're not sure about the evidence

there's the actual warming and all that

other stuff the scientific I'm not I am

NOT a scientist like to help physics in

college but I do read science okay

there's no debate anymore and let's end

that nonsense about the being debate

climate change is real climate change is

caused by human activity climate change

is doing devastating harm climate change

will ravage this planet Iowa Vermont the

whole country unless we got our act

together that's already interrupt you so

my question is this there are those out

there to deny the human factor and

including President of the United States

there so it's hard but it is hard to

ignore or deny the reality I mean in

Iowa farmers as you point out are

dealing with wetter fields than ever all

the time coastal cities are gonna deal

with fighting so I mean at some point

the debate doesn't it have to move off

and produce all of this we got to deal

with it because even if we do have a

green new deal it's going to take

decades to get it in action and then the

meantime got a lot of environmental

impact I agree with everything you said

is that people even those who are

denying the reality if you're a farmer

and you don't think climate change it's

real and you can't plant your crops

because your fields covered with mud

right you know you're understanding

something is coming on if you got

drought which is going to cut back on

the quality of the product that you're


where I disagree with you is we don't

have decades we don't have decades and I

don't want to frighten anybody and then

I'm not here to tell you that this is my

research it's not I'm listening to what

the scientists are telling us we do not

have decades if you're talking about

decades then you're really dooming your

kids and your grandchildren

to an increasingly unhealthy life not

only in this country you're talking

about coastal communities not just Miami

not just Charleston not just live in New

York City you're talking about

Bangladesh you're talking about the UNAM

you're talking about hundreds and

hundreds of millions of people being

displaced from where they are living

with all of the cataclysmic global

problems that causes in terms of mass

migrations so this is what we got to do

when we have to understand this I mean

if I told you that there was some

country declared war on the United

States of America you know was attacking

us you would not say well we got decades

to deal with it you don't know decades

we have got to deal with it now and we

have to deal with it in a very dramatic

and aggressive way and that's what I am

very proud to say that the legislature

have introduced is the most

comprehensive proposal out there to

address climate change and it can't be

decades we've got to move a lot quicker

than that not only in America but around

the world your plan one of the things it

says is to to enlist farmers like those

in Iowa with carbon sequestration and

being part of the solution just yet very

simple things in the impasse farm bills

like more money for conservation say

haven't been able to get past so how do

we get over the hump to start movement

you're asking a question not only about

agriculture not only about climate

change you're really asking your

question about political corruption this

if you go out that the country today you

say should we invest more money in

conservation should we make it easier

for farmers to be part of the solution

in terms of climate change 90% of the

people say of course we should what's

the problem but the problem in

Washington right now and I know I won't

surprise to many people and saying it is

that we have a corrupt political system

in which Congress especially my

Republican colleagues are interested in

doing the bidding of the wealthy and the

powerful and campaign contributors

rather than responding to the needs of

ordinary Americans whether it is farmers

of workers so to answer your question

you know the subtitle of my campaign as

you know is called a political

revolution and I use those words

advisedly and I know that gets some

people nervous but essentially what I

believe is that in this particular

moment in history when we have massive

levels of income and wealth inequality

three people owning more wealth from the

bottom half of America when you got a

corrupt political system which allows

billionaires to spend hundreds of

millions of dollars to buy candidates

will represent the wealthy and the

powerful we need whether it is

agriculture protecting family farmers or

anything else we need a mass movement of

working people to stand up and take on

the one percent

and the corporate elite and that is what

our campaign is about you you used the

term corrupt in a TV ad that's running

in Iowa now you call President Trump the

most corrupt president in American

history and it shows the president

shaking Vladimir Putin's hand given that

can you honestly approach an impeachment

trial with an open mind fair question

and I will do my best

what I will tell you I mean your the

question you're asking me is a

reasonable question I'm gonna be a juror

have I already decided that he's guilty

what my promises and I think my

obligation as the United States Senator

who will if he is a beach being a juror

is to listen to all of the evidence so

you can dislike Trump you can disagree

with Trump you can think Trump is a

terrible terrible president does that

mean that his crime the what he did is

indeed well not necessarily no it does

not so I've got to listen to the

evidence so it will certainly be hearing

but Trump's defenders have to say but

this is what I will tell you is if I

were in the house based on what I have

heard and seen so far I would vote to

impeach Trump I think he has obstructed

justice terms of the Mulder

investigation I think he is likely

guilty of the emoluments clause which

prohibits a president for earning money

from making money through his position

as president I think he has used this

position as president to make many

millions of dollars and lastly I think

in terms of the Ukraine if you are doing

a quid pro quo in terms of providing

hundreds of millions of dollars in

military aid to an ally in exchange for

dirt on a political opponent that's an

impeachable offense as well so I will if

I were in the house based on what I know

I would vote to impeach on the United

States Senate if it comes to the Senate

I will listen to all of the evidence and

make a decision based on

we wanted to circle back to student loan

debt because it's something that you've

talked about a lot yes how do you talk

with people who didn't get to go to

college and say that it's fair to cancel

the debt for all those people who got

that privilege what I say is that we

can't working people cannot allow

themselves to be divided up I believe

that in a highly competitive global

economy that we have to rethink what

free public education means Iowa has

been one of the leaders historically in

public education and the fights the

people in Iowa made a hundred plus years

ago and saying you know what all kids

regardless of their income have a right

to go to high school their high school

degree and it should be free should be

paid for out of public taxes that was a

huge breakthrough for the working class

of this country so there only it would

not only be rich people being able to

send their kids to college the time is

now to re-examine that concept and I

believe that in this day and age with

the explosion of technology and a global

economy if we want our kids to go out

and get the good jobs that are there

they're gonna need a higher education

that does not just mean college by the

way it means trade school you want to be

a sheetmetal worker you want to be a

carpet you want to be a plumber you need

additional training and I think we

should make public colleges and

universities tuition-free we should be

substantially increase Pell grants and

work-study programs so bottom line is

anybody in America who wants a higher

education should be able to do that now

in terms of student debt you got some 45

million Americans that are dealing with

student that I have talked to young

people wouldn't paying off that debt for

decades they can't get married and have

kids they can't buy a house they can't

buy a car that generation often will

have a lower real wages than their

parents and I think it is appropriate to

say to that generation both for them

and for the economy that we are going to

cancel those student debts now how do we

do that do we put the burden on the

average working person that we don't we

are saying that at a time when we bailed

out the crooks on Wall Street whose

greed and illegal behavior nearly

destroyed our economy back in 2008 we

bailed them out and we bailed them out

not only through a top grant of 700

billion dollars but through zero

interest loans trillions of dollars of

zero interest loans which is real money

and I think if we can bail the crooks

out on Wall Street if we can give a

trillion dollars in tax breaks through

1% and private corporations which is

what Trump did you know what we can

cancel all student debt that was in this

family because it was the right thing to

do it was done because we were facing

what we thought was a economic

apocalypse well that's the only way it's

not comparable to well if you are if you

are that young person who graduated

dental school who I talked to in Des

Moines young woman $400,000 in debt

maybe it's an apocalypse for her but I

think punishing I mean philosophically

let me back it up a little bit and to

say that 50 years ago 60 years ago do

you know how much it costs to go to some

of the great public universities of

America you call it the University of

California the university city of New

York I wouldn't be surprised the

universities here in Iowa virtually

tuition-free am i right on that one no

it's well going back to your statement

about Iowa public education another

I are late sans private colleges what

does free tuition of public universities

do to those I'll tell you what it does

schools what it does is part of our

educational the only point that I want

to make is that what I'm proposing for

public colleges universities not such a

radical idea because we virtually had it

50 or 60 years ago

so how come right now we're more wealthy

oh how young people are finding that

harder to go to college second of all in

terms of your question what we also do

is not only make public colleges and

universities tuition-free we greatly

expand Pell grants and work-study

programs so that if somebody who has

every right in the world wants to go to

a private college they will be able to

do that as well we make it far easier

the goal is to have anybody in this

country who wants a higher education

again not just college betray'd school

be able to get that education and leave

school without that I don't think that

that's a radical idea I think that's

exactly what should why not index it

though so that if you have you know if

you're that dentist who's gonna be

making a $200,000 income we'd still have

to pay off some well I understand that

one of my opponents has raised that

issue I guess he has a TV ad running

here in Iowa and the answer is twofold I

am glad that he is very worried that I

have been too kind to the wealthy maybe

I'll get him to do it and he have to

make you honor the answer is that I

believe in universal programs like

Social Security like Medicare

one of the concerns when you go around

the country and you talk to people and I

say everything is so bloody complicated

okay so I'm on Medicaid and I got a good


I lost my Medicaid my income went up by

$500 I'm off of a program I got to fill

out 18 forms to get onto the program all

right so what I believe is we have

certain principles Social Security is a

universal program you know Bill Gates

gets his $15,000 $20,000 year Social

Security check I'm sure it means a great

deal to him worth 50 billion dollars you

know but he pays into it so what I

believe right now you got the richest

people in the state of Iowa state of

Vermont they choose to send their kids

to public elementary schools high

schools that kids go like everybody else

goes and it's party a good thing by the

way all right

so I think what we have got to do is

have Universal programs public colleges

and universities tuition-free

health care is a human right for all

people but we fund it in a progressive

way so that the wealthiest people in

this country believe me who are not

unlike mr. booty joke and others I do

not get a whole lot of campaign funding

from millionaires and billionaires and

the CEOs of large corporations because

they know we have tax policies which are

going to demand that they start paying

their fair share of taxes so we're gonna

raise the necessary funds that we need

in terms of making public colleges and

universities tuition-free that is over a

10-year period about a 1.4 trillion

dollar program with arrays' 1.6 trillion

through a modest tax on Wall Street

speculation Wall Street doesn't like it

I think it's a good idea so I believe in

universal programs I believe you fund

them by progressive taxation on the


I think the programs are open to

everybody that is easier that is cleaner

you don't have middle-class families who

got a pay raise who's their eligibility

or I'll have to fill out a hundred


if you become president what are some of

your first executive orders I think

specifically I'm doctor he's related so

what'd you do it's gonna be very busy

first thing I made enough promise if you

keep going 24 hours on the sleepy very

sleepy president on the second I'll lay

that uh in terms of dacha in terms of

immigration we will undo all of the

racist executive orders that Trump has

put into place he could do it through

executive orders I can undo them two

executive orders and certainly at the

top of the list is restoring the legal

status of the 1.8 million young people

and their parents in the daca program

that's what we do we end this Mexico

City Agreement situation which denies

the ability of the United States the

fund or M organizations around the world

will believe in reproductive rights or

the rights of women to control their own


we are gonna in terms of immigration

move on the first day to end private

prisons and detention centers in this

country I don't think cooperation should

be making money locking people up the

other thing that we do by executive

order is to tell those corporations that

have government contracts that the

minimum wage they will pay their workers

will be $15 an hour like were caught

under Obama

to raise that to Tenten an hour just

where it is used to be the national

minimum wage got up to ten ten if you

want a contract with the federal

government you pay your workers at least

fifteen bucks

those are some of what we do in day one

so in terms of those trend has been

criticized for his executive orders for

all sorts of reasons but some of the

criticism was he didn't have a plan when

he was issuing these broad policy

statements you know when remember when

we were protesting at the airports and

Berg the inss agents didn't know what to

do right now tribalism so how would you

get all that done without having a staff

and administration on your very first

day to immediately make what would be

major changes you have an interval

between election day and the day are

inaugurated and during that time

the federal federal employees and

agencies will know exactly what we have

in mind no great secret I've been in

campaigning on them and you're right I

mean one of the many many criticisms

that is made of Donald Trump is he

develops policy at 3 o'clock in the

morning through a tweet that it's not

the way you do policy and also I should

tell you that much of what I want to do

is not going to be done by executive

order president mr. Trump doesn't

understand it but presidents are not

dictators in our kings we have a

legislative process in this country

and for many of the things that I want

to happen it's gonna have to go to the

Congress I'm gonna have to fight for but

there are things you can do with

executive orders and the people of

America will will know exactly what they

are whether things Trump is done you

agree with or think of anything look I'm

sure if I thought very hard over here

for few hours I could but I have to say

this my disagreement with Trump is not

just that he's a pathological liar

that he came to the people of Iowa and

he said you know I'm a different type of

Republican you know I'm not gonna cut

Medicare I'm not gonna cut Medicaid and

not gonna cut Social Security well look

at his budget he does exactly that

massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

cuts the Social Security it's not just

that he said his tax plan would benefit

the working class of this country 183

percent of the benefits are going to the

top one percent but I'll tell you you

asked me about Trump what this really I

disliked the most is not just this

policies tax breaks of the rich custom

Medicare and Medicaid and Social


horrific ignorant dangerous position on

climate change it goes deeper than that

you have presidents who I disagreed with

all the time like george w bush aren't

conservative Republic is agree with Bush

on everything but Bush did not go out of

its way to divide the American people up

based on the color of our skin based on

where we were born

based on our religion based on our

sexual orientation did not do that right

and one assumes that any President of

the United States your conservative you

moderate your progressive understands

that you'll function as president of the

United States is to bring people


who cares what your religion is who

cares what the color of your skin is who

cares what your sexual orientation is

were Americans and complete fostering

hatred based on where somebody was born

that is unacceptable so you know my son

when you have a president who is doing

that who is a racist intersects this and

a homophobe and it's not a Pope and a

religious bigot you're asking me what do

I like about what Trump has done I

really can't answer that which is not to

say I just think I have a policy yeah I

know I know

you know he talks I mean early honored

his administration apparently not so

much anymore

and you know by the way even with Trump

I'm asked everyday by the media what do

you think about what Trump said

yesterday and I said wait till tomorrow

because what he said yesterday will no

longer be relevant tomorrow nobody

changes his mind but you know certainly

he talked about the high cost of

prescription drugs campaigned on that

but he's right as I've indicated he is

he gonna do anything meaningful I doubt


he talked about rebuilding our crumbling

infrastructure right he's right on

record structure whether it's our water

systems roads bridges I was serious

problem Vermont serious problem has he

done anything no he's doing the bidding

of Wall Street in terms of

infrastructure so well is there anything

in his is a attitude toward China that

makes sense whether you like his tariffs

or not but at least he's dealing with

some behavior of the Chinese government

really well let's know that's what's

driving him no I don't have in all due

respect I don't care but is there


what's your iving Trump I believe you

know and again I'm not happy to have to

tell you this I would not say this I

have friends were conservatives all

right I really do and I respect we argue

each other but you know what drives

Trump is personal gain what drives Trump

is Palin and his desire to be re-elected

so he will do anything and I worry very

much sorry now aside you that in this

campaign that you may see in an

unprecedented way the merger of

government agencies which is with

because I think he does not understand

the rule of law I do not believe he does

or what the Constitution is about but to

answer your question you have a

President of the United States so in

terms of foreign policy has has turned

his back on what has been our global

legacy for so many decades that the

United States was a country of hope and

optimism for billions of people around

the world who looked at us as a

defenders of democracy and human rights

all right that has gone on for so many

years but have we been perfect about it

obviously not but that's what we said we

believe in democracy we believe in human

rights and you have a president who not

only seems to have a good buddy in Putin

who's an autocrat or in Mohammed bin

Salman who is a murderer

or in watt day who is the head of the

Philippines who was complete attacks on

human rights there was an arrow he has

aligned himself with the worst anti

human rights leaders around the world

and in China his policies have been in

building not so many months ago years

ago she was a good friend of his right

thought he was doing a great job kim

jeong-hoon good buddy of this who was an

incredible tyrant so I have you know

doubts about his motives in terms of

China what we should be doing with China

is understanding they are a superpower

they are a strong economy we want to be

working with them we certainly don't

want a cold war

but we should be speaking out against

human rights abuses when you put into

concentration camps son you know or at

least lock off the Potomac a million

Muslims there somebody has got to speak

out about that you talk a little bit

about food assistance which is important

Iowa not just for low-income people that

are AG economy and there's been some

policy changes this week willing to work

requirements around food assistance this

is the wealthiest country in the history

of the world we should not have millions

of people who are living in food

insecurity we give tax breaks to

billionaires and large popular bull

corporations and you have kids who are

going to school who are hungry so it

seems to me that a very I think not

debatable situation is that nobody in

America should go hungry and what

Trump's policies now are punishing poor

people increasing hunger in America by

the way just if I might I know I'm doing

a few aside cereal forgive me but I'm

answering any question Jen I was in Des

Moines like I was four years ago I guess

I was running in the first time and I

was at the farmers walked into a

beautiful farm spot front on Saturday

morning right when I was there I talked

to a guy bumped into a knight and we

chatted for a while and I said what do

you do

he works for a church and what he does

at the farmers market he collects the

food that is not sold and he brings it

to an emergency food shelf

and and I asked them on pedicures who is

going to the food shop because this is

just people unemployed but with

disabilities really poor people you know

most of the people go or worked in

people who are not earning enough money

to take care of their families so to cut

back on food stamps this is what

demagogues do you get tax breaks to

billionaires you're hundreds of billions

of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies

through the fossil fuel industry you

expand military spending so that we're

now spending more than the next ten

nations combined and then to show how

tough you are you cut back on the

poorest people in this country and

create a situation where folks are gonna

pause can you talk a little bit about

your health I think it's something

people are wondering about and give us

an update on that drop uh as I suspect

all of you know I underwent a procedure

which required two stents I know more

about cardiology now that I have a hope

to know it I was in a hospital for two

and a half days it is a procedure which

it's not about a million times a year in

the United States not a very unusual

procedure I have a blocked artery that

artery is now doing quite well

and in fact in many respects I am

feeling better than I did before the

heart attack because I got three

arteries that are working and I have

less you know and I kicked myself I've

said this before like if you want any

free advice here is listen to your body

you know I worked very hard and

campaigned very hard

but I was finding myself getting more

fatigued than I usually did I usually am

able to go out and walk for an hour and

a half and I wasn't was walking for 45

minutes and getting tired and I should

have asked myself why but anyhow right

now I am feeling fine

we're running knavery my staff has lined

me up from warning tonight today I know

probably on six different events and I

am feeling fine and obviously I

understand that people are concerned I

would not be running for president today

if I did not feel that I could be a

would be will be a very strong and


president understanding you know

distress and difficulties of anybody

whose personal advancements are you


tell you what

here's what it was I was so know if this

is wood or not I'm knockin on whatever

it is I was blessed with really good

health when I was a kid I used to run

forever I was one of the better

long-distance runners in New York City

and it's a cross-country captain and one

were a lot races and I've had enormous

endurance small in life I never have to

worry about my body what literally

shocked me it wasn't you know the pain

was distressing wasn't terrible panic

and collapse away

it was the for the first time in my life

doctor said yeah Pina Colada time I

couldn't believe it I just could not

believe that that was like but again I'm

feeling strong right now I am good

health working hard and look for week

becoming percentage is considered

limiting yourself to a long term to sort

of want that age issue I don't think

that any candidate should do that for a

couple of reasons you know you don't

know I mean if what happens at the end

of four years I have a really successful

administration I'm feeling great people

say Bernie we want to support you for

another term but I don't know I promise

not to do that and second of all and one

of my staff members made this point if

you do that you're going in as a

lame-duck president aren't you

and there's a disadvantage to that so

you know you play it out you know at the

end of the four years I am the American

people think I'm not doing well you know

I couldn't run if I'm doing well I

likely would run but I think it's

premature to be talking about that now

one of the jobs that he would have as

president is to appoint judges both to

the US Supreme Court of Appeals but to

the district courts all over the country

how would you approach that job unlike

the current president I would appoint

judges who are qualified who the Bar

Association thinks are qualified it is

an average that we are seeing judges

appointed today who have minimal

qualifications other than their

adherence that trumps ideology but I

want to say this

I believe very strongly his women who

have the right to control their own

bodies not local state or federal

politicians and one promise I had made I

repeat to you I will not ever nominate a

candidate to the Supreme Court who was

not 100 percent Pro Rafi wait that's a

prompt so that's my litmus test but also

I wish I could tell you what you would

thought you would believe it if I told

you but you know Chief Justice Roberts

may tell you that when we in the Supreme

Court politics doesn't matter we're all

Americans we all look at the

Constitution and we reach our

conclusions independently an objective I

wish I could tell you that's the truth

it is not Supreme Court today is a very

political institution Trump's nominees

by and large come from the Federalist

Society which is a right-wing extremist

organization to my mind and I will be

nominating people to the Supreme Court

and two other court positions we not

only are understand that a woman has the

right to control her own body but also

understand what is happening to working

families in this country and are not

going to be beholden to powerful

corporate interests

so she's I mean isn't it isn't the use

of a litmus test whether it's for poor

roe v-- wade or Brown versus Board of

Education or just choose whatever your

favorite ruling is isn't art those

litmus tests what get us a court you

know that's a political institution as

opposed to you know just who use their

own instincts that's a question and I

wish you could tell you than the best of

all possible worlds and the best of all

possible worlds all I have and by the

way this president does anyone is not

even appointing qualified people but I

wish I could tell you that in the best

of all possible worlds if you were

qualified if you're a stronger economic

downturn appointed this is not the best

of all possible worlds and obviously I

want judges who will be intelligent to

understand the Constitution or objective

but I have said not repeat it with that

in terms of a woman's right to control

her own body that is a litmus test for

me in terms of litmus test during this

sit down what's up season of Justice it

comes of a litmus test I just love your

answer today well you get yourself three

books you've railed against the

pharmaceutical industry fossil fuels

wall street and previously many other

industries if somebody

judge or injustice had represented any

of those industries could you imagine

yourself a continent

well representative agony by Japan a

representative is abort work if somebody

has spent his or her life representing

powerful corporate interests against the

needs of working family probably that

person will not be very high on my list

our yesterday last night at various

meeting talking to the Iowa organic

farmers association point that I made

whether it's agriculture or anyplace

else we have an administration that is

beholding to in this case agribusiness

and powerful corporate interest in

agriculture ignoring the needs of family


I want judges who live in the real world

to understand than half about people are

living paycheck to paycheck and when

they rule against unions they are making

decisions that will lower the standard

of living of working people when they

rule that it's okay for corporations to

pollute the environment that they are

causing illness and maybe death for

people so I think it is important to

take a look at the background of person

does that meet us sometimes of 120 years

ago somebody worked for a company if you

look at the totality of that person's

experience two stupid judges mention

that think the president Trump's

appointees are unqualified the different

life time when it's nonetheless what we

do about these generals well I think

there is a constitutional argument to be

made some constitutional scholars I'm

not a lawyer but some have said that

what we do when we appoint judges they

have a lifetime appointment but not

necessarily to the soup

so it is possible to rotate judges and

district courts into the Supreme Court

and that's something that I will take a

look at you mentioned earlier that you

voted against the rock war you often

point that out you want troops out of

Afghanistan in general you do take a

very cautious approach as far as

committing troops could you outline in

more detail other than an outright

attack on the homeland what criteria

would you use in saying yes this is

worth committing troops I've done pesos

but I think our history is that it's

just then I say this is a United States

Senator somebody was in the Congress

it's very easy for a politician to give

a really tough speech and the only thing

that x-country respects is force how

often have we heard that not my sons and

therefore we're gonna go to maybe take a

look at what happened in Vietnam now it

was a young man marching in the streets

against the war in Vietnam history

indicated that those who advocated that

war were terribly terribly wrong

and a whole generation my generation the

young men who came home for that war you

know so many died in Vietnam somebody

came home in to idea some of them are on

the streets today war is a terrible

terrible thing and I know that from a

political point of view it looks we'd be

to be in favor of diplomas hey get tough

with that country but often the

politicians who are sending on young

working class kids into war thought

their kids who were going to war

Donald something called war so I think

that force is the last response

sometimes it may be necessary if you're

in a genocide 'el situation you know

where millions of people are large

numbers of people might be killed

without international response and by

the way I think it should not be just

the United States responding I believe

in strengthening the United Nations not

weaking and weakening it you know so I

would like to see when necessary one

force is applicable to see

the countries around the world coming

together on that response but you know

if I think back on my own lifetime your

lifetime I think about Vietnam I think

about the war in Iraq those were

terrible terrible mistakes and wasn't

the politicians who paid the price it's

working-class kids and people all over

the world who were impacted by those was

God knows how many hundred thousands

hundreds of thousands or even millions

of people died as a result of the Iraq

war so we have got to be very very

cautious trump is cutting back on aid to

the warning cutting back on aid to the

State Department we have

commercial break the back of the

technical limited-run

okay I'm not going in right okay so

Trump is cutting back on support for the

State Department or on State I've been

all over the world you know Zach of us

from the center made many trips with Tom

pocket but away and you're impressed by

the quality of people who you see in

embassies all of the receives people who

know the language know the culture we're

representing the United States in a very

positive ways to cut back on those

people while we greatly greatly expand

military spending to lay the groundwork

for war know it's that's very much the

opposite what I do so you cannot predict

what happens tomorrow or 10 years from


but I believe in diplomacy okay what

else I believe it I believe in exchange

programs I believe that was often

evolved when people are frightened about

somebody else because they don't know

anything about that it's very easy to

demonize somebody else different person

or different language different color

different culture when I was mayor of

the city of Burlington I started to

sister city programs one in the former

Soviet Union and one in Nicaragua and I

think both of them are still around

today it's beautiful to see kids I'll

never forget seeing kids from both than

the Soviet Union coming here you know

talking the involved kids from

Burlington Vermont we need to make the

world a little bit smaller place and

make sure that we know each other before

we go around killing each other both you

and Senator Warren advocate a wealth tax

hers is kind of a flat to two cents on

wealth over 50 built Milligan yours it's

a little more complicated it starts at

one and then goes up why is yours better

here's what I think and again this is an

issue I am proud to have maybe helped

bring to the forefront as a nation and

that is we have more income and wealth

inequality today in America there almost

any other major country on Earth and it

is worse now than it was in 1920 so

that's the question we have to ask

ourselves tonight you're gonna 500,000

people sleeping out on the street

including some thirty thousand veterans

87 million people are either uninsured

or underinsured hundreds of thousands of

kids can't afford to go to college many

of leaving school deeply in debt 18

million people spending half of their

income on housing etc etc I have a

population is living paycheck to

paycheck can we continue in good faith

maintaining a nation in which so few

have so much and so many have so little

over the last thirty years I know I'm

sorry to bore you with statistics you

know but it's case over the last thirty

years the top one percent has seen a

twenty one trillion dollar increase in

their wealth 21 trillion for the top one

percent bottom half of American society

has seen a decline in their wealth

so I'm here to tell you I know not

everybody will agree with me I think

that is fundamentally wrong it is a

threat to our way of life as a nation is

a threat to democracy and we are moving

in the direction of oligarchy where a

handful of billionaires control our

economic and political life so I believe

it is time to take on the billionaire

class font I know that they are not

happy about it I guess some of them are

actually on tears believing that

somebody thinks that when we have kids

in America going hungry that they are

entitled to maintain 30 50 was Basil's

worth 150 billion dollars no I'm sorry I

don't I don't believe that involved so

we are going to love the very heavy

taxes on wealth and on income these guys

will be fine but believe me they're

gonna get by in their five or ten

billion dollars here when I push them

out onto the streets their families will

be fine but I gotta say this also and I

apologize you you get me going on things

and I know our extrapolating we have a

major crisis in this country in terms of

lowering of life expectancy all the way

around and the doctors call that

diseases of despair which are largely

drug addiction alcoholism suicide

I believe I believe that the kind of

greed that we are seeing among the

richest people in this country is an

addiction now I you know I grew up in a

working-class family I lived in a

rent-controlled apartment my whole life

my family never had any money so I gotta

tell you I'm not familiar with living in

a billionaire home but I don't

understand I really do not understand

that if you are worth 10 billion dollars

why you think you need to step on

working people while you need to take

factories in this country that I'm

making money send them to China or to

Mexico well you need to come down to

Congress I dealt with these people oh

yes we are billionaires but we think you

should cut Social Security Medicare and

Medicaid because we're worried about the

national debt all right so the answer is

I think the time is now to tell the

billionaire class that they really

cannot have it all that their greed is

destroying this country and by the way

not only agreed the corruption that goes

with the greed and I will deal with that

so why do you think this income

inequality happened in this country and

is is taxing the 1% the answer to cure

it no but is it just it's not the answer

it's not the answer but it's part of the

insight so what what happened well I

like you know people write big books on

the Sun oh I don't

all the answers I'll tell you what I

think happened I think that after Lyndon

Johnson won his landslide victory and

when he won that in 64 fighting for

Medicare fighting for Medicaid fighting

for a host of programs that benefited

working people and by the way I think

with the exception of the terrible

Vietnam War Lyndon Johnson is an

underestimated president in my view I

think the ruling class of this country

woke up and they said oh my god this

continues if government starts

responding to the needs of working

families we're gonna be in big trouble

and they mounted a massive multi-front

operation I mean it is very well

constructed this is people like later on

the Koch brothers and everybody else

this is funding think tanks this is in a

coordinated way funding politicians this

is funding through the Alec program

lobbyists at state legislatures so this

is doing lobbying in a way that we've

never seen before we started this

discussion with the pharmaceutical

industry over the last 20 years the

pharmaceutical industry has spent four

billion dollars in lobbying and campaign

contributions and they're not radically

different than the fossil fuel industry

than Wall Street insurance companies so

I think what they sent around and said

look if you have a government that

represents working families if we raise

wages if we the rich are asked to pay

off their share of taxes if we cannot

continue to run industries which pollute

we're in trouble and we got to fight

back and they fought back and what has

to be acknowledged a very coordinated

and intelligent way they brought some

really smart people on what so it has to

do with developing trade policies yes

reason why it has to do with developing

trade policies that cost working

families in this country

the good-paying jobs it has to do with a

very coordinated attack on trade unions

in America right now you got millions of

people want to join unions can't do it

often because of the legal behavior on

the part of their employers in

corporations it has to do with tax

policy you know you're asking gee do you

really want to ask the rich and the

powerful to pay their fair share of

taxes what about asking Donald Trump and

his friends why they gave a trillion

dollars in tax breaks over ten years to

the 1% of large profitable corporations

why are we not discussing why Amazon a

corporation made over ten billion

dollars in profit last year owned by the

wealthiest guy in America didn't pay a

nickel in federal income tax what about

a system which allows the rich in

corporations the slash god knows we

don't know hundreds of billions

trillions of dollars in the Cayman

Islands and other tax havens to avoid

taxes so all my answer to you question I

mean people write books on this is there

has been a very coordinated effort on

the part of the ruling class of this

country the billionaire class to do

everything they can to increase their

own wealth and they have been enormously

successful 21 trillion dollar increase

in wealth over the last twenty years is

quite something and they have been you

ask me a moment ago about cutting food

stamps this is what it's about tax

breaks for billionaires rich get richer

and then we cut back on the needs of

working-class how can it happen that it

is state like I owe a beautiful great

state like Iowa you have a $7 and 25

centimeter mum wage anybody think that

makes sense you know so you have

powerful lobbyists powerful effort to

protect the interests of working

families and the political revolution

that I am helping to lead with millions

of other people is saying enough is

enough about that we cannot continue to

have a handful of billionaires a few

hundred people

developing policy for our government

would simply benefits the very rich and

like we heard one or two terms of a

Sanders presidency gonna change all of

that no but one or two terms will go a

long way to transform in this country

away from the greed and immorality that

we're seeing right now it's going to

change our value system in one or two

terms of the Sanders administration

we're gonna guarantee health care to all

people as a human right and I think

sometimes we don't understand what that

means we don't understand what it means

when somebody gets sick and can't afford

to go to a doctor we don't understand

what it means if you get diagnosed with

cancer and end up in the hospital you

have the bill for $100,000 what does it

happens if you're working claspers you

can't go bankrupt or your credit school

will be shot what does it mean that we

have people working a jobs by the

millions today why are they working at

their jobs do they love their jobs is

that what they want to do no it's

because they have decent health care and

they have families that they got to take

care of what does it mean if you can

suddenly go to any job you want and

continue to have strong health care it

will be transformative in America all

right in one or two terms of the Sanders

administration we will do everything we

can to save this planet for your kids

and your grandchildren by taking on the

fossil fuel industry we will raise the

minimum wage so the people in Iowa if

you work in 10 bucks an hour under a

Sanders administration we will raise

that minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour

and we will accomplish that House passed

the bill that I introduced of course to

Mitch McConnell hasn't taken it up but I

will pass that so if you're working 40

hours a week you're not living in puppy

you will be able to go to college

without regardless of your income and we

will cancel asleep that so I'm not going

to tell you that at the end of four

years or eight years we transform the

world make everybody happy not it's not

what happens but I think we will go a

long way to a changing the value system

of this country and to significantly

improve the lives of working-class

people in America

what will you prioritize if you've come

into office with a Republican Senate I

kind of like been asked out about ten

million times all right what are you

gonna do what's the major priorities

thing yeah and here's what I want to say

in a response

I do politics some of you may agree with

me some of you may not people I work

with they don't except don't my view of

politics is different than what most

politicians tell you okay so I'm not

going here and say well you know it's

health care is my priority raising wages

is my prime climate change

infrastructure saving family farms this

is what I believe and I have some

experience for this because I was mayor

of a city and I helped do this to some

degree when you transform politics what

is in this country resume when suddenly

millions of people are involved in the

political process and a way that we have

never seen before which is essentially

what our campaign is about bringing

working people bringing young people to

stand up for their lives

when you understand that the history of

America in terms of real change has

never taken place from the top on down

it's always the bottom on up think about

the labor movement the civil rights

movement the women's movement the gay

rights movement environmental movement

today just a few hours if I talk to

young people who are deeply concerned

about climate change high school kids

college kids that's how change takes

place with millions of people get

involved and when we win this election

we will beholden to those people I will

not only be commander-in-chief of the

military I will be organizer in chief

we're gonna rally the American people

around an agenda that works for working

people so it is not one issue I will do

everything humanly possible to fulfill

the agenda that I'm running on and that

is health care is a human right

bypassing Medicare for all raising the

minimum wage the living wage making it

easier for workers to join unions

putting hundreds of billions of dollars

to build the affordable housing that we

need and creating millions of jobs doing

that and helping to lead the world in

terms of climate change so to me it's

not either law we're gonna do it all and

you can do it all because the agenda

that we have not a radical agenda it's

an agenda that the American people

support but what it's hard for people

and I talk to a lot of people often in

the media or no square will think about

politics the way it usually is how am I

gonna go she ate with Mitch McConnell

that's not the issue and by the way I'm

gonna do everything I can to make sure

that Mitch McConnell is not too

Republican lead on that we have

Democrats controlling the Senate but at

the end of the day change only comes

about the millions of people demand it

and when they demand it we can move very

aggressively on a wide front of issues

to try to move this country well that

sounds like a closing argument and we're

past time so thank you very much senator

Sanders and come back to Des Moines

Register calm for all of the caucus

coverage thank you

(Article changed on December 22, 2019 at 22:43)

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Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the (more...)

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