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tv   CNN Town Hall Bernie Sanders  CNN  January 9, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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remember, the messy truth. and looking ahead at the trump inauguration. that does it for us. thanks for watching. the cnn bernie sanders town hall the cnn bernie sanders town hall starts now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com [cheers and applause] we are live from george washington. center with senator bernie sanders. i'm chris cuomo. i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. we are being seen on cnn of course, but cnn espanol and cnn international. welcome to those listening on the westwood one radio network and 116 on sirius xm.
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tonight kicks off a special week of programming on cnn to mark a historic transition of power. donald trump, 11 days away from being sworn in as the 45th president of the united states. and leader of the free world. it is a pivotal moment for our country. so, on thursday night, house speaker paul ryan will be on this very stage to explain how he will help enact the trump agenda. tonight we are going to hear from one of the most influential members of the opposition, senator bernie sanders. we've invited people from around the world to ask senator sanders questions. we have reviewed the questions to make sure we cover a variety of important issues. as senator sanders likes to say, it will be a serious conversation about serious issues. now, please welcome former presidential candidate, senator bernie sanders of vermont.
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[ applause ] >> thank you. oh. >> i feel like we were just here. i feel like we were just doing this. me, you, on a stage, you talking to the people, making a case for what your party has to offer. >> well. >> you ready? >> let's do it. >> all right. i didn't anticipate that answer. >> let me begin by thanking cnn. it's not going to be a filibuster, don't worry. thanking cnn for hosting the event, because what i wanted to do is to have, as chris just said, a sear jurious discussiont the issues impacting the american people, issues with very often do not get the attention they deserve, chris thank you so much for having me.
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>> and thank you for taking the opportunity. in the introduction, i don't know if you were listening, but i referred to you as the opposition. the democratic party as opposing the incoming administration. are you comfortable with that description? >> historically, you have a dominant party, and the opposition. that exists here and all over the world. that means that the responsibility of the opposition party is to make constructive criticism where we disagree and come up with alternative ideas as to how we can improve the lives of the american people. >> does that take shape with the way it did with the gop over the last few year snyears? >> i hope not. what the gop did is that our strategy is going to be obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. do everything we can to make sure he accomplishes as little as possible. and go to the american people and say this guy didn't
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accomplish anything. where trump has ideas that make sense that we can work with him on, i think we should. but i will tell you this. he ran a campaign whose cornerstone was bigotry, it was based on sexism, racism and xenophobia. and on that issue i will not compromise. he ran a campaign which denied the reality of climate change when virtually all the scientists who have studied this issue say we face a planetary crisis. we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency. >> so we'll deal on the issues where you feel you will be together and where you must be apart. do you accept the intelligence community's assessment of russia's involvement in motivating the hacks during the election, and how do you understand the president-elect's resistance to that analysis? >> yes, i do agree with the intelligence communities.
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they are virtually anonymounani. the evidence is overwhelming. this is not the first time they've done it, and i suspect they're working on other efforts as well, in other countries around the world. this was a way for them to help the candidate of their choice, in their case, mr. trump, and it was also an opportunity to undermine american democracy, so i think the evidence is very clear that russia did play a very harmful role, unacceptable role, and it's something that we have got to deal with. i think what mr. trump appears to be saying is that no, it's not true, it's not accurate. i doesn't trust the intelligence committees, and i think that is an unfortunate position to hold. >> it was explained to me this morning, that the media makes the mistake with the president-elect of putting too much weight oftn what he says a that we miss what is in his heart. >> that may be true, but think about that statement for a
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moment. [ laughter ] you're not a heart surgeon. you can't know what's in somebody's heart. you, generally speaking, we accept that when somebody says something they mean it. and we have a right to accept that on face value. and let me say something. it will sound rude, and it will sound partisan. >> is it directed at she in. >> -- me? >> no. then i'm okay with it. >> i'm not the only american who says this. we are dealing with a man who in many respects is, how can i phrase this, you know, a pathological liar. and i say that without any, look, i have many conservative friends and i disagree with them. they're not liars, they have their point of view. but time after time after time, he says stuff, which is blatantly, absolutely untrue. >> the man was elected by the american people as the next president of the united states. you're comfortable with that
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description? >> that's a reality. but on the other hand, you've asked the question, how do we deal with that? and i, you know, i think we have got to figure out a way to deal with that. but that is a very difficult issue to deal with. >> stock market's up. companies are keeping jobs here, people call it the trump effect. maybe not everybody sees him that way. >> how people may see it or not, all i'm stating is what i think is a fact. trump began his campaign by saying that he saw muslims in new jersey on a rooftop on television, celebrating the destruction of the twin towers. nobody else in the world happened to see that. he announced just neighbmaybe a ago that millions of people, he would have won the popular vote, which he lost by almost 3 million votes to secretary clinton, he would have won it if millions of people had not voted illegally. nobody believes that. >> so that's how we got here.
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let's talk about how we go forward. i want you to meet jessica carrabian. she's diagnosed with an incurable breast cancer. she's here to ask you about obamacare which donald trump says he's going to repeal on day one. thank you for taking the energy to come here tonight. >> thank you for having me, senator sanders. when i was 29 years old, i was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, my daughter was just 8 months old, and i followed the recommended treatments by my doctors and given a 97% survival rate, and a year later i was diagnosed with met static breast cancer, which is incurable. i quickly became a terminal patient at the age of 30, and i rely greatly on the affordable care act. my fear, i'm terrified that the republicans will repeal the affordable care act, and which
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would mean that insurance companies will once again be allowed to deny patients with preexisting conditions. and that's me. and inthat's a life or death ise for me. i have a daughter and a husband. and hi my question to you, sena, is how will you steer the republican party into keeping the life-saving components of obamacare. >> jessica thanks so much for being with us. and i'm sure i speak for everybody, wishing you the best of luck in your treatments. we forget that it was only eight years ago, seven years ago, where somebody who had breast cancer, somebody who had other serious illness could go to an insurance company, they would say, why would we want to insure you? you're going to cost us a fortune, you're sick. we can't make money out of you. and the american people said that that is insane.
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what is the function of insurance if you can't get it when you need it? but that's what went on. and as a result of the affordable care act, we said you can't discriminate against people for a pre-existing condition. you're probably running up a pretty steep medical bill, yeah? >> huge. >> and it used to be there were caps on what the insurance companies would pay. we'll pay 100,000. we won't pay more. well, how do i pay the next 100,000? tough luck, you're on your own. we changed that as well. so i understand, to answer your question, jessica, i am going to do everything that i can, and i believe i speak for virtually every member of the democratic caucus. we're going to do everything we can to improve the affordable care act, but we damn well are not going to repeal it and not have anything there. we are the only major country on
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earth not to guarantee health care to all people as a right. if you were in other major countries, you would not have to be dealing with this issue, comprehensive health care, old people and by the way, because think don't have private insurance companies ripping them off or the pharmaceutical industry ripping off people, the price is significantly lower than it is in the united states. so jessica, i wish you the very best. and you hang in there. thank you so much for being here and expressing your thoughts. >> trump has said he intends to keep preexisting conditions. do you believe that? and is that a good starting point for the democrats to work with the gop? >> here's the problem. he says that he will. other republicans are not so sure. and the other thing that we don't talk about a whole lot is that the repeal of the
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affordable care act, the complete repeal would not only do away with the protection for preexisting conditions, not only throw 20 million people off of medicaid, not only raise prescription drug prices for seniors, not only do away with medicare as we know it and privatize it, i know paul ryan is going to be on soon. you might want to talk to paul about that, because that's his idea, but it would also give huge tax breaks to the very wealthiest people in this country. they want to limit that. so there's a limit you can do to the good parts if you don't raise the kinds of revenue you need from the wealthy. >> meet ed nash. lifelong democrat but voted for donald trump. what's your question, ed, thanks for joining us. >> my question tonight, senator sanders, i'm from a small town in appalachia.
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and we had coal and factories, today all that sh gone. there's not very many good job opportunities in these areas and areas like mine. and, you know, you and mr. trump both campaigned on bringing jobs back to rural communities like this. you know, and i like this when both of you spoke on this, and campaigned on that fact and everything. however, you know, maybe it's time to lay the politics aside and are you willing to work with mr. trump to see that this happens? >> absolutely. and there's an area, you're right. trump and i talked about many of the same issues. and here's what the issue is. the issue is that for the last 30 years, under democratic and republican administrations, we have had trade policies, like nafta and cafta and permanent relationships with china. which were written by guys in multi-national corporations, and what think said, why do we want
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to pay a worker in america $15, $20 an hour when we can shut down here, go to china and pay people a few bucks a you are whwh -- an hour. and it succeeded. we have lost jobs in kentucky, west virginia. but the whole country has been significantly hurt. i believe we need a new trade policy. i believe we tell corporate america that they got to control their greed. they can't throw american workers out on the street who made them wealthy and then move to mexico and pay people a few bucks an hour. so if mr. trump is prepared to sit down and work on a new trade policy, which is based on fairness, not just on corporate glide, ye greed, yeah, i will be happy to work with him. >> you have one head shaking up and down with a lot of energy. and it comes from tianna. she hails from detroit, michigan. she's a democrat, she voted for
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you in the prime air, clinton in november, this issue, nafta goes to the core of her question. >> my dad worked at american axle for 24 years before he lost his job to nafta and it was sent to mexico. i am currently an assembly worker in detroit, and i'm worried about my job. bernie, you and donald trump both agreed to get rid of nafta. as a senator, what steps will you make to work with the trump administration to abolish nafta? >> well, as i just told you, we have lost, tianna, millions, millions. it's not only a debt. we have lost millions of decent paying jobs. one of the reasons that the middle class in this country is shrinking is that there was a time when people can go out, get a job in a factory, if they had a decent union, they could earn good wages and benefits, and as a result of these disastrous
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trade agreements by corporate america, american work earns with t -- workers with total contempt were thrown out on the street. so yes, i will work with mr. trump, i will work with anybody who wants to work together to develop a trade policy which tells corporate america they have to look beyond their glide. you kn -- greed. they have to look at the needs of the american people. i want to see us rebuild our manufacturing sector, automation is also having an impact, but i don't think you can be a great nation if you're not producing a lot of what we consume. we can't get everything from china and mexico. occasionally, you've got to buy a product made in the united states of america. so i will work very hard, not only with regard to nafta, but with china to transform our trade policy. >> let's push on this. there's a similarity between trump's message and yours.
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joe biden just said he likes bernie sanders, he doesn't think 500 billionaires are behind every problem that america has. and you mentioned automation, but quickly. and when economists talk about this, senator, they talk about it first, and they almost stop there, that the reason we've lost manufacturing jobs isn't because of one trade deal, it's because of automation, innovation. >> it's a combination. chris, no. i think moist of the serious students of the issue throusue s a combination of issues. we have lost millions and millions of decent paying jobs as a result of trade agreements. automation is also a serious problem. factories can produce more with fewer workers, that's true. >> that's not a problem, it's a reality. >> well, it's a problem for the worker who's been replaced by a machine, but i think we need to change the culture of this country. and we cannot allow corporate
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america to make every decision just based on their bottom line, even with automation. if automation can replace jobs, do we just throw those workers out on the street? or do we have an obligation to retrain them for other jobs, to provide extended unemployment and educational opportunities? we just cannot allow this culture of corporate greed, which results in the very, very rich becoming much richer, a middle class shrinking and 43 million people living in poverty. somebody has got to stand up to these billionaires and say, you know what? enough is enough. you cannot have it all. i want an economy that belongs to all of us. works for all of us. people forget, chris, we are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. and our job now is to create a government which represents all of the people, not just the 1 mr1%. >> let's bring in rowy. he's studying international
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affairs, voted for clinton. he's got a question about messaging and the future of our economy. >> so along these lines, i'm a moderate democrat who's discouraged a little bit by how much blame you put toward upper income households and trade agreements for our country's problems. so how request democrats reframe their economic message in order to address the concerns of average americans without demonizing top earners or moderate or alienating moderate democrats. >> roy, is your name? >> roey. >> i don't demonize anybody. i try to state the facts, and the facts are in my view that corporate greed is destroying our economy. and it's doing incalculatable
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harm. this coming sunday, we're going to have 30 rallies in opposition to the republican effort to try to end the affordable care act, try to create grass roots activity within the democratic party, it's not a question of demonizing. it's a question of creating public policies, tax policies. do you think it makes sense? do you think it makes sense that we give very, very large tax breaks to billionaires? and then cut back on education or health care? does that make sense to you? >> no. >> it doesn't make sense to me. it doesn't make sense to the vast majority of the american people. i'm not demonizing people. what i am saying is that the billionaire class has enormous power. they wrote the trade policies. you've got people sitting at the top of the pharmaceutical industry who last year, the top five drug companies made $50 billion in profits while the average american cannot afford the medicine he or she needs.
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am i demonizing? or is that a fact? i think what we need is to bring the american people together and tell those people that we want a government that works for everybody. that's what i'm trying to do. >> this is your opportunity, what have you got, roey. tell him what you don't like about that? >> i think most studies show that international trade, free-trade agreements, nafta, especially, has a net benefit on the economy. i mean, there are, we have lost a lot of jobs to nafta, but there are now 7 million jobs that rely on nafta. if you scrap nafta, you take those jobs away, too. >> it's not a question of scrapping, it's a question of rewriting, creating a new trade policy. look, studies will tell you this and studies will tell you that. i raid lead a lot of these stud. i think the objective evidence is that nafta has in fact, of course you're right, some of
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these trade policies create jobs. but overall, when you add them up, we have lost millions of jobs, and by the way, it's not just job loss. what else goes on? what goes on you have many employers who walk into their workers' union hall or just talk to their employees and say look, here's your choice, we're going to cut your health care benefits. we're going to cut your wages, and if you don't like it, guess what we're doing? we're moving to china. that's your choice. and that's another reason why the middle class in this country has been in decline while wages are going down for many workers. so i think you and i have a disagreement about trade policies, but that's what democracy about. >> i'm going to take a break right now so you can get up here and finish this conversation. we're going to take a quick break here. we're with senator sanders. how's going so far, are we happy with the discussion? [ applause ] >> i think we can do a bit better.
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we have a big moment coming up in this test. you have the big nominating hearings that are going to go on. will the dnls confirm the choices? what's going to happen when we start getting the first big battles tomorrow. we'll discuss what the democrats will do with senator sanders in the town hall, stay with us. ♪ ♪
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[ applause ] welcome back to the cnn town hall with senator bernie sanders at the george washington university. let's hear from demarquan johnson. he has a question about tomorrow's confirmation hearing. what do you have, sir? >> senator, i am worried about the direction of the department of justice over the next four years, specifically on voting rights. in light of senator sessions's history, will you oppose his confirmation? >> i'm going to listen to what jeff sessions has to say. i've known jeff for many, many years, but i have very, very strong concerns, and i think the issue you raise about the voting rights act and how the supreme court a few years ago gutted the voting rights act and that right now in state after state, republican states, what they are
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doing, this is really kind of unbelievable when you think about it, they're working overtime, not to expand democracy, not to bring more people into the political process, they are atrying to mae it harder for people to vote under the guise of voter fraud. thank god in america voter fraud is very, very rare. but they're using that argument to make it harder for old people, people of color to vote. i consider this one of the most significant issues facing our country. so i will listen i have, very carefully to what senator sessions has to say, but i share your concerns. >> thank you. >> we were talking earlier about some of the interests in the economy fold into the environment. >> senator, those whose job it
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is to feed this country have seen floods and climate change that are seriously threatening our ability to produce food in this country. for us, there is no room in government for climate change tee n deniers, yet mr. trump has nominated someone ready to disassemble the agency to which he's about to be posted. so my question to you is does the u.s. senate have the hutzpah to stand up vigorously and oppose this? what has to be done to stop mr. pruett from ruining the epa? >> it is rather ironic that mr. trump has nominated somebody to head the epa who doesn't much believe in environmental protection. and as you indicated, he is as i understand it a climate change denier. let me be as clear as i can be.
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i happen to agree with the overwhelming jorlt of scientists who believe that climate change is real and caused by human activity, and today as you've indicated, not only in our country but all over the world, people are experiencing drought and floods and extreme weather distu distu disturbanc disturbances. it is insane for elected officials to say, well, i'm not sure about climate change, i'm not a scientist. that is nonsense. if we don't get our act together the planet we are going to leave to our kids and grandchildren won't be a healthy planet. i'm going to answer the question about mr. pruett the same way i did about mr. sessions. i'm going to listen to what they have to say, but i think it is kind of hard for me to imagine voting for somebody who does not believe that climate change is real and was not prepared to
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transform our energy system in order to protect the well-being of our kids and grand children. >> i have a question. >> all right, i'll let you ask it. >> sorry to sneak up on you like that. jeff sessions, you said you have real concerns about what he did to the voting rights act, pruett, in your words he's a climate change denier, but you say you won't commit to voting against them. how do you vote for someone who is a climate change denier. >> all i am doing here is trying to be polite. [ laughter ] >> too late to be polite. no time for that. [ applause ] >> why are you -- >> this is what would happen. if i said i'm going to vote against these guys his next question would be, how can you vote against them, when they haven't even gone before you in a hearing. ask him a question. so i'm trying to be polite. but i have to -- >> are you going to vote against them or for them.
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>> before i vote against them, i want to hear what they have to say. >> does it matter what they say? >> of course it matters what they say. i think i know what they're going to say. but you have to give people the courtesy. >> so you're not inclined to vote for them. >> good, thank you. you a lawyer? >> i am. >> you went to law school. >> you know why? i was lucky to get a lot of education. >> gary, studying education, an independent who voted for clinton. what as your question about the cost of school? >> so the high costs of the courses here are prohibiting me from continuing past the degree that i'm currently going for. i'm stopping in may, not going for a ph.d. past this. as a student and as a form are high school teacher, opportunities for lower tuition mean a lot to me. so requecan you explain how mov toward policies of free college
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is a better step than, say, lowering costs just nationally? >> well, it's not either/or. i think colleges, universities have an obligation to make sure they're running their establishments in a way that is cost-effective, but this is what i believe. everybody here knows that we live in a highly competitive global economy. and that most of the new jobs require a lot of education. technology is transforming our society. 20 years ago, the united states led the world in terms of the percentage of our people who were college graduates. anyone know what percentage we are in today? we're in 11th place. 11th place. i don't know how we have a bright economic future if we don't have the best educated workforce in the world. so what i believe is that when we talk about public education, right now, when we talk about public education, i went to
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public schools in brooklyn, new york, they were very good. when we talk about public education, we say okay, you're going to have preschooling from kindergarten through high school, right? good. that was great 20, 30, 40 years ago. but today in many respects, given the changing economy, a college degree is the equivalent of what a high school degree was 40 years ago. that means to me, what we have to do is make a simple statement, and that is that we will make public colleges and universities tuition free. now how are you going to pay for that? during my campaign for the presidency, i proposed a tax on wall street speculation which would have more than covered the cost of making public colleges and universities tuition free. the other part of the problem is that we have millions of people who have graduated college and graduate school, 30, 50, 100, $200,000, talked to a young woman in iowa, went to dental school, $400,000 in debt.
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how do you get your life together when you're paying off huge debts for decades? so i think as a nation we have to make a fundamental decision. do we punish people for the crime of getting a good education? or do we say, you know what? we want everybody to get the best education they can. not only for themselves, but for the future of this country. and that's what i believe. the second part about that is i grew up in a family, didn't have a whole lot of money. we didn't know anybody who went to college. and that's true today for many families. i want every child in this country who's in the fourth grade or sixth grade, regardless of the income of his or her family to know that if they studied hard and they do well in school, you know what? they are going to be able to go to college, and i think that will bring a revolution to education in america. so i think that when we have the top 1/10 of 1% in this country owning as much wealth as the
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bottom 90%, when we have huge disparities in income, major corporations making billions in profits, not paying a nickel in taxes, yeah, i think we can raise the money we need to make colleges and universities tuition free. i don't know if you know him, andrew cuomo, funny looking guy. governor cuomo hopes to make that state the first state in the country to make public clinclin colleges and universities tuition free. i think that's a great idea. >> what do you say to people who say instead of making me pay for your kid to go to college through taxes, get after the universities on the structure that's crippling it to again with. >> universities and colleges have to do a better job. but this business of you paying for everybody else, you're doing it today this. is called society, this is
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called democracy. you are now paying taxes so some kid can go to public school today. all i'm asking is that you pay a little more in taxes so somebody can go to college as well. but it's not just you. we have major corporation after major corporation not paying a nickel in federal income taxes. as warren buffett reminds us, you've got billionaires who pay an effective tax rate lower than their secretaries. we have the money to make public colleges and universities tuition free, i think in the long run we'll do an enormous amount of good for this nation. >> so sometimes it's about doing more to make society better, sometimes it's about doing less, and on that note, let's fwli jim jacobs from pennsylvania. he voted for donald trump. what's your question? >> ply questi >> my question is this. i'm a business owner. we keep getting kicked in the teeth by this administration. it's regulation after
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regulation and tact aftx after . what donald trump does understand is the complexities of business and to reward the person who takes the risk. my question is, this country was founded on entrepreneurship. why is this administration so against the business owner? please tell me. >> i don't think this administration, the obama str administration you're referring to is so against the business. >> oh, really? >> i don't know your income, and i'm not concerned about your income. >> that matters. >> excuse me. he raised taxes on the top 1% or 2%, and i would have gone further. 52% of all new income generated today goes to the top 1%. so you and i may have a difference, but yeah, i do believe that billionaires and multi-millionaires should be paying more in taxes. >> i'm business owner, i'm not a multi-billion air, i'm not a
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millionaire. you haven't lived until you've put a payroll on your credit card. this is the reality of the backbone of this country. >> well, the backbone of this country, i think we should support entrepreneurialship. we should support small business. but i am not supportive of large multi-national corporations that make millions and don't pay a nickle in taxes, nor am i supportive of those corporations who throw american workers out on the street and move to china or mexico. >> do you think there's space to work with trump? he's talked about getting rid of regulations. >> should a small business or large business be able to pollute the water or the air or the food? no, i hope you don't believe that. >> i don't pollute air, water or food. however, when these rules and regulations come in to cover all of business and you're start beistarting, trying to start a business, it's tough enough -- >> i think we should take a look
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at it, but the devil is in the details. some of them may not -- it's very easy to blame barack obama for everything, by the way. some of those regulations may be state, maybe they're local. i don't know exactly the federal regulations. >> but you're open to looking. >> sure, if there's something why not take a look. but if you want to pollute our air or water, they want to get rid of those rede regulgulation don't agree. i think we have to protect the environment. >> we'll have more when we come back. (vo) the holidays may be over but if you hurry, you can still get the best deals on the best network. like verizon's best smartphones for only $10 per month. like the samsung galaxy s7. the pixel, phone by google. or the motoz droid.
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we prefer secluded. what is the desert? it's absolutely what you need right now. absolutely scottsdale. here's jenny gutierrez, a high school teacher from maryland who voted for hillary clinton. what are you learning from your students? >> all kinds of things. senator, thank you so much for taking my question. i'd like to start with saying that i really love my students,
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and it's an honor to be able to teach them. many of them are undocumented or have parents that are undocumented, and right now they're very worried about the political atmosphere. i've talked to them, and i've let them know that they're going to be okay, that they need to focus on their education and not worry about possible deportation. but senator, really, what do you have to say? where can i, aside from encouraging them, where can they find hope? >> well, jenny, first of all, thank you very much for your work as a teacher. you are one of the heroes and heroines in this country, and teachers don't get the credit for what they are doing. so thank you. >> thank you. >> you've touched on a very emotional issue, and what i am hearing from you i am hearing from teachers, and people in the muslim community and not just
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the latino community. people are frightened. they are frightened, because during the campaign, trump was saying, well, we're just going to deport, whatever it may be. changes every day. but we're going to be picking people up, throwing millions of people outside this country. people who have lived in this country, worked in this country, people who have children in this country, and i request fucan f r understand that your kids are frightened. >> my father came to this country from poland at the age of 17, no money, no education, dropped out of school at the age of 16. we are a unique and great country because of our diversity. that is what makes us great. and of all the things that trump talked about in his campaign, what troubled me the most is that after all of the generations of great people trying to bring us together, people in the civil rights, people in the gay rights movement, people in the womens
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movement, 100 years ago, women didn't have the right to vote. we have made progress, in looking at people, martin luther king jr. reminding us, not on the color of their skin or where they came from, on a candidate w who divided us up, your stundens should not be afraid. please tell your students that there are many of us in the congress, not just democrats or progressives, who will do everything we can to protect those beautiful children. >> i will. i will let them know. >> please do. >> so let's go from someone who is teaching kids to someone living that concern. his name is osama, a student from kansas. even though you're from kansas. you say as soon as people hear your first name, things change. >> thank you for addressing my
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question. i just, with the, myself and many muslims around the country are experiencing silence prejudice and we're noticing an uptick in hate crimes that occurred after the election. now i would like to know what are you and fellow democrats doing to work with republicans to ensure that muslims in america have fairness and equality. >> we have to make a very fundamental decision, which i had hoped that this country had made. and that is that we understand that there is a common humanity, whether you are muslim or jewish or catholic or protestant, whether somebody comes from mexico or my father, poland or italy or ireland.
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so what, that is america. and we judge people on who they are, not where your grandfather came from or your religion. and that is the principle that we have got to fight for. it's a fundamental, fundamental principle. we judge people on who they are. there are good muslims, bad muslims, good jews, bad jews, good catholics, bad catholics, we judge people by who they are and not their country of origin. that is the principle we have to fight for. that is essentially in my mind what the fabric of this country is supposed to be about. there are many of us, i can't tell you what we have been doing, but we have made some progress. i will work with trump on any issue that is sensible, but i will not work with trump when he espouses bigotry and dividing us up. >> all right, so we have a question that goes right to the heart of that, you know, that tension between when you want to work with him, but you don't
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like what he's doing. the next speaker is matthew kincaid, an economic consultant from virginia, he's got a question about >> it's usually pretty easy for a president to get their supreme court nominee confirmed when their party is in control in the congress. >> i'm a member of the democratic leadership, we discussed that a little bit today. i won't tell you what people said. it was an issue of discussion. here's the problem we had, the supreme court we have is divided. the constitution is clear, there's no debate about it. the president of the united states, whether it's obama or trump, has the right to nominate somebody. the senate holds hearings and votes. other republicans refuse to do
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that. they refuse. now, as soon as trump decides on who his nominee will be, they will no doubt come to us and say, here's the constitution, you have to vote on this guy. oh, but you and you guys were in power. those are issues that have got to be taken into consideration. i think the solution of the problem would be, if obama -- if mr. trump in fact nominated somebody who was not an extreme right winger as i fear he might. might make our lives a little easier. we're going do have to wait and see how that one plays out. >> he's going to pick somebody and you guys on aren't going to like that person, what are you going to do? >> i think we have to let it play out. i gave you the concerns that i have. >> the republicans treated
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president obama shamelessly. >> we'll see. >> which is exactly what took me to the question. we will see, but that's a big one. >> now i have a big question for you. >> donald immigrated to the united states from nigeria, while he was in middle school. he's a junior here at george washington university. he's an independent, voted for clinton, has an interesting question for you. >> thank you senator sanders for your time. you recently referred to trump as a pathological liar. what do you view as his strongest attribute. >> that is a provocative question. i'm going to use it to carry us through the commercial break. i know people want to hear the answer to that. we're going to take a quick break. senator sanders will answer that question, we hope when we come right back.
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welcome back to the george washington university. we just had a very provocative
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question asked by one young donald. you are a student here at george washington university. please repeat your question. >> yes, thank you senator sanders, you recently referred to president-elect trump as a pathological liar. in an effort to inspire a cohesive front. i'd like to know your opinion on his strongest attribute. >> you think i should say something good about him now? >> look, any objective asisment in the last year year 1/2 will tell you that donald trump did something extraordinary. something that nobody but nobody thought he could . >> he took on the media establishment and ended up being president-elect of the united states. talks about instincts, a way to connect with people.
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i give donald trump his due. any fair minded person has got to is that good enough? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. >> sawyer neil. 19 years old, was the youngest bernie sanders delegate from pennsylvania. >> you've aged rapidly since? >> so i became the youngest delegate from pennsylvania, and i voted for you at the convention, because you inspired me, you motivated a generation of voters by talking about issues like health care, criminal justice. i'm afraid with trump in the white house, with republicans occupying a majority all around the country, that this is on the line. and progressives need someone to rally behind, liberals need someone to rally behind if we want to accomplish these policy objectives. my question to you is whether you'll take up the mantle of your presidential campaign and run for president in 2020.
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>> chris has heard me respond to that question before, in the sense that it's much too early to be talking about that. what is important for us to be doing today. is not worry about who's going to be a candidate for president four years ago. cnn likes that, what we have got to worry about is how we deal with the issues that impact us today. one of the reasons i think we had success in our campaign. we also surprised a lot of people, we talked about issues that people believed in. which the media often does not talk about, and the establishment does not talk about it, the overwhelming majority of the american people. including many people who voted for mr. trump support the ideas we're talking. >> go to trump supporters. do they think it's right, so few have so much and so many have so little. ask them if we think we should
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raise the minimum wage to a living wage? should we rebuild our infrastructure and create millions of jobs, rebuilding our roads, bridges and water systems. you'll be surprised with the kind of response. what i say all over the place, yes, of course there are differences in this country. i support a woman's right to choose. very few people believe what the republican leadership believes now, tax breaks for billionaires and cutting social security and medicare, medicaid. if 10% of the american people -- how many people believe we should give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 1%. and then cut social security and medicare. raise your hand. did you see

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