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tv   CNN Town Hall Bernie Sanders  CNN  January 9, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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we are live from the george washington university here in
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the nation's capital for a cnn town hall event with senator bernie sanders, hello, i'm chris cuomo, we're being seen around the world and also cnn international. our service men and women are watching. thank you for your service. and welcome to those listening on the west wood one radio network and cnn channel 116 on sirius. now, kicking off a special programming and the 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're going to hear
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from one of the most influential members of the opposition. senator bernie sanders. we have invited people from around the world to ask senator sanders questions. we have a variety of questions. 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. [ applause ] thank you. >> i feel like we were just here, i feel like we were just doing this. you, me, the people on the stage, you, me, making the case
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for what your party has to offer. let's do it. >> let me begin by thanking cnn. it's not going to be a filibuster night. thanking cnn for hosting the event, because what i wanted to do is have, as chris said, a serious discussion about the issues impacting the american people. issues which very often do not get the attention that they deserve, and i hope we can do that tonight. chris, thank you very much for having me. >> absolutely, our pleasure, thank you for taking the opportunity. in the introduction, they referred to you as the opposition. the democratic party as opposing the incoming administration, are you comfortable with that? >> well, historically, you have a party, an opposing party, around the world. the responsibility of the opposition party is to make c
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constructive criticism. >> does that take shape? >> literally, the strategy was going to be that we willow be t obstruct, where trump has ideas that make sense that we can work with him on, we should. but i will tell you this, he ran a campaign whose cornerstone was bigotry, based on sexism, racism, and xenophobia, and on that issue i personally will not compromise. he ran a campaign which denied the reality of climate change, at a time when virtually all the scientists who studied this tell us we are facing a crisis, and
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have to turn away from fossil fuel and sustainable industry. >> news of day question, 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. they are virtually unanimous. i think the evidence is overwhelming. and we should be clear, this is not just the first time they've done it. i suspect they're working on other efforts as well in other countries around the world. this was a way for them to help elect the candidate of their choice, mr. trump. and i think it was also an effort to try to undermine in a significant way the american democracy. so i think the evidence is very clear that russia did play a very harmful role, unacceptable
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role and it's something we've 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 don'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 on what he says and we miss what is in his heart. >> i mean, that may be true, but think about that statement for a moment. you're not a heart surgeon. you can't know what is 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 partisan. >> is it directed at me? >> no. >> then i'm okay with it. >> and it's one of the problems we have all, including the
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media. i'm not the only person saying this. the republicans say this. we are dealing with a man who in many respects is, how can i phrase it? a pathological liar. look, i have many conservative friends, they're not liars, they have their point of view. but time after time after time he says stuff which is blatantly untrue. >> the man was elected by the united states. >> that is a reality. but on the other hand, you have asked the question, how do we deal with that? 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 is up, companies keeping jobs here, people call him the trump effect, maybe not everybody sees it that way. >> all i'm saying, i think it's a fact. trump began his campaign by
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saying that he saw muslims in new jersey on a roof top, he saw them on television, them celebrating the destruction of the twin towers, nobody else in the world happened to see that. he announced maybe a month 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, let's talk about how we go forward. i want you to meet jessica from pennsylvania, she is diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. she has asked about president obama, and obamacare, what is your question, jessica? >> thank you for having me, senator sanders, when i was 29 years old i was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.
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my daughter was just 8 months oldme old. i followed the recommended treatment by my doctors and was given a 90% recovery rate. later, i was diagnosed with terminal cancer 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. which would mean that insurance companies will once again be allowed to deny patients with preexisting conditions, and that's me. and that's a life or death issue for me. i have a daughter and a husband. and my question to you, senator, is how will you steer the republican party into keeping the life-saving components of obamacare? >> jessica, thank you so much
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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 and 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, what is the function of insurance if you can't get it when you need it? but that's when it went on. and as a result of the affordable care act we said to the insurance companies no, you can't discriminate against somebody for a pre-existing condition. we said many other things, i suspect, tell me if i'm wrong, you're probably running up a steep medical bill, right? >> huge. >> and it used to be there were caps on what an insurance company would say, we pay 100,000, won't pay more, well,
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how do i pay the next 100,000? tough luck, so i answer the question, jessica, i believe i speak for every member of the democratic caucus that we'll do everything we can to improve the affordable care act. it has problems, but we damn well are not going to see it repealed and have no replacement there at all. and let me just conclude with this. a lot of americans don't know this. we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people as a right. if you were in other major countries you would not be having to deal with this issue. comprehensive health care, and by the way, because they don't have private insurance companies ripping them off or they don't have the pharmaceutical industry ripping off the people because they negotiate prices, the cost per capita in every other country, significantly lower than the u.s. so jessica, i wish you the very
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best. thank you so much for being here and expressing your concern for your fellow americans. >> thank you. >> quick follow, trump has said that he intends to keep pre-existing conditions and some of the other predictions that are in obamacare, do you believe that? and is there a good starting point for democrats to work with? >> here is the problem, he says he will work with it. we'll see. other republicans are not so sure. the other thing we don't talk about a whole lot is that the repeal of the affordable care act, the complete repeal, would not only do away with the protection for pre-existing 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 will be on soon, you may want to talk to paul about that because that is his idea. but it will also give huge tax breaks to the very richest
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people in this country. they want to repeal that aspect. so there is a limit to what you can do in preserving the quote unquote good parts if you don't work with the wealthy. >> and in nelsonville, ohio, life-long democrat but voted for donald trump. what is your question? >> my question tonight, senator sanders, i'm from a small town from the appalachian area, where we had coal, and today all that is gone. people are looking at -- there are not many good job opportunities out here in these areas and areas like mine. and you and mr. trump both campaigned on bringing jobs back to rural communities like this. you know, i liked that both of you spoke on this and campaigned on that fact and everything. however, maybe it's time to lay the politics aside and are you
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willing to welcome with mr. trump to see that this happens? >> absolutely, there is an area, your right, mr. trump and i talked about many of the same issues. here is the issue, the issue is for the last 30 years under the democratic and republican administrations we have had trade policies like nafta and permanent relationships with china, which were written by the multi-large corporations, what they said is, why do we want to pay a worker in america 20 or 30 bucks an hour, where we can go to china and pay people a few bucks an hour? that was the goal of the trade agreements and it exceeded. we lost millions of decent paying jobs, and i know kentucky, virginia, the whole region and country has been significantly hurt. what do i believe? i believe we need a new trade policy. i believe we tell corporate america that they have to control their greed. they can't throw american
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workers out on the street who made them wealthy and then moved 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 and not just on corporate greed, yeah, i will be happy to welcome with him. >> you have one head shaking up and down with a lot of energy and it comes from tianna deldale, she is from michigan, voted for clinton in the primary, this issue, nafta. >> my dad worked before he lost his job to nafta and was sent to mexico. i'm currently an assembly worker at general motors at the assembly plant 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
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you take to abolish nafta? >> we have lost millions, millions, 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 could go out, get a job at a factory, if they had a decent union, they could earn good wages and benefits. and as a result of these disastrous trade agreements, again, written by corporate workers, many of these workers are working for 50 or 60% of what they used to make. so yes, 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 greed. you know, they have to look at the needs of the american people. i want to see us rebuild our manufacturing sector, great
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decent jobs, the world has changed. automated energy has had an impact, but you can't be a great nation if you are not producing what we consume. we can't get everything from china or mexico. occasionally you have to get a product made in the united states of america. so i will work very hard not only on nafta, but other areas. >> there is no question that it hits on other items. joe biden says he doesn't think 500 billionaires are behind every problem that americans have. you mentioned automation. but they talked about the reason we lost manufacturing jobs, is because of automation, innovation. >> chris, i think most of the serious students of the issue think it's a combination of
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factors. but there is no doubt in any objective economist's mind, and i read the studies, we lost millions of jobs because of trade agreements. automation is a serious problem, factories can produce more with less workers. >> it's a problem for the next generation. >> it is a problem for the worker who has been replaced by a machine. but i think we need to change the culture of this country and we cannot allow corporate 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 and provide extended employment and educational opportunities. we just cannot allow this culture of corporate greed which
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result in what is happening. they want and economy that belongs to all of us, works for all of us, we are the richest nation. and our job is to help other people. >> so you're talking about a very important message here, let's bring in to a student at the university and studying international affairs, voted for clinton. has a question about the message in our economy. what do you have? >> so under these lines, i'm a moderate democrat who is discouraged by how much blame you put on upper income households and trade agreements. so how can democrats reframe their economic message in order to address the concerns of average americans without
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demonizing top earners or alienating top democrats. >> i don't demonize anybody, but i try to state the facts, the facts are that corporate greed is destroying our economy and is doing harm to the working families of this country. and i think that somebody who is trying to reform the democratic party, this coming sunday, we're going to have 30 rallies all over this country in opposition to the republican effort to try to end the affordable care act. we're trying to create grass roots activity within the democratic party. it's not a question of demonizing, but a question of creating public policies, tax policies. 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?
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does that make sense to you? >> no. >> well, it doesn't make sense to me or the vast majority of american people. i'm not demonizing people, what i'm saying is that the billionaire class has enormous power. they wrote the trade policies. you 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. 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 is what i'm trying to do. >> this is your opportunity, what do you got, rowy, what do you have? bernie is laying out his case. >> well, particularly in international trade i think that most studies show that international trade, free trade agreements, nafta, specially,
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have helped. if you scrap nafta, you take away those jobs, too. >> it's not a question of scrapping, but creating a new trade policy. studies will tell you this and that. i read a lot of these studies. i think the objective evidence is that nafta evidence, of course you're right, some of 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 happens is you have many employers who walk into their workers' union hall or just talk to their employees and say look, here is their choice, we're going to cut your health care benefits and wages and if you don't like it, guess what we're doing? we're moving to china, that is your choice. and that is another reason why
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the middle class in the 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 is what democracy is about. >> this is good, i'm going to take a break right now, how is it going so far? are we happy with the discussion? i think we could do a little bit better. we have a big moment coming up. you have the big nominating hearings that will go on. will the democrats confirm the choices? what will happen when we start to get the first big battles? tomorrow, we'll discuss what is going to happen in the town hall. stay with us. vie and one snack box. can i keep the walnuts? sold. but i get to pick your movie. can i pick the genre? yes, but it has to be a comedy.
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welcome back to the cnn town hall with senator sanders. let's hear from a student at harvard law school. he voted for clinton in the primary and the general, 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
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rights. in light of senator session's history attacking voting rights, will you oppose his confirmation? >> i'm going to listen to what jeff sessions has to say, i'm going to listen. i have very strong concerns, 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 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're trying to make 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 poor people, older people, people of color to vote. i consider this to be one of the most significant issues facing our country, okay?
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so i will listen very, very carefully to what senator sessions has to say. but i share your concerns. >> thank you. >> all right, we were talking earlier about how some of the interests in the new economy fold into understandings about our environment. i want you to meet david bright. he is a farmer and served as one of the democratic electric elec maine, what is your question? >> senator, those of whose job it is to feed this country are seeing droughts and floods and climate change that is seriously affecting our ability to produce food in this country. for us, there is no room in government for climate change deniers. yet mr. trump has nominated scott pruett to be the head of the environmental protection agency, one of the nominees who is getting ready apparently to disassemble the agency he is about to be hosting. so my question is, do you as senator have the chutzpah to
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oppose this? what needs to happen for mr. pruett to not only run it, but not ruin the epa? >> it is ironic that mr. trump has chosen somebody to head the epa, who doesn't much believe in it. as i understand, he is a climate change denier. let me be as clear as i can be, i happen to agree with the overwhelming majority of scientists who believe that climate change is real. that it is caused by human activity. and today as you have indicated, not only in our country but all over the world people are experiencing drought and floods and extreme weather disturbances and rising sea levels, which threaten the well being of hundreds of millions if not billions of people. 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
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together, the planet that we're going to leave to our kids and grandchildren will not be a healthy planet. and we have a moral responsibility to do everything that we can. now, 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 is not prepared to transform our energy system in order the protect the wellbeing of our children and grandchildren. >> i have a question. sorry to sneak up on you like that. jeff sessions, you say you have real concerns about what he did with respect to the voting rights. pruett, in your words, you say he is a climate change denier. but you will not commit to voting against him. how do you vote for someone in jeff sessions that you think may have a problem towards voting rights?
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>> all i am doing here is trying to be polite. >> if if said -- no time for that. >> why are you clapping for politeness -- >> if i said -- if i said i'm going to vote against these guys then his next question would be how can you vote against them without them having gone before you in a hearing? ask them a question -- >> i'm confused, are you going to vote -- >> before i vote against them i want to hear what they have to say. >> does it matter what they say if you're determined? >> of course it matters, i think i know what they say. i think you got to get people the courtesy. >> so you're not inclined to vote for them? >> are you a lawyer? >> i was lucky to get a lot of education, segue, good to have you here studying education policy at the george washington university. he is an independent who voted
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to clinton. >> so the high costs of the courses here are stopping me from continuing past the degree that i'm currently going for. i'm stopping in may, not going for a phd past this. as a student, and former high school teacher, where i saw this issue happen a lot opportunities for lower tuition mean a lot to me. so can you explain how moving toward policies of free college is a better step than say lowering costs just nationally? >> well, it's not -- either or. i think colleges and 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
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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 work force 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 public schools in brooklyn new york that were very good. when we talk about public education we say okay, you have to have pre-schooling from kindergarten through high school, right? good, that was great 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. but today in many respects given the changing economy, a college degree is the same as what a high school degree was 40 years ago. that means to me that 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 will you pay for that?
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during my campaign for the presidency, i proposed a tax on wall street speculation, which would have more than covered the cost of colleges and tuition. the other problem is we have millions of people who graduated college in graduate school, 30, 50, 100, 200,000 -- talked to a young woman in iowa, went to dental school. $400,000 in debt. now 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 in this country to get the best education they can not only for themselves but for the future of this country. and that is 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.
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that is true today for many families. i want every child who is in this country who is in the fourth grade or sixth grade, regardless of the income of their family that if they study hard and do well in school you know what, they are going to be able to go to college. and i think it will bring a revolution to education in america. i think when we have the top of one tenth percentage in the country owning the most wealth, when we have huge disparities and major corporations, not paying a nickel in taxes, yes, i think we can raise the money we need to make public school and colleges tuition-free. now, i don't know if you know this guy, andrew cuomo, and i was with him just a week ago in new york state. governor cuomo hopes to make that state the first state in the country to make colleges and universities tuition-free, i think it's a great idea and would like to see it all over
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the country. >> 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 private universities and make them deal with the cost structure that is crippling the system to begin with. that is kind of the heart of your question. >> universities and colleges need to do better jobs, this is called society and democracy. now you are paying taxes so that kids can go to public school. all i'm asking you, chris, pay a little more so that somebody can go to college as well. it's not just you. we have major corporation after corporation not paying a nickel in federal income taxes. as warren buffet reminds us, you have billionaires paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. we have the money to make colleges and universities tuition-free, i think in the
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long run we'll do an enormous amount of good for the society. >> sometimes it's about doing less, and on that note let's bring in jim jacobs, a small business owner from pennsylvania, he voted for donald trump. jim, what is your question? >> my question is this, i'm a business owner, and we just keep getting kicked in the teeth by this administration. it's regulation after regulation and tax upon tax. what donald trump does understand is the complexities of business. and you know, to reward the person who takes the risk. so really you know, my question is this country was founded on entrepreneurship. why is this administration so against a business owner? please tell me. >> i don't think this administration, the obama administration you're refusing to is so against the business owner. when you talk about -- >> really? >> yeah. obama -- >> i don't know your income and not concerned about it. obama did
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raised taxes on the top 1 or 2%. i think the people in this country are doing very well. 52% of the income generated goes to the top 1%, so you and i may have a difference, but i believe that billionaires and multi-millionaires should be paying more in taxes. >> i'm not a billionaire or millionaire, you haven't lived until you put a payroll on your credit card. this is the reality of it. of the back upbone of this country. >> well, the back bone of this country, we should support entrepreneurship and small business. but i am not supportive of large multi-national corporations that make billions a year in profit and don't pay a nickel in taxes. nor am i supportive of those corporations who throw american workers out on the street and move to china and mexico. >> what about the small
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business, mr. trump talked a lot about getting against -- >> should the small or large business be able to pollute the air or food, no, i don't believe. >> i don't pollute food or air or water, however, when the rules and regulations come in to cover all of business and you're trying to start a business, it's tough enough. >> i think we should take a look at it. but the devil is in the details. we have to see what the regulations are. some of them -- 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 saying you're open to look at it? >> of course, if there is a regulation that doesn't make sense why do you keep it? but you have some folks out there who really want the freedom to pollute our air or water, they want to get rid of those regulations, i don't agree. i think we have to protect our
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environment. >> all right, let's take a quick break, we have more questions for senator sanders when we come back. great question, thank you very much. companies in the country. after expanding our fiber network coast to coast. these are the places we call home. we are centurylink. we believe in the power of the digital world. the power to connect. and that's what drives us everyday. juswho own them,ople every business is different. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow. whether it be help starting your business, vendor contracts or employment agreements. legalzoom's network of attorneys can help you every step of the way so you can focus on what you do.
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[ applause ] we're back with cnn's town hall with senator sanders here at the george washington university. how are you holding up, senator? >> i'm great. >> good, that is what i like to hear. all right. let's have another question, jennifer gutierrez, a high school teacher 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 would like to start by saying that i really love my students and it's an honor for me to be able to teach them.
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many of them are undocumented. or have parents that are undocumented. and right now they're very worried about the political atmosphere. i have talked to them and i have let them know that they are 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 i think teachers don't get the credit that they deserve. so thank you very much for what you're doing. >> thank you. >> you touched on a very emotional issue. and what i hear from you, i am hearing from teachers and people in the muslim community, not just the latino community. and in other communities all over this country. people are frightened, because during the campaign trump was
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saying well, we're going to just deport whatever it may be, changes every day. but we're going to be picking people up and throwing millions outside of this country, people who lived in this country, worked in this country, people who have children in this country. and i can fully understand that your kids are frightened. i think what all of us have to remember and i believe it from the bottom of my heart, as somebody whose father came to this country from poland. i'm a first generation american. he came to this money 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 the generations of great people trying to bring us together, people in the civil rights people, people in the gay rights movement. people in the women's movement, 100 years ago women didn't have the right to vote.
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we have made progress and looking at people as martin luther king jr. reminded us based on their character, not where they came from or the color of their skin, and to see a president elected who campaigned on dividing us and turning us against each other, your beautiful students should not be afraid. young muslim kids should not be afraid to walk the streets. that is not what this country is about. so please tell your students that there are many of us in the country, not just progressives or democrats, who will do everything we can to protect those beautiful children. >> i will, thank you. >> all right, from somebody who is living their concern themselves, his name is osama from kansas, a student here at gw, voted for clinton. even though you're from kansas, osama, when people hear your name, things change. >> so thank you for addressing my question. with myself and many muslims
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around the country, we are experiencing silent prejudice and we're noticing an up-tick in hate crimes. that occurred after the election. now, i would like to know what 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 i am jewish or somebody is catholic or protestant, or somebody came from poland or his family from ireland. so what? that is america, we judge people
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on who they are, not where your grandfather came from or their religion. that is the principle we have to fight for. a fundamental, fundamental principle, we judge people on who there are. there are good muslims, bad muslims, good kpcatholics, bad catholics, we judge people on who they are, not on their that is the principle we have to fight with. that is essentially, in my mind, what the fabric of this country are fighting for, we have already made some progress in that area and we will continue that fight. i will do everything i can. you asked me if i will work with trump. i will work with trump on any issue, but i will not work with him when he espouses bigotry or hatred. >> all right, we have a question on that, the tension on when you
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want to work with >>'s usually pretty easy for a president to get share supreme court nominee to get confirmed when the party is in control of the senate. given what happened with merit garland, should democrats oppose a nominee like republicans did last year? >> i'm a member of the democratic leadership. we discussed that today. i won't tell you what people said, but it was an issue of discussion. here's the problem we had. the supreme court right now more or less is divided 4-4. the constitution is very clear. there's no debate about it. president of the united states, whether it's obama or trump, has the right to nominate somebody. the senate holds hearings and votes. republicans refused to do that. they refused to. they violated in my view what the constitution is. now, as soon as trump decides on who his nominee will be, they will no doubt come to us and say all right, here's the constitution. we've got to have hearings.
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vote on this guy. oh, but you, when you guys were in power, you rejected obama's nominee. didn't even give him a hearing. those are issues that have 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 bit easier. we'll have to see how that one plays out. >> he's going to pick somebody and you guys aren't going to like that person. what are you going to do? >> i think we've got to let it play out. i gave you the concerns that i have. media always likes to jump two months in advance. let's place it one day at a time. i do think the republicans treated president obama shamefully and outrageously and to expect suddenly we're going to do the right thing, maybe, maybe not. we'll see. >> which is exactly what took me to the question. we will see. that's a big thing. now i've got a big question for
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you. >> okay. >> donald onyawa, he emigrated to the united states while in middle school. he's a junior here at the george washington university. he's an independent voter for clinton. has a very interesting question for you. >> thank you, senator sanders for your time. you recently referred to president-elect trump as a pathological liar. in your opinion, in light of the efforts to get cohesiveness in our nation, what do you view as our strongest trooubt? >> hold. that is a provocative question. i'm going to use it to carry us through the commercial break. i know people want the answer to that. senator sanders will answer that question we hope when we come right back. thank you very much.
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be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. bayer aspirin. of reach for far too long:s have health insurance.that's been out how? they enrolled through covered california.
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it's the health insurance marketplace where you'll find a range of plans from leading health insurance companies that offer you the best combination of quality, rates, and benefits. and, through covered california, you may get financial help to pay for coverage. to get covered, you've got to get going. open enrollment ends january 31st. visit covereca.com today. washington university and cnn's town hall with senator bernard sanders. we have a very provocative question asked by one donald anyanwu, a student here at the george washington university. please repeat your question. >> thank you, senator sanders. you recently referred to
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president-elect trump as a pathological liar and 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? that's not a hard question for me to answer. look, je objective assessment of the last year, year and a half, however long it was will tell that you donald trump did something extraordinary, something that nobody but nobody thought that he could do. trump took on the republican establishment, took on the democratic establishment, took on the media establishment, and he ended up winning the election to become president of the united states. that is an extraordinary accomplishment. it talks about perseverance, strong political instincts, talks about a way to connect with people. so i give donald trump his due. >> i think any fair-minded person has got to. is that good enough? >> yes, sir thank you. >> sawyer neil, 19 years old,
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was the youngest bernie sanders delegate from pennsylvania at the democratic convention last year. >> you've aged rapidly since. >> what's your question? >> so, i became the youngest delegate from pennsylvania and i voted four at the convention because you inspired me and motivated a generation of votes are by talking about issues like health care, criminal justice, income equality. 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 somebody to rally behind if they want to accomplish these policy objectives. my question is whether you'll take up the mantle of our political revolution and run for president in 2020. >>. >> chris has heard me respond to that question before in the
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sense that it is 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. but what we have got worry about is how we deal with the issues that impact us today. okay. >> and one of the things that, reasons i think we had success in our campaign, we also surprised a lot of people is we talked about issues that people believed in, which the media often does not talk about and the establishment doesn't talk about it. you know what in the overwhelming majority of the american people, including many people who vote ford mr. trump, support the ideas that we're talking about. go to trump supporters and ask them whether they think it's right that so few have so much and so many have so little. ask them if they think we should raise the minimum wage to a living wage. okay? ask them if we should rebuild our infrastructure and create millions of jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges and water
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systems. you'll be surprise at the kind of response. what i say all over the place is yes, of course, there are differences on issues like choice or on gay rights. i support a woman's right to choose and i support gay rights but on many economic issues, you would be surprised at how many americans hold the shame. very few people believe what the republican leadership believes now, tax breaks for billionaires and cutting social security medicare and medicaid. i've been asked a question, fair question. right now in this audience. how many people believe that we should give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 1% and then cut social security and medicare. please raise your hand. what's the answer? see any hands going up? >> none. >> that is exactly what the republican leadership, i'm not exaggerating. that is what they believe but they get away with that because they have incredible campaign contributions

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