tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 15, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm EST
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presidential candidates take place in a debate in iowa. and a metal of honor ceremony for florent groberg. then another chance to see " q schiff.ith stacy prime minister's questions will not be seen tonight. hillary clinton, bernie sanders, and martin o'malley took part in a debate last night at drake university. the debate was cosponsored by cbs news, kcci, "the des moines register" and twitter. this is about one hour and 35 minutes. john dickerson: good evening.
i'm john dickerson of cbs news in des moines, iowa. the debate you've tuned in to see tonight is a symbol of the freedom we all cherish. last night, the world watched in horror as freedom was savagely attacked in the heart of paris. at least 129 people were killed and many more wounded in a coordinated series of terror attacks. tonight, as france mourns, so does america. so before we begin tonight's second debate with these candidates for the democratic presidential nomination, we ask you to join us in observing a moment of silence. [moment of silence] john dickerson: now please welcome to drake university former secretary of state hillary clinton. [applause] john dickerson: senator bernie sanders of vermont. [applause]
john dickerson: and martin o'malley, the former governor of maryland. [applause] john dickerson: joining me in the questioning tonight are cbs news congressional correspondent nancy cordes, anchor kevin cooney of our cbs des moines affiliate kcci, and political columnist kathie obradovich of the "des moines register." [applause] john dickerson: twitter is another of our partners for this debate. tweets will help us follow the reactions to what the candidates say. so please send us your comments using the #demdebate. and we'll begin in just a moment. john dickerson: before we start the debate, here are the rules. the candidates have one minute to respond to our questions and 30 seconds to respond to our
follow-ups. any candidate attacked by another candidate gets 30 seconds for rebuttal. here is how we will keep time. after a question is asked, the green light goes on. when there are 15 seconds left, the candidate gets a yellow warning light. when time is up, the light turns red. that means stop talking. [laughter] john dickerson: those are the rules, so let's get started. you will each have one minute for an opening statement to share your thoughts about the attacks in paris and lay out your vision for america. first, senator sanders. bernie sanders: let me concur with you and all americans that we are shocked about what we saw in paris. together, leading the world, our country will help rid the planet of isis. i'm running for president because as i go around this country, i talked to a lot of people.
i hear people's concern that the economy we have is a rigged economy. people are working longer hours for lower wages. almost all of the incoming wealth goes to the top 1%. on top of that, we have a corrupt campaign finance system in which millionaires and billionaires are pouring huge sums of money into super pac's heavily influencing the political process. my campaign is about a political revolution. millions of people standing up and saying enough is enough, our government belongs to all of us and not just a handful of billionaires. john dickerson: all right, senator sanders. secretary clinton. hillary clinton: our prayers are with the people of france tonight, but that is not enough. we need to have a result that will bring the world together to root out the kind of radical jihadist ideology that motivates organizations like isis, the
barbaric, ruthless, violent jihadist, terrorist group. this election is not only about electing a president. it's also about choosing our next commander-in-chief. and i will be laying out in detail what i think we need to do with our friends and allies in europe and elsewhere to do a better job of coordinating efforts against the scourge of terrorism. our country deserves no no less because all of the other issues we want to deal with depends on us being secure and strong. john dickerson: governor o'malley. martin o'malley: my heart, like all of us in this room, john, and all the people across our country -- my hearts go out to the people of france in this moment of loss, parents and sons and daughters and family members. as our hearts go out and as our prayers go out to them, we must
remember this, that this isn't a new face of conflict and warfare, not in the 20th century. but the new face of conflict of warfare in the 21st century. and there is no nation on the planet better able to adapt to this change than our nation. we must be able to work collaboratively with others. we must anticipate these threats before they happen. this is the new sort of challenge, the new sort of threat that does, in fact, require new thinking, fresh approaches and new leadership. as a former mayor and a former governor, there was never a single day, john, when i went to bed or woke up without realizing that this could happen in our own country. we have a lot of work to do to better prepare our nation and to better lead this world into this new century. john dickerson: all right, thank you, governor, thank all of you. the terror attacks last night underscored the biggest challenge facing the next president of the united states. at a time of crisis, the country and the world look to the president for leadership and for answers. so secretary clinton, i'd like to start with you.
hours before the attacks, president obama said, "i don't think isis is gaining strength." 72% of americans think the fight against isis is going badly. won't the legacy of this administration which you were a part of -- won't that legacy be that it underestimated the threats from isis? hillary clinton: well, john i think that we have to look at isis as the leading threat of an international terror network. it cannot be contained, it must be defeated. there is no question in my mind that if we summon our resources, both our leadership resources and all of the tools at our disposal, not just military force which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy, our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more open and cooperative way that we can bring people together. but it cannot be an american fight. and i think what the president has consistently said -- which i agree with -- is that we will
support those who take the fight to isis. that is why we have troops in iraq that are helping to train and build back up the iraqi military, why we have special operators in syria working with the kurds and arabs so that we can be supportive. but this cannot be an american fight, although american leadership is essential. john dickerson: but secretary clinton, the question's about was isis underestimated. the president referred to isis as the jvu in a speech, the council in foreign relations in june of 2014 said, "i could not have predicted the extent to which isis could be effective in seizing cities in iraq." so you've got prescriptions for the future. but how do we know if those prescriptions are any good if you missed it in the past? hillary clinton: well, john, look, i think that what happened when we abided by the agreement that george w. bush made with the iraqis to leave by 2011 is that an iraqi army was left that had been trained and that was prepared to defend iraq.
unfortunately, nouri al-maliki, the prime minister, set about decimating it. and then with the revolution against assad. and i did early on say we needed to try to find a way to train and equip moderates very early so that we would have a better idea of how to deal with assad because i thought there would be extremist groups filling the vacuum. so, yes, this has developed. i think that there are many other reasons why it has in addition to what's happened in the region. but i don't think that the united states has the bulk of the responsibility. i really put that on assad and on the iraqis and on the region itself. john dickerson: ok, governor o'malley, would you critique the administration's response to isis? if the united states doesn't lead, who does? martin o'malley: john, i would disagree with secretary clinton, respectfully, on this score. this actually is america's fight. it cannot solely be america's fight. america is best when we work in collaboration with our allies.
america is best when we are actually standing up to evil in this world. and isis, make no mistake about it, is an evil in this world. isis has brought down a russian airliner. isis has now attacked the western democracy in france. and we do have a role in this. not solely ours. but we must work collaboratively with other nations. the great failing of these last 10 or 15 years, john, has been our failing of human intelligence on the ground. our role in the world is not to roam the globe looking for new dictators to topple. our role in the world is to make ourselves a beacon of hope, make ourselves stronger at home. but also our role in the world, yes, is also to confront evil when it rises. we took out the safe haven in afghanistan, but now there is undoubtedly a larger safe haven. and we must rise to this occasion in collaboration and with alliances to confront it. and invest in the future much better human intelligence so we know what the next steps are.
john dickerson: senator sanders, you said you want to rid the planet of isis. in the previous debate, you said the greatest threat to national security was climate change. do you still believe that? bernie sanders: absolutely. in fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. and if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you're gonna see countries all over the world -- this is what the c.i.a. says. they're gonna be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops. and you're gonna see all kinds of international conflict. but of course international terrorism is a major issue that we've got to address today. and i agree with much of what the secretary and the governor have said. i only have one area of disagreement with the secretary. i think she said something like, "the bulk of the responsibility is not ours." well, in fact, i would argue that the disastrous invasion of iraq, something that i strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely. and led to the rise of al qaeda
and isis. now, in fact, what we have got to do -- and i think there is widespread agreement here because the united states cannot do it alone. what we need to do is lead an international coalition which includes, very significantly, the muslim nations in that region who are going to have to fight and defend their way of life. john dickerson: quickly let me follow up on that. senator sanders, when you said the disastrous vote on iraq, let's just be clear about what you're saying, you're saying secretary clinton, who was then senator clinton, voted for the iraq war. and are you making a direct link between her vote for that and what's happening now for isis? just so everybody -- bernie sanders: i don't think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of iraq led to the massive level of instability we are seeing right now. i think that was one of the worst foreign-policy blunders in the modern history of united states. john dickerson: all right, let's let secretary clinton respond to that. hillary clinton: thank you,
john. well, i think it's important we put this in historic context. the united states has unfortunately been victimized by terrorism going back decades. in the 1980's, it was in beirut, lebanon under president reagan's administration and 258 americans, marines, embassy personnel and others were murdered. we also had attacks on two of our embassies in tanzania and kenya when my husband was president. again, americans murdered. and then of course 9/11 happened which happened before there was an invasion of iraq. i have said the invasion of iraq was a mistake. but i think if we are ever going to really tackle the problems posed by jihadi extreme terrorism we need to understand it and realize that it has antecedents to what happened in iraq and we have to continue to be vigilant about it. john dickerson: senator sanders, let me just follow this line of thinking. you've criticized then senator clinton's vote. do you have anything to criticize in the way she performed as secretary of state? bernie sanders: i think we have a disagreement.
and the disagreement is that not only did i vote against the war in iraq, if you look at history, john, you will find that regime change, whether it was in the early 50's in iran, whether it was toppling salvador allende in chile, or whether it was overthrowing the government of guatemala way back when. these invasions, these toppling of governments, regime changes have unintended consequences. i would say that on this issue, i'm a little bit more conservative than the secretary. and i am not a great fan of regime change. john dickerson: all right. martin o'malley: secretary clinton also said that we left -- it was not just the invasion of iraq which secretary clinton voted for and has since said was a big mistake, and indeed it
was. but it was also the cascading effects that followed that. it was also the disbanding of many elements of the iraqi army that are now showing up as part of isis. it was country after country without making the investment in human intelligence to understand who the new leaders were and the new forces were that are coming up. we need to be much more far thinking in this new 21st century era of nation state failures and conflict. it's not just about getting rid of a single dictator. it is about understanding the secondary and third consequences that fall next. john dickerson: all right, secretary. hillary clinton: well, and of course each of these cases needs to be looked at individually and analyzed. part of the problem that we have currently in the middle east is that assad has hung onto power with the very strong support of russia and iran and with the proxy of hezbollah, being there basically fighting his battles. so i don't think you can paint with a broad brush. this is an incredibly complicated region of the world. it's become more complicated.
and many of the fights that are going on are not ones that the united states has either started or have a role in. the shia-sunni split, the dictatorships that have suppressed people's aspirations, the increasing globalization without any real safety valve for people to have a better life. we saw that in egypt. we saw a dictator overthrown, we saw a muslim brotherhood president installed and then we saw him ousted and the army back. so i think we've got to understand the complexity of the world that we are facing and no places more so than in the middle east. john dickerson: i understand. quickly, senator. bernie sanders: the secretary's obviously right. it is enormously complicated. but here's something that i believe we have to do is we put together an international coalition. and that is we have to understand that the muslim nations in the region, saudi arabia, iran, turkey, jordan, all of these nations, they're going to just have to get their
hands dirty, their boots on the ground. they are gonna have to take on isis. this is a war for the soul of islam. and those countries who are opposed to islam, they are gonna have to get deeply involved in a way that is not the case today. we should be supportive of that effort. so should the u.k., so should france. but those muslim countries are going to have to lead the efforts. they are not doing it now. hillary clinton: well, i think that is very unfair to a few that you mentioned, most particularly jordan which has put a lot on the line to the united states. it's also taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees from syria and has been therefore subjected to threats and attacks by extremists themselves. i do agree that in particular turkey and the gulf nations have got to make up their minds. are they going to stand with us against this kind of jihadi radicalism or not? and there are many ways of doing it. they can provide forces, they can provide resources.
but they need to be absolutely clear about where they stand. john dickerson: let me ask you, secretary clinton, a question about leadership. we're asking about what role does america play. let me ask you about libya. so libya is a country in which isis has taken hold, in part because of the chaos after muammar gaddafi. that was an operation you championed. president obama says this is the lesson he took from that operation. in an interview he said, "the lesson was do we have an answer for the day after." wasn't that supposed to be one of the lessons that we learned after the iraq war? and how did you get it wrong with libya if the key lesson of the iraq war is have a plan for after? hillary clinton: well, we did have a plan. and i think it is fair to say that of all of the arab leaders, gaddafi probably had more blood on his hands of americans than anybody else. and when he moved on his own people threatening a massacre, a genocide, the europeans and the arabs, our allies and partners
did ask for american help. and we provided it. and we didn't put a single boot on the ground. and gaddafi was deposed. the libyans turned out for one of the most successful arab elections that any arab country has had. they elected moderate leaders. now there has been a lot of turmoil and trouble as they have tried to deal with these radical elements which you find in this arc of instability from north africa to afghanistan. and it is imperative that we do more -- not only to help our friends and partners protect themselves and protect our own homeland -- but also to work to try to deal with this arc of instability which does have a lot of impact on what happens in a country like libya. john dickerson: governor o'malley, i want to ask you a question and you can add whatever you'd like to. but let me ask you, is the world too dangerous a place for a governor who has no foreign policy experience? martin o'malley: john, the world is a very dangerous place. but the world is not too dangerous of a place for the united states of america provided we act according to our principles, provided we act intelligently.
i mean, let's talk about this arc of instability that secretary clinton talked about. libya is now a mess. syria is a mess. iraq is a mess. afghanistan is a mess. as americans we have shown ourselves to have the greatest military on the face of the planet. but we are not so very good at anticipating threats and appreciating just how difficult it is to build up stable democracies and make the investments in sustainable development that we must as the nation if we are to attack the root causes of these sorts of of instability. and i wanted to add one other thing, john, and i think it's important for all of us on this stage. i was in burlington, iowa and a mom of a service member of ours who served two duties in iraq said, "governor o'malley, please, when you're with your other candidates and colleagues on stage, please don't use the term "boots on the ground."
please don't use the term boots on the ground. my son is not a pair of boots on the ground." these are american soldiers and we fail them when we fail to take into account what happens the day after a dictator falls. and when we fail to act with a whole of government approach with sustainable development, diplomacy and our economic power in alignment with our principles. hillary clinton: well, i think it is perfectly fair to say that we invested quite a bit in development aid. some of the bravest people that i had the privilege of working with as secretary of state were our development professionals who went sometimes alone, sometimes with our military into very dangerous places in iraq, in afghanistan -- elsewhere. so there does need to be a whole of government approach. but just because we're involved and we have a strategy doesn't mean we're going to be able to dictate the outcome. these are often very long-term kinds of investments that have to be made. bernie sanders: but when you talk about the long-term
consequences of war, let's talk about the men and women who came home from war. the 500,000 who came home with ptsd and traumatic brain injury. and i would hope that in the midst of all of this discussion, this country makes certain that we do not turn our backs on the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend us. and that we stand with them as they have stood with us. john dickerson: secretary clinton, you mentioned radical jihadists. hillary clinton: yes. john dickerson: marco rubio, also running for president, said that this attack showed -- in -- the attack in paris showed that we are at war with radical islam. do you agree with that characterization, radical islam? hillary clinton: i don't think we're at war with islam. i don't think we at war with all muslims. i think we're at war with jihadists who have -- john dickerson: just to interrupt, he didn't say all muslims. he just said radical islam. is that a phrase you don't -- hillary clinton: i think that you can talk about islamists who are also clearly jihadists.
but i think it's not particularly helpful to make the case that senator sanders was just making that i agree with that we've got to reach out to muslim countries. we've got to have them be part of our coalition. if they hear people running for president who basically shortcut it to say we are somehow against islam -- that was one of the real contributions despite all the other problems that george w. bush made after 9/11 when he basically said after going to a mosque in washington, "we are not at war with islam or muslims." we are at war with violent extremism. we are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression." and yes, we are at war with those people, but i don't want us to be painting with too broad of a brush. john dickerson: the reason i ask is that you gave a speech at georgetown university in which you said that it was important to show "respect even for one's enemy. trying to understand and in so far as psychologically possible empathize with their perspective and point of view." can you explain what that means in the context of this kind of
barbarism? hillary clinton: i think with this kind of barbarism and nihilism -- it's very hard to understand other than the lust for power, the rejection of modernity, the total disregard for human life, freedom, or any other value that we know and respect. historically it is important to try to understand your adversary in order to figure out how they are thinking, what they will be doing, how they will react. i plead that it's very difficult when you deal with isis and organizations like that whose behavior is so barbaric and so vicious that it doesn't seem to have any purpose other than lust for killing and power. and that's very difficult to put ourselves in other shoes. john dickerson: very quickly, do either of you -- radical islam, do either of you use that phrase? bernie sanders: i don't think the term is what's important. what is important to understand is we have organizations, whether it is isis or al qaeda, who do believe we should go back
several thousand years, we should make women third-class citizens, that we should allow children to be sexually assaulted, that they are a danger to modern society. and that this world with american leadership can and must come together to destroy them. we can do that. martin o'malley: john -- bernie sanders: and it requires an entire world to come together including, in a very active way, the muslim nations. john dickerson: governor o'malley, you've been making the case -- when you talk about lack of forward vision, you're essentially saying that secretary clinton lacks that vision. and this critique matches up with this discussion of language. the critique is that the softness of language betrays a softness of approach. so if this language -- if you don't call it by what it is, how can your approach be effective to the cause? that's the critique. martin o'malley: i believe calling it what it is, is to say radical jihadis, that's to call
what it is. but john, let's not fall into the trap of thinking that all of our muslim-american neighbors in this country are somehow our enemies here. they are our first line of defense. and we are going to be able to defeat isis on the ground there as well as in this world because of the muslim-americans in our country and throughout the world who understand that this brutal and barbaric group is perverting the name of a great world religion. and now like never before, we need our muslim-american neighbors to stand up and to be a part of this. john dickerson: secretary clinton, the french president has called this attack an act of war. a couple of days ago you were asked if you would declare war on isis and you said no. what would you say now? hillary clinton: well, we have an authorization to use military force against terrorists. we passed it after 9/11. john dickerson: and you think that covers all of it? hillary clinton: it certainly does cover it. i would like to see it updated. john dickerson: if you were in the senate would you be ok with the commander in chief doing
that without coming back to you? hillary clinton: no. it would have to go through the congress. and i know the white house has actually been working with members of congress. maybe now we can get it moving again so that we can upgrade it so that it does include all the tools and everything in our arsenal that we can use to try to work with our allies and our friends, come up with better intelligence. you know, it is difficult finding intelligence that is actionable in a lot of these places. but we have to keep trying. and we have to do more to prevent the flood of foreign fighters who have gone to syria, especially the ones with western passports that come back. so there's a lot of work we need to do. and i want to be sure that what's called the aumf has the authority that is needed going forward. john dickerson: let me just -- whatever you've got to say refugees. you've been a little vague about what you would do with the syrian refugees. i mean, what's your view on them now -- bernie sanders: let me pick up an issue that -- a very important issue that we have not yet discussed.
this nation is the most powerful military in the world. we're spending over $600 billion a year on the military. and yet significantly less than 10% of that money is used to be fighting international terrorism. we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on 5,000 nuclear weapons. i think we need major reform in the military making it more cost effective but also focusing on the real crisis that faces us. the cold war is over and our focus has got to be on intelligence, increased manpower, fighting international terrorism. in terms of refugees, i believe that the united states has the moral responsibility with europe, with gulf countries like saudi arabia, to make sure that when people leave countries like afghanistan and syria with nothing more than the clothing on their back that of course we reach out. now what the magic number is, i don't know. because we don't know the extent of the problem. but i certainly think that the united states should take its
full responsibility in helping those. john dickerson: governor o'malley, you have a magic number. i think it's 65,000. does that number go up or down based on what happened yesterday? martin o'malley: john, i was the first person on this stage to say that we should accept the 65,000 syrian refugees that were fleeing this sort of murder of isil. and i believe that that needs to be done with proper screening. but accommodating 65,000 refugees in our country, people of 320 million is akin to making room for six and a half more people in a baseball stadium with 32,000. there are other ways to lead and to be a moral leader in this world rather than at the opposite end of a drone strike. but i would want to agree with something that senator sanders says, the nature of warfare has changed. this is not a conflict where we send in the third divisions of marines. this is a new era of conflict where traditional ways of huge standing armies are not as -- serve our purposes as well as special ops, better
intelligence, and being more proactive. john dickerson: just very quickly, 65,000, the number stays? martin o'malley: that's what i understand is the request from the international -- john dickerson: but what would you want? martin o'malley: i would want us to take our place among the nations of the world to alleviate the sort of death and the specter of death we saw with the little kid washing up on a beach. john dickerson: secretary clinton, let me ask you a question from twitter that's come in. and this is a question on this issue of refugees. the question is with the u.s. preparing to absorb syrian refugees, how do you propose we screen those coming in to keep our citizens safe? hillary clinton: i think that is the number one requirement. i also said that we should take increased numbers of refugees. the administration originally said ten. i said we should go to 65 but only if we have as carefully screening and vetting process as we can imagine whatever resources it takes. because i do not want us to in any way inadvertently allow
people who wish us harm to come into our country. but i want to say a quick word about what senator sanders and governor o'malley said. we do have to take a hard look at the defense budget. and we do have to figure out how we get ready to fight the adversaries of the future, not the past. but we have to also be very clear that we do have some continuing challenges. we have got challenges in the south china sea because of what china is doing in building up military installations. we have problems with russia. just the other day russia allowed a television camera to see the plans for a drone submarine that could carry a tactical nuclear weapon. so we've got to look at the full range and then come to some smart decisions about having more streamlined and focused defense. john dickerson: senator sanders, i'm sorry, we're gonna have to take a break now. we will have more of the democratic debate here from drake university in des moines,
iowa. john dickerson: want to turn now from terrorism to another important issue for many americans, the financial squeeze on the middle class. for that, we go to my cbs news colleague, nancy cordes. nancy? nancy cordes: john, thanks so much. we've learned a lot during the course of this campaign about things that you'd like to do that you think help the middle class. but we haven't learned quite as much about who would pick up the tab. so secretary clinton, first to you, you want to cap individual prescription drug costs at $250 a month. you want to make public college debt free. you want community college to be free altogether and you want mandatory paid family leave. so who pays for all that? is it employers? is it the taxpayers? and which taxpayers? hillary clinton: well, first of all, it isn't the middle class. i have made very clear that hard-working, middle class families need a raise, not a tax increase. in fact, wages adjusted for inflation haven't risen since the turn of the last century after my husband's administration. so we have a lot of work to do to get jobs going again, get
incomes rising again. and i have laid out specific plans. you can go to my website, hillaryclinton.com and read the details. and i would pay for it by, yes, taxing the wealthy more, closing corporate loopholes, deductions, and other kinds of favorable treatment. and i can do it without raising the debt, without raising taxes on the middle class, and making it reasonably manageable within our budget so that we can be fiscally responsible at the same time. nancy: but a quick follow-up on that $250 a month a cap. wouldn't the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies just pass that cost onto the consumers in the form of higher premiums? hillary clinton: well, we're gonna have to redo the way the prescription drug industry does business. for example, it is outrageous that we don't have an opportunity for medicare to negotiate for lower prices. in fact, american consumers pay the highest prices in the world for drugs that we helped to be developed through the national
institutes of health and that we then tested through the fda. so there's more to my plan than just the cap. we have to go after price gouging and monopolistic practices and get medicare the authority to negotiate. nancy: governor o'malley, you also want to make public college debt free, you want to freeze tuition. martin o'malley: that's right. nancy: you've got your own family leave plan. how would you pay for it? in maryland you raised the sales tax, you raised the gas tax and you raised taxes on families making over $150,000 a year. is that the blueprint? martin o'malley: nancy, the blueprint in maryland that we follow was, yes, we did, in fact, raise the the sales tax by a penny. and we made our public schools the best public schools in america for five years in a row with that investment. and, yes, we did ask everyone, the top 14% of earners in our state to pay more in their income tax. and we were the only state to go four years without a penny's increase to college tuition. so while other candidates will talk about the things they would
like to do, i actually got these things in a state that defended not only a triple a bond rating but the highest medium income in america. i believe that we paid for many of the things that we need to do again as a nation, investing in the skills of our people, our infrastructure and research and development and also climate change by the elimination of one big entitlement that we can no longer afford as a people. and that is the entitlement that many of our super wealthiest citizens feel they are entitled to pay, namely a much lower income tax rate and a lower tax rate on capital gains. i believe capital gains for the most part should be taxed the same way we tax incomes from hard work, sweat and toil. and if we do those things, we can be a country that actually can afford debt-free college again. nancy: senator sanders, you want to make public college free altogether. you want to increase social security benefits. and you want to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure. so you said that to do some of
these things you'll impose a tax on top earners. how high would their rate go in a sanders administration? bernie sanders: let me put those proposals -- and you're absolutely right. that is what i want to do. that is what has to happen if we're gonna revitalize and rebuild the crumbling middle class. in the last 30 years, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth. and i know that term gets my republican friends nervous. the problem is this redistribution has gone in the wrong direction. trillions of dollars have gone to the middle class and working families to the top 1/10 of 1% who have doubled the percentage of wealth they now own. yes, i do believe that we must end corporate loopholes such that major corporations year after year pay virtually zero in federal income tax because they're stashing their money in the cayman islands. yes, i do believe there must be a tax on wall street speculation. we bailed out wall street. it is their time to bail out the middle class. help our kids be able to go to
college tuition free. so we pay for this by do demanding that the wealthiest people and the largest corporations who have gotten away with murder for years start paying their fair share. nancy: well, let's get specific, how high would you go? you said before you'd go above 50%. how high? bernie sanders: we haven't come up with an exact number yet. but it will not be as high as the number under dwight d. eisenhower which was 90%. but it will be -- [laughter] bernie sanders: i'm not a socialist compared to eisenhower. [laughter] [applause] bernie sanders: but we are gonna end the absurdity as warren buffet often reminds us -- martin o'malley: that's right. bernie sanders: that billionaires pay an effective tax rate lower than nurses or truck drivers. that makes no sense at all. there has to be real tax reform. martin o'malley: under ronald reagan's first term the highest marginal rate was 70%.
and in talking to a lot of our neighbors who are in that super wealthy millionaire and billionaire category great numbers of them love their country enough to do more again in order to create more opportunity for america's middle class. nancy: secretary clinton, americans say that health care costs and wages are their top financial concerns. and health care deductibles alone have risen 67% over the past five years. is this something that obamacare was designed to address? and if not, why not? hillary clinton: well, look, i believe that we've made great progress as a country with the affordable care act. we've been struggling to get this done since harry truman. and it was not only a great accomplishment to the democratic party but of president obama. i do think that it's important to defend it. the republicans have voted to repeal it nearly 60 times. they would like to rip it up and start all over again, throw our nation back into this really contentious debate that we've had about health care for quite some time now.
i want to build on and improve the affordable care act. i would certainly tackle the cost issues because i think that once the foundation was laid with a system to try to get as many people as possible into it, to end insurance discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions or women, for example, that, yes, we were going to have to figure out how to get more competition in the insurance market, how to get the cost of particularly prescription drugs but other out of pocket expenses down. but i think it's important to understand there's a significant difference that i have with senator sanders about how best to provide quality affordable health care for everyone. and it's a worthy debate. it's an important one that we should be engaged in. nancy: it is a worthy debate. senator sanders, a quick response and then we'll get into health care again later. bernie sanders: i am on the committee that helped write the affordable care act. we have made some good progress. now what we have to take on is the pharmaceutical industry that is ripping off the american people every single day. i am proud that i was the first
member of congress to take americans over the canadian border to buy breast cancer drugs for 1/10 the price they were paying in the united states. but at the end of the day, no doubt the affordable care act is a step forward. i think we all support it. i believe we've got to go further. i want to end the international embarrassment of the united states of america being the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege. [applause] bernie sander: also what we should be clear about is we end up spending -- i think the secretary knows this -- far more per capita on health care than any other major country and our health care outcomes are not necessarily -- martin o'malley: all right, we have found a way to reduce hospital costs. >> you are breaking the rules. john dickerson: i'm sorry, we're gonna have to cut for a commercial. we'll be right back here from drake university in des moines, iowa.
there is a lot of history here. herbert hoover was born in west branch. tonight, we are in polk county with three people who hope to be number 45. joining me now to question them are iowan keven cooney of kcci and kathie obradovich of "the des moines register." kevin. kevin kooney: thanks john. candidates, we've already heard your answers on what you would do with syrian refugees. but a crucial part of the immigration debate here at home is controlling our own borders. republican say the borders, security borders is a top priority. democrats say they want to plan for comprehensive integration reform. so governor o'malley, are you willing to compromise on this particular issue to focus on border security first if they were keeping the country safe? martin o'malley: we've actually been focusing on border security
to the exclusion of talking about comprehensive immigration reform. in fact if more border security and more deportations were going to bring our republican brothers and sisters to the table it would've happened long ago. the fact of the matter is -- and let's say it in our debate because you'll never hear this from that immigrant bashing carnival barker donald trump -- [laughter] [applause] martin o'malley: the truth of the matter is net immigration from mexico last year was zero. fact check me, go ahead, check it out. but the truth of the matter is if we want wages to go up we've got to get 11 million of our neighbors out of the shadow economy and into the full light of an american economy. that's what our parents and grandparents always did. that's what we need to do as a nation. yes, we must protect our borders. but there is no substitute for having comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people, many of whom have known no other country but the united states of america.
our symbol is the statue of liberty. it is not a barbed wire fence. thank you. [applause] kevin kooney: now, secretary clinton, you have said you would go further than the president when it comes to taking executive action to implement immigration reforms. but the president's already facing legal troubles on this. we've seen it more just in the past week. realistically how can you go further with executive action? hillary clinton: well, first of all, i know that the president has appealed the decision to the supreme court. and my reading of the law and the constitution convinces me that the president has the authority that he is attempting to exercise with respect to dreamers and their parents because i think all of us on this stage agree we need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. border security has always been a part of that debate. and it is a fact that the net immigration from mexico and south has basically zeroed out.
so what we want to do is to say, "look, we have 11 million people who have been here, many of them for decades." they have children who are doing so well. i've met and worked with dreamers. i think any parent would be so proud of them. so let's move toward what we should be doing as a nation and follow the values of our immigration history and begin to make it possible for them to come out of the shadows and to have a future. [applause] kathie obradovich: senator sanders, you guys have talked about immigration as being a wage issue in the united states. and i want to actually go directly to the wage issue now. you've talked about raising to $15 an hour everywhere in the country. but the president's former chair of the council of economic advisors, alan krueger has said the national increase of $15 could lead to undesirable and unintended consequences like job
loss. what level of job loss would you consider unacceptable? bernie sanders: let me say this. no public policy doesn't have in some cases negative consequences. but at the end of the day what you have right now are millions of americans working two or three jobs because the wages that they are earning are just too low. real inflation accounted for wages has declined precipitously over the years. so i believe that in fact this country needs to move toward a living wage. it is not a radical idea to say that if somebody works 40 hours a week that person should not be living in poverty. it is not a radical idea to say that a single mom should be earning enough money to take care of her kids. so i believe that over the next few years, not tomorrow, that over the next few years we have got to move the minimum wage to a living wage, $15 bucks an hour. and i apologize to nobody. [applause]
kathie obradovich: but you said there are consequences for any policy. do you think job losses are a consequence? bernie sanders: this is what many economists believe that one of the reasons that real unemployment in this country is 10%. one of the reasons that african american youth unemployment and underemployment is 51 percent is the average worker in america doesn't have any disposable income. you have no disposable income when you are making $10, $12.00 bucks an hour. when we put money into the hands of working people they're gonna go out for our goods. they're gonna go out for our services. and they are gonna create jobs in doing that. that is the kind of economy i believe, put money in the hands of working people, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. martin o'malley: kathie, this was not merely theory in maryland. we actually did it. not only were we the first state in the nation to pass a living wage we were the first to pass a minimum wage. and the u.s. chamber of commerce which hardly ever says nice things about democratic governors anywhere made our state number one for innovation and entrepreneurship.
we defended the highest median income in the country. a stronger middle class is actually the source of economic growth. and if our middle class makes more money, they spend more money. and our whole economy grows. we did it. and it worked. and nobody headed for the hills or left the state because of it. kathie obradovich: you're calling for a $15 minimum wage. but why did you stop at $10.10 in your state? martin o'malley: $10.10 was all i could get the state to do by the time i left in my last year. but two of our counties actually went to $12.80. and their county executives if they were here tonight would also tell you that it works. the fact of the matter is the more our people earn the more money they spend and the more our whole economy grows. [applause] bernie sanders: this is not an esoteric argument. and you're seeing cities like seattle, you're seeing cities like san francisco, cities like los angeles doing it. and they are doing it well and workers are able to have more
disposable income. hillary clinton: but i do take what alan krueger said seriously. he is the foremost expert in our country on the minimum wage and what its effects are. and the overall message is that it doesn't result in job loss. however what alan krueger said in the piece you're referring to is that if we went to $15, there are no international comparisons. that is why i support a $12.00 national federal minimum wage. that is what the democrats in the senate have put forward as a proposal. but i do believe that is a minimum. and places like seattle, like los angeles, like new york city, they can go higher. it is what happened in governor o'malley's state. there was a minimum wage at the state level. and some places went higher. i think that is the smartest way to be able to move forward because if you go to $12, it would be the highest historical average we've ever had. martin o'malley: oh, come on now. yeah, but, yes, it should always be going up. with all due respect to
secretary clinton -- hillary clinton: you would expect a median wage. of course you would do the trial. and you would index it. martin o'malley: we need to stop taking financial advice from someone with ties to wall street. kevin kooney: you have given me the perfect segue. we are gonna talk about wall street. but now we've got to go do a commercial. [laughter] [applause] and we're gonna talk about wall street. so hang with us. we begin the second half of the debate. join me in the questioning are cooney ofes, kevin ch of and kathy obradovi
the des moines register. secretary clinton, senator sanders recently said people should be suspect of candidates who received large sums of money from wall street that then say trust me, i will regulate wall street. you have received millions of dollars in contributions. how do you convince voters you will level the playing field when you are indebted to some of the biggest players? hillary clinton: i think it is clear they know that i will. you have two billionaire hedge fund managers who started a super pac and our advertising against me in iowa as we speak. so they clearly think i will do what i say are will do. you can look at what i did in the senate. i did introduce legislation to rein in compensation. i looked at ways shareholders would have more control over what was going on in that arena. specifically said to wall street that what they were doing in the mortgage market was bringing our country down. i have laid out a very aggressive plan to rein in wall
street, not just the big banks. that's a part of the problem. and i am going right at them. i've got a comprehensive, tough plan. but i went further than that. we have to go after what's called the shadow banking industry, those hedge funds. look at what happened in '08, aig a big insurance company, lehman brothers, an investment bank, helped to bring our economy down. so i want to look at the whole problem. and that's why my proposal is much more comprehensive than anything else that's been put forth. john dickerson: senator sanders, you've said that the donations to secretary clinton are compromising. so what did you think of her answer? bernie sanders: not good enough. [applause] bernie sanders: i mean, you know, let's not be naive about it. why over her political career has wall street been a major -- the major campaign contributor to hillary clinton? maybe they're dumb and they don't know what they're gonna get. but i don't think so. here is the major issue when we talk about wall street, it ain't complicated. you got six financial institutions today that have
assets equivalent to 56% of the gdp in america. they issue two thirds of the credit cards and one third of the mortgages. if teddy roosevelt, the good republican, were alive today you know what he'd say? break them up. [applause] that is the issue. so i am the only candidate up here that doesn't have a super pac. i'm not asking wall street or the billionaires for money. i will break up these banks, support community banks and credit unions. that's the future of banking in america. john dickerson: quick follow-up because you will get a chance to respond. you said they know what they're going to get. what are they gonna get? bernie sanders: i have never heard a candidate, never, who's received huge amounts of money from oil, from coal, from wall street, from the military industrial complex, not one candidate, go, "oh, these campaign contributions will not influence me. i'm going to be independent." why do they make millions of dollars of campaign
contributions? they expect to get something. everybody knows that. once again, i am running a campaign differently than any other candidate. we are relying on small campaign donors, $750,000 and $30 apiece. that's who i'm indebted to. [applause] hillary clinton: well, scott, scott, wait a minute, wait a minute. he used his answer to impugn my integrity, let's be frank here. bernie sanders: no, i don't. hillary clinton: oh, wait a minute, senator. not only do i have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, i am very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60%. [applause] hillary clinton: i represented new york. and i represented new york on 9/11 when we were attacked. where were we attacked? we were attacked in downtown manhattan where wall street is. i did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. that was good for new york. it was good for the economy. and it was a way to rebuke the
terrorists who had attacked our country. [applause] so, you know, it's fine for you to say what you're gonna say. but i look very carefully at your proposal. reinstating glass steagall is a part of what very well could help but it is nowhere near enough. my proposal is tougher, more effective and more comprehensive because i go after all of wall street not just the big banks. [applause] john dickerson: hold on, hold on, he was attacked. bernie sanders: this issue touches on broader issues. it's not just wall street. it's campaigns, a corrupt campaign finance system. and it is easy to talk the talk about ending citizens united. but what i think we need to do is show by example that we are prepared to not rely on large
corporations and wall street for campaign contributions. and that's what i'm doing. in terms of wall street, i respectfully disagree with you in the sense that the issue is when you have such incredible power and such incredible wealth, when you have wall street spending $5 billion over a 10-year. to get deregulated, the only answer that i know is break them up, reestablish glass steagall. john dickerson: senator, we have to get senator o'malley in. along with your answer, how many wall street veterans would you have in your administration? martin o'malley: well, i'll tell you what, i've said this before, i believe that we actually need some new economic thinking in the white house. and i would not have robert rubin or larry summers with all due respect, secretary clinton, to you and to them, back on my council of economic advisors. martin o'malley: if they were architects, we'll have an
inclusive group. but i won't be taking my orders from wall street. let me say this. i was on the front line when people lost their homes, when people lost their jobs. i was on the front lines as the governor fighting that battle. our economy was wrecked by the big banks of wall street. and secretary clinton, when you put out your proposal on wall street, it was greeted by many as "weak tea." it is not what the people expect of our country. we expect that our president will protect the main street economy from excesses on wall street. and that's why bernie's right. we need to reinstate a modern version of glass steagall and we should have done it already. [applause] hillary clinton: governor, i know that when you had a chance to appoint a commissioner for financial regulation, you chose
an investment banker in 2010. for me, it is looking at what works and what we need to do to try to move past what happened in '08. and i will go back and say again aig was not a big bank. it had to be bailed out. and it nearly destroyed us. lehman brothers was not a big bank. it was an investment bank. and its bankruptcy and its failure nearly destroyed us. so i've said if the big banks don't play by the rules, i will break them up. and i will also go after executives who are responsible for the decisions that have such bad consequences for our country. [applause] bernie sanders: look, i don't know -- with all due respect to the secretary -- that wall street played by the rules. who are we kidding? the business model of wall street is fraud. that's what it is. [applause] bernie sanders: and let me make this promise, one of the
problems we have had. i think all americans understand it is whether it's republican administrations or democratic administrations. we have seen wall street and goldman sachs dominate administrations. here is my promise. wall street representatives will not be in my cabinet. [applause] john dickerson: all right, i want to switch to the issues of guns here. secretary clinton, you've said that senator sanders is not tough enough on guns. but basically he now supports roughly the same things you do. so can you tell us some of the exact differences going forward between the two of you on the issue of gun control? hillary clinton: well, i think that there are different records. i know that senator sanders had a different vote than i did when it came to giving immunity to gun makers and sellers. that was a terrible mistake. it basically gave the gun lobby even more power to intimidate legislators, not just in washington, but across the country.
but just think about this, since we last debated in las vegas, nearly 3,000 people have been killed by guns, 21 mass shootings including one last weekend in des moines where 200 children have been killed. this is an emergency. there are a lot of things we've gotta do in our country. reigning in wall street is certainly one of them. i agree with that. that's why i've got such a good plan. but we have to also go after the gun lobby. and 92% of americans agree we should have universal background checks, close the gun show loophole, close the out of [applause] i will do everything i can as president to get that accomplished. john dickerson: secretary clinton just a quick follow up, you say that senator sanders took a vote that on immuty