tv PBS News Hour PBS February 12, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> thank you, new hampshire. >> thank you, iowa. >> it looks like we are in a virtual tie. (cheers and applause) >> there is so much at stake in this election. >> we will need to come together and unite this party. >> bernie sanders and i share a lot of the same goals, but there are differences. >> secretary clinton does represent the establishment. >> i am not going to make promises i can't keep. >> what happened here is new hampshire, that is what will happen all over this country. (cheers and applause) >> we're going to fight for every vote in every state. >> are you guys ready for a radical idea?
>> you've got to be ready on day one. >> this is the pbs newshour democratic debate in partnership with facebook. now live from milwaukee, gwen ifill and judy woodruff. (applause) >> thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: good evening, we're happy to welcome you to milwaukee for this democratic debate. we're especially pleased to thank our partners at facebook, who have helped us establish a vibrant conversation among
undecided voters. tonight you'll hear some of their questions for the candidates. and you can follow along at home on the pbs newshour page on facebook. we also want to thank our hosts, the university of wisconsin, milwaukee, on whose campus we meet, here in the beautiful helen bader concert hall. >> ifill: we want to extend our warm thanks to milwaukee public radio and milwaukee public television, as well as all of our friends at the pbs member stations across the country tuning in tonight. this is the sixth time the democrats have met face to face. each time we learn more about them and the presidents they say they want to be. you know you're watching-- whether you're a democrat, a republican, or neither-- because you believe the outcome of the election is important to you. we believe that too. with that, let's welcome the candidates to the stage, senator bernie sanders of vermont.
welcome senator, great to see you! >> woodruff: and former secretary of state hillary clinton. (applause) >> thank >> woodruff: a word about format. there will be two short breaks, and the rules are simple: 90 seconds to answer, and 30 seconds for the other candidate to respond. >> ifill: with iowa and new hampshire behind us, we are now broadening the conversation, to america's heartland and beyond,
including here in wisconsin. now, let's turn to the candidates for their opening statements. the order was determined by a coin toss. senator sanders, you go first. >> gwen and judy, thank you very much for hosting this event and pbs, thank you. nine months ago our campaign began. and when it began, we had no political organization, no money and not much name recognition outside of the state of vermont. a lot has happened in nine months. and what has happened is, i think, the american people have responded to a series of basic truths. and that is that we have today a campaign finance system which is corrupt, which is undermining american democracy, which allows wall street and billionaires to pour huge sums of money into the
political process to elect the candidates of their choice. and aligned with the corrupt campaign finance system is a rigged economy. and that's an economy where ordinary americans are working longer hours for lower wages, they are worried to death about the future of their kids, and yet they are seeing almost all new income and all new wealth going to the top 1 percent. and that in addition to that, the american people are looking around and they see a broken criminal justice system. they see more people in jail in the united states of america than any other country on earth, 2.2 million. we're spending $80 billion a year locking up fellow americans. they see kids getting arrested for marijuana, getting in
prison, getting a criminal record, while they see executives on wall street who pay billions of dollars in settlements and get no prosecution at all. no criminal records for them. i think what our campaign is indicating is that the american people are tired of establishment politics, tired of establishment economics. they want a political revolution in which millions of americans stand up, come together, not let the trumps of the world divide us and say, you know what, in this great country, we need a government that represents all of us, not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors. thank you. >> moderator: thank you, senator sanders. (applause). >> moderator: thank you,
senator sanders. secretary clinton. >> i'm running for president to knock down all the barriers that are holding americans back, and to rebuild the ladders of opportunity that will give every american a chance to advance, especially those who have been left out and left behind. i know a lot of americans are angry about the economy. and for good cause. americans haven't had a raise in 15 years. there aren't enough good paying jobs, especially for young people. and yes, the economy is rigged in favor of those at the top. we both agree that we have to get unaccountable money out of our political system and that we have to do much more to ensure that wall street never wrecks main street again. but i want to go further. i want to tackle those barriers that stand in the way of too many americans right now. african-americans who face
discrimination in the job market, education, housing and the criminal justice system. hardworking immigrant families living in fear, who should be brought out of the shadows so they and their children canave a better future. guaranteeing that womens' work finally gets the pay, the equal pay that we deserve. i think america can only live up to its potential when we make sure that every american has a chance to live up to his or her potential. that will be my mission as president. and i think together we will make progress. >> moderator: thank you both. (applause) thank you both. and we'll be right back after a short break to begin questions.
i'm going to defend my record. >> we were nearing the ancient city of dominici. >> ebola here could quickly spread out of control. >> it is perfectly horrible. >> is cuba open for american business and tourism? >> the rescuers formed a human chain to pass the children to safety. >> finally. >> all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> funding for this program has been provided by: z ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
>> lincoln financial-- >> the pbs newshour democratic debate in partnership with facebook continues. live from the university of wisconsin in milwaukee, once again gwen ifill and judy woodruff. >> moderator: and welcome back to this pbs newshour debate, democratic debate here in milwaukee. let's get right to the questions. senator sanders to you first.
coming off the results in iowa and new hampshire, there are many voters who are taking a closer look at you and your ideas. and they're asking, h big a role do you fore see for the federal government. it's already spending 21% of the entire u.s. economy. how much larger would government be in the lives of americans under a sanders presidency? >> well, to put that into context, judy, i think we have to understand that in the last 30 years in this country, there has been a massive transfer of wealth going from the hands of working families into the top 1/10 of 1 percent whose percentage of wealth has doubled. in other words, the very rich are getting richer. almost everybody else is getting poorer. what i believe is the united states, in fact, should join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all people. our medicare for all single payor proposal will save the average middle class family
$5,000 a year. i do believe that in the year 2016 we have to look in terms of public education. and colleges as part of public education making public colleges and universities tuition-free. i believe that when real unemployment is close to 10% and when our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our water systems, flint, michigan, comes to mind, our waste water plant, our rail, our airports in many places are disintegrating. we can create 13 million jobs by rebuilding our infrastructure at a cost of a trillion dollars. >> moderator: but my question is how big would government be. would there be any limit on the size and role of government? >> of course there will be a limit. but when today you have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, when the middle class is disappearing, you have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth, yes, in my view, the government of a democratic society has a moral
responsibility to play a vital role in making sure that all of our people have a decent standard of living. >> judy, i think that the best analysis that i have seen based on senator sanders plan is that it would probably increase the size of the federal government by about 40%. but what is most concerning to me is that in looking at the plans, let's take health care, for example. last week in a cnn townhall the senator told a questioner that the-- the questioner would spend about $500 in taxes to get about $5,000 in health care. every progressive economist who has analyzed that says that the numbers don't add up. and that is a promise that cannot be kept. and it's really important now that we are getting into the rest of the country, that both of us are held to account. for explaining what we are proposing. because especially with health care, this is not about math.
this is about people's lives. and we should level with the american people about what we can do to make sure they get quality, affordable health care. >> let us level with the american people. secretary clinton has been going around the country saying bernie sanders wants to dismantle the affordable care act. people are going to lose their medicaid, they're going to lose their program. i have fought my entire life to make sure that health care is a right for all people. we're not going to dismantle anything. but here is the truth. 29 million people have no health insurance today in america. we pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. one out of five americans can't even afford the prescriptions the doctors are writing. millions of people have high deductibles and copayments. what i said, and let me repeat it i don't know what economists secretary clinton is talking to. but what i have said, and let me repeat it, that yes, the middle, the family right in the middle of the economy would pay $500
more in taxes and get a reduction in their health-care costs of $5,000. in my view, health care is a right of all people, not a privilege. and i will fight for that. plaws plaws. >> well, i can only say that we both share the goal of universal health-care coverage. you know before it was called obamacare, it was called hillarycare and i took on the drug companies and i took on the insurance companies to try to get us universal health-care coverage. (applause) and why i am a stawnch supporter of president obama's principle accomplishment-- principal accomplishment, namely the affordable care act, is because i know how hard it was to get that done. we are at 90% coverage. we have to get the remaining ten. i've set forth very specific plans about how to get costs down, especially prescription drug costs. and it is difficult to in anyway argue with the goal that we both share.
but i think the american people deserve to know specifically how this would work. if it's medicare for all, then you no longer have the affordable care act because the affordable care act, as you know very well, is based on the insurance system, based on exchanges, based on a subsidy system. the children's health insurance program which i helped to create which covers 8 million kids is also a different kind of program. so if you are having medicare for all, single payor, you need to level with people about what they will have at the end of the process you are proposing. and based on every analysis that i can find by people who are sim pathetic to the goal, the numbers don't add up. and many people will actually be worse off than they are right now. >> moderator: final thought, senator. >> that is absolutely inaccurate. look, here is the reality, folks. there is one major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people. there is one major country, the
united states, which ends up spending almost three times per capita what they do in the u.k. guaranteeing health care to all people, 50% more than they do in france, guaranteeing health care to all people, far more than our canadian neighbors who guarantee health care to all people. please do not tell me that in this country, if and here's the if, we have the courage to take on the drug companies, and have the courage to take on the insurance companies, and the medical equipment suppliers, if we do that, yes, we can guarantee health care to all people in a much more cost-effective way. >> well, let me just say, once again-- (applause) >> that having been in the trenches fighting for this, i believe strongly we have to guarantee health care. i believe we are on the path to doing that. the last thing we need is to throw our country into a ntious debate about health care again. and we are not england. we are not france. we inherited a system that was
set up during world war ii, 170 million americans get health insurance right now through their employers. so what we have tried to do and what president obama succeeded in doing was to build on the health-care system we have, get us to 90% coverage. we have to get the other 10% of the way to a hundred. i far prefer that and the chances we have to be successful there than trying to start all over again, gridlocking our system and trying to get from zero to 100 percent. >> moderator: i would like to move along. i would like to move along. (applause). >> moderator: secretary clinton, you also have proposed fairly expansive ideas about government. you may remember this pledge from a state of the union address in which i believe you were present, in which these words were said. the era of big government is over. you may remember that. when asked your feelings about the federal government this week 61% of new hampshire democrats told exit pollers that they are angry or at least dissatisfied.
gifn what you and senator sanders are proposing, in expanding government in almost every area of our lives, is it fair for americans who fear government to fear you? >> no. but it is, absolutely fair and necessary for americans to vet both of our proposals. to ask the really hard questions about what is it we think we can accomplish, why do we believe that, and what would be the results for the average american family. in my case, whether it's health care or getting us to debt-free tuition, or moving us toward paid family leave, i have been very specific about where i would raise the money, how much it would cost, and how i would move this agenda forward. i have tried to be as specific to answer questions so that my proposals can be vetted. because i feel like we have to level with people for the very reason, gwen, that you are mentioning. there is a great deal of skepticism about the federal
government. i am a aware of that. it comes from the right, from the left, from people on all sides of the political spectrum. so we have a special obligation to make clear what we stand for, which is why i think we should not make promises we can't keep. because that will further, i think, alienate americans from understanding and believing we can together make some real changes in people's lives. >> moderator: but i vnlt heard either of you put a price tag on. >> i will put a price tag. my price tag is about $100 billion a year. and again, paid for. and what i have said is i will not throw us further into debt. i believe i can get the money that i need by taxing the wealthy, by closing loopholes, things that we are way overdue for doing. and i think once i'm in the white house we will have enough political capital to be able to do that. but i'm conscience of the fact that we have to also be very
young especially wi people, about what kind of government is going to do what for them and what it will cost. >> moderator: senator? >> well, secretary clinton, you're not in the white house yet. and let us be clear that every proposal that i have introduced has been paid for. for example, all right, who in america denies that we have an infrastructure that is crumbling. roads, bridges, water systems, waste water plants who denies that? who denies that real unemployment today, including those that have given up looking for work and working wart time is close to so% who denies that african-american youth unemployment is over 50%. we need to create jobs. so yes, i will do away with the outrage us loopholes that allow profitable multinational corporations to stash billions of dollars in the cayman islands and bermuda and in a given year
pay zer zero, zero in federal income taxes. yeah, i will do away with that, we will use those proceeds, a hundred billion a year to reinvest in our infrastructure. i believe that as a result of the illegal behavior on wall street, that they are a wall street that drove this country into the worst economic downturn since the great recession-- great depression. yeah, i do believe that now after the american people bailed wall street out, yes, they should pay a wall street speculation tax so that we can make public colleges and universities tuition-free. we bailed them out. now it is their time to help the middle class. (applause) >> you know, i think again, both of us share the goal of trying to make college affordable for all young americans. and i have set forth a compact that would do just that for debt-free tuition. we differ, however, on a couple
of key points. one of them being that if you don't have some agreement within the system from states and from families and from students, it's hard to get to where we need to go. and senator sanders plan really rests on making sure that governors like scott walker contribute $23 billion on the first day to make college free. i am a little sceptical about your governor actually caring enough about higher education to make any kind of commitment like that. >> moderator: next. we're going to. >> a brief response. >> moderator: very brief, thank you. >> here is where we are with public education. a hundred, 150 years ago incredibly brave americans said you knowa what, working class kids, low income kids should knot have to work in factories or on the farms. like rich kids they deserve to get a free education. and that free education of
extraordinary accomplishment was f first grade to 12th grade. the world has changed. this is 2016. in many ways, a college degree today is equivalent to what a high school degree was 50, 60 years ago. so yeah, i do believe that when we talk about public education in america, today in a rapidly changing world, we should have free tuition at public colleges and universities. that should be a right of all americans regardless of the income of their families. (applause). >> moderator: secretary clinton, your campaign, you and your campaign have made a clear appeal to women voters. you have talked repeatedly about the fact, you know of if elected the first woman president. but in new hampshire 55% of the women voters supported and voted
for senator sanders. what are women missing about you? >> well, first judy, i have spent my entire adult life working toward making sure that women are empowered to make their own choices, even if that choice is not to vote for me. i believe that it's most important that we unleash the full potential of women and girls in our society. and i feel very strongly that i have an agenda. i have a record that really does respond to a lot of the specific needs that the women in our country face. so i'm going to keep making that case. i'm going to keep making sure that everything i've done, everything that i stand for is going to be well-known. but i have no argument with any one making up her mind about who to support. i just hope that by the end of this campaign there will be a lot more supporting me. that's what i am working toward.
(applause). >> moderator: as you know just quickly, as you know, your strong supporter form secretary of state mad-line allbright said the other day that there is a special place in hell for women without don't support other women. do you agree with what she said. >> well, look, i think that she has been saying that for as long as i have known her which is about 25 years. but it doesn't change my view that we need to empower everyone, women and men to make the best decision in their minds that they can make. that is what i have always stood for. and when it comes to the issues that are really on the front lines as to whether we're going to have equal pay, paid family leave, some opportunity for, you know, women to go as far as their hard work and talent take them, i think that we still have some barriers to knock down. which is why it is at the core of my campaign. i would note just for an
historic aside, somebody told me earlier today we've had like 200 presidential primary debates. and this is the first time there have been a majority of women on the stage. so you know, we'll take our progress wherever we can find it. (applause). >> moderator: senator sanders, you're in the minority but we still want to hear from you. (laughter) >> look, we are fighting for every vote that we can get from women, from men, straight, gay, african-americans, latinos, asian americans. we are trying to bring america together around an agenda that works for working families and the middle class. i'm very proud if my memory is not correct, i think i am, that i have a lifetime, i've been in congress a few years.
a lifetime 100% prochoice voting record. i am very proud that over the years we have had the support in my state of vermont from very significant majorities of women. i'm very proud that i support legislation that is currently in the congress, support of almost all progressive democrats in the house and senate which says we will end the absurdity of women today making 79 cents on the dlofer compared to men and we will join the rest of the over-- the industrialized world in saying that paid family and medical leave should be a right of all working families. (applause). >> moderator: senator, do you worry at all that you will be the instrument of that warting history as senator clinton keeps
claiming, that she might be the first woman president? >> well, you know, i think from an historical point of view somebody with my background, somebody with my views, somebody who has spent his entire life taking on the big money interests, i think a sanders victory would be of some historical accomplishment as well. (applause) >> you know, i have said many times, you know, i'm not asking people to support me because i'm a woman. i'm asking people to support me because i think i'm the most qualified, experienced and ready person to be the president and the commander in chief. and i appreciate greatly senator sanders voting record. and i was very proud to get the endorsement of the planned parenthood action fund because i have been a leader on these issues. i have gone time and time again to take on the vested interests
who would keep womens' health care decisions the province of the government instead of women ourselves. i'm very proud that naral endorsed me because when it comes to it we need a leader on women's issues. somebody who yes votes right but much more than that, leads the efforts to protect the hard-fought gains that women have made, that make no mistake about it, are under tremendous attack. not just by the republican presidential candidates but by a whole national effort to try to setback women's rights. so i'm asking women, i'm asking men, to support me because i'm ready to go into the white house on january 20th, 2017 and get to work on both domestic and foreign policy challenges. >> moderator: last comment. >> let me concur with the secretary, no question women's rights are under fierce attack all over this country.
and i will tell you something that really galls me. i will not shock anybody to suggest that in politics there is occasionally a little bit of hypocrisy. just a little bit. all over this country we have republican candidates for president saying we hate the government. government is the enemy. we're going to cut social security to help you. we're going to cut medicare and medicaid, federal aid to education to help you, because the government is so terrible. but by the way, when it comes to a woman having to make a very personal choice, ah, in that case, my republican colleagues love the government and want the government to make that clois for every woman in america if that's not hypocrisy, i don't know what hypocrisy is. (applause). >> moderator: thank you both. we turn now to the first of several questions from our partners at facebook.
they were selected from a curated group of people. we've been following of undecided voters. the first comes from claudia, a 54 year old woman who works as a program manager at a public affairs cable network in madison, wisconsin. and she writes wisconsin is number one in african-american male incarceration. according to the university of wisconsin study. they found that wisconsin's incarceration rate for black men which is at 13% was nearly double the country's rate. what can we do across the nation to address this. senator sanders. >> this is one of the great tragedies in our country today. and we can no longer continue to sweep it under the rug. it has to be dealt with. today a male african-american baby born today stands a one in four chance of ending up in jail. that is beyond unspeakable. so what we have to do is the
radical reform of a broken criminal justice system. (applause) what we have to do is end overpolicing in african-american neighborhoods. the reality is that both african-american communities and the white community do marijuana at about equal rates. the reality is four times as many blacks get arrested for marijuana. truth is that far more blacks get stopped for traffic violations. the truth is that sentencing for blacks is higher than for whites. we need fundamental police reform, clearly, clearly, when we talk about a criminal juste system. i would hope that we could all agree that we are sick and tired of seeing videos on television of unarmed people often african-americans shot by police
officers. what we have got to do is make it clear that any police officer who breaks the law will, in fact, be held accountable. (applause) >> you know, i completely agree with senator sanders. the first speech i gave in this campaign back in april was about criminal justice reform and ending the era of mass incarceration. the statistics from wisconsin are particularly troubling. because it is the highest rate of incarceration for african-americans in our nation, twice the national average. and we know of the tragic, terrible event that lead to the death of dantre hamilton right here in milwaukee. a young man unarmed, who should still be with us. his family certainly believes that. and so do i. so we have work to do.
there have been some good recommendations about what needs to happen. president obama's policing commission came out with some. i have fully endorsed those. but we have to restore policing that will actually protect the communities that police officers are sworn to protect. and then we have to go after sentencing and that's one of the problems here in wisconsin because so much of what happens in the criminal justice system doesn't happen at the federal level, it happens at the state and local level. but i would also add this. there are other racial discep sees, really systemic racism in this state and in others in education, in employment, in the kinds of factors that too often lead from a position where young people particularly young men are pushed out of school early, are denied employment opportunities. so when we talk about criminal justice reform and ending the era of mass incarceration.
we also have to talk about jobs, education, housing and other ways of helping communities do better. (applause). >> moderator: senator. >> nothing, nothing that secretary clinton said do i disagree with. this mandatory sentencing, very bad idea. takes away discretion from judges. we have got to demill tarrize local police departments so they do not look like occupying armies. (applause) we have got to make sure that local police departments look like the communities they serve in their diversity. (applause) and where we are failing abysmally is in the very high rate of recidivism that we see. people are being released from jail without the education, without the job training, without the resources they need to get their lives together.
and then they end up, we're shocked that they end up back in jail again. so we have a lot of work to do. but here is the pledge that i have made throughout this campaign. and it's really not a very radical pledge. when we have more people in jail, disproportionately african-american and latino, than china does, a communist author tairian society four times our size, here is my promise. at the end of my first term as president, we will not have more people in jail than any other country. we will invest in education and jobs for our kids, not incarceration and more jails. >> moderator: secretary clinton, i was talking recently with a 23 year old black woman who voted for president obama because she said they thought relations between the races would get better under his leadership. and his example. hardly anyone believes that they
have. why do you think race relations would be better under a clinton presidency? what would you do that the nation's first african-american president has not been able to? >> well, i'm just not sure i agree completely with that assessment. i think under president obama we have seen a lot of advances. the affordable care act has helped more african-americans than any other group to get insurance, to be taken care of. but we also know a lot more than we did. we have a lot more social media. we have everybody with a cell phone. so we are seeing the dark side of the remaining systemic racism that we have to root out in our society. i think president obama has set a great example. i think he has addressed a lot of these issues that have been quite difficult. but he has gone forward. now what we have to do is to build on an honest conversation
about where we go next. we now have much more information about what must be done to fix our criminal justice system. we now have some good models about how better to provide employment, housing and education. so i think what president obama did was to exempt fie the importance of this issue as our first african-american president and to address it, both from the president's office and through his advo cass-- advocacy such as working with young men and mrs. obama's work with young women. but we can't rest. we have work to do. and we now know a lot more than we ever did before. so it's going to be my responsibility to make sure we move forward to solve these problems that are now out in the open. nobody can deny them. to use the justice department as we just saw where they have said they're going to sue ferguson, that entered into a consent agreement and then tried to back out.
so we're going to enforce the law. we're going to change policing practices, we're going to change incarceration practices but we're also going to emphasize education, jobs and housing. >> moderator: senator sanders. >> well, i think judy what has to be appreciated is that as a result of the disastrous and illegal behavior on wall street, millions of lives were hurt. people lost their jobs, their homes, their lifesavings. turns out the african-american and the latino community were hit especially hard. as i understand it the african-american community lost half of their wealth as a result of the wall street collapse. so when you have childhood african-american poverty rates of 35%, when you have youth unemployment at 51%, when you have unbelievable rates of incarceration which, by the way,
leaves the children back home without a dad or even a mother, clearly we are looking at institutional racism. we are looking at an economy in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and sadly in america today, in our economy, a whole lot of those poor people are african-american. >> moderator: so race relation was be better under a sanders presidency than they've been? >> absolutely. because what we will do is say instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires, we are going to create millions of jobs for low income kids so they're not hanging out on street corners. we're going to make sure that those kids stay in school or are able to get a college education. and i think when you give low-income kids, african-american, white, latino kids the opportunities to get their lives together, they are not going to end up in jail. they're going to end up in the productive economy which is where we want them. (applause). >> moderator: let me turn this
on its head. because when we talk about race in this country, we always talk about african-americans, people of color. i want to talk about white people, okay. >> white people. >> moderator: i know. many people will be surprised to find out that we are sitting in one of the most racially polarized metropolitan areas in the country. by the middle of this century the nation is going to be majority nonwhite. our public schools are already there. if working class white americans are about to be outnumbered, are already under employed in many cases and one study found they are dying sooner, don't they have a reason to be resentful, senator, secretary clinton? >> look, i'm deeply concerned about what is happening in every community in america. and that includes white communities where we are seeing an increase in alcoholism, addiction, earlier deaths, people with a high school education or less are not even
living as long as their parents lived. this is a remarkable and horrifying fact. and that's why i have come forward with, for example, a plan to revitalize coal country. the coal field communities that have bng so hard hit by the changing economy, by the reduction in the use of coal. you know
coal mine errs and their families who help turn on the lights and power our factories for generations are now wondering, has our country forgot enus? do people not care about all of our sacrifice. and i'm going to do everything i can to address distressed communities. whether they are communities of color, whether they are white communities, whether they are in any part of our country. i particularly appreciate the proposal that congressman jim clyburn has, the 10, 20, 30 proposal to try to spend more federal dollars in communities with persistent generational poverty. and you know what, if you look
at the numbers, there are actually as many if not more white communities that are truly being left behind and left out. so yes, i do think if would be a terrible oversight not to friday to address the-- to try to address the very real problems that white americans, particularly those without a lot of education whose jobs have no longer provided them or evenm o longer present in their communities. because we have to focus where the real hurt is. and that's why as president, i will look at communities that need special help and try to deliver that. plaws plawses. >> moderator: senator, i want you to respond to that but i also want you to-- am i wrong. is it even right to be describing this as a matter of race? >> yeah, you can. because african-americans and latinos not only face the
general economic crises of low
wages and high unemployment and poor educational opportunities, but they face other problems as well. so yes, we can talk about it as a racial issue. but it is a general economic issue. and here's what the economic issue is. the wages that high school graduates received today are significantly less whether you are white or black then they used to be. why is that? because of the series of disastrous trade policies which have allowed corporate america through nafta and permanent normal trade relations with china, secretary clinton and i disagree on those issues. but plie idea is that those trade issues have flaibled corporate america to shut down in this country, so millions of people out on the street. no no one thinks working in the factory is the greatest job in the world. but you know what, you can make a middle class wage, you have decent health care, decent benefits. you once had a pengs. those jobs in many cases are now
gone. they're off to china. now you are a worker, white worker, black worker, who had a decent job, that manufacturing job is gone. what are you doing now, working in mcdonald's. that is why there is massive despair all over this country. people have worked their entire lives. they're making a half, two thirds what they used to make. their kids are having a hard time findk any work at all. and that's why this study which shows that if you can believe it today for white, working class people between 45 and 54, life expectancy is actually going down. suicide, alcoholism, drugs that's why we need to start paying attention to the needs of working families in this country and not just a handful of billionaires who have enormous economic and political power. (applause). >> moderator: thank you.
senator sanders, one of the causes of anxiety for working class americans is connected to immigrants. president obama as you know has issued executive actions to permit some five million undocumented immigrants who are living now in the united states to come out of the shadows without fear of deportation to get work permits. would you go further than that? and if so, how specifically would you do it? should angry undocumented family watching this debate tonight say in nevada rest easy not fear of further deportations under a sanders presidency? >> the answer is yes. we've got 11 million undocumented people in this country. i have talked to some of the young kids with tears rolling down their cheeks, are scared today that today they may or their parents may be deported. i believe that we have got to pass comprehensive immigration reform, something that i strongly supported.
i believe that we have got to move toward a path toward citizenship. i agree with president obama who used executive orders to protect families. because the congress, the house was unable or refused to act. and in fact i would go further. what would motivate me and what would be the "guiding light" for me in terms of immigration reform, judy, is to bring families together, not divide them up. and let me say this also. somebody who is very fond of the president, agrees with him most of the time, i disagree with his recent deportation policies. and i would not support those. bottomline is a path towards citizenship for 11 million undocumented people, if congress doesn't do the right thing, we use the executive orders of the president. (applause). >> moderator:. >> i strongly support the
president's executive action. i hope the supreme court upholds them. i think there is constitutional and legal authority for the president to have done what he did. i am against the raids. i'm against the kind of inhumane treatment that is now being visited upon families, waking them up in the middle of the night, rounding them up. we should be deporting criminals, not hardworking immigrant families who do the very best they can and often are keeping economies going in many places in our country. i'm a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. have been ever since i was in the senate. i was one of the original sponsors of the dream act. i voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007. senator sanders voted against it at that time. because i think we have to get the comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. and as president i would expand enormous energy. literally call every member of congress that i thought i could persuade, hopefully after the
2016 election, some. republicans will come to their senses and realize we are not going to deport 11 or 12 million people in this country. and they will work with me to get comprehensive immigration reform. (applause) >> secretary clinton, i do have a disagreement here. if my memory is correct, i think when we saw children coming from these horrendous, horrendously violent areas of honduras and neighboring countries, people who are fleeing drug violence and car tell violence-- kartdel violence, i thought it was a good idea to allow those clirn to stay in this country. that was not as i understand it the secretary's position. in terms of 2007 immigration reform, yeah, i did vote against it. i voted against it because the southern poverty law center among other groups said that the guest worker programs that were
embedded in this agreement were akin to slavery. akin to slavery. where people came into this country to do guest work, were abused, were exploited. and if they stood up for their rights they would be thrown out of this country. so it wasn't just me who opposed it. it was lu lac, one of the large latino organizations in this country. it was the a.f.l./c.i.o. it was some of the most progressive members of the unitied states congress who opposed it for that reason. but we all where we are right now. and where we are right now is we have got to stand up to the trumps of the world who are trying to divide us up. what we have to do right now is bring our people together and understand that we must provide a path towards citizenship for 11 million undocumented people. >> two quick responses. one, with respect to the central
american children. i made it very clear that those children needed to be processed appropriately. but we also had to send a message to families and communities in central america not to send their children on this dangerous journey in the hands of smugglers. i've also called for the ends of family detention, for the ends of privately run detention centers along with private prisons which i think are really against the common good and the rule of law. and with respect to the 2007 bill, this was ted kennedy's bill. and i think ted kennedy had a very clear idea about what needed to be done. and i was proud to stand with him and support it. (applause) >> let me just respond. i worked with ted kennedy. he was the chairman of my committee and i loved ted kennedy. but on this issue, when you have one of the large latino organizations in america saying vote no, the afl-cio saying vote
no, you have leading progressive democrats, in fact, voting no, i don't apologize for that vote. but in terms of the children, i don't know to whom you are sending a message. who are you sending a message too? these are children who are leaving countries and neighborhoods where their lives are at steak. that was the fact. i don't think we use them to send a message. i think we welcome them into this country and do the best we can to help them get their lives toblght. >> well, that just wasn't-- that just wasn't the fact, senator. the fact is that there was a great effort made by the obama administration and others to really send a clear message because we knew that so many of these children were being abused, being treated terribly while they tried to get to our border. so we have a disagreement on this. i think now what i have called for is council for every child so that no child has to face any
kind of process without some one who speaks and advocates for that child. so that the right decision hopefully can be made. >> if you would allow me now to move on. we've been talking about children. i want to talk about seniors. that takes us to our second facebook question, who writes my father, she is a 140 year old woman who works for a nonprofit here in milwaukee. she writes my father gets just $16 in food assistance for month as part of medicaid's family community program in milwaukee county for low income seniors. how will you as president work to insure low income seniors gets their basic needs met. start with you, senator sanders. >> okay. you know, you judge a nation not by the number of millionares and billionaires it has. but by how you treat, we treat the most vulnerable and fragile people in our nation.
and by those standards, we're not doing particularly well. we have the highest rate of childhood poverty among almost any major country on earth. and in terms of seniors, there are millions of seniors, and i've talked to them in my state of vermont and all over this country, who are trying to get by on 11, 12, 13,000 a year social security. and you know what, you do the arithmetic. you can't get by on 11, 12, 13 theu a year. and here's an area where secretary clinton and i believe we have a difference. i have long supported the proposition that we should lift the cap on taxable income coming into the social security trust fund, starting at $250,000. and when we do that, we don't do what the republicans want wic is to cut social security, we do what the american people want,
to expand social security by 1300 a year for people under 16,000. and we extend the life of social security for 58 years. yes, the wealthiest people, the top one and a half percent will pay more in taxes. but a great nation like ours should not be in a position where elderly people are cutting their pills in half, where they don't have desent nutrition, where they can't heat their homes in the wintertime. that is not what america should be about. if elected president, i will do everything i can to expand social security benefits, not just for seniors but for disability-- disabled veterans as well. >> i think it's fair to say we don't have a disagreement. we both believe there has to be more money going into the social security system. i said i'm looking at a couple
of different ways. one which you mentioned, senator. but also trying to expand the existing tax to passive income that wealthy people have. so that we do get more revenue into the social security trust fund. i have a slightly different approach, though, about what we should do with that initially. first rather than expand benefits for everyone, i do want to take care of low income seniors who worked at low-wage jobs. i want to take care of women when the social security program was started in the 1930s, not very many women worked. and women have been disadvantaged ever since. they do not get any credit for their care-taking responsibilities. and the people who are often the most hard-hit is widows because when their spouse dies, they can lose up to one half of their social security monthly payment. so we have no disagreement about the need to butt res social security, get more revenue into
the program. but i want to start by helping those people who are most at risk, the ones who yes, are cutting their pills in half, who don't believe they can make the rent, who are worried about what comes next for them. >> in all due respect-- (applause) >> in all due respect secretary clinton a lot of the progressive groups, the online groups have really asked you a simple question. are you coming on board a proposal, and what is that proposal. now the proposal that i have outlined, you know, should be familiar to you because it is what essential especially barack obama exained pay-- campaigned on in 2008. you opposed him then. i would hope that you would come on board and say this is the simple and straight forward thing to do we're asking the top one and a half percent including passive income to start paying a little bit more so that the elderly and disabled vets in
this country can live with security and dignity. i hope you will make a decision soon on this. >> senator, look, i think we are in vigorous agreement here. we both want to get more revenue in. i have yet to see a proposal that you are describing that the racing the cap would apply to passive income. that is not been. >> that is my bill. >> that has not been a part of most of the propositionals that i have seen. i'm interested in making sure that we get the maximum amount of revenue from those who can well afford to provide it. so i'm going to come up with the best way forward. we're going to end up in the same place. we're going to get more revenue. i'm going to prioritize those recipients who need the most help first. >> we're going to move on. secretary clinton your campaign has recently ramped up criticism of senator sanders for attending democratic party fundraisers from which you say eben fitted.
but nearly half of your financial sector donations appear to come from just two wealthy finance years, george sorrous and done alt susman for a total of about $10 million. you have said that there is no quid pro quo involved. but is that also true of the donations that wealthy republicans give to republican candidates, contributors including the koch brothers. >> i can't speak for the koch brothers. are you referring to a superpac that we don't coordinate with, that was set up to support president obama that has now decided they want to support me. they are the ones who should respond to any questions. let's talk about our campaigns. i'm very proud of the fact that we have more than 750,000 donors. and the vast majority of them are giving small contributions. so i am proud of senator