tv Clinton Town Hall MSNBC April 25, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
up next rachel maddow hosts another exclusive town hall event with secretary hillary clinton. victory is in sight. >> hillary clinton has the momentum. >> this campaign is the only one democrat or republican to win more than 10 million votes. >> and she's the gop's number one target. >> crooked hillary will not have a chance. >> if i'm the nominee we beat hillary clinton. >> i beat hillary consistently in every single national poll. >> now with five states in play, can sanders pick up ground? >> we beat donald trump by wider numbers than she does. >> or will tuesday be the turning point that propels her to the nomination. >> let's go out and win this election together.
>> this is an msnbc exclusive town hall with secretary hillary clinton. from the national constitution center in philadelphia, here now is rachel maddow. >> welcome, philadelphia. welcome to our town hall with presidential candidate hillary clinton. i'm rachel maddow. i could not be more excited to be here. there are five states voting tomorrow including the big one here in pennsylvania. senator sanders -- senator sanders is down but not out in the polling, but the polls today show him closing in on secretary clinton. secretary clinton is in the lead, but this thing is by no means sewn up. please welcome me in joining former secretary of state hillary clinton.
>> hi, rachel. how are you? >> thank you so much for doing this. i really appreciate it. >> i'm happy to be here. >> you are expecting a big day tomorrow? >> well, i always hope to do as well as i possibly can. we have been working very hard. i've got so many terrific friends and volunteers and organizers here in pennsylvania and in the other four states so we're going to work really hard until the polls close tomorrow. >> we're doing these town halls tonight before this audience, you and senator sanders back-to-back. at this point in the primary a lot of people think no matter who gets the nomination there is something that has changed in the democratic primary because of this contest. i think a lot of people would describe it as senator sanders
putting his mark on the party, that after this contest the democratic party my be more aggressive on economic and equality, maybe more progressive overall. do you see it that way? >> i think what we've had is a very spirited contest. certainly we share a lot of the same goals. we have a commitment to doing something about inequality, more good jobs with raising incomes, we have a commitment to try to counter the much too heavy influence that money has particularly by overturning citizens united. i think we diagnose the problem in very similar ways, but as i have said it's not enough to diagnose problems. you have to be able to demonstrate and achieve results. that's why throughout this campaign i have been laying out plans and talking about what i will do and i've been as specific as it's possible to be in a campaign and i think voters
respond to that. that's why i do have far more votes than anybody else on either side. so i think it's because people want not just to understand better what we think the problem is, but what are we going to do about it because at the end of the day that's what the real outcome should be about. >> when senator sanders has been asked about how this all ends, he seems to be saying now that even if you beat him in the primary, it's not necessarily a given that he will implor all of his supporters to go out and work for you. he says that he thinks that they'll support you if you adopt some of his platform on the issues that are most important to him. he's talked about wall street and some other things in his platform. does that make sense to you? is that something you would be open to? are there significant enough differences between you about what you would like to do that that's a bridge too far? >> let's look at where we are
right now. i have 10.4 million votes. i have 2.7 million more votes, real people showing up to cast their vote and express their opinion than senator sanders. i have a bigger lead in pledged delegates than senator obama when i ran against him in 2008 ever had over me. i am winning and i'm winning because of what i stand for and what i've done and what my ideas are. so look, i think we have much more in common and i want to unify the party, but my wall street plan is much more specific than his. we saw that when he couldn't even answer questions in the new york daily news interview. i have laid out a very clear set of objectives about not just reigning in the banks because we already have dodd frank which president obama passed and signed and i have yet to go further.
he's yet to join any in going after the banking industry. there are areas where i'm more specific and have a track record and explain what i will do and that's why i think i have 2.7 million more votes than he does. >> am i right in hearing that as basically you saying that there's nothing you're going to do differently than you're already doing as a way to try to win over his supporters, even at the end of the primary season? >> let's look what happened in 2008 because that's the closest example. then senator obama and i ran a really hard race. it was so much closer than the race right now between me and senator sanders. we had pretty much the same amount of popular vote by some measures i had slightly more popular vote. he had slightly more pledged delegates. we got to the end in june and i did not put down conditions. i didn't say you know what, if senator obama does x, y and z
maybe i'll support him. i said i am supporting senator obama because no matter what our differences might be they pale in comparison to the differences between us and the republicans. that's what i did. at that time 40% of my supporters said they would not support him so from the time i w drew and the time i nominated him i spent an enormous amount of time convincing my supporters to support him and i'm happy to say the vast majority did. that is what i think one does. that is certainly what i did and i hope that we will see the same this yooer. >> that was june 7th, 2008 when you got out of the race and endorsed president obama. june 7th, 2016 will be the california primary. is that when you if you're ahead in the vote -- >> i am ahead in the vote, rachel. i am way ahead in the vote.
>> on june -- >> wait a minute. i have the greatest respect for senator sanders, but really what he and his supporters are now saying just doesn't add up. i have 2.7 million more votes than he has. i have more than 250 more pledged delegates. i'm very proud of the campaign that we have run and the support we have gotten. and of course we're going to work together. as i said, i share a lot of the same goals. we are going to work together, but i am ahead and let's start from that premise. while we talk about what happens next, okay? >> do you expect him to drop out june 7th? >> that's up to him. i would never tell him what to do. nobody told me. i concluded after it was over in june that senator obama was going to be the nominee and i didn't want to hurt him. i didn't want to keep this going so i stood up and said that it's over and i with drew and i went
to work to help him get elected. i'm glad i did. it was the right thing to do. >> a lot of republicans had proverbal heart attacks this weekend when a gentleman by the name of charles koch said that you very well might be a better president than either donald trump or ted cruz. now i know that you do not want charles koch's endorsement, but it struck me that might be a preview of what is to come if mr. trump or senator cruz is nominated i think a lot of republicans will find them to be unacceptable as republican nominees. if you were the democratic nominee in that situation do you have a plan to lobby for republican votes. they're having a weird primary. >> they are. it's not over yet. we don't know what the final outcome is. >> it could get really normal real fast. >> yeah, well. that would be worth seeing.
you know, i tweeted i really am not looking for endorsements from people who deny climate change and who have the views that the koch brothers have had for so many years so i'm going to stay focussed on what i'm doing right now. i will let the republicans come to an agreement, maybe it won't happen before their convention in july as to who will be the nominee because i have no idea what this latest alliance between cruz and kasich and everything will mean. that's for them to sort out. but i'm going to keep making the case to the american people about what i think we need to do right now to try to make sure we have broad based prosperity, that we create opportunities for every american and get back to the basic bargain that i believe in if you work hard you should get ahead and stay ahead and your family should be coming along with you and focusing on education and health care and all the other issues that i've talked about and i've laid out
specific plans. i know for a long time people were saying why is she raising all these plans? she has a plan for everything. actually i think when you run for president you should tell people who you want to do. you shouldn't make promises you can't keep. you shouldn't just rant and rave with the trump-like dem gragry. you should tell people who you want to do because you want to hold people accountable delivering. >> when you say you shouldn't make promises you can't keep, are you talking about senator sanders when you say that. >> there have been questions raised about the numbers not adding up for his college plan or his health care plan and those are legitimate questions that people have to be able to ask and answer. again i would just refer to the new york daily news interview which was a very long interview and certainly in new york people read it very carefully and it
demonstrated that there weren't a lot of answers to some of the hard questions that were asked on both domestic and foreign policy, but you'll have a chance to ask him about that. i think my goal is to keep talking about what i believe will work and i have said i will not raise taxes on middle class families because too many americans haven't even yet recovered from the great recession and i think we can do what we need to do without having to even look at that. instead we ought to be looking at making the wealthy pay their share of supporting our country. >> there's a lo the of good people here from the state of pennsylvania and beyond who want to ask you questions. >> hi. >> good evening. >> get close to the microphone. >> good evening. as a councilman i'm particularly concerned about how the democratic party comes together
after the primary and supports candidates. will you say what role you would trust senator sanders in a clinton administration? >> i can't answer that because obviously i don't have the nomination yet. i'm not yet elected president, but here's what i will say. i'm already raising money for democrats up and down the ballot. i am dedicated to electing democrats. it's something that i've spent many years doing. i am a democrat and i want to see more democrats elected from the small bur rows in montgomery county to philadelphia to across the country. so you can count on me doing that because i feel very strongly that we need to have a vital dynamic democratic party. we need to recruit more people into it. we need to have a bigger pipeline so more people are taking local positions and moving up the ladder and i want
to be a very strong ally of elected democrats across the country. >> can i ask you to follow on to that. you said that a lot of people have talked about senator sanders putting his mark on the democratic party or raising the question of whether that's happening. how will you change the democratic party? >> well, i think that we have some good examples from our two most recent democratic presidents. i happen to be looking hard at what my husband accomplished and what president obama accomplished and i know there are some who raise questions about how much they could have done that maybe they didn't do, but i had a front row seat both with the clinton administration and the obama administration and i know how hard they work and i know how much they got accomplished when they had a democratic congress. if you look at the first two years of my husband's administration, you look at the first two years of president obama's administration and then what happened? they pushed through a lot of changes. they pushed through regulation on guns.
they pushed through the affordable care act. they pushed through a lot. the deficit reduction plan. the dodd frank regulations. what happened? democrats didn't show up in the mid-term elections. here's how i want to change the democratic party. i want to be absolutely clear that when we have a democratic president, we have to support that democratic president and we have to show up in mid-term elections and we have to elect governors and state officials and county officials because that's how you have the kind of broad-based political campaign and the momentum you need to get change at all levels. right now majority of states are run by republican governors and we see what they're doing with, on choice on voting rights and lgbt rights. it makes a difference. so my job will be to make sure that the democratic party is producing results through our elected officials electing more democrats and then convincing
our supporters to turn out and vote in mid-term elections. >> what's the democratic party doing wrong now that that's not happening? >> i think we are a party that's very focussed on presidential elections. that is just the way it seems to be -- >> do you think that can be changed? >> i do absolutely think it can be changed. i want to have the kind of emphasis on reaching out to voters and elected officials that doesn't just happen every four years, it happens every month of every year. that is -- you take a lesson of what the republicans have done. they're in trouble right now, but they never quit working on electing republicans, on creating the kind of base that they need to put people into office and we need to be doing exactly the same thing. >> we have lots more questions ahead for you. we are going to take a quick break. we'll be right back with secretary clinton. we'll be right back. stay with us.
hall with democratic front-runner hillary clinton. let's get to more questions from our audience. >> hi, secretary clinton. i was born and raised in harlem, new york to parents who struggled and suffered from drug abuse and poverty. like many black women, most of the men in my family have been in jail. when i was born my father held me and said you're going to get an education because like you he believed that education was the great equalizer. so i went to college and graduated with honors. a practicing attorney and despite the fact that i am intelligent, articulate and ambitious i face racism. what as president would you do and what initiatives and programs you would institute to address the racial and systemic
racism that exists and creates a glass ceiling for many 20 somethings like me. >> you are absolutely right. we are still facing and struggling with systemic racism. it's true in employment and promotion and other job opportunities. it's true in education. it's true in health care. it's true in the criminal justice system. that's why i talk about breaking down all the barriers. we have economic barriers to be sure, but we have very entrenched barriers of discrimination. we have to talk about it more and as a white person i have to talk about it more and say that we are not a post-racial society. we still struggle with racism and it is -- it is not only wrong, but it is holding us back because for every young woman like yourself, ready, willing,
able to get to work who is held back, that not only hurts you, it hurts us. we want as productive a society as possible. so we have to enforce the civil rights laws. we have to use the bully pulpit which i intend to use to speak out against racism to talk to organizations to speak up and say we still have work to do. when i was a young lawyer, i chaired the commission on women in the profession because there's also a lot of sexism still and even though we came up with a lot of good recommendations, we still haven't fully implemented them and people still are not being treated fairly based on gender, based on race. so i want to enforce the laws and make it clear this is unacceptable. i want to speak out about it and then i want to call people into the white house because one of the great powers of the president is to be the convener in chief.
bring people in and say you have got do more and here are ideas that we have that have worked and you have to try to implement those. that's exactly what i intend to do because i don't want to see any young person held back because of any of these barriers and so i'm going to try to tackle all of them head on. >> thank you very much. our next question is from a registered democrat and says he is leaning toward you. hi. >> good evening, secretary clinton. so your opponent has been a strong supporter of the $15 national minimum wage, you have stood firm in your position that the federal minimum wage should be no more than $12 an hour. >> uh-huh. >> in a city like philadelphia a significant number of citizens work minimum wage jobs and struggle paycheck to pay check just to make ends meet. >> right.
>> so if you were elected president, what would you tell these workers is the basis for denying them the additional $3 an hour. >> first of all, let me say this because i think the facts are important here. the facts are obviously critical. i have supported the fight for $15. i supported raising the minimum wage in los angeles, in seattle, in new york city and i stood with governor cuomo after he passed a $15 minimum wage increase in new york. so what i have said is i wanted to align myself with the democratic members of the senate who have come around to a $12 national level, but i want to go higher than that in any place that will go higher than that, that's why i have supported these cities and states. in fact, in new york, which senator sanders and others have called a model, it works the way that i think it should.
you will get to $15 faster in the city than you will in the small towns and rural areas upstate. in philadelphia you can probably get faster to $15 than you can in rural places in pennsylvania. so my goal is to raise the bottom. getting to $12, since we are at $7.25, would be a major accomplishment. and the real difference is not between senator sanders and myself, we both want to raise the minimum wage, the difference is with republicans whether or not who do not and donald trump who says wages are too high in america. i think the battle has to be with democrats who want to raise it and on the front lines doing so and with the republicans who refuse to acknowledge the terrible struggles that people are facing because you can't -- if it's $7.25, $9.50, $10 is not enough, so i'm going to continue to fight for $15, but i did go
along with the other democrats in the senate who did a lot of work on this because if you have different parts of the country where they're not going to move off of $7.25 and get everybody to $12 and index it to the cost of living so we don't have to keep voting on it and it just keeps going up and we will solve this problem once and for all. >> thank you. >> we have a question now from a democrat who says he is undecided. >> good evening. secretary clinton we've heard ways in which we might expect a clinton presidency to be similar to president obama's, but what's some points of differentiation that we might expect. >> i agree with a lot of what president obama has done and i don't think he gets the credit he deserves for all that's accomplished and in particular saving our economy from what could have been a great depression.
people now don't really remember how bad off we were so i do want to build, but there are things that i want to go further on. i want to really make a big, big push on equal pay for women. this has to finally be accomplished and i believe that if we start early and we are absolutely determined, we can make a big change there. i want to make a big push for early childhood education because we can talk all we want about our schools, but if children come not prepared or able to learn, we're never going to close the achievement gap. i will make a big push for affordable college, debt-free tuition and to pay down student debt by allowing students to refinance their debt and i want to get the government out of the business of making money off of lending money to students. i just disagree with that and i
will build on the affordable care act, but i want to tackle the prescription drug costs and make sure that medicare gets the authority to negotiate for lower drug costs and those costs are then spread throughout our health care system and i will make a very big push on mental health and addiction. we are not doing enough in either area and we're paying a very big price and then finally let me just quickly say when it comes to criminal justice reform, i want to build on some of the recommendations that president obama's policing commission has made because i think that we've got to do more to retrain our police forces. we have to get best practices from those departments that have good records. we have to make sure that we deal with the -- what is called the school to prison pipeline and turn it into a cradle to college pipeline and also go
right after incarceration and then i really support everything president obama said he would do through regulation on guns, but we're going to start the very first day and tackle the gun lobby to try to reduce the outrageous number of people who are dying from gun violence in our country and i will take that on. >> let me just follow up with you briefly on the guns issue. i was struck here in philadelphia the front page of the inkweer ir today is half about this race that you're in and half about another shooting, a shooting in a church in mont dpomry county. we just had eight people killed in ohio. president obama says it's the greatest frustration of his presidency that he hasn't been able to do more to stop gun violence in this country, and i know what your platform is, but what do you think you can get done that he has not been able to do. >> in the last months he has come out with some very tough regulations and getting those
implemented, i hope he gets them done before he leaves, but i will make sure they are. they're executive orders. they have to be reintroduced and signed with a new president. this will give us a base we haven't had before to build on. if we take back the senate, which i believe we can and you here in pennsylvania have a real opportunity to help us take back the senate by electing a democrat, the democrats have decided they will be led by chuck schumer and chuck schumer has been one of the most effective legislators in taking on the gun lobby. we worked together to get the brady bill passed during my husband's administration. i think it's the kind of issue you have to start early, you have to work on it every day and we need to make it a voting issue. we were talking about people not showing up in mid-terms. that's when you can hold
legislators, members of congress accountable with if they continue to be intimidated by the gun lobby. here in pennsylvania and i see my friend there, the legislator in pennsylvania has passed some of the worse kinds of legislation favoring the gun lobby. it's outrageous. you have killings going on in philadelphia and last weekend four people were killed. there was a man executed on the streets here in philadelphia talking to somebody running for office. this is out of control. if anything else we're killing 33,000 americans a year. we would all be working as hard as we could to save lives. i am determined we're going to save lives an we're going to do it by taking on the gun lobby and common sense gun measures, but we're going to do it by addressing the gun violence culture. too many young people in particular are turning to guns
to settle disputes, grievances, resentments. we have to help young people to understand guns are never the answer and there has to be other ways and that's going to take all of us working in our schools, working through our churches and houses of worship. we have to break the grip of the gun culture on our young people because the number one leading cause of death for young african-american men are guns. it out ranks the next nine together. this is a health issue, a safety issue, a cultural issue and i'm going at it from the first day and we're going to make it clear this has to be a voting issue. if you care about this issue vote against people who give in to the nra and the gun lobby all the time. >> we've got more with secretary hillary clinton. our town hall continues in just a moment.
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clinton who is joining us on the eve of another big primary day. five states voting tomorrow including pennsylvania. thank you again. this has been a lot of fun so far. our audience has more for you. we're going to start with a registered democrat who is undecided. >> there's been a lot of talk about femen inch and how it should influence our voting. so what does it mean to you to be a feminist? >> i believe i am a feminist because i believe that women deserve the same rights as men in every aspect of our economy and our society here at home and around the world. and i've devoted -- i've devoted a lot of my public life to advocating for women's rights being human rights and making the case that we have to do everything we can through laws,
regulations, culture, to change the still existing stereotypes that hold women back. and i think it's also really important to recognize that we have made progress, but we are still a long way from where we need to be and i know that if you look at pay for example, equal pay is still a problem and it's a problem that gets worse as you get older. so young women coming right into the workforce even are paid pretty close to equal, if not actually equally, but within a few years there begins to be a disparty and it's hard to explain all of the difference because people claim, well, it's women make different choices and therefore they have a different kind of work life because of those choices, but that does not
explain all of it and i was with lily ledbetter a few days ago outside of philadelphia and she was talking about how she never knew she was paid 40% less than the men doing exactly the same job in the factory that she worked in. now, what did that mean? it meant that her family was cheated. it's not just a women's issue. if you have a wife, daughter, sister, who is working and they're not treated fairly, the whole family suffers, but so does the economy. the other thing lily said that is struck me because she was paid less she will be paid less when she gets social security which she's now on. she's paid less because in her 401(k) not as much money was put in as was put in for everyone else. this has effects on women's live and their well-being.
i think we have to keep hammering the point. i remember when i came back from making my speech in beijing, i went on one of the international radio programs that the united states responsors and we were taking calls from around the world and i got a call from the middle east and this man said what do you mean women have the same rights as men and i said i want you to shut your eyes and imagine everything you do what i mean is that every women should have the same right to do everything you do. and that's how we need to really stand up and speak out and we have to start early because a lot of little girls as they become teenagers they begin to suffer all of these pressures on social media, you're not good enough, you're not pretty enough, you're not this, you're not that. stop it. we need to build the confidence of our children, both girls and boys, to be able to go out into
a complicated world and chart their own futures. >> kenya has a new prime minister. he promised when he took office that he would have a cabinet that was 50% women and then he did it. he made good on his promise. would you make that same pledge? >> i am going to have a cabinet that looks like america and 50% of america is women. >> so that's a yes? i want to introduce you now to -- >> let me rephrase the question for you. tell me if i get it right. asking about women and families in family detention, immigration detention. >> yes, i'm against that. i'm against that. i've been against it for a long time. i said we should end family detention. we should end private detentions and private prison centers.
they are wrong. we should end raids and roundups and when i'm president we're going to get comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship so we will end all of these problems at the time we are successful. >> i'm going to bring in ed morgan. do we have him here? he's a registered democrat. he's undecided. he's a former letter carrier who works as a political organizer for the letter carrier's union. >> i'd like to ask your plan about keeping working class jobs in pennsylvania from going overseas and out of state. >> i have a really robust jobs plan and let me tell you about it because it includes exactly what you're asking about. first we need a much bigger investment and infrastructure jobs. they can't be exported. they have to be done in pennsylvania. so roads, bridges, tunnels, water systems, airport, we can employ millions of people over a ten year people.
we need to bring back advanced manufacturing to pennsylvania. how are we going do that? change the incentives in the tax codes and override the intentatives in the tax agreements that so, i want to incent vise them and if any company in pennsylvania ever took a penny in taxpayer dollars in grants or loans or anything that they got from the taxpayers and if they move jobs out overseas, they're going to have to pay all of that back before they are permitted to leave. we are also going to look at how we create more renewable energy to create jobs and somebody's going to be the 21st century energy power and it's going to be somebody. i want tootoo be us because
there will be jobs right here in america. and finally, when i was a senator from new york, i stood up for a lot of workers, particularly union workers who were being disadvantaged by unfair trade around the world and i took after china, took after some of these other countries. i am absolutely committed to making sure that we don't let those kinds of unfair trade practices cost us jobs anymore. so, i'm going to take a lot of actions that will prevent that kind of exodus of jobs and make those countries and companies pay a price. that's a way to change their behavior and that's what i intend to do. >> we're going to take a quick break now and we'll be back with former secretary of state, hillary clinton.
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he served time in the 19 nineties. >> thank you for having me. secretary clinton, good seeing you again. >> thank you. >> i really appreciate the fact that you are now championing criminal justice reform, however, what made the 1994 crime bill so powerful is that it was front loaded with an investment of $30 billion which put over 100 thousand police on the street and gave money to build prisons across our country. so, my question is if you are elected president of the united states, are you willing to make billion dollar investments in restoring the lives of people and the communities that have beened aversely impacted by the 1994 crime bill? >> the answer is yes. [ applause ] and you know, the answer is yes. and it's both on the front end because we need more diversionary programs so that
young kids don't get caught up in the criminal justice system in the first place. it also means addressing the systemic racism that i spoke with the young woman about. because a young african american man is more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated for doing the same thing as a young white man that doesn't suffer any of that. so, we are going to focus on the front end but we're also going to focus on the back end. we need to have a lot more done to try to release nonviolent offenders, we need to get them out of our prisons and jails but then we've got to do something for them and when you were introduced, it was said that you are working with exoffenders. i want us to have the best programs that are funded from the federal level to provide housing, job training, the kind of support that will enable young people to finish their education, to be able to get back into society and i've seen
some excellent programs that are doing that. i visited one here in philadelphia, impact services, where they are really working hard to help put the pieces together for people getting out of prison but that has to be done at the federal level and that requires a multibillion dollar investment and it's worth it because we need be providing people with the services and support their deserve to be back in society and then we need to restore voting rights for everybody. and i intend to do that as well. [ applause ] >> we have about one minute left. i have one quick question to ask you. taking personal privilege and asking myself. we haven't had a president or vice president who's had significant military experience since george h.w. bush in 1992. is military experience something that you would consider to be a political asset in a potential running mate?
>> well, of course. i think our military serves with such distinction on behalf of our country. over the years, as a senster, secretary of state, gotten to know people of all ranks, particularly leaders of the various services, so, yes, of course it's an asset and in a complex dangerous world we find ourselves in, we need all sorts of talent and experience. so, whether it's in a vice president or members of a cabinet or in the white house staff, i want as broad a set of experiences that i can possibly draw together because i'm someone who likes to listen to people who come at problems from different perspectives, even argue among themselves about it because i think we get to a better solution and that's certainly how i'd go about it. >> secretary of state, hillary clinton clinton, thank you for taking time to be with us. i want to thank our great audience at the national constitution center here in philadelphia. it's been a great night. thank you.
[ applause ] they said he didn't have a chance. >> remember, when we began this campaign, we were 60 points behind. >> until his message started a movement. >> we're doing something radical telling the truth. >> have the courage to take on the special interests preventing us from going forward. >> how does bernie sanders bounce back this time? >>ly i will stand up and fight for you all the way into the white house. >> if you believe that issues can be addressed by the establishment politics, you've got a very good candidate to vote for but it's not bernie sanders. >> on tuesday, he'll have to prove he has a path to victory.