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tv   CNN Town Hall Green Party  CNN  August 17, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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good evening. welcome to the green party town hall. this is your chance to get to know candidates thin party that promise as real alternative in november. >> for voters tired of this -- >> friends don't let friends vote for trump. >> has anybody lied as much as hillary clinton? >> they're promising something truly different. >> when we stand up together, we are unstoppable. we say no to the lesser evil. >> they say why not? >> we have a future we have to
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take back. >> to skeptics who say they have to hand the election to trump or clinton, they answer -- >> we are what democracy looks like. >> green party nominee jill stein, running made ajamu baraka. >> turn the white house into a dream house. >> can there message get traction? can their difference really make a difference? >> we are the ones we've been waiting for. >> your questions for the ticket promising better answers. tonight. >> all right. welcome to all of you who are joining us here in new york
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across the country and around the world. we're being simulcast tonight on cnn international, cnnespanol. we're bringing this to you because voters keep expressing the desire for third party alternatives. some of those voters, most of them undecided. guess what? they have questions. as always, the questions come mainly from the audience in these town halls. we've looked them over to make sure they tone overlap. i'll be asking a few myself. so let's get to it. joining us now, green party presidential candidate dr. jill stein. a trained physician. ran in 2012 on the green party ticket. vice presidential candidate, ajamu baraka. a grassroots organizer as well. welcome to you both.
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>> thank you very much. >> all right, doctor. let's start with the basics. the green party. tell the audience tonight, what matters about this party. what does it offer that is better than everything else out there. >> the unique they know about the green party, is that we are the one national party that is not corrupted by corporate money, by lobbyist money, or by super pacs. so we have the unique ability to actually stand up for what it is that the american people want. what everyday people want. we have a jobs emergency and we call for an emergency jobs program that will actually solve the emergency of climate change that we are seeing in the floods and the fires and the heat waves across this country that are so painful to watch right now. this is what the future looks like if we don't stand up and start doing something about it. we're the one party that is actually calling for canceling
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student debt and bailing out a generation of young people like we bailed out the bank orders wall stre. we can do that for this generation and unleash them to be the stimulus package of our dreams and make higher education free and health care is a human right and create welcoming path to citizenship, end police violence, and a foreign policy that is based on international law, human rights and economic justice. not on military and economic domination, which is blowing back at us so catastrophically. in short, we're standing up for everyday people and an america and a future that works for all of us. >> now, doctor, speak to yourself as a candidate. why do you believe you represent a better choice than the other candidates? >> you know, i'm a mother and a medical doctor. i am in this really because i know there is no future for my
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kids unless there is a future for all kids. i'm not a professional politician. i don't need a job as a politician. i've never had a job as a politician. i've been a part of the social movements struggling for our health, for jobs, for an environment that is healthy for us instead of these epidemics of asthma that we have, the epidemic of diabetes tied into the food supply. i got into this, really, excuse me. as a medical doctor at this tide of illnesses that we didn't used to have and feeling like it wasn't enough to just give people pills and push them back out to the things that are making us sick. i got involved with our communities to help correct these problems at their basics. so now i'm practicing not which
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immediate send but political medicine so we can heal our political system and start to fix these problems are threatening not only life and limb but our very existence on this planet. >> plenty of obvious symptoms. so let's talk about the man to your right. your choice of running mate, ajamu baraka. why was he your choice in. >> because he is an inspirational and passionate advocate for justice and for human rights. and we are at a crisis moment in this country and even globally. a crisis of injustice, of racial injustice, and economic enjustice. we need a national conversation right now so that we can get past this moment. this moment of police violence and this economic violence. this mass incarceration system that has so devastated our
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communities. and ajamu's background is all about these struggles for justice, and for to us bring this conversation from our different perspectives, and our different back grounds. this is exactly the conversation that america needs to have right now so we can heal and become one community and move forward based on our human rights and our human values. >> so mr. baraka, what is it that is motivating your interest in this election? what is your message to the voters? >> my motivation is that this is a critical moment, that we have an opportunity to do something really different. i mean, i joined this ticket because i believe in jill stein, i believe in this party. the green party is the only vehicle we have right now that can offer a real alternative. people are not ready to accept the notion that we have to be held hostage to these two elite
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parties. people are willing to gamble with the possibility that we can build something new and different. so i think in 2016, we have this kind of historic opportunity. as dr. stein said, my whole life has been about building alternative power. about speaking truth to power. it is about understanding that it is the people themselves that have the possibility to transform conditions and transform themselves. so thas my motivation. after all these years, to step into this electoral process, to be subjected to the dirty politics involved in this. i really believe that at this moment, we have a real possibility of moving forward collectively in a new way. >> so the question becomes, how do you do it? this is a process. you get exposure. you do a lot of it online. we're giving you an opportunity here on cnn. we believe it is the process to
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represent all the different parties that are options but that's not enough. the debate stage has a requirement. 15%. the media doesn't design it, as you well know. there is a committee. they've come one 15%. you're nowhere near that. the libertarian candidate is not near that. together you're not near it. what do you do to get exposure you need to be competitive? >> this will not be decided in a court of law. i think it will get decided in the court of public opinion. this is about we the people standing up. as americans we not only have a right to vote. we have a right to know who we can vote for. and the commission on presidential debates is not just an ordinary public interest commission. it is a private corporation that is run of, by, and for the
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democratic and republican parties. the league of women voters quit the debates when the commission came forward and they quit saying, this is a fraud being committed on the american voters. because it allows these two parties to set a standard for admission that silences political opposition. we have a right to know who our choices are. there are four candidates who will be on the ballot. four candidates for president who will be on the ballot for just about every voter in the country that have the numerical possibility to actually win the election that represents a much greater diversity o choices than just hillary clinton and donald trump. where one of them is a member of the billionaire club but the other one has actually been quite an ally and an advocate for the billionaire club. so the american people deserve to hear from people who are not
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part of that economic elite and the political system that serves it. so you want to encourage people to go to jill and sign up on our campaign to open up the debates and hold on to your hat and stay tuned. because i don't think the american people are going to take this sitting down. there is too much at stake. we need real democracy. >> question that your opponents. one of the big markers in this process is when the main candidates wind up get go their first intel briefing. donald trump got his today. hillary clinton will get one very soon. critics of clinton have said that because of what happened with the e-mail server, and i'm bringing it up because you've been very robust on this issue. they say she has shown an i ability to deal with classified material. she should not get the briefing. do you agree with that? >> you know, i'm not -- i have
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not been informed yet on exactly the nature of this briefing. but i will say she is under a lot of pressure right now and she is being very carefully scrutinized. part of the problem with hillary's abuse of the rules, she was sort of too big to jail on the rules. and she violated those rules with a sense of impunity and she violated them for a purpose which she stated herself. she wanted her private information private. now, it turns out half of her e-mails, she deleted as private. if someone is working for you and half of their e-mails on the job are for their private personal foundation, it really raises questions. so i do have serious questions about hlary clinton's judgment, her safeguarding of
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national security information, and above all, her trustworthiness in the job where she will have her finger on the button, given how she handled major decisions, both around the war in iraq but then especially around the war in libya where she led the charge. so yes, i have serious concerns about hillary. that's why i'm in this race, to provide an alternative to people who don't like donald trump, you have more alternatives out there than just hillary clinton. >> speaking of mr. trump. mr. baraka, he is shaking up his campaign. why? with the outward signs, he is getting toward double down on what got him here in the first place. forget about teleprompters and speeches. i'm going after her and that's what i do best. many are concerned that's what looks like very negative.
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you're no stranger to heated rhetoric. do you have a concern about what this may descend into? not talking about these people but really devolving into a conversation about who is the worst person? >> i am. it has really harmed the possibility of democracy here in this country. when you have someone like donald trump and the dark horse he has been appealing to, it will only result in a continued deterioration of the democratic process and practice in this country. we're going to have to deal with donald trump even after the election. win or lose. he is appealing to a social base that is prepared to continue to embrace some of the darker side of human an. his appeal to folks who embrace xenophobia, his bigotry around
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religion. the unfortunate reality is that it has resonated with some elements of society. if he is committed to doing that, that's fine. we're going to have an alternative message. we're going to talk about what is best in this country and this society. we're going to talk about why we need to build a new kind of social justice and democracy. so we confront donald trump with a positive message of hope and change in this country. a follow-up on that is -- please. >> people will say when donald trump is speaking what some are calling negatively, that he is speaking the truth. that's a criticism that has been leveled against you as well. you've referred to him in very ugly ways that are very negative. you're talking about being hopeful and aspirational.
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how do you reconcile that with what you called the president of the united states? >> you have to basically call it as you see it and be prepared to speak truth to power. and my concern, my critique of barack obama was that barack obama had an historic opportunity to transform this country. he appeared not to be prepared for the moment. he allowed his commitment to neo liberal policies and a neo liberal world view to undermine the possibility of greatness for this man. i know that people had a tremendous am of hopes and dreams for barack obama but he did not live up to that possibility. he in fact has provided cover for the continuation of policy that's have had a detrimental impact on people in this country and even minorities. so my responsibility is to call
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it as i see it. >> there are legitimate arguments to be made. obviously you received an applause for that. you called him an uncle tom. >> in that conversation, it was to a specialized audience that understood the context and the reason why i framed it in that way. >> is there any good context? >> well, no. there is none of that. what i wanted to do was to tell people who had this hope in barack obama, that if we were concerned and serious about how we could displace white power, we had to demystify policies and the positions of this individual. so that's how it got framed to shock people into a more critical look at this individual. and that's how i did it. and i stand by that. even though it sounds very
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inflammatory, provocative and probably very strange to this massive audience here tonight. >> and for you, dr. stein, you're making the decision, obama was your choice. that didn't bother you. you saw paste. once they got familiar with your back grounds, this will come up. what do you want them to know? >> yeah. i am so grateful that we have an opportunity to go beyond sound bites and i understand ajamu's frustration and his struggle and i understand his transcendence and the way in which this is a challenge to us all right now. to both feel passion of our struggle but also to be capable of transcending it. and with each other. healing our wounds and forging a bigger vision and a bigger community that we have to be if
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we are going to survive in this country. and in this world. so you know, i think we have all been guilty of using some language that doesn't play well as a sound bite. and i look forward to having the longer conversation that allows us to actually see, and i worked ajamu for years. so i know that i have never heard him use derogatory language, to tell you the truth. and i only know his kind of steady, inspired vision aary ki of discussion that i find very inspiring, and i see him inspiring lots of people from lots of back grounds and bringing people together and i think that's the challenge of the moment. >> there is a big conversation to be had. we're going to have it tonight. there are a lot of questions for out a range of issues and we'll get to them. let's take a quick break.
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when we come back, we'll give the floor to the audience. it is time for their questions. you are watching the green party the presidential town hall. ♪ mapping the oceans. where we explore. protecting biodiversity. everywhere we work. defeating malaria. improving energy efficiency. developing more clean burning natural gas. my job? my job at exxonmobil? turning algae into biofuels. reducing energy poverty in the developing world. making cars go further with less.
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we're back for the green party town hall. time for questions from the audience. our first is from gloria, a student at columbia university. she did support bernie sanders in the democratic primaries. now she's undecided. she said she is leaning in favor of hillary clinton. so this is your chance to win her over. my question what would you like to say to win over sander supporters like me who are not voting for trump but feeling somewhat disillusioned by clinton? >> first what i would say is thank you so much for having changed the political landscape forever. so big thank you to all of the sanders supporters. and the political system will
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never be the same. what i have to say is that you've learned really in real-time why it is that you can't have a revolutionary campaign in a counter revolutionary party. bernie did everything right and his supporters did everything right. but the playing field was really steeply and unfairly tilted against you from super delegates to super tuesdays to voting irregularities, to the e-mails that showed how the dnc, the democratic national committee was clooding behind hillary clinton's campaign to smear bernie sanders in the press. and this was extremely unfair. and then hillary now has moved to court republicans. has sort of an official committee to bring republicans
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over. she has appointed a centrist vice presidential candidate. she did not allow some of the sanders' spokespeople to have a role at the convention. bernie himself was relegated to a very low profile role. i would say all the work you did and the incredible passion and vision and blood, sweat and tears that you put into that campaign, that lives on. and bernie himself said, it is a movement. it's not a man. and it is cheer, hillary does not represent what you were working for. our campaign has been here from the start. many people have looked to us from bernie's campaign as plan b. so that if they ran into trouble, they could continue building this revolutionary campaign but now all the stronger for being inside of a revolutionary party that supports the work that you're
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doing and will continue to build it until we prevail. >> now, the polls show about 7 in 10 sanders supporters say they'll go with hillary clinton. with you there are varying degrees of strength. they see that the green party does line one a lot of the things that senator sanders was fighting for. when they do their research, i want to give you some opportunity to clear it up. the main idea was that bernie sanders should be seen as an ideological prop. that there was an idea of nativism. what did you mean by those statemen statements? >> what we had to do was to raise some issues that seem to be at one point very troubling. i wanted to feel bern. i really did.
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so as dr. stein said, i saw from the very beginning the real possibility for this campaign to really expand the scope of conversation here, to introduce to the american people a term like democratic socialism. to really tap into this desire that people had for real change. but i was troubled by some other tendencies. that is that we can't build a progressive or revolutionary process by just looking at the united states of america. you can't disconnect u.s. foreign policy from domestic policy. so i was concerned by some of the comments around allowing the saudis to get their hands dirty. many of us who follow geopolitical events understand that not only were the saudis' hands dirty, they were dripping with blood.
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so my point was that bernie needed to understand that people were ready for a real progressive candidate. you didn't to have play into the hands of the democrats. you didn't have to embrace barack obama's drone program. i wanted to see a real comprehensive, progressive campaign and the people were ready. >> why do you say that instead of hitting him over the head instead of calling him a tool with nativism and white supremacy? why didn't you call him that? >> i wanted his supporters to deal with those contradictions. this was not about the man. it was about the movement. we have to disconnect personalities from movement building. we've got to, we see contradictions. we have to engage in those conversations with our friends. this was a conversation among those of us on the left. progressive people.
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the sanders supporters were pushing back when people were raising questions. they say we're purists. we're dogmatists. i never wrote an article article on the sanders campaign but i was pushing back saying, you can't just dismiss the critique we've got to deal with these contradictions. if you only look at the u.s., if you only prop up life in the u.s., you are privileging life in the u.s., white life. when the saudis and others are involved in killing black and brown people around the world. >> we have a question that goes to america's reach around the world. let's bring in alexander mccoy, a former marine force sergeant from rhode island. he served in saudi arabia, germany and honduras. he is now a student at columbia university. he is leaning toward supporting
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hillary clinton. mr. baraka is the only person who served in the armed forces in the race right now. >> you said that you oppose the use of u.s. forces overseas. u.s. forces are currently engaged in air strikes against isis and other military operations. my question to you is, do you consider isis to be a threat to the u.s. or to use allies or partners in the middle east? if so, what would you do to defeat isis that the obama administration is not doing? >> so, you know, there are rules of engagement, international rules. if you're going to attack another country, you need to be at imminent threat of being actually attacked by them. clearly, that threshold has not been made. isis is not about to launch a major attack against our country. and we have a track record now
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of fighting terrorism. not only isis but al qaeda before that and the taliban before that. this track record is not looking so. good we have spent $6 trillion, according to a recent harvard study when you include the costs, the ongoing costs of health care for our wounded veterans who deserve the highest care possible. $6 trillion, since 2001. we have killed a million people in iraq alone which is not winning us the hearts and minds in the middle east. we have lost tens of thousands of u.s. soldiers who have been killed or severely wounded. what have we got to show for this? failed states, mass refugee migrations, and repeated terrorist threats that get worse with each cycle. so isis grew out of the catastrophe of iraq.
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al qaeda in turn grew out of afghanistan. and in fact, in afghanistan, it was cia and the sudden youis together who created the first jihadi movement with the mujahideen to make trouble with the soviet union. so this has been a very ill conceived plan that has been back firing madly against us. so what we say is that we need a new kind of offensive in the middle east. because bombing terrorism andsh quelling terrorism. it is only fanning the flames of terrorism. the ms.ry and the poverty that drive terrorism. we are calling for a new kind of offensive. a peace offensive in the middle east that begins with a weapons embargo. since we are supplying, we the u.s. are supplying the majority
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of the weapons to all combatants. the fighting forces in the middle east. we can initiate that embargo and we call for a freeze on the funning of those countries that continue to support jihadi terrorist enterprises. hillary clinton herself said in a memo that the saudis are still the major funder of terrorist sunni enterprises. if we started it, we and our allies to have the capacity to shut it down. >> just to be cheerk you said you would call for a military speck cut of 50%. you want all foreign bases closed. there is no question this is a complex question.
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are you saying there would be no military presence anywhere in the world and that would keep america safe? >> we have between 700 or 800 military bases around the world. do you know how many military bases all other countries combined have? about 30. there's something really wrong with this picture. do you know how much of our budget actually goes to maintaining this bloated and dangerous military budget? 54% of our discretionary budget -- >> so you would close all -- >> about half your income tax is going to this failed catastrophic policy of regime change. >> i'm trying to be cheer. would you close all of them? >> that would be our presumption. there may be certain bases for certain circumstances that need to remain open. but our presumption is to close the bases and to shut down the weapons systems like the f-35 that will cost us almost $1.5
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trillion before we're done. or to shut down the new generation of nuclear weapons which has no role what so ever in military or on the planet. we need to be backing off and phasing out all nuclear weapons. >> there's an assumption in your questions that we have to take a look. a that is that the, that we are going to be able to respond in a military fashion to all of these various threats. see, one of the reasons why we have the isis threat today is because of the enormous incompetence of u.s. policy in the so-called middle east over the last 16 years. you can't talk about the isis threat and then not look at the kinds of policies that help to
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facilitate the growth of isis. you can't talk about your concern about the possibility of imminent attacks in the u.s. and support policy that's created a territory in syria where people were able to train, equip themselves and be prepared to launch attacks all over the world. so i would invite the american people to look critically at the policies pursued by both the bush and the obama administrations that helped to create the problem that we now have. the security issue is real. no question about that. people are concerned about that. and we understand that. but this sort of knee jerk response in terms of military action. we've got to be very, very critical of that. and this notion of militarism has been sold to the american population. and people just think that the first reaction is a military one.
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what we're looking at is a political and an ideological challenge also. that the u.s. foreign policy has changed right into. >> let's get to another question. jasmine is a second grade teacher from new york city. how badly did i mangle your name? you're currently undecided. what's your question in. >> thank you for your time this evening. i'm interested to hear more about your personal faith or your personal beliefs. i know you grew up in a reformed jewish household. do you currently believe in god and could you tell us more about your personal journey in this area in. >> great. so i grew up a very religious person. i was probably the most religious person in my family. and i actually brought traditional jewish ritual into my family because i was so excited about what was going on in my reform temple where i sang
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in the choir. and certainly, my view of the world, i have to say grew out of the morality and the tales that i was learning from the old testament. now i am actually in a mixed family. and i am not actively practicing any religion. but i certainly have a very strong sense of our moral and human, what shall we say fiber? something that is spiritual, that is kind of beyond our actual grasp, that inspires me and gives me great faith in other people and our capacity to be more than the sum of our parts. so i don't fall into any
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particular religious box or conventional view but i certainly carry on that spirit that inspired me way back when. >> jasmine, thank you very much for being with us. another question. i want you to meet dr. diane hesse. >> my question is as a pediatrician, i do not allow nonvaccinated patients, nor patient who's want to delay vaccine schedule into my practice. i care for many children who are immuno compromised or too young to get vaccines such as measles or whooping cough which is an epidemic now. they're very susceptible to these disease. you seem to support vaccines. yet you were vague about your schedule. i want you to clarify that for me. >> that statement about the schedule was taken out of context. so when i was practicing and
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following issues around immunization which i am not now, there were concerns at the time about the mercury dose in vaccines and how kids might be holded up in a way related to that schedule. that's what i was referring to. that there were legitimate questions at that time. but i understand those, the themmer sol has been taken out of the vaccines, anything that would be given to a child and notices longer an issue. i think there's kind of an effort to divert the conversation from our actual agenda. because the idea that i oppose vaccines is completely ridiculous, or that i'm anti-science. and i would encourage anybody to look up the books that i co-authored with other physicians and public health experts at physicians for social responsibility. one is called environmental threats to healthy aging.
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toxic threats to child development. those are two books are available for free on the web. you can read they will on the web. they review science and scientific studies to have a better understanding of what is the conditions that hey be driving it. what might be contributing to these issues that we're seeing and what are some of the contributors to chronic disease in adults. there are clearly environmental factors here that are playing a role. so just for policy wonks, for geeks, for science geeks, you can show yourself if you have any doubt that i, too, am a science geek. i am certainly not hostile to science or anti-science. i believe that asking questions is part of our responsibility as scientists and as physicians. we always need to be asking those questions.
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>> thank you for the question. let's take a quick break. when we come back, we have more audience questions at the cnn green party town hall. ♪ ♪ only those who dare drive the world forward. introducing the first-ever cadillac ct6. with fans clamoring for our next hit album, we return to our extravagant private studio, where we turn gold into platinum. yes, i am rich. that's why i drink the champagne of beers.
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all right. you're watching the cnn green party town hall. we have a market research analyst from washington, d.c. she is a registered democrat but she is currently leaning toward supporting you, dr. stein, in november. what's your question? >> hi, thanks. you tweeted during a democratic town hall, a statement that i agreed with as a feminist. it read for women to achieve equality around the world, a feminist cannot be a warmonger. can you talk more about the statement? can you talk about the way you think your feminism is different from hillary clinton's and the imme indication that would have on foreign policy? >> thank you. really important question. in my view, you know, it takes a
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village to raise a child. in my view, being a feminist has a lot to do with nurturing our children. it's about equal rights for women. but it is also about a special visit for women that we are the care take ers of children, of o parents, of communities. there is something about us that wants to take care of people. to me that's the height of feminism. that is not compatible with just taking care of your own private family. and as important as that is, we must care for our own kids. there are special treasure and legacy. but that we have a responsibility to be that community.
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that all mothers take care of their kids. and hillary's, many of hillary's positions, where it was helping to destroy the social safety net, welfare as we knew it was basically destroyed by the clintons who wanted to replace with it something else that put millions more kids into poverty. where it was the wall street deregulation. again, cheers on by both bill and hillary that led to the meltdown and the loss of 9 million jobs and the theft of 5 million homes. largely from communities of color and lower income families. and the war effort that hillary has been the engine behind. iraq or libya. she wants to go into syria and create a so-called no-fly zone which risks going to war with russia that is already in that
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air space which would be a very scary thing to do. so to my mind, that's just not compatible with what my view of feminism is that has a responsibility. not just to your own family with you to all >> another question. let's go to a software engineer from the bronx, he supported bernie sanders and hillary clinton. go ahead. >> given the way the political system works, you could help donald trump like ralph nader helps george bush in 2000. how can you sleep at night? >> i will have trouble sleeping at night if donald trump is elected. i will also have trouble sleeping at night if hillary clinton is elected. and as despicable as donald trump's words are, i find hillary clinton's actions and track record is very troubling.
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so donald trump, you know, bashes immigrants and is a xenophobic and racist loud mouth but, you know, hillary clinton has been promoting these wars that have killed a million black and brown people in iraq, for example. the democratic party has become the party of deportation and detentions and night raids with, you know, millions of people deported under barack obama, some of them include the refugees from honduras where hillary clinton gave the thumbs up to a coup from which thousands of people have been fleeing who have not been welcomed into this country. and hillary, in fact, has supported many of the white house policies of deportation and detentions.
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on, you know, the issue of nuclear war, i am very concerned about trouble breaking out in syria in this air war that hillary is threatening to have. so, you know, as disturbing as donald trump's talk is, i find hillary clinton's track record is actually very much of concern, too. this politics of fear that tells you you've got to vote against the person you most dislike or the person you are most afraid of, that politics of fear has a track record because a lot of people have been, you know, that's been like the prevailing mythology. you got to vote your fears, not your values. and what has that delivered? you know, all the reasons you're told to vote for the lesser evil because you didn't want the expanding wars, you didn't want the meltdown of the climate or the wall street bailouts or the deportation of immigrants, that's exactly what we've gotten
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by allowing ourselves to be silenced. so in my view, we need to reject the lesser evil and fight for the greater good like our lives depend on it because, in fact, they do. >> but can you actually win in this system? >> great quonsay, andrew? >> can you actually win in the corrupt, rigged political system that we have. is it even possible for you to come close ? >> let me say first it's not possible for to us win with two corporate political parties that are funded both by big banks, by fossil fuel giants, by war profiteers and we are not winning. there may be deferenifferences n the two parties but not enough to save your jobs, your life or the planet. here's how we can win. there are 43 million i don't think people who are trapped in predatory student loan debt.
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that is a winning plurality of the vote. ours is the only campaign that will cancel that debt and bail out young people like the establishment bailed out wall street. when that word gets out to 43 million people that they can actually come out and take over this election and cancel that debt, we could see something happen. not splitting the vote but potentially flipping the vote so that we who are the underdog deserve to be the top dog and actually could be the top dog if we stand up with the courage of our convictions. it's not only 43 million young people locked in to student debt with no future. the birth rate is plummeting in this country, which is a real sign of a human rights catastrophe going on before our very eyes. so we don't really have a future right now to offer our younger generation.
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for them there's nothing to lose and there's everything to gain by standing up knowing that we could actually win this if we stand up with the courage of our convictions. >> we'll talk about how you can erase student debt and a lot of other big issues when we come back. let's take a quick break. more questions on thether side. stay with us for the green party town hall. energy is a complex challenge. people want power.
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california's clean air laws we've cut toxic pollution. we're seeing fewing cases of asthma in kids. and the new clean energy economy has created more than half a million jobs. i'm tom steyer. just when we're making progress, the oil companies are trying to weaken our clean air laws. but we can stop them. send them a message. we're going to protect our kids - not their profits. ♪
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student loan debt is the new mortgage some people say.
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erasing student debt, how, how, how, could you ever do that? >> we found a way to bail out wall street. when we needed the money, we found it, including about $17 trillion worth of practically zero interest loans which was made available, you know, as needed. we found a way to bail out wall street, the guys that crashed the economy with their waste, fraud and abuse. so my point is as responsible adults, we need to bail out a young are generation that is held hostage in this unpayable student debt. it's terrible for them, it's terrible for our whole society. because it's always the younger generation that leads us forward to create the economy of the future and to lead the social changes that we urgently need right now. >> but the concept itself, as enticing as it


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