tv Campaign 2020 Sen. Elizabeth Warren Holds Town Hall in Manchester Iowa CSPAN January 7, 2020 1:39pm-2:34pm EST
>> announcer: today senator shelley capito and state officials speak about appalachian regional opioid epidemic on c-span3, online at c-span.org or listen free on the c-span radio app. our live campaign 2020 coverage continues thursday at 7:00 p.m. eastern with president donald trump in toledo, ohio at a keep america great rally. watch live on c-span2, on demand at c-span.org, or listen on the go with the free c-span radio app. next, a town hall with democratic presidential candidate senator elizabeth warren in manchester, iowa.
♪ ♪ nine to five ♪ for service and devotion hello, manchester. you can see judy and i got the memo on what to wear today. i love it. anybody else in bright pink? we got a few more, yeah. it's good to see you all here. i'm so glad to have this chance to be with you. and so glad in fact that i brought family with me. i have my son alex, where are you, son? there he is. where? guy in the blue shirt. [ applause ] now, just so you know, alex has
been my tech support since second grade. it's true. it's true. and he now runs his own small business. but he's picked up a new sideline. and the new sideline is called support your mother when she runs for president of the united states. thank you, alex. [ applause ] so i thought what we would do today is that i tell you just a little bit about myself, a little bit about why i'm in this race. i'll try to do that as quick as i can. then we'll take as many questions as possible so that i am covering the things most important to you. and then we will engage in that most important part of democracy, selfies! i'll stay as long as you want and we'll do selfies.
i just thought i would tell you a little bit about me. i was born and raised in oklahoma. dead silence. not an okie in the group. nobody even said i drove through there once on the way to texas. oh, somebody did, okay, good. that's okay, there aren't that many of us. i have three much older brothers. i am what used to be known as a late in life baby. my mother always just called me the surprise. my three older brothers are all now retired. they all live back in oklahoma. and to this day, they are referred to as the boys. that is to distinguish them from the surprise. now, when we were growing up, our daddy had a lot of different jobs. he sold paint. he sold carpet.
he sold fencing. he sold housewares. and ultimately he ended up as a janitor. my mom was a stay-at-home mom until she was 50. after my daddy had a heart attack, she went to work, she worked a minimum wage job at sears. all three of my brothers went off and joined the military. it was their chance to serve. and also, let's be frank, it was a path to america's middle class. and i'm proud of all of my brothers. me, i have known what i wanted to do since second grade. now, i hear some giggles, some of you in the back probably didn't decide until fourth grade. fifth grade, way, way by the door. no, i've known what i wanted to do since second grade and i've never wavered from it. i wanted to be a public schoolteacher.
can we hear it for america's public schoolteachers? [ cheers and applause ] yes. and i invested early. i used to line my dollies up and teach school. i had a reputation for being tough but fair. but any time anyone asked, this is what i wanted. i wanted to be a public schoolteacher. by the time i was ready to graduate from high school, my family didn't have the money for college application much less to send me off to four years at a university. so, like a lot of americans, i don't have a straight path story. i got a story with a lot of twists and turns. so here is how my story goes. i was a high school debater and i got a scholarship to college, woo-hoo. you bet.
and then at 19, i fell in love, got married, and dropped out. woo-hoo. now, a good life, a life i had chosen. but i thought that was it on the chance to be a public school teacher. i thought, gave that one up. we're living outside houston, and that's when i found it, a commuter college, 45 minutes away, cost $50 a semester. yeah. and for a price i could pay for on a part-time waitressing job. i finished my four-year diploma. i became a special education teacher. i've lived my dream job. [ applause ] now, have i got some schoolteachers in here, public school teachers?
oh, we got a bunch. all right. let's give them a round of applause, come on, guys. [ applause ] so i'm going to need you to back me up on this, okay? teaching is not a job. it is a calling. i loved the work. i had 4 to 6-year-olds in special education. and to this day i can remember my babies. i loved my babies. and i probably would still be doing that work. but like i said, my story has some twists and turns. so here is how it goes. by the end of the first year, i was visibly pregnant. and the principal did what principals did in those days, wished me luck and hired someone else for the job. okay. so there we are. now i'm at home. we're living in new jersey by
now. and i got a baby, i can't get a job, i got to do something. so i will go to law school. yeah. found a state law school, cost $450 a semester. baby on hip, i head off to law school, do me three years in law school, graduate visibly pregnant. you'll discover a pattern to these stories. take the bar, pass the bar. and practice law for 45 minutes. and then went back to my first love, teaching. i traded little ones for big ones. and i have taught pretty much my whole grown-up life in law school. now, other big change in my life at that time, husband number one, hint, it is never good when you have to number your husba s
husbands. oh, yes. husband number one and i parted ways. but i found bruce. and when you find a good one, hang on to him. i'm still married to him. so that's where i am, only two so far. so far. all right. so here's the thing. i'm teaching in law school. and i don't know if it's because of the kind of family i grew up in. but i taught the money courses. that's where i was always drawn, into the money courses. contract law, commercial law, secured transactions, payment systems, corporate finance, partnership finance, law of debtors and creditors, bankruptcy law, law and economics. if it was about money, count me in. i was right in the thick of it. but there was always one central issue that i worked on. and that issue, what's happening to america's working families.
why is america's middle class being hollowed out? why is it that people who work every bit as hard as my mom and dad worked two generations ago, today find the path so much rockier and so much steeper? and for people of color, even rockier and even steeper. and the answer is about decisions that get made in washington. it's about who our federal government works for. think of it this way. we have a federal government that works great for giant drug companies. just not for people who are trying to get a prescription filled. it works great for folks who want to make money investing in private prisons and private detention centers down at our
border. just not for the human beings whose lives are torn apart by those places. it works great for giant oil companies that want to drill everywhere. just not for the rest of us who this works great. and not so great for every one else. that's corruption pure and simple and we need to call it out for what it is. corruption. understand this, money flows everywhere through washington. everywhere. it is about campaign contributions. you bet it is. it's also about lobbyists and
lawyers and pr firms. it's about bought and paid for experts and so called think tanks. they just keep pushing on the government over and over. think of it this way, whatever issue brought you here today, the price of prescription drugs, student loan debt, gun safety, anything that brought you here, if there's a decision to be made in washington, i guarantee, it has been influenced by money. it has been shaped by money. it's had exceptions carved out by money. money, money, money. if we're going to change that, we can't do it by nibbling around the edge, it's going to take big, structural change to get it done.
with me that starts with attacking the corruption head on. i've had enough of playing defense. it's time to go on offense on corruption. here's the good news. i have the biggest antihigh pressure corruption plan since watergate. the bad news is we need the biggest anti-corruption plan since watergaets. end the revolving door between wall street and washington, big
pharma and washington. make it work. you really want to hose out some corruption in washington, make every single person who runs for federal office put their tax returns online. that where i start this, attack the corruption head on. we can make this country work not just for those at the top but make it work for every one. that's why i'm here. thank you. let's do some questions.
thank you. hi. what's your name? >> my name is art johnson. i'm a retired educator. my question is about the divisi divisiveness. the country is so divided. how do you get people to come together. they are unbelievably separate now. >> it's great question, art. those divisions in our country didn't just happen on their own. they aren't the result of gravity or we all got up one morning and decided we didn't like each other. understand this, donald trump has a strategy. the strategy is to turn people
against people. it's to turn white against black and brown. it's to turn straight against gay and trans, particularly against trans. it's to turn christian against muslim and jew. it's to turn everybody against democrats. there's a reason for that. so long as we're fighting each other then he hopes that we're not going to notice that donald trump and his corrupt buddies are stealing our country's great wealth and our good name all around this world. that's a big part of it. part of it is we got to be willing to fight back. we got to be willing to embrace each other's fights. we got to be willing to say your fight is my fight.
it's a big part of why i decided to run a grassroots movement than spend my time with rich people and run a bunch of ads. i mentioned my three older brothers. one is democrat. do the math. two are not. there are things we sharply disagree on. there are things that can take us to zero to all shouting at each other in about 4.2 seconds. there's also a lot of things we agree on. let me tell you one of the
places. actually they all agree on that. they reported $10 billion in profits. anybody want to hold up their hands to show how much amazon paid in taxes. zero. if you paid a single dollar of federal taxes last year, you paid more to keep this country going than amazon. you know what, that chaps all three of my brothers. the democrats and the republicans. right. it makes them angry because they get it. we're getting cheated. hea hard working people have to reach into their pockets to keep the roads and bridges paved, to keep our military going. they have to reach in their pocket and amazon takes advantage. they drive on those roads. they get protected and they pay
nothing. the question of corruption many this country, the question of a country that works better and better and better for a thinner and thinner slice at the top is one that cuts across political parties. this isn't just democrats who get that we're getting shortchan shortchanged, it's republicans too. i believe we stay on that track and we talk about things which i hope we'll get a chance to do like the two cent wealth tax, like cancelling student loan debt. like protecting and expanding social security. things we agree on. places we believe that together we can build a future. i think we start from those things we agree on. we stop the ugliness against each other and that's how we begin to heal.
thank you, art. thank you. hi. >> i'm bobby. i've been an r.n. for 43 years. >> thank you. >> i'm still working. >> top folks. >> still working. mostly mental health. what my question is, i'm just really just so sadden by this is i work in a day care center, day care that helps with ids, adults and mentally ill. these people in iowa have gotten their insurance changed in the past two years. this poor man came to me crying. his id, he has to get -- he can't have his psychiatrist that he's had for 20 years because they won't accept his insurance.
i am just appalled with this. these people don't have a voice. i want to be their voice. i want to stick up for them. this is just appalling. why are we allowing this to happen? i want some change. i really feel like you'll be our next president. i have total faith in you. you change this for us. >> okay, bobby. let's do this together. thank you. that is excellent. leets talk about how we can make that change. thank you for your work. thank you for standing up to people that don't have a voice, who can't be here to be part of this argument. here's the thing. question we can be the country that believes in the work of every single human being. through our government, through the policies we put in place, we can reenforce that work.
one place that start s health care is a basic human right for every one. here is my plan around this. what am i going to do? i love to say this part. first thing i'm going to do, day one as president i'm going to do everything a president can do all by herself. i will defend the affordable care act, which is under attack. millions of people have lost their health care. i'm in because you can do this administratively. second thing i'm going to do is bring down the cost of prescription drugs. ones that are used regularly. anybody in here that uses insulin or know somebody who
does. epi pens. these are drugs that are still under pa tentent. there's a federal law that lets the president of the united states use march in orders so they can bring down the costs of these drugs when they are too high. we just haven't had a president who's willing to do that. i'm the president willing to do that. it's going to save us billions of dollars. let's talk about full health care coverage for every one. part one, it is possible to offer full health care coverage, medicare for all for every one without costing middle class families one single dime. we just have to ask those at the top to pay more. if you increase the taxes on the top 1%. we can do that. on the big corporations like
amazon that are paying nothing. we can do that and my personal favorite in this how we get them to pay is we actually crack down on the tax cheaters at the top. we can make trillions of dollars doing this. we then use that money to fund full health care coverage. here is what i'm going to do. i am going to go forward with congress. i've already got a way to be able to pay for this so we can do this in budget reconciliation. means we only need 50 votes. it's not as hard as it looks. we can offer full health care coverage to 135 million americans for free. we can offer full health care coverage to the rest of america for a modest cost. we can let people across this country try, not forced into it if you don't want to, but try it. see what health care is like when it's just between you and
your doctor or mental health provider, your nurse practiction practictioner. your physical therapist without some insurance company standing in the middle to say no, no, no, no. that's what we can do. [ applause ] then we get some experience with it. then we vote on medicare for all. i feel confident that's where americans will want to go. thank you. thank you. really like that. thank you for the question. thank you. >> i have lot of questions but
what i begin to ask now is i'm sick and tired of seeing profit and sacrificing long term planning. this country doesn't do now have 10, 20, 30 year planning. you are right. can we talk about it. understand that's a trump made crisis. countries in central america have been struggling for decades with gang wars, economies that can't get their footing and what does donald trump walk into the middle of that and do, cut aid, cut support. the consequence is the gangs get back up on top and that produces
more and more. right after it came out the government was taking children away from their families down at the border, i went down there. i went down to mcallen, texas. i went to one of these facilities and it's like a giant amazon warehouse. only it's dirty and smelly. i walked in and on the left is just cage after cage after cage of men. cages ten feet wide, 40 feet deep. a toilet back in the corner. another, another. packed in so tight they couldn't all sit down at the same time. over on the other side of the room are cages of women. just the same. then i walked into the main space and there about the size of this middle section is a free
standing cage of little girls. then another cage of little girls. cage over here of little boys. back in the corner was a coage f nursing mothers. i stopped and talked with several of them but one stuck in my mind. a woman said she had given a drink of water to a police officer and the word came back the next day that the gangs believed she was working with the police. she knew that meant she and her baby would be killed. she wrapped up her baby and she ran for the border. here's how i think of this. first, when a mama comes running to our border in fear for life and the life of a child, we treat her with some dignity and
compassion. that's the nation we want to be. we need to be offering more assistance and getting more of our allies to assist. to help stabilize those economies. to help stabilize those governments. this is not a woman looking to emigrate to the united states. this is a woman terrified because the place she lived was no longer safe. we need to think always about our position in the world and think about the long term consequences of everything we do. the long term consequences, that also means we need to be a nation that lives on values every day.
we never take children away from their families. not ever. thank you. thank you. >> first of all, i'm not in here to hold everybody up with this. >> good. i feel better now. >> the flu was going around. >> we had the flu run through our family. bruce's got it. that's part of the reason he's not with me. >> i had two questions. >> let's do it. >> the price of drugs. the other one is do you or any of them in the office plan on taking social security out of the federal budget because they are double dipping. they are taking our money, everybody's that's in here plus
we still got to pay federal taxes. >> i hear you. okay. you want to do social security. can we talk about social security? let's do social security for everybody. here's the thing on social security. we pass social security back in the mid-1930s. basically, we changed it roughly about 35 times between then and the late 1980s because people live longer, women went to work. different groups were included that had been excluded to begin with. changes. because we change as a country. we would adjust how much you needed in taxes and what the payments were and adjusted for inflation and kept it going. then the republicans decide we're not going to make any changes. what happened is you start to create a deficit over time
because you're not building up and locking up your money the way you ought to be doing. that looks little in first year and a little bit bigger in next year and a little bit bigger and a little bit bigger. by the mid 2020s, we're in a place where social security is going to go off a cliff. i don't know about you but most of the people relying on social security are already squeezed hard enough and sure can't take that dip. at the same time that's going on, the folks at the very top have been getting a sweeter and sweeter deal out of social security. it's not only that the amount of
canned that you have to pay social security on, it's they figured out how to readjust their income so it's not subject to social security. things like subchapter s corporations. used to be about 93% of all income payment was subject to social security taxes. now it's down to about 80%. that difference is huge over time. we straighten out our accounting to protect social security. we ask those at the top to pay their fair share on social security. that then gives us enough money to do two things. to extend the financial life of social security for decades to come. we put off any drop and we can increase every social security check and every disability check by $200 a month across this
country. that we can do. you in? good. that's a very mathy answer. i like math answers. you have already figured out i'm a total nerd. i embrace that, proudly. i want to say it's really a values question that we're talking about here. after a lifetime of hard work, people are entitled to retire with dignity. thank you. thank you. >> we're going to draw some
more. >> don't step in where i spilled the water. >> get your tickets out. if i draw your number yell persist and go find bryan back there. 9948119. >> do we have anybody? 8-1-1-9. we got somebody? you're just scratching. okay. 8-1-1-9. this is not like it's going to be in iowa city with this long pause and this woman said i think i have it but i wrapped my used nu used gum in it. it's okay. it still counted. try another one. >> 8-1-1-7. head on back. all right. >> 8-1-0-7. >> we have it? >> fabulous.
what's your favorite book and why? >> that's a good one. i really like the little engine that could. to me it's a book about people or trains that are kind of under rated but they don't give up and they just keep saying, i think i can. i think i can. i think i can. they get the job done. you like that one? >> yeah. >> i love your question. >> both of us have the celiac disease which you can't get gluten. don't feel sorry for us. it makes us be very, very healthy. we feel fortunate to put fresh fruits and vegetables on the kids table.
i know there millions of people that have fresh fruits and vegetables, affordable to their kids and we have an epidemic of childhood obesity. can we talk about that a little bit? >> can we talk about food? >> yes. >> is that okay? i'm going to start this in place you're not going to expect but i promise i'm going to tie this together because i think it really matters. that is we have a problem in this country with giant corporations. giant corporations that have swallowed up little baby corporations, small companies, immediate y medium size companies and big companies. what used to be big companies. the problem with these giant corporations is they have so much power. power over their employees, power over their customer, power over the communities where they are located and power in washington to keep getting the rules tilted in their direction. we want to have more innovation
in this country. we want to have more smaller businesses. we want to have more opportunities to start something up and get it up and growing. we have anti-trust laws that keep these giant corporations from being able to crush out the competition before it ever gets started. to keep them from being able the buy up be companies once they do get a business going. the problem is those aennti-tru laws are not enforced. it's time for a president to have the courage to enforce our anti-trust laws. this is why i'm here. it relates to your issue because it relates to big ag. yes big ag, i am coming for you. yes. big ag, like so many of the
other giant corporation, they are not loyal to our country. they're not loyal to american workers. they are loyal to exactly one thing and they say so openly. they're own bottom line. if that means they pick the most profitable crop and say plant it from fence post to fence post with no diversity and no concern about what it does to our environment and the long term sustainability of these farms, they'll do it because they are here for the short term profits. if it means you the live in the middle of some of the richest farm land on the face of the earth and yet not find fresh fruits and vegetables in your local stores, they don't care because all they care about is their bottom line profits. we want to change that.
it's not enough to do a little law here. a little law there. we have got to enforce our anti-trust laws and we got to let some new businesses come in and grow up and do this. i think this is critical. don't leave yet. one more part to it because there is one more part. that is it's not only the plan to break up the big guys, it's about how we should be putting our family first, our independent farms on the front lines and the fight against climate change. we need to invest in our local farms and say if you use sustainable methods, if you'll get food to the local market, we will guarantee from the federal government that your model is profitable. not the model of giant agra business but your model. the one that is sustainable for
families and the one sustainable for our planet. thank you. thanks, reagan. >> hi, my name is elle. why did you decide to run for president? >> because i have two grand daughters who are just a little bit older than you are and grandson who is a little younger than you are. i figure, bruce and i, that's my husband, we've done pretty good. we've been blessed. we've had a lot of doors open for us. we're deeply grateful for those opportunities.
i worry about the world that you and my grandchildren are going to grow up in. i worry about this planet. i worry about this country and the state of our democracy. not in a million years did i ever think i'd run for any public office, but a few years back, the fight kind of came to my door and it was a republican senator who represented me and represented the other folks from massachusetts and i just basically disagreed with him on everything he voted for pretty much. yeah, we were kind of running close to 100% there.
he had 65% approval rating and 100 million in the bank. that's a pretty good position to be in. nobody thought anybody could beat him especially since he had beaten a woman in a special election two years earlier. a bunch of folks came to me and said you should run for senate. i said i'm a teacher. what do you mean? they said you've been talking about this. what's happening to families all across america. you've been in this fight, this economic fight. you should get in this fight. you will totally lose but you should go ahead and get out there and do it. all i could say is democrats get a better sales pitch. i looked at it and said i'm not sure anybody else will be able to beat this guy. i got into the fight. i was down 17 points.
i ended upbeating him by 7.5 points. i learned that if you know why you're in a fight and you know who you're fighting for, and i do, that you get out there and it's a little like reagan and i were talking. you just kind of get out there like the little engine that could and you say every single day, i think i can. i think i can. i think i can. until i get the job done and that's what i'm going to do running for president. thank you. thank you. >> how do you remain so positive and passionate in a society that's a bit regressive and kind of plagued with negativity? >> it's a great question.
i'll give you a good answer. selfie lines. i'm dead serious about this. i've been doing selfie lines since the 2012 election. i'll tell you part of the reason why. once they told me i couldn't win, i decided two things. i decided i'm going to make every day count. there are two ways i'm going to do that. every single day that i'm in this race i'm going to find some group of people and i'm going to talk to them about what's broken in washington and what we can do to fix it. whether it's three people or 30 people or 300. that's what i'm going to do. i'm going to do that once every single day. the sec thiond thing i'm going o is every time i meet a little girl, i'm going to say hello. my name is elizabeth. i'm running for senate because that's what girls do. then we started taking selfies.
we started doing it in 2012. that was my first election. i ran again in '18. we took a whole bunch more selfies. when i got into the presidential race which is almost exactly a year ago right now and i started by coming right here no iowa, we started out at the very first one with selfie line and the reason i tell you that is so important. it's a minute of just you and me looking each other in the eye. it's a minute of you're being able to say i'm really worried about prescription drug price, please. it's a minute of being able to say i'm worried about school shootings. it's a minute of saying and here comes the best part, you give me hope. you talk about what's broken but you also talk about how to fix it and how we can build a grass
roots movement to get it done. you give me hope and i'll do my best to give you hope too. thank you. thank you. great question. >> my concern is about the economy. we've done great. i'm concerned about 2017 tax bill. there's a backside to this and with $1 trillion of debt, what's going to happen here? >> okay. so, let's talk big economics for a minute here and we'll make the tax bill, we'll fit this one in as well. big economics for nearly 40 years now we tried trickle down economics in america and it's a complete failure. a complete failure. i'm sorry, except for rich people. it's worked really well for
them. it was cut taxes for those at the top and cut regulations for those at the top. in other words, fire the cops and let the rich get richer. let the rich get richer and more powerful and somehow that was going to make the rest of the economy work. you know what happened, it worked perfectly fine. 1980 to 2017, gdp in america does this. goes down through the crash of 2008 but it does this. corporate profits, the dow jones, right. we're creating in this country, enormous new wealth every year. new income every year. you want to know how much of that new income from 1980, almost 40 years now, how much of that new income went to the 90%
of america. answer, zero. 99.6% of all new income generated at this country sucked up to the top. what was the first response of the trump administration when they got in. tax cuts for those at the top cause they aren't rich enough yet. they were pretty open about it. they said, our do nonors have b giving us this money and if we don't show a real pay off, they're going to stop giving us money. they just said it. i hope everybody in this room the next time anyone tells you the problem in washington is gridlock, laugh in their faces.
it is not a gridlock problem. when they wanted to do tax cuts, five weeks. they went behind closed doors with the lobbyists and with the big donors and they wrote a tax bill that gave away what looked like initially a trillion dollars. then it turned to eed out to be and a half dollars and now the latest evidence is it's closer to $2 trillion. how much did it help the economy? they can't even find any help to the economy. what it helped is it helped the rich get richer. so the question is, what are we going to do. it drives up our deficits. it means we are deep in debt and the tax break just drives us further and further into debt which is something going back to the youngsters we were talking about, your grand children and my grand children have to pay
for that. we put it on their credit card. we have this chance in 2020 to completely rethink how we look at this economy. part one, enforce the anti-trust law and you do that so we get more growth in medium size towns and small towns. we get more growth in manchester. we don't just have big corporations running everything and they don't have so much political power if washington. that's part one. part two we need more power in the hands of the workers. that means we need to make it easier to join a union and give unions more power when they negotiate. unions built america's middle class and give them a chance. unions will rebuild america's middle class. that's part two.
then part three and i'm going to do this in short form. it's time for a wealth tax in america. my short version is we put a two cent tax on the biggest foreigns -- fortunes in this country. that permits us to provide universal child care for everybody baby in this country ages 0 to 5. think about that. universal child care for every 3-year-old and 4-year-old in america. perms us to cancel student loan debt for 43 million americans. all of that is good for them individually but think what it means economically. it means that money comes right here to your town.
if you've got the babies, that federal money is coming straight in here. a local school wants to extend and have a day care center or private home. as long as they meet the standards. not fire extinguishers and exits, as long as they do that the dollars follow the babies. that puts money right back into the local economy. >> like all of our campaign coverage you'll find this event online at c-span.org. search elizabeth warren. we'll go live to a discussion where west virginia senators will discuss the opioid epidemic and its impact on the appalachian region. >> also the co-chair of the city county task force on opiates that was done across the u.s. we had 20 elected officials at city