tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 29, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
attorney general. now as the state's junior senator she's taken her prosecutorial skills to the national stage. >> has the president or anyone at the white house ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? >> senator kamala harris has defined who she's for. >> my whole life i've only had one client, the people. >> but how will she go up against the president? >> i disagree with almost every policy perspective he has offered. >> and why does she think she's the one to take him on? >> we know the power of the people and we know we are all in this together. >> tonight, just one month away from the first democratic debate, kamala harris prosecutes her political case against donald trump. live from spartanburg, south
carolina, it's a "last word" 2020 special, "the kamala harris town hall." here now is lawrence o'donnell. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. thank you for coming. thank you. welcome to the richardson center for the arts on the campus of watford college right here in spartanburg, south carolina. this is a crucial state on the way to winning the democratic nomination for president. south carolina will be the fourth state that votes in the democratic primaries and the first southern state that votes in the democratic primaries. and as everyone in this room knows, south carolina has picked six of the democratic presidential nominees in the last seven elections.
tonight south carolina voters will have the chance to let presidential candidate kamala harris hear what's on their minds and listen to her make the case that she is the democrat who can make donald trump a one-term president. from her first campaign running for district attorney, of san francisco, to her most recent campaign running for the united states senate, kamala harris has never lost an election. please give a south carolina welcome to presidential candidate senator kamala harris. [ cheers and applause ] >> hi. hi. thank you.
>> thank you very much for doing this. >> thank you. thank you. >> okay. for the television audience who could not see the balcony, that was about an 85% standing ovation. there? some people in the balcony who i guess haven't made up their minds yet. i want to go straight -- >> it's early. >> yeah, it is. let's go straight to the breaking news of the day. >> okay. >> the united states supreme court issues a new decision on abortion. it's a confusing decision for a lot of people. >> yeah. >> they ignored part of an indiana law, left it for a later decision, upheld part of an indiana law. >> right. >> more restriction on abortion. let's get your reaction to that. >> lawrence, look, i think it's very clear that -- and it has not changed that women's ability to have access to reproductive health is under attack in america. it's under attack.
and what we have seen from alabama to georgia, you can go just a variety of states, legislatures, state legislatures are fundamentally attacking a woman's right to make decisions about her own body. and let's understand what this means. are we going to go back to the days of back alley abortions? women died before we had roe v. wade in place. and so i'm going to tell you, on this issue, i'm kind of done because here's how i feel about it, guys -- [ applause ] >> let me tell you. here's the thing. there are states that keep passing these laws. so when elected, i'm going to put in place and require that states that have a history of passing legislation that is designed to prevent or limit a woman's access to reproductive health care, that those laws have to come before my department of justice for a
review and approval and until we determine that they are constitutional they will not take effect. [ applause ] >> how -- that sounds like it needs 60 votes in the united states senate. >> you know what? everything that we need to do is going to require 60 votes in the united states senate, which is why i would say to everybody, 2020 is about the white house, it's also about the united states senate. >> the other -- this is modelled on the components of the voting rights act that left tests in place for certain states when they wanted to change things. >> right. >> you're using that model. that model has been challenged by this supreme court. so that is a more -- that is an already challenged model. >> but the basis of the challenge was to say don't -- don't base your evaluation of the state's history based on what happened 50 years ago. it needs to be more current.
what i am putting in place and will put in place is it will be based on that state's history over the last 25 years. and in that regard then we will review those through the united states department of justice and make a decision, are they conforming with the constitution of the united states as interpreted by the united states supreme court or not? if they are not, then that law will be invalidated and it will not be able to be applied to the women of that state. [ applause ] >> the supreme court that decided this case -- >> yeah -- >> -- includes neil gorsuch, who has that seat because mitch mcconnell held it open, refused to even allow confirmation hearings for merrick garland. >> right. >> president obama's last choice. >> right. for nine months. >> and mitch mcconnell at the time said of course you don't confirm supreme court justices in the last year of a presidential term. let's listen to what mitch mcconnell said today about that question. >> if a supreme court was open
before next year, what would you do? >> we'll fill it. >> he'd do what? >> he said i'd be filling the seat, if a supreme court justice were to die in the last year of the trump presidency, what would he do? he would go against what he said was the principle he was using in the last year of the obama presidency. >> well, he also said he will fill it, but that actually is the job of the president of the united states, not mitch mcconnell, so we also have to do a little history about the division of responsibilities between the united states congress and the executive branch. [ applause ] >> but that being said, lawrence, speaking of the executive branch, on the issue of choice, look, the current president of the united states ran on a campaign that said women should be punished, punished if they have an abortion. we have a president -- >> well, he took that back just about as soon as he said it. he said that to chris matthews
in the middle of one of these. >> it came out of his mouth and i think it's a reflection of his perspective. [ applause ] >> and we cannot deny that this is a very real issue in america. there are states where women literally will have no access to reproductive health. and, you know, my -- look, it's personal to me. my mother was a scientist, a breast cancer researcher. she was one of the very few women of color doing that kind of work, and she would come home ever since i was a child i remember her coming home and talking about how we have as a society still diminished women's health care issues. we have not allowed women to be in control of their bodies and make decisions. this is not new. it is constantly under attack. but i'm here to say we will be vigilant and we will fight against it every day of the week and we will fight for women and their right to make decisions
about their own body in consultation with their physician, with their god, with their priest, with their rabbi. when we look at a law like what's happening in alabama and they say they're going to sentence a doctor to 99 years, as a prosecutor, let me tell you, i got a real problem with that. i have a real problem with that. [ applause ] >> and so we cannot go backwards and we cannot tolerate a perspective that is about going backward and not understanding women have agency. women have value. women have authority to make decisions about their own lives and their own bodies. [ applause ] >> and let me just tell you, as president i will fight every day for a woman to make the decision for herself, which means i will respect any woman who decides that is not the decision she wants to make, that she wants to make a different decision, but
we have got to respect women in this country. you know, another issue i'm taking on if you'll just let me keep going is the issue of what we're doing around pay equity in our country. so the other initiate initiative i have. women earn on average 80 cents on the dollar to men. latinos, 53 cents on the dollar. and this is an issue of pay equity that has been around since the 1960s while we had the pay equity act and we were talking in congress about that and still it has not been fixed. another issue where i say enough is enough and i'm going to tell you what i'm prepared to do. on the issue of pay equity, instead of requiring a woman to prove to everybody else that she's being paid less than the man who is in the cubical next to her doing the same job, i'm now going to shift the responsibility on corporations to prove they're paying their employees the same amount based on the same amount of work. if they fail to do it, they will be fined, because as far as i'm
concerned, you pay women equally or you pay the price. [ cheers and applause ] >> let me ask you about something that happened this weekend, a presidential moment this weekend. it involves foreign policy converging with domestic politics. the president was in japan. he said that it was no problem that north korea was firing off some short-range missile tests, which, by the way, could reach the place he was standing at the time in japan. and also said that he agrees with kim jong-un's insults of joe biden. if you are president and you are in japan and north korea has just tested some missiles and kim jong-un insults mitch mcconnell -- [ laughter ] >> what would you say? >> the president of the united states when speaking has a
profound amount of authority and power and must then use the microphone before her in a responsible way. and in a way that is appreciative of the fact that we should always be concerned, especially on foreign soil, about the integrity and the safety of our nation, which is the united states of america. the idea that this president on foreign soil attacked the previous vice president of the united states, i don't care what the differences on policy issues, i don't care what the differences in terms of party affiliation, it is wrong, it is contrary to our values and it is contrary to the best interests of our country and the integrity of our country and he should not have done it, he is irresponsible and it's one of yet another examples of why he should not be president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] >> i want to -- i want to go to a passage in your book. there are so many passages in this book that i want to ask you
about. you mentioned your mother a few minutes ago. >> mmm-hmm. >> and you have had many titles. you've hat the title of district attorney, the title of attorney general, now the title of senator, and you say in your book, "there is no title or honor on earth i'll treasure more than to say i am -- >> the daughter of shamala harris. my mother, you know, i have a sister, maya, and our mother was an extraordinary woman. our mother was all of 5 feet tall, but if you ever met her, you would have thought she was 7 feet tall, and, you know, she was the kind of parent who would tell you, you know, you don't let anyone tell you who you are, you tell them who you are. my mother through the book i talk about it, she had many sayings. kamala, you may be the first to do many things, make sure you're not the last. and then i joke about, you know, one of the reasons i'm running
for president is because i was raised by this mother who if you ever came home complaining about something, our mother would look at you maybe one hand on her hip and the first thing out of her mouth she'd say, well, what are you going to do about it? so i decided to run for president of the united states. >> let's listen to the president on immigration. >> -- is full. we don't want people coming up here. our country is full. we want mexico to stop. we want all of them to stop. our country is packed to the gils. want them coming up. we don't want them coming up. >> where would you be today if this government told your immigrant parents that this country is full?
>> not only me, lawrence, but you and most of this audience wouldn't me here. let's be clear. [ applause ] >> this is a nation founded by immigrants. unless, you know, your history is of -- your ancestors being kidnapped and brought over on a slave ship, unless you are native american, your people are immigrants, and the idea that we have a president of the united states that on this issue has vilified a whole group of people -- and by the way, i believe it is because it is a distraction for him. he talks about that wall. he wants everyone to be preoccupied with this billion dollar, multibillion dollar vanity project because he's not dealing with the real issues impacting people in our country. the fact that almost half of american families can't afford a $400 unexpected expense. on the issue of immigration, he has also defied who we are morally and who we say we are to the world. we have always presented ourselves as being a nation of
strength with strong arms that when people are fleeing harm we will embrace them. but look at what has happened with this administration. there are children who are fleeing murder capitals of the world. let's be clear about this. imagine a mother who makes a decision to pay a coyote to transport her child across the entire country of mexico, facing unknown peril. she does that because she believes for that child to stay where they are is worse. but what does this president do? he virtually looks at those children and says go back to where you came from. what do we have in this president? a policy that was about taking children, separating them from their parents and calling it border security. no, that was a human rights abuse being committed by the united states government and it
is against the morals and the values of who we are as a nation. [ applause ] >> we are -- we are going to squeeze in a break here and when we return it's time to hear from the voters -- >> good. >> of south carolina. >> great. >> we're going to your questions when we come back with presidential candidate senator kamala harris. we're the slowskys.
-and waiting on hold. what we don't like is relying on fancy technology for help. snail mail! we were invited to a y2k party... uh, didn't that happen, like, 20 years ago? oh, look, karolyn, we've got a mathematician on our hands! check it out! now you can schedule a callback or reschedule an appointment, even on nights and weekends. today's xfinity service. simple. easy. awesome. i'd rather not. welcome back to spartanburg, south carolina with presidential candidate kamala harris. now let's hear from some voters right here in spartanburg county. we have some questions from the audience. we're going to begin over here. >> good evening general harris. >> good evening. >> good evening, mr. o'donnell. good evening to everyone here. thank you for giving me a moment of your time. i'm a american of cuban descent.
my fiance and i have travelled over 160 miles from charlotte, north carolina to hear your passionate view of the american future that will remove the existing embarrassment that's in our executive office and one that we can again be proud of. my two-part question is this. do you fully support in undertaking the impeachment process through to its completion, knowing the risks which will impact the 2020 election for all of us involved and the possibility that the senate will not go along with the impeachment? the second part of that question is, if you're not successful with the impeachment process, will you continue to pursue legal action against 45 and his cabinet as well when they leave office for their numerous egregious offenses they have all incurred against the american public, regardless of the time expended in the courts? thank you. >> thank you. thank you, thank you, thank you. thank you.
and thank you for traveling to be here. i appreciate that. i really do. and we are all part of the american story. to the point of lawrence's last question. so, yes, i do support and have advocated for us going through the process toward impeachment and seeing that through. i absolutely do. but you're right to mention the united states senate because while i am calling for us to go through that process, i also am fully aware that the senate in its current configuration i doubt very seriously will actually vote to impeach this president, given its current configuration, which is that the majority is run by republicans who consistently, be it on his wall, be it on the affordable care act, on so many issues have stood with this president even when what he has done is so clearly and so blatantly wrong and in many cases in the worst interests, not the best interests of their constituents. but on the issue of impeachment,
let's be clear. you know, i've read the mueller report and they outline in that report, and it was a team of some of the best career people in the department of justice who were a part of that, career people who had been in the department of justice. there are at least ten separate instances of obstruction of justice. i am also clear from reading what he wrote in that report that the only reason they did not return an indictment against this president on obstruction of justice is because of an opinion from the department of justice that suggests that you cannot indict a sitting president. but there is no question that the evidence supports a prosecution of that case. so taking it to the point of your next question, absolutely. listen, i believe that there needs to be transparency, there needs to be accountability. there is a clear track record of this president and members of his administration obstructing justice.
not to mention what we have seen from the current attorney general of the united states, who i questioned in connection with the judiciary committee, who clearly thinks his job is to represent the president and his peculiar interests as opposed to representing the people of the country in which we live. so there is a lot of work to do and i plan on seeing it through. [ applause ] >> senator -- >> thank you. >> senator, i want you to listen to what congressman justin amash said today. this is the only republican in the congress who has come out in support of impeachment. he had a town hall in his republican district in michigan today. let's listen to just a bit of that. >> okay. >> i think it's really important that we do our job as a congress, that we not allow misconduct to go undeterred, that we not just say someone can
violate the public trust and that there are no consequences to it. >> he began with a standing ovation. >> yeah. >> he has gone beyond what the democratic leadership -- >> yeah. >> -- of the house of representatives has set about impeachment. >> yeah, and what he has done is what we need more people in the united states congress to do, which is to put country before party. put country before party. we are looking at a system right now where, you know, and i -- this is where i derive optimism but also concern. you know, the framers of our country they designed a beautiful system in terms of our democracy. they designed a system where they said, okay, then they presupposed in some branch of government there might be abuses. so they designed our democracy, our republican -- our republic in a way there would be three co-equal branches of government
and then a free and independent press with the idea that each would then be the check and balance against each other. so when we talk about a process of impeachment, it is about the checks and balances that the framers imagined would be in place to be a check against abuses, and that is another reason why i support that process. and what he is talking about is right. we must put country before party on a fundamental interest that is about the integrity of our democracy. >> let's hear from another south carolina voter. just please give us your name and your question. >> good evening. >> good evening. >> thank you for coming, senator harris and lawrence. my name is rosemary smith, i'm 50 years old and i work in the food and beverage industry. earlier this year i had colon cancer and fall into the group of uninsured people in south carolina because we didn't expand medicaid. >> yep. >> my question to you is, for people who don't have access to programs to help with their
medical needs or lack the resources to care for themselves, what will you do for those individuals? i was very lucky but others may die. >> yeah. well, first of all, thank you, ms. smith, for sharing your story and having the courage to do that and i wish you all the best and it looks like you are fighting this thing. so we are fighting with you. listen, you said it. we have millions of people in our country who do not have access to health care and it's a fundamental point, in my opinion, which is access to health care should be a right, not a privilege of just those who can afford to get it. and on this issue that is why i'm supporting medicare for all because i believe -- [ applause ] >> -- that we need to have a system where everyone has access. you know, the pharmaceutical companies, the drug companies
have been hiking up the prices. the biggest barrier to access to health care in our country is cost. is cost. and we've got the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies that keep jacking up premiums and co-pays and prescription drugs and the cost of prescription drugs, and i've taken them on. when i was attorney general, i took on the pharmaceutical companies. i delivered over $200 million for the people of my state because of their practices that were about fraudulent practices. and we need somebody in these united states of america who is at the top level of leadership who understands that there are people every day in our country suffering because they don't have access to health care. and by the way, you know, there are some who say, well, you know, but if you change the system, is it going to mean i don't have access to my doctor? and that's -- that's an understandable point. we like our doctors, those that we know. we've been seeing them for years. well, 91% of the doctors in the united states are in the medicare system.
so the odds on favorite is that you will be able to keep your doctor. but here's the deal, guys. here's how i think about it. i think about it based upon a typical scenario. not only yours, someone who has faced an acute illness and thank you are battling it and what that means in terms of everything you have to go through. my mother, who we talked about, lawrence, she passed away a few years from cancer, and, you know, for any of us who have had that experience of loving someone and a family member who is going through that, it is the experience of every day figuring out how you can get the person to the hospital, in and out of the hospital. it is the experience of some doctor talking to you about have you heard the term anticipatory grief? which is the grief that you experience when someone is still here but it weighs on you. the experience of trying to cook for somebody and hope that whatever i make is somebody you can hold down or you have an appetite for. the experience of hoping when
you're going through chemotherapy we can give you clothes that are soft enough because your skin is so sensitive. the experience of trying to make sure that the medication on each of the charts actually matches up. and the fact that in our country, in our america people are going through that experience every day, and on top of that have to worry about how they're going to pay a hospital bill is immoral. and this also relates to people who do have insurance. every day in america there is also some story about some parent who calls up the doctor or the hospital and says my child has a fever that is reaching a peak and they're told come to the emergency room. and that parent then drives to the hospital and is in their car in the parking lot of the emergency room with their hand on that child's forehead hoping that temperature goes down because they know if they have to walk through those sliding glass doors and get into that emergency room they've got a co-pay of $5,000.
they've got insurance. this is not a system that is right or fair or just. and for all of those reasons i support medicare for all. [ cheers and applause ] >> there are -- there are now a few different versions of medicare for all that people are talking about there. it won't be exclusively up to the president. congress, if it does, will deliver some version of medicare for all for the president. so let's just rattle off a few of these. >> yeah. >> which ones would you sign. would you sign a medicare for all bill that simply made marc an option for people under 65 to buy in to? >> so i'll take it to the end and bring it back to your point. my preference is medicare for all. >> mandatory medicare for everyone? >> for everyone, but i also also supporting -- >> that does mean giving up
current private health care plans? >> no, but they would be entitled to receive and have basically supplemental insurance. under my vision of medicare for all, we would expand the coverage of medicare so it would include dental, vision for our seniors, hearing aids which are so expensive. >> the version you support is the way medicare currently works for people 65 and over, which means it might be what they depend on, it's the only thing they have or if their union has a retirement plan that works as a supplemental, they can have that private supplemental plan on top of medicare. >> they can have the supplemental plan, but the goal is that everyone is going to be in the same system. we still need to deal, though, with the fact that we've got plenty of men and women who work in unions who have given up extra pay to get more benefits under their health care plan. that's a real issue and something i am aware of and want
to be able to reconcile of. they should not have to pay the price of giving up their salary to get greater benefits and we have a medicare for all system. >> would you veto a bill that simple makes it mandatory for everyone -- >> i would not support something that did not take care of the men and women of organized labor who have negotiated those plans and deserve to receive the benefit they've negotiated. >> okay. we've got another question on this side of the room. >> good evening. >> good evening. >> my name is christina fuller-gregory and i'm a proud librarian. my question for you is this. racism and sexism are no longer hidden agendas. how will you as a woman and person of color lead the country in the face of such overt and pervasive division and rebuild the country that truly embodies the phrase "united we stand?" >> well, first of all, thank you for being a librarian and doing that work. i've got a whole proposal on teacher pay and closing the
teacher pay gap, all of whom are in that ecosystem of teaching our children, so thank you for taking on that noble profession. thank you. so to your point, racism, anti-semitism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, these issues are real issues in our country and they are borne out of hate, hate over the last few years has received new fuel. we need to call it out when we see it. i feel very strongly that all of us must speak up when we see it and no one who is made the subject of that hate should be made to fight alone. that something said, look, i grew up, you know, my sister and i went to knock on the door of the family that lived next door because we used to play with the kids there and then the daughter said we can't play with you anymore because our parents said we can't play with black children.
i don't know a black man that i know, be he a family member, a colleague or a friend who has not experienced some level of racial profiling or discrimination. we have seen from mother emanuel church to charlottesville to the tree of life synagogue to in my backyard, that these issues are real. we have a president of the united states who has been fanning the flames. we have got to agree that the president of the united states should be in the business of lifting people up not beating people up. we must also agree that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us. that when we wake up in the middle of the night with that thought that's been weighing on us, regardless of our skin color, the language our grandparents spoke, the god we
pray to, we are all waking up in the middle of the night having the same thought. it's about our health care. it's about the education of our children. it's about keeping a job. it's about paying the bills. and in our america people who hold the highest levels of leadership should be in the business of unifying our country not dividing our country. as far as i'm concerned, we've got a president who is not trying to make america great, he's trying to make america hate and we need to get rid of him. [ cheers and applause ] >> let's try to get in one more before the break. >> hi. my name is megan smith. >> hi, megan. >> and we here in the upstate, we've had some of the fastest latinx population growth. we have refugees and students and immigrant families all contributing to our community. as we saw, we have really deep
anti-immigrant rekt being promoted by the highest in the land. how would you talk to south carolinians who are afraid of immigration and a portrayed loss of jobs and culture? >> thank you, megan. thank you for bringing that up. i -- here's the thing. it's a myth, right? what we know is that -- especially under this current administration, the issue of immigration has been about stoking fear instead of speaking fact. it's been about talking about immigrants as rapists and murderers instead of acknowledging the fact that the vast majority of immigrants in our country are living lawful lives in terms of working hard, paying taxes, you know, we have in colleges, in serving in our military, and so there is no question that we need to deal with the issue, and part of how we need to deal with it is we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway towards citizenship. by the way, there is bipartisan
support on this but we can't get it out because this guy's said he won't sign it. so, one, there is that, which is we need to speak just based on fact. the other thing we have to do is recognize that it is actually good for our economy. it is good for our economy. i speak with farmers from iowa to california who know that and will tell you that a large part of the folks who are their labor who are actually helping them produce what we are growing in our country, what we are eating, what we are selling to foreign countries is supported by immigrant labor. let's talk about the fact that we can look at the economy and look at from google to you name it big corporations that are headed by immigrants. so the idea that it is a drain on the economy is not correct. but we also have to agree that we cannot have a policy in this
country that is about saying we're going to close ourselves off. and, frankly, i think that part of the reason that this president campaigned on that and came into office on that is because he actually could not offer a plan that was about getting people jobs. he had no plan for closing that gap. instead he comes in -- he made all kinds of promises about what he was going to do for farmers, what he was going to do for auto workers and what does he do? he passes a tax bill that benefits the top 1% and the biggest corporations in this country. see, he ain't fooling nobody because the thing is we can actually see through that. and then you want to point to the shiny object over here and talk about the need to build a wall. help people get a job. help people figure out -- our infrastructure. that's going to produce jobs but there has been no meaningful work in that regard.
let's look about -- at the fact that in america today for almost half of american families they cannot afford a $400 unexpected expense. i'm proposing that we change the tax code. i'm proposing that for families that make less than $100,000 a year you get a tax credit of $6,000ed a year that you can collect at up to $500 a month, which will be all the difference between being able to get through the end of the month with dignity or not for almost half the american families. this guy instead is talking about building a wall. so these are the ways that i think about what has been happening recently and i think it is really important that we focus on fact and not fiction and that we get back also to who we are in terms of our core values. we are a nation of immigrants. thank you. [ applause ] >> we're going to have to squeeze in a break here. and when we come back, we have a surprise for senator harris. we have a surprise for you. one of the distinguished graduates of watford college will join us after this break.
so, this morning on the "today" show, my dear friend craig melvin said something about what's happening here tonight at wofford college. >> he did? >> he did. let's listen to craig on the "today" show this morning. >> there's a big event tonight, i don't know if you've heard but it's happening at my alma mater down in south carolina. wofford college, dear old wofford the site of a town hall with presidential contender kamala harris. 29 north church street with my friend lawrence o'donnell. he'll be hosting it tonight, msnbc, 10:00. i know i'll be watching. >> and when i heard that, that craig is going to be watching, i thought maybe, maybe if we're lucky we could get him to join
the crowd here at his alma mater, wofford college. >> really? >> and see if maybe he has some questions for the senator. he is a south carolina native. is that okay with you? >> is he voting in south carolina? >> we can find out. we can find out. joining us now from new york, craig melvin. [ cheers and applause ] >> hey, lawrence. good to see you, buddy. senator harris, good to see you again. thank you so much for your time tonight. >> good to see you, craig. >> you know, senator, in the past you've said that you support debt-free college. you've talked about scheduling payment based on income. you've even said there should be a total conversation about loan forgiveness. you may not know this, but you're on a campus where the graduation is 80%. nationally it hovers around 50%. if you stay in college longer, it ends up being more expensive. moreover you have colleges and
universities graduating kids who don't necessarily have the skills to get the jobs to pay back the loans. we know where you stand on student debt. where do you stand on holding colleges and universities more accountable to students and parents? >> yeah. i agree with you. it's a really important point you're raising. one, the student loan debt issue. here in south carolina it's one of the highest, among the top ten in the country. there is no question that we have bright young students who are coming out of school making decisions about their careers based on how they're going to pay off their debt not based on their passion. you know, i talk about teachers, for example, here in south carolina. over 5,000 teachers left the profession last year in south carolina. a profession that they love because they simply could not afford to pay the bills with a combination for some of their debt plus the salary.
so you're right, we need to hold everybody accountable. i've talked a lot about loans and what we need to do to reform the system around loans, bring them down and also debt-free college, but to your point, we also need to have a relationship between the united states government and our educational institutions to prepare students for the jobs of the 21st century. so over the next 15 years, up to 40% of the jobs that currently exist will no longer exist in this country. you look at the bureau of labor statistics came out with a list of the ten jobs that are going to see the greatest amount of growth -- the 20 jobs that will see the greatest amount of growth over the next ten years in our country and they're jobs that relate to renewable energy and things of that nature. we have got to have a relationship between the government, between the educational institutions, between the private sector and between organized labor such as the building trades to actually have a better plan for preparing our students for the work that needs to be performed and the
work that will need to be performed as we go forward. so there's a lot of work to do there. i agree with you. >> go ahead, craig. one more. >> senator harris, thank you. >> craig? >> really quickly. senator, i know you've described yourself i believe it's a progressive prosecutor, but there have been a number of measures that have come under scrutiny that you undertook as the attorney general, the death penalty ballot, for example. a piece of legislation that allowed parents of elementary students to be prosecuted if their children were frequently truant, a issue as you know disproportionately affects students of color. how would you square that with the label of being a progressive prosecutor? >> so i will tell you as i shared with the audience earlier, my parents met when they were active in the civil rights movement. i am a daughter of that movement. i grew up knowing about the
disparities, inequities and unfairness in the criminal justice system. as i shared earlier, almost every man i no way -- black man i know, be it a family member or a friend or colleague has experienced some level of profiling or unfair stop. i have seen throughout my life -- i mean, my cousins when they were driving their father's car got pulled over because the car was a nice car, suspected of being drug dealers. i would be in the car with them when that happened. so i am acutely aware of the awa i went to howard university to law school. i made a very conscious decision to become a prosecutor, and what i said to my family and friends is look, if we're going to reform these systems, we should also be on the inside where the decisions are being made. and that's why i chose to do the work i did. and i am proud of the work that i did. bringing the first reentry
initiative. one of the first in the nation focussed on drug sales offenders and getting them jobs and counselling. and craig, when i created this i was i elected d.a. in 2003. when i created this initiative people said why are you getting jobs for people who committed a crime? i need a job. people would say why are you letting people out of jail? you should be putting people in jail. but the initiatives were designated by the united states department of justice as a model of innovation for law enforcement. i created initiatives about saying that we needed to focus on the issue of children who are missing 50, 60, up to 80 days of the school year because i did an analysis of who our homicide victims were under the age of 25, and realized that the society and the systems only response was to prosecute those cases or lock people up instead of asking what's going on. i asked, and i learned that of the homicide victims under the
age of 25, 94% for high school dropouts. i learned up to 40 % of the chronically truant students were elementary school missing up to 80 days. i started an initiative saying this system has got to focus on putting resources into helping those parents get those kids to school every day, and we improved attendance by over 30. that's why when i was attorney general of california i created one of the first in the nation bureaus of children's justice. which i named. focussed on getting services to children and in particular, poor children, children of color who were not receiving the benefit of the public services that they should receive in order to be able to live a productive life. >> craig, i know you have 1,000 followup questions maybe. when she comes to the "today show," save them for that, or when she comes to your hour on msnbc. she will be there, i'm sure.
>> and i look forward to continuing our conversation, craig. >> also, lawrence, quick correction. i see so many familiar faces. you described me as a distinguished graduate. i graduated magna cum lucky. >> craig, thank you so much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. craig has to get up in a few hours to do the "today show." we were lucky to get him. we're going to take a break and when we come back, we'll get more from you south carolina voters. more questions for kamala harris.
and we're back in south carolina with kamala harris. let's go to more voter questions. we have one here. >> i edgar brown. i'm part of the local union 279 for electrical workers. we had a previous governor that used to love to get on tv and say when she said union busting, another company would call and want to come to the state. i felt that was very debtmen al of all citizens. how do you feel about unions? >> i am thankful to our unions,
and i am thankful to you. there is no question at all that organized labor and our unions are the reason that all of us regardless of whether you are a member of a union or not, it is the reason all of us have a 5-day workday. it is the reason all of us have anworkday. we should not support any system that requires an individual
it's a simple point that let's let the collective exist to support and represent any individual. and i feel very strongly about that as president of the united states, so i will always support your right to organize, to collective bargaining, to strike. i will also run a department of labor that actually respects the dignity of labor. and as far as i'm concerned, every working man and woman in america owes a debt of gratitude
to the work of organized labor and the history of that work in our country. >> senator, there's another union member i'd like you to speak to tonight. rick marsh is a michigan voter. he's on the front page of the new york times today in a major piece -- i'm sorry an ohio voter. he -- >> lordstown. >> in the gm plant which just closed down. three generations of his family working in that ohio plant. he has one issue he's saying to the new york times going into this election, and that is he wants someone who can save that gm plant and get it reopened. he said, this is his quote today. i really don't care if it's a democrat, republican, male, female, black, white, i don't care. you are three of those things. >> indeed. >> so rick marsh is listening. >> yeah. so mr. marsh, first of all, i
want to thank you for having the courage to tell your story, and to share with us your family and the circumstances including your daughter and all that she needs and that you have fought for for her. listen, he's right. he is right. and the reality is that under the current administration we have a president who has been playing games with workers. on the issue of trade we have a president of the united states who has been playing games. he made promises to workers in america. those promises he did not keep, and instead he's been conducting trade policy by tweet which has resulted in farmers having to have bins full of soybeans sitting around rotting because they could not sell them to china where they had cultivated