Skip to main content

tv   Senator Bernie Sanders Town Hall Meeting in South Carolina  CSPAN  August 23, 2015 3:36pm-5:38pm EDT

3:36 pm
we must know more about our adversaries than they know about us. there's nothing heroic about what he did. some of the things he says are flat out lies. he should subject himself to american justice and serve his time in jail for being a traitor. [applause] >> how do you plan to take on isis? mr. rubio: isis is not just a terrorist group, and armed insurgency group that controls territory. they have a significant presence now in libya from where they are conducting attacks on the sinai and ultimately will conduct attacks in europe. isis is competing to knock the taliban off. they are a radical sunni movement and ultimately they
3:37 pm
must be defeated by sunnis themselves straight it is the sunnis themselves who must reject that radicalism and defeated. -- defeat it. in the short term i think it will take more american action. we need to cut off their funding and all this propaganda they are getting by subjecting them to high profile, humiliating defeats. send in special forces, capture their leadership, video tape it and put it online so the world can see they are not invisible. ultimately they will have to be defeated on the ground by local forces. that may involve ejections and jordanians and saudis. you may also involve arming kudrs anrds and christians. they're christians who have been driven from their historical homelands. there the mercy of other groups defending them. we should allow local forces to ultimately defeat them and we must support them with air support, logistical support, and letting operations forces share
3:38 pm
intelligence with them. only america can convene the collective action. no one else on earth can. isis can be defeated but not without american leadership. >> where do you stand on the iran deal? mr. rubio: it's a really good deal for iran and bad for the rest of the world. iran is not belgium, nor luxembourg, the netherlands. it's not argentina. iran is led by a radical shia cleric who has an apocalyptic vision of the future which involves triggering a showdown with the non-muslim world that leads to this big war that ends up with the whole world falling under their version of islam, their radical version of shiite islam. when someone like that wants to acquire a nuclear weapon and a long-range missile that can hit detroit, we should be deeply concerned. here is the only way we can keep that from happening. stunning, dramatic, effective
3:39 pm
economic sanctions that say to them if you are enriching uranium or reprocessing plutonium, we will devastate your economy. and the credible threat of military force that says if you try to build a weapon, we will attack you. this is the only language they understand. this is the only thing that will work. what we have done instead is say, we will be nice to you. you will have billions of dollars of sanctions relief. they are going to use it to bond -- fund terrorist properties common to continue to develop their long-range missile capabilities. yes, they will get rid of centrifuges from 1970's and they will replace them with centrifuges from 2015 and 2016. in less than 10 years they will have an industrial grade system. they promise not to cheat, but they will do their own inspections. we will have to listen to them to see whether or not they are following the law. this deal goes in, nothing
3:40 pm
changes, iran will have a nuclear weapon in less than 10 years. at that point, there will be no credible threat of military force. it already exists. it's called north korea. north korea has a nuclear weapons program. why can't we attack the nuclear weapon program in north korea? if we attack their nuclear weapon program, they will attack seoul and toykyo and guam and hawaii and the west coast of the united states. if iran reaches that capability, we are in a very dangerous world. if i'm president, iran will know if you try to build a weapon, you will face military force spirit given the choice between a nuclear iran and military force, i will take military force every time. [applause] >> we've had a number of questions on cuba and president
3:41 pm
obama's recent changes their. this question as future president, would you reverse all president obama's recent changes in cuban policy or would you be selective in what you would reverse? mr. rubio: i would change them all unless cuba does too. i am not for one-sided deals. i'm not for one-sided deals with any country and this is what this is. cuba is not some cold were harmless relic. cuba is an anti-american communist dictatorship. today it houses dozens of fugitives of american justice, including the murder of a police officer in new jersey in the 1970's who escaped from jail and they have harbored for over 30 years. it also harbors dozens of people who store your money, medicare fraudsters who stole millions of dollars from you and are living high on the hog in cuba protected by their governments. they seized over $7 billion worth of american private property which they have never
3:42 pm
compensated us for, including the hotel that john kerry toward the other day, a hotel stolen from what is today the intercontinental hotel company. they host intelligence facilities. they host a chinese listening station, which the chinese used to spy on central command, southern command, special operations command, and nasa. they also host a russian listening station. the cubans also sponsor terrorism, even though we remove them from the list of sponsors of terrorism. a year and a half ago they were caught shipping weapons to north korea and violating u.s. sanctions. despite all this, the united states has opened up a deal, more term -- travel, nore trade, more business for the cuban regime. what is the cuban regime change? nothing. since the deal was signed in december they have arrested 3000 additional people. last weekend and the weekend before they rounded up and beat and arrested over 90 dissidents.
3:43 pm
they have not been shy about this at all. if you ever have a unique opportunity to listen to anything official that comes out of the cuban government, here their characterization of this deal. we won and you lost. we have taken all the concessions we asked for and we are giving nothing in return. nothing is changing in cuba. they are now demanding we pay them reparations for the embargo and that we turn over guantanamo. i guess other than all of that it's a really good deal. but i think it's pretty one-sided. i believe i'm in favor of changes in policy towards cuba but they must be bet -- met by reciprocal changes in cuba. you want more trade? open up more democracy could you want more act -- interaction with the american people? allow people to organize themselves. i don't have a problem with changing policy, but they have to change too. otherwise what are we doing here? legitimizing a tyranny 90 miles from our shores.
3:44 pm
>> on the politics of this race at the present time, how difficult is it for you to be in the race for president with your friend and former governor jeb bush? mr. rubio: it's not difficult because i'm not running against jeb bush. i'm running for president. i think we are blessed to have so many good people running. the democrats are struggling to find one. [applause] i'm not running against, i'm running for. i'm running for president because i want this to still be a country where people can do for their children what my parents did for me. that's what i'm running for and i recognize there are other quality people running, people running who have lived longer than i have, but none of them understand what life is like today for americans better than i do or has more experience on these issues than i do. i understand there are more people running on experience
3:45 pm
with the issues we faced 15 years ago, but nobody has shown more understanding on the issues we face today. i'm running proudly on what i stand before and our policy and the promise if we do a few important things, america will be greater than it's ever been. ultimately the voters will get to decide. it has been a lot of fun to be places like here, but i'm running for president. >> this will have to be our last question. we want to thank you for being here today with the detroit economic club, sharing your thoughts with us. there have been more questions both on paper and on the internet about how u.s. president can help small businesses. your remarks clearly outlined a number of ways to the tax code, regulatory, but how would you help the small business person in america? mr. rubio: first of all, small
3:46 pm
businesses have been deeply impacted by the bigger the government gets, the harder it is for them to succeed. if you are a big corporation you may not like the government but you can hire armies of lawyers and accountants and compliance officers. if you're not, you're really struggling. big government incentivizes big companies. only the politically connected can exceed. the more power the government has, the more power the people that influence government have. that is what has happen in our economy as well. what are the impediments? let's start with the individual. if you overdo thousand dollars in student loans, -- owe $50,000 in student loans, you can't start a business. before you take out a loan you deserve to know how much people make with a degree from that
3:47 pm
school. the new get into the personal realm of starting a business. depending on the industry you in, the more regulated it is, the harder it will be for you to do it. you also need access to capital. the problem is that banks lend money to small business, a lot of them are gone especially after dodd-frank. consolidation in the banking sector has taken a hammer to small community banks, the ones that used to lend money to the small business man or woman. the really small banks, 40% of them are gone. we need to confront that as well. we have denied access to capital. the tax code is a big impediment. the big corporations have all source of maneuvers they can use to avoid tax liability. most small businesses in america is happening through s-corporations or partnerships. individuals in that part of the
3:48 pm
tax code who pay on their personal rate. you can pay as much as 39 point 5%. that is why i call for giving them no more than 25%. these are all multifaceted we need to be pro-innovation, allow more competition in the banking sector, more of those local banks that give lending. we need to help free people from the burden of student loans which is hurting entrepreneurship. the more power we give government, the more power you have given the people who can afford to influence government. we haven't run out of great ideas, even as i'm speaking to you right now somewhere in detroit someone in the spare bedroom of their home is drawing upon a piece of paper the next great idea. we need to give them a chance to put it into practice. i want this to still be a place where you can start out a business out of the spare bedroom of your home, even if it is in violation of the zoning code. thank you very much. i appreciate it. [applause]
3:49 pm
>> on the next "washington journal," the president of the eagle forum talks about the conservative agenda and the 2016 presidential elections. the executive director of americans united for separation of church and state discusses his new book, "god and governmen t." "huffington post" reporter looks at the effort to unionize football players at northwestern football players at northwestern university. as always, we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span.
3:50 pm
tomorrow c-span will be live from new orleans, where the atlantic magazine is hosting an all-day conference marking the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina. speakers include the city's mayor and a fema administrator. that is live tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. later in the day we will bring you a briefing from the pentagon with air force secretary debra lee james and general mark welsh, who serves as air force chief of staff. they'll discuss the air force and its future starting at 3:30 p.m. eastern. we will have live coverage on c-span2. >> now a campaign rally for presidential candidate bernie sanders spread this took place in columbia, south carolina, where more than 2000 people gathered to hear from the independent lawmaker. afterwards he sat down to discuss his campaign.
3:51 pm
>> this is our last stop of the evening. we are very excited to be here in columbia, south carolina. my name is samoan sanders. -- simone sanders. i will be rmc for this evening. is that ok? before i bring out the man of the hour, i want to chat with you all. can i chat with you? did you know three weeks ago america celebrated the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act?
3:52 pm
today we know our voting rights, our family values, the quality of education and black lives are under attack. we know we still have work to do. we need people we trust leading this country to get the work done. am i right? we need new voices that are not afraid to speak truth about the injustices that are plaguing people of color and the plight of everyday hard-working americans, right? we need people who know the critical civil rights law which protected voters in places with a history of discrimination is as necessary today as it was during the jim crow era. we need people who understand economic inequality and racial inequality are parallel issues
3:53 pm
that must be addressed simultaneously. people who are committed to reforming the juvenile justice and criminal justice system. so we are not locking up a whole generation of people. but we are instead ending the disgrace that is the mess and cursory of african-americans in this country. -- mass incarceration of african-americans in this country. people who truly believe and are working to ensure every single young person in this country receives a shot at a quality -- a quality and affordable education. people like bernie sanders. now, if you believe like i do that bernie sanders is the candidate for president we need leading this country, there's a
3:54 pm
few things i want to encourage you to do. are you ok with that? you have already taken the first, a very important step by attending this townhall today. thank you for being here. give yourselves a round of applause. [applause] step two is turning this passion that you have, this fervor, into action. we want you to do that by visiting our website,, and sign up to volunteer. sign up to hold a house party. donate to the campaign. you can clap for the donation. the second thing you can do to get involved is you can pull out your cell phone and text bernie to 82623. that will get you real-time updates. you can follow us on twitter. @bernie sanders on twitter.
3:55 pm
sit back and enjoy tonight. senator sanders will come out in a second. this is really about spreading this message, this multiracial revolution, this revolution, this fight for criminal justice reform, this fight for social justice, this fight for economic justice. are you ready? are you ready? at this point in time it is my pleasure and honor to introduce to you the next president of the united states, united states senator bernie sanders. [applause]
3:56 pm
mr. sanders: thank you. doesn't look like we could squeeze too many more people in this room. let me say thank you to the many hundreds of people in the overflow room. we began this campaign about three and a half months ago. and when we began this campaign, people were saying, well, bernie
3:57 pm
sanders is an interesting guy, but kind of a french type candidate. -- fringe type candidate. no one takes seriously the idea that maybe, just maybe, we need a political revolution in america. maybe, just maybe, something is wrong when almost all of the new income is going to the top 1%. maybe something is wrong when we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country, and more people in jail than any other country.
3:58 pm
all over the country, in hampshire and iowa, all over the country thousands and thousands of people started coming out. a couple of weeks ago we were in the west coast we had 15,000 people in seattle. 28,000 people in portland, oregon. we had 27,000 people in los angeles. it seems to me the ideas we are talking about are not fringe ideas. this is a campaign on the move and it's a campaign that's going to win here in south carolina and all across the country.
3:59 pm
the enthusiasm and excitement for this campaign is not just large turnouts like we saw earlier today in greenville and columbia. people also understand that there is something profoundly wrong when millionaires and billionaires today control our political system. let me be very clear. i do not represent the billionaires agenda. i do not want their money. we are not going to have any super pac at all.
4:00 pm
we are raising money for this campaign in a very old-fashioned way, small contributions from some 400,000 americans, average contribution $31.20. i'm very proud of that. what this campaign is about is bringing people together with the understanding that if we do not allow ourselves to be divided, if we stand together as black and white and hispanic, native american, men and women, straight and gay, nativeborn and immigrants -- [applause]
4:01 pm
if we stand together, they may have all of the money, they may have all of the power, but we have the people. when people stand together, we win. [applause]
4:02 pm
country fully understand corporate greed, this never ending greed of needing more and more and more, no matter how much they have. corporate greed is destroying our economy. [applause] [cheers and applause]
4:03 pm
mr. sanders: they also understand that i speak to you as the former chairman of the senate veterans committee. the american people also understand men and women throughout our history have put their lives on the line and sometimes lost their lives defending democracy and that there is something profoundly wrong when billionaires are buying elections. that is not democracy! [applause] mr. sanders: the american people also understand at a time when this country faces so many enormous problems, when we need so much serious discussion, that much of the corporate media will talk about everything in the world except the most important issues facing working americans. [applause]
4:04 pm
mr. sanders: let me be clear as i can be. this campaign is not about clinton,nders, hillary donald trump, jeb bush, or anyone else. this campaign is about you, your kids, your parents, and the future of this country. [applause] >> bernie, bernie, bernie. mr. sanders: as someone who has run for office a number of times in my state of vermont, i have never run a negative political ad in my life. [applause] mr. sanders: because i believe that what politics and a
4:05 pm
democracy is about is to take a hard look at the serious problems facing our country and propose ideas and let the american people discuss them. i think it is absurd for politicians to say, i am great, i am wonderful, everyone else is terrible. that is wrong. what we need is a serious discussion about the serious issues facing our country and that is what this campaign is about. [applause] mr. sanders: our campaign is different from other campaigns, not only in terms of the fact that it we have the most progressive vision, but more importantly in how we are running this campaign. i believe, and let me be honest with you and tell you what no other candidate for president will tell you, that no matter
4:06 pm
who is elected president of the united states, no matter how good he or she may be, that person cannot address the enormous problems facing working families and the middle class because of the power of big money interests in this country. [applause] mr. sanders: that is the truth and it is an uncomfortable truth. what i am calling for is not just your support to elect to me as president, i'm asking you to be part of a political revolution. [applause] mr. sanders: a revolution which transforms our country economically, politically, socially, and environmentally. [applause]
4:07 pm
mr. sanders: let me tell you what this political movement is about. [applause] >> i love you, bernie! mr. sanders: thank you. i love you, too. [applause] mr. sanders: what this political movement is about is millions of people from coast to coast, standing up and saying loudly and clearly, enough is enough. this great nation and our government belong to all of us, not just to a handful of billionaires. [applause]
4:08 pm
mr. sanders: the truth is, the sad truth, the truth is our country faces more serious problems than at any time in the modern history of our country. and if you throw in the global crisis of climate change, the problems may be worse today. [applause] mr. sanders: but we are not going to solve the problems unless we address those problems. [applause]
4:09 pm
mr. sanders: let me take this opportunity to talk a little bit about some of the major problems facing our country. i start with the issue of income and wealth inequality. now today, as some of you know, we live in the wealthiest country in the history of the world. the wealthiest country in the history of the world. but most americans don't understand that, don't perceive that, don't feel that because they are too busy working two or three jobs while the rest are -- while almost all of the new income and wealth are going to the top 1%. [applause] mr. sanders: the truth is the
4:10 pm
united states today has more income and wealth inequality than any other major industrialized nation on earth. and the inequality today it,orse, if you can believe than at any time since 1928. so what is essentially happening in our country, the people at the top are getting richer and richer. everybody else is becoming poorer and poorer. the truth of the matter is that no great nation can survive morally, or, politically when so few have so much and so many have so little. [applause]
4:11 pm
mr. sanders: there is something profoundly wrong and profoundly immoral. and by the way, i think it is important we start injecting morality into our political discourse. [applause] mr. sanders: there is something profoundly wrong when the top 1/10 of 1%. you got that? not 1%, 1/10 of 1% owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. there is something profoundly wrong when in recent years we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires but all over our country, millions of people are working longer hours for lower wages. and we end up with the highest rate of childhood poverty of any
4:12 pm
major country on earth. there is something profoundly wrong when one family, one family, this is america not paraguay, not some small third world country, when one family, the walton family of walmart, owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of the american people. [applause] mr. sanders: when millions of people are working longer hours for lower wages. in my state and i intrude is an -- in my state and i am sure it is true south carolina, when people are working two or three jobs, trying to get some income and health care to take care of their families. when all of that is going on, while at the same time, i handful of billionaires are
4:13 pm
making out like bandits, this is a rigged economy. a rigged economy. [applause] mr. sanders: together, you and i and millions of other americans are going to change that. we are going to create an economy that works with the middle class and working families, not just a handful of billionaires. [applause] mr. sanders: this campaign is sending a simple and straightforward message to the billionaire class. cannot, you you will not have it all. [applause]
4:14 pm
c.e.o.'s of the large corporations and billionaire class are not going to continue to get huge tax breaks when children in america go hungry. [applause] mr. sanders: they are not going to continue to send our jobs to china and other low-wage countries when millions of americans are in desperate need of work right here. [applause] mr. sanders: corporate america and the billionaire class are not going to hide their many billions in profits by putting them in the cayman islands and other tax havens. they are going to start paying their fair share of taxes. [applause]
4:15 pm
mr. sanders: whether they like it or not, their greed is going to end because we are going to end it for them. [applause] mr. sanders: when we talk about the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality, let me bring it on home to what it means for the people in south carolina. in the last two years, the wealthiest 14 people in america, 14 people, saw their wealth increase by $156 billion. but here in south carolina, while 14 people saw an
4:16 pm
unbelievable increase in their wealth, 27% of the children here are living in poverty. almost 300,000 children. 14 people increased wealth $156 billion. 27% of the kids in south carolina living in poverty. of those children living in poverty, 138,000 are black, 95,000 are white and 34,000 are hispanic. childhood poverty impacts people all across the board. it is a national disgrace. [applause] mr. sanders: here is the reality. let's lay it on the table. billionaires become richer while
4:17 pm
children in south carolina and all over america lack adequate nutrition. in the year 2015 in south carolina, in vermont and throughout america, children are going hungry. it is not acceptable that billionaires become richer when kids in this country are starving. it is not acceptable that billionaires become richer when kids in this country go hungry. [applause] [cheers and applause] mr. sanders: if we are a moral
4:18 pm
people, we stand with the most vulnerable people in our society. to turn our backs on the children while billionaires get richer is not what this country is supposed to be about. [applause] mr. sanders: when we talk about human rights and when we talk about basic needs, let us not forget that we are the only major industrialized country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right. [applause]
4:19 pm
mr. sanders: now i live in burlington, vermont, an hour away from the canadian border. the canadians guarantee health care to every people. in the u.k., they guarantee health care to all of their people. germany, france, scandinavia does it. every major country does it us and that ist why i strongly believe in a hayare, single program for all people. [applause] mr. sanders: i believe in single payer, but that is not what
4:20 pm
congress believes in, but the congress did pass, and the president did sign the affordable care act. a modest but important step forward. by expanding eligibility for medicaid, millions of americans now have health insurance who previously lacked it. that is a good thing. [applause] mr. sanders: the affordable care act, for example, has cut arkansas' uninsured population almost in half. it has reduced the number of uninsured in kentucky from 20% to 12%. in south carolina, in south carolina, over 200,000 people would gain health insurance if the governor and legislature approved the expansion.
4:21 pm
[applause] mr. sanders: not only would several hundred thousand people gain health insurance, the state would create tens of thousands of decent paying jobs. [applause] mr. sanders: and the federal government picks up almost all of the bill. pretty good deal. [applause] mr. sanders: in my view, it is terribly wrong to allow a rigid, right-wing, political ideology to stand in the way of health care for hundreds of thousands
4:22 pm
of south carolinians. [applause] mr. sanders: it is wrong to allow hundreds of people in your beautiful state to die unnecessarily because they cannot go to a doctor when they should. it is wrong and immoral to have a situation where people will suffer and become much sicker than they otherwise would have been because they don't have medicaid. that is wrong. [applause] mr. sanders: and i would hope very much that not only here in south carolina, but all across this country, republican governors and legislatures would let go for one minute of the
4:23 pm
right wing ideology and take care of the people of their state. [applause] mr. sanders: i understand that some of these legislatures and governors hate president obama. you can hate president obama, but do not hate the kids and the working families in your state. [applause] mr. sanders: the issues we are talking about are not just the grotesque level of income inequality. it is the reality, as all of you know, that for the last 40 years the great middle class of our country, once the envy of the world, has been disappearing.
4:24 pm
now, the truth is, as you all know, we are much better off economically today than we were when george bush left office. [applause] mr. sanders: let us not forget that when bush left office, we were hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs a month. our financial system was on the verge of collapse and we were running up a $1.4 trillion deficit. i find it interesting republicans complain they are only growing 250,000 jobs a month. well, it is a lot better than losing 800,000 jobs. [applause]
4:25 pm
thesanders: but here's point. yes, we are better off today than we were when bush left office, but the reality is that millions of americans today are working longer hours for lower wages. all of you know there has been an explosion in technology making workers far more productive than they used to be. and yet, many of those workers , despite increased productivity, have seen their real wages go down. since 1999, medium family income today is almost $5,000 less than it was in 1999. that is our reality. we are better off than we were 6.5 years ago but we continue to find and see the disappearance -- to fly -- but we continue to slide and see the disappearance of our middle-class. what we have to do is come up with proposal after proposal
4:26 pm
that rebuilds the crumbling middle-class in this country and that is what we intend to do. [applause] mr. sanders: let me tell you something that very few people will tell you. every month, the u.s. government comes out with figures. the last figure said unemployment in america is 5.3%. wrong. that official statistic does not include the people that have given up looking for work and the millions of people working part-time. add that together, real unemployment is over 10%. this is really something that we must deal with. we cannot continue to push under the rug. i asked the economic policy institute to do a study on youth unemployment. you know what it is in this country? in terms of kids who have no jobs or are working part-time
4:27 pm
when they want to work full-time, what they told us is the kids 17 to 20 who graduated high school, if they were white, youth unemployment is 33%. if they were hispanic, youth unemployment is 36%. if they were african-american, youth unemployment is 51%. >> [booing] mr. sanders: we are turning our backs on an entire generation of young people who want to stand on their own two feet. [applause] mr. sanders: let me tell you something else. one of the great shames in our country, one of the great international embarrassment is we as a nation have more people in jail than any other country.
4:28 pm
[applause] mr. sanders: china, a nation three times larger than us, a communist, authoritarian country , has fewer people in jail than we do. if anybody here thinks there is not a connection between huge rates of youth unemployment and kids that end up in jail, you would be very mistaken. right now, right now, in my state, your state, we are 5.5 million young people who are not in school, who are not working, who are hanging out on street corners and getting into trouble. in my view, it makes a lot more sense for us to be investing in education and in jobs. [applause]
4:29 pm
mr. sanders: it makes more sense to be investing in our young people than in jails and incarceration. [applause] mr. sanders: when we -- when we talk about the economy, it is not just income and wealth inequality and it is not just high rates of unemployment we have to address. it is the simple fact that everybody in this room knows that millions of our people are working at wages that are too damn low. [applause]
4:30 pm
mr. sanders: the current minimum wage at the federal level of $7.25 an hour, $7.25 an hour -- [booing] mr. sanders: -- is a starvation wage. our job is to raise the federal minimum wage to a living wage -- $15 an hour over the next several years. [applause] mr. sanders: it is not a radical idea to say that if somebody works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty.
4:31 pm
[applause] mr. sanders: when we talk about fairness in wages, i hope very much that every man in this room will stand with the women and demand pay equity for women workers. [applause] mr. sanders: there are too many women in america trying to bring up their families who are making $.78 on the dollar compared to men. pay equity will take a huge chunk out of poverty in america and we must fight to establish
4:32 pm
pay equity. [applause] mr. sanders: i think all of you know that many of my republican colleagues run around the country and they talk about family values. [laughter] mr. sanders: they just love families. but, you know, you all know what they mean when they talk about family values. what they are saying is women in america should not be able to control their own bodies. i disagree. [applause]
4:33 pm
mr. sanders: what they are saying in their concept of family values is that women are too dumb to be able to buy the contraceptives they need. i disagree. what they are also saying in their understanding of family values is that are gay brothers and sisters should not be able to get married and enjoy all of the benefits of american citizenship. i disagree. [applause] mr. sanders: i am very fortunate to have four kids, seven grandchildren.
4:34 pm
jane and i have been married for 27 years. [applause] mr. sanders: we believe, we believe in family and we believe in strongly protecting the needs of families, but my family values are a little bit different than republican family values. [applause] mr. sanders: when i talk about family values, i believe that the united states must end the international embarrassment of being the only, only major country on earth that does not guarantee workers paid medical and family leave. [applause] mr. sanders: when a woman has a
4:35 pm
baby today, if she has the income and the financial support, she can stay home and get to love her baby, bond with her baby. for those of us who are parents, it is one of the most amazing experiences of being human. [applause] mr. sanders: it is pretty important for the baby as well. [laughter] mr. sanders: that is a family value. it is a family value when mom stays home, nourishes the baby, gets to know her baby and dad is there as well. it is not a family value to tell that mom that just because you don't have money, you have to separate yourself from your baby and go back to work in five days or eight days. that is not a family value. [applause]
4:36 pm
mr. sanders: and that is why i have supported and will fight for legislation that guarantees every family in america 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave. [applause] mr. sanders: that is a family value. if every other major country on earth could do it, the united states of america could do it, too. [applause] mr. sanders: by the way, we remain the only major country on earth that does not guarantee sick time to our workers or paid vacation. that has got to change, too. [applause]
4:37 pm
mr. sanders: with real unemployment over 10%, youth unemployment much higher than that, we need on major federal jobs program to put millions of people back to work. [applause] mr. sanders: at a time when our infrastructure is crumbling, our roads, our bridges, our water systems, waste water plants, airports, levies, dams -- there is more than enough work to do. i have introduced legislation, a $1 trillion investment over five could create over 13 million decent paying jobs. [applause] mr. sanders: but when we talk
4:38 pm
about jobs it is not only the , absolute imperative of having to create millions of jobs, it is also the absolute need to prevent the loss of more jobs because of our disastrous trade policies. [applause] mr. sanders: you are looking at a senator and a former member of the house who voted against nafta, capfa, and trade relations with china. [applause] mr. sanders: and you are looking at a senator who will help lead the effort against the transpacific partnership. [applause]
4:39 pm
mr. sanders: we need, we need trade policies which create jobs in america, not in countries around the world. [applause] mr. sanders: and when we use words like greed and recklessness and arrogance and dishonesty, we only have some of the adjectives to describe wall street. all of you know that as a result of the greed and recklessness of wall street, our economy was brought to its knees, millions of people lost their jobs, their houses, and their life savings. today, after bailing out wall street because they were too big to fail, three out of the four largest banks are bigger now than they were before we bailed
4:40 pm
them out. [booing] mr. sanders: in my view -- let me be very clear about this -- when you have six banks issuing two thirds of the credit cards in this country, 35% of the mortgages in this country, when you have banks that are too big to fail, they are too big to exist. [applause] mr. sanders: we need a financial system which provides affordable loans to small and medium-sized businesses so they can create the jobs we need. we do not need a financial
4:41 pm
system on wall street which is an island unto itself which is only concerned about profits for a handful of people. [applause] mr. sanders: i am often asked, well, bernie, which of the issues out there is the most important and it is impossible to answer because all of these issues are enormously important. but here is one issue that impacts every other issue and that is five years ago, as you all know, the supreme court by a 5-4 decision in the citizens united -- [booing] mr. sanders: in the citizens united case, what they said to the wealthiest people in the country, they said you guys already own much of the economy. we are now going to allow you to own the united states government
4:42 pm
and that is exactly what they are trying to do right now. we have a situation right now where one family, the extreme right wing koch brothers. [booing] mr. sanders: the second wealthiest family in america is prepared to spend $900 million in this election cycle. that is more money than either party will spend. when you have one family spending more money than either of the major political parties, that is not democracy. that is oligarchy. [applause]
4:43 pm
mr. sanders: i have not made many campaign promises, but this is one i have made and will repeat. no nominee of mine to the united states supreme court will get that position unless he or she is loud and clear in saying that one of their first orders of business will in fact be re-hear and overturn citizens united. [applause]
4:44 pm
mr. sanders: i am a passionate believer in democracy. i really believe in democracy. what that means, what that very radical idea means -- only a few hundred years old -- what that idea means is that you and people of this country, poor people, old people, anybody has the right to determine and shape the future of our country and not just a king or queen or a handful of billionaires. that is a radical idea that i believe. [applause] mr. sanders: and in my view, not only must we overturn citizens united, we have to go further. i want to see this country have the most vibrant democracy of any country on earth. i want to see us have one of the highest voter turnouts, not one of the lowest voter turnouts. [applause]
4:45 pm
mr. sanders: i want to see a process in which anybody in this room, anybody in america whether you are conservative, progressive, moderate -- if you believe you want to get into public service, you want to run for office, you believe in your ideas, i want to see you be able to run for office without begging money from the wealthy and the powerful. [applause] mr. sanders: a couple of weeks ago in washington, i was at an event with martin luther king iii and people with the southern christian leadership congress. a very good civil rights organization.
4:46 pm
what we talked about at that meeting was to, first of all, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the enormously important voting rights act. ok? [applause] mr. sanders: what the voting rights act was about was to say the governors and legislatures all over this country, many in the south, to say sorry, all people will be able to vote regardless of the color of their skin. [applause] mr. sanders: that was a great step forward for democracy, but as many of you know, two years ago, the supreme court gutted a very important provision of the voting rights act. what has happened is all over the country, not just to the south, but all over the country, governors and legislatures have
4:47 pm
done everything possible to suppress the vote, to deny people the right to vote, those people disagree with the powers that be. [applause] mr. sanders: you know, i take that kind of personally and i will tell you why. i have run for office in my own state many times. sometimes i have lost. sometimes i have won. but it had never occurred to me, never, not for one second to say there are parts of the state that are not sympathetic to me, how do i figure out a way to figure out a way to prevent those people from voting? if you cannot run for office and defend your ideas, then you should not run for office in the first place. [applause]
4:48 pm
mr. sanders: people, legislatures, governors who try to prevent people from voting because they may vote against a governor or the legislatures are nothing less than political cowards. [applause] mr. sanders: i have introduced legislation which more or less says that if you are 18 years of age in the united states of america, you are registered to vote, end of discussion. [applause] mr. sanders: i think all of you know that the world we are living in is a very competitive global economy.
4:49 pm
and if our nation is going to succeed economically, we need to have the best educated workforce in the world. [applause] mr. sanders: and what saddens me very much is as we speak here tonight, there are hundreds of thousands of bright, young men and women across this country -- kids who have done really well in school. kids were qualified to get into college, but they cannot get into college for one reason -- their families lack the money. to my mind, it is not only unfair to these kids to deny them the right to become doctors or engineers or teachers or whatever else -- not only unfair to them, but it is absurd when we talk about the future of the american economy.
4:50 pm
we need to have the best educated workers in the world. [applause] mr. sanders: and that is why i have introduced legislation which does two very important things. first, it says that every public college and university in america will be tuition free. [applause] mr. sanders: and i want to tell you why this idea, this simple idea, is a revolutionary idea.
4:51 pm
it is not just that it will make life easier for kids in high school to get to college. it will certainly do that. but this is what else it will do -- today in columbia, in burlington, vermont, there are kids in the fourth and fifth grades. these are kids whose mom and dad never went to college. which is the case in my family. these are kids who don't know anybody who went to college and the idea of going to college, of making it into the middle class , is something beyond their wildest expectations or dreams. but, if we tell every kid in columbia and in burlington, vermont, that if you study, if you pay attention to school, if you do your work, you will be able to get a college education. [applause]
4:52 pm
mr. sanders: it will impact kids from the first grade on up. the second thing we have done in our legislation is to address the absurdity of millions of americans, some young, some not so young, who are struggling with horrendously oppressive student debt. [applause] mr. sanders: i have talked to a young woman whose crime in life was she went to medical school and is practicing primary health care for low income people. exactly the kind of doctors we need. but, for doing that, she came out of school $300,000 in debt. i was in iowa a few months ago.
4:53 pm
a woman came up to me and said i just graduated dental school -- $400,000 in debt at a time when we have a major dental crisis and we need more dentists. i talked to young people who are paying off 25% of their limited incomes in student debt. cannot afford to get married. cannot afford to get a car. cannot afford to get a home. now, in my view, it makes no sense at all that if you can refinance your home today at 2% or 4%, you should not be paying 8% or 10% on your student debt. [applause]
4:54 pm
mr. sanders: third of all, the federal government which holds most of that debt should not be profiteering with high interest rates off working-class americans. [applause] mr. sanders: people say to me, well, bernie, that is a good idea, but it will be pretty expensive to provide public colleges and universities tuition free and lower student debt. how will you pay for it? let me tell you exactly how i will pay for it -- with a tax on wall street speculation. [applause] mr. sanders: when wall street destroyed this economy because of their greed and recklessness, they went begging to the middle
4:55 pm
class to bail them out. now it is wall street's time to bail out the middle class. [applause] mr. sanders: when we talk about our responsibilities as human beings, as parents, adults, there is perhaps nothing more important than leaving this planet in a way that is habitable for our kids and grandchildren. [applause] mr. sanders: the debate is over. the scientific community in a virtually unanimous voice have
4:56 pm
told us climate change is real. climate change is caused by human activity. and climate change is already today causing devastating problems in our country and all over the world. [applause] mr. sanders: what the scientists tell us -- if we do not get our act together in a very short period of time, a bad situation today will become much, much worse with the planet temperature rising by the end of the century between five or 10 degrees more fahrenheit. more drought, more flood more , extreme weather disturbances. more rising sea levels, more acidification of the ocean. the united states has the moral responsibility to lead the world
4:57 pm
in transforming our energy system. [applause] mr. sanders: in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. [applause] mr. sanders: let me say a word about values and priorities. i am the ranking member of the senate budget committee which means i am the leader of the democrats in our position. -- democrats in opposition. i want to tell you what many of you don't know. that is the budget passed by the republicans a few months ago does the following -- it throws 27 million americans off of
4:58 pm
health care. it cuts pell grants by $90 billion over 10 years. it cuts nutrition programs, including the wic program, for pregnant women and their little kids by billions and billions of dollars. [booing] mr. sanders: those are the priorities of the republican party. those are not america's priorities. [applause] mr. sanders: and to add insult to injury, not only are they making massive cuts in health care, education, nutrition and other vitally important programs, their budget proposes to give $250 billion in tax breaks to the top 2/10 of 1%.
4:59 pm
[booing] mr. sanders: so, let me tell my republican colleagues -- no, we are not going to cut social security. we are going to expand social security. [applause] mr. sanders: no, we are not going to cut veterans programs. we are going to expand veterans programs. [applause] mr. sanders: and we are going to provide the best quality health care to our veterans who have put their lives on the line to defend this country. [applause]
5:00 pm
mr. sanders: when we talk about making our country the kind of nation that it must become, we must talk about ending institutional racism and making major reforms -- [applause] mr. sanders: and making major reforms to our broken criminal justice system. [applause] mr. sanders: now, the good news is that over the last several decades, our country has made significant progress in overcoming our long legacy of racism.
5:01 pm
we should be proud of that. if people were sitting in this room 30 years ago and somebody said i think in the year 2008, an african-american could be elected president, that the people of america will look at his ideas, his views, people would have said no. it would not happen that fast, but it did happen and we should be proud of that. [applause] mr. sanders: we should be proud -- [applause] mr. sanders: we should be proud of the progress we have made and the struggle absolutely continues against sexism in this country and opening doors for women that never existed before. [applause] mr. sanders: god only knows that that struggle continues, but we
5:02 pm
are making progress and we should be very proud of the extraordinary progress we have made in recent years in the fight for gay rights. something we should be very proud of. [applause] mr. sanders: that is the good news and we as americans deserve a pat on the back for making real progress and making us a less discriminatory society in many respects. but, here is the bad news -- as everyone in this room knows, racism remains a much too real part of american life. and in that regard, i'm not just talking about the sickness of a man who can walk into a bible study class in charleston, pray
5:03 pm
with people in that room and then take out a gun and kill nine of them. that is just something that is almost impossible for us to understand how somebody can do that. and we are not just talking about other forms of racism that we see every single day. we are not just talking about the hundreds of hate groups that exist all over this country, groups that exist for one purpose alone and that is -- it is hard to imagine -- but to foment hatred against african-americans or gays or immigrants or jews -- people that are different from them. we have to take a hard look at those groups.
5:04 pm
the justice department should be much more active in making sure -- [applause] mr. sanders: these are the types of groups that educated that sick man. who committed the atrocity in charleston. i'm not just talking about those groups. i'm talking about people like michael brown. and sandra bland. [applause] mr. sanders: and walter scott and freddie gray and many, many unarmed african americans who died at the hands of police officers or in police custody. now, i was a mayor for eight years. let me be the first to tell you as someone who worked very hard with our police department that
5:05 pm
being a cop today is not an easy job and most police officers are honest and trying to do their best under difficult circumstances. [applause] mr. sanders: let me also tell you that as in the case of any other public official, when a police officer breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable. [applause] mr. sanders: further, we need fundamental reform of a broken, broken criminal justice system. [applause]
5:06 pm
mr. sanders: there is a lot to talk about, but let me very briefly highlight some of the areas that i believe we need to move aggressively in. when i turn on the tv and i see in some cities, small cities all over america, police departments that are heavily militarized, that look like an invading army, that is wrong. [applause] mr. sanders: the best police departments in america are police departments that are part of the community. [applause] mr. sanders: where people feel comfortable with police officers and are able to say there is a crack house down the street, where people have confidence in a police force that is working with them, not against them. [applause]
5:07 pm
mr. sanders: when i was mayor of burlington, we moved towards the concept of community policing -- something i think we should do -- making police officers part of the community. we also -- police departments are run by communities but the federal government can play a n important role. police departments all across america should reflect the diversity of the community they serve. [applause] mr. sanders: we also need to take a hard look at the use of force doctrine that exists in many police departments. good police officers -- i have seen it personally many times -- are able to deflect a volatile situation.
5:08 pm
that is good police work. [applause] mr. sanders: many officers are trained to do that. that is tough. i have seen police officers get in the middle of a fight. we should understand lethal force is the last resort, not the first. [applause] mr. sanders: we need to begin rethinking the war on drugs. [applause] mr. sanders: i find it remarkable and disturbing that many young americans have received a criminal record for smoking or possessing marijuana,
5:09 pm
but not one major wall street executive has a criminal record for destroying our economy. [applause] mr. sanders: when congress reconvenes in september, i will be offering legislation which ends the absurdity and injustice of private corporations making profits by building and running jails. [applause]
5:10 pm
mr. sanders: corporations should not be making a profit on the incarceration of americans. [applause] mr. sanders: further, we need to understand that substance addiction, whether it is drugs or alcohol or whatever, is a disease. is a disease. it is a serious disease that exists in my state, it exists all over this country. and we need to aggressively treat that disease and not see it as a crime. [applause] mr. sanders: and that means that we need to invest in drug courts and medical and mental health
5:11 pm
intervention. [applause] mr. sanders: it is a pretty crazy situation when many of the people in jail are mentally ill. [applause] mr. sanders: and i can tell you i get calls in my office, other senators get calls from people who say, you know what, i am really worried about my brother. i don't know what he is going to do to himself or somebody else, but we cannot find a mental health counseling that we need and can afford. that is crazy. [applause] mr. sanders: and we also need to develop a path back from prison.
5:12 pm
[applause] mr. sanders: nobody should be shocked that if somebody leaves prison without a job, without education, without decent housing, they will go back to the environment that they got into jail in the first place. [applause] mr. sanders: we have got a lot of work to do on criminal justice. keep in mind, it costs more money to keep somebody in jail than to send them -- [applause] it costs more money to send somebody -- to keep somebody in jail than to send them to harvard. mr. sanders: when we talk about bringing our people together, let us not forget that today there are 11 million undocumented people in this
5:13 pm
country. i was in phoenix a few weeks ago talking to a group of young hispanic kids. tears rolling out of their eyes because they were fearful of being deported or having their parents deported. we need to provide legal protection now for the undocumented. [applause] mr. sanders: we need comprehensive immigration reform and we need a path towards citizenship. [applause] mr. sanders: a number of years ago, as all of you will recall, there was a fierce debate about whether the united states should go to war in iraq.
5:14 pm
i listened to what bush and cheney and donald rumsfeld had to say. [booing] mr. sanders: and i did not believe them. i voted against the war in iraq. [applause] mr. sanders: and it does not make me happy, it truly does not, to tell you that much of what i said during that debate -- go to youtube and look at what i said -- sadly, much of what i feared would happen did happen in terms of the destabilization of the region. and now, as you know, there is
5:15 pm
another debate about the president's plan to make certain that iran does not get a nuclear weapon. [applause] mr. sanders: now, i find it astounding that many of my republican colleagues seem to have forgotten what the wars in iraq and afghanistan have done to our people and to our country. they forgot about the 6700 brave men and women who died. they forgot about the young men who came home without legs and arms. they forgot about the 500,000 who came home with posttraumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries. [applause] mr. sanders: and, by the way, if this country stands for anything, we have to stand with those people who came home from war. [applause]
5:16 pm
mr. sanders: you have been very kind tonight in this rather hot room. but, we should be a leader in the world in trying to resolve international conflict in a peaceful way and not in another war.
5:17 pm
it really, really does trouble me how quickly, how easily, how glibly -- we don't want this agreement, we don't trust aro iran, and what they're saying is we are going to go to war. a great nation is a nation that does everything possible to -- nobody has any answers to all the craziness. be a leader in the world in trying to resolve international conflict in a peaceful way and not in another war. [applause] mr. sanders: you have been very kind tonight in this rather hot room.
5:18 pm
[applause] mr. sanders: let me close by saying two things. first, this campaign, honestly, is not about me. it is about all of us. i cannot do it alone. we need millions of people to reach out to bring people into the political process. to make certain that our friends and family do not continue to vote against their own best interest. [applause] mr. sanders: the second and last point i want to make -- i want you all not to think small. i want you to think big.
5:19 pm
this is the wealthiest country in history. if we were a poor country, if we were haiti, we would say -- it's too bad we can't do this, can do that. that is not america. e can, we can join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all people as a right. [applause] we can have the best child care
5:20 pm
dysfunctional one. we can join other countries and make sure that every person in this country, regardless of income, can get a higher education. [applause] mr. sanders: we can make certain that every senior in our country can live in dignity and security. [applause] mr. sanders: we can make certain that a veteran that his or her life to defend us gets the quality health care and benefits they have earned. [applause] mr. sanders: and we can make certain that no american, regardless of their race, their religion, their disability, or their sexual orientation, we can make sure that all americans realize the full potential of the quality that is our birthright -- of the equality that is our birthright as americans. [applause]
5:21 pm
mr. sanders: if we stand together as a nation, if we do not allow them to divide us up by race or sexual orientation or the country we came from, there is nothing, nothing that together we cannot accomplish. thank you all very much. [applause] ♪ columbia, south
5:22 pm
5:23 pm
5:24 pm
5:25 pm
5:26 pm
5:27 pm
5:28 pm
5:29 pm
5:30 pm
5:31 pm
5:32 pm
carolina is senator bernie sanders. senator, thank you very much for being with us tonight on c-span. sen. sanders: my pleasure. host: you mentioned a few months ago when we sat down to talk to you that you were building a
5:33 pm
movement. three-and-a-half months into your campaign, are you aware that you thought you would be? sen. sanders: no, we are far ahead of where i thought we would be. the turnouts that we have seen all of this country, including a conservative state like south carolina -- what we are seeing today is far beyond what i thought possible in the 3 1/2 months we have been in the campaign. it is not only that. last month, we did a digital organizing effort. we had 3700 locations in 50 states in america bringing out over 100,000 people. up to this point, we have received individual contributions from some 400,000 americans, averaging $31.20. in terms of the support that we are seeing in so many ways, we are far beyond where i thought we would be after 3 1/2 months.
5:34 pm
host: your speech lighting up the twitter universe. i asked your viewers -- ask our viewers, keep your comments brief. we begin with irene on the line for democrats in san antonio, texas. guest: hi, thank you so much. c-span, thank you so much for airing bernie's rally. i felt like i had a front-row seat, which was amazing. i am in san antonio, texas. i don't know if he's going to make it down here. i have been following him for years. i am a huge supporter. i can't even tell you how ecstatic i was when he said he was running. e alreadye at "-- h had me at "i'm running." if you build it, they will come. i'm not having a lot of good feelings yet, but it's going to
5:35 pm
happen. it's momentum. host: we will get a response. thank you irene. sen. sanders: i think there is a lot of momentum. the reason for that is that we are talking about issues that are, in fact, on the hearts and minds of the american people. which most people in politics do not talk about. nobody thinks it is right at the 1% in thisof the country is as much as the bottom 90%. people don't think that is what america or our economy is supposed to be about. when you raise issues like that and come up with concrete ideas, people all over this country. in texas and elsewhere, are shaking their heads and saying, yeah, we need to build beyond establishment politics and establishment economics. host: another famous saying, "bernie sanders, a really smart guy. i wish we could get more of
5:36 pm
this more often." are you sensing that on the campaign trail? sen. sanders: i absolutely am. you an i chatted a couple months ago. never in my wildest imagination what i believe that we would have thousands of people coming out to rallies in greenville, south carolina or here in columbia, south carolina. nobody would have told me that we would have 28,000 people coming up to portland, oregon. were 27,000 in los angeles. mr. sanders: it's not only the size of the crowds, it's the enthusiasm. what we need is a political movement of millions of people who are getting involved in the political process in ways we have not done in the past. if we continue to have low voter
5:37 pm
turnout, if people are not paying attention to the major issues facing us, right wing republicans will continue to win. if we can bring people together around a progressive agenda, we can transform what goes on in this country and when the selection. host: on our line for republicans, good evening. caller: good evening. i'm a cancer patient receiving care through the insurance that was given to me, the one i actually wanted to -- i have been republican all my life. i'm frustrated with the choices we have right now. we have right now.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on