Sanders disavows attacks on culinary union, saying internet is a ‘strange world’

Sanders disavows attacks on culinary union, saying internet is a ‘strange world’


JUDY WOODRUFF: And let’s take a closer look
at the high stakes heading into the Nevada caucuses and beyond with the candidate fresh
off his win in New Hampshire. He is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Welcome back to the “NewsHour.” Congratulations. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), Presidential Candidate:
Thank you very much, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, are you now the front-runner? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I will let you make that
determination. All I know is, we’re working really hard.
We’re proud that we won the popular vote in Iowa, won the New Hampshire primary. I think
we have got a get good shot in Nevada and South Carolina. We will just keep going. JUDY WOODRUFF: I want to ask you about Nevada
and South Carolina. Four years ago, in the primary, you came close
in Nevada, but you didn’t win it. And South Carolina, you were beaten pretty badly… SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: … by Hillary Clinton. So you’re confident you are going to win both? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: We are. We have a much, much stronger organization,
much better name recognition. We’re feeling that we have a shot in South Carolina. In
Nevada, I think we have a really good shot. We have — all over this country, Judy, I
think what I’m very proud of is that we have an extraordinary grassroots movement of people.
We have thousands of people who are just knocking on doors all over this country, certainly
in Nevada and South Carolina. And we have the agenda that I think speaks
to the working families of this country. JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about some of
your agenda. In Nevada, a powerful culinary workers union,
they announced today they are not going to endorse a candidate. It wasn’t so many days
ago that they put out a flyer saying that they oppose the kind of single-payer health
plan that you have endorsed. How do you respond to their position on this? (CROSSTALK) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Look, they are a great
union. And I know their leadership, and we work and will work very closely with them. Some of their — they’re part Unite Here,
the broader union, and some of the locals in Unite Here are strongly supporting us,
who have the same health care plan as the culinary workers. And those unions believe
in Medicare for all. Many unions do believe in Medicare for all. JUDY WOODRUFF: They’re saying your plan would
take away the health care that their members have. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I don’t quite agree. I think our plan for them and for every person
in America would expand the health care that we have. We are going to expand Medicare to
include home health care, dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses. We’re going to do away with premiums and co-payments
and deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. We’re going to take on the greed and corruption
of the pharmaceutical industry and make sure that nobody in America has to spend more than
$200 a year for prescription drugs. Look, Judy, at the end of the day, we are
spending twice as much per capita as do the people of any other major nation. And yet,
despite that huge expenditure, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, 30,000
die, 500,000 go bankrupt. That doesn’t make sense. JUDY WOODRUFF: But they are opposing your
position. Some of your supporters in Nevada attacked
the union after this… (CROSSTALK) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, you know, it’s
a funny thing. Obviously, that is not acceptable to me. And
I don’t know who these so-called supporters are. You know, we are living in a strange world
on the Internet. And, sometimes, people attack people in somebody else’s name. But let me be very clear. Anybody making personal
attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement. We don’t want them. And I’m not so sure, to be honest with you,
that they are necessarily part of our movement. You understand, you know, the nature of the
Internet. It’s a strange world out there. JUDY WOODRUFF: I want to ask you about one
of the positions you have taken that people bring up often, that people — voters in New
Hampshire brought it up. You want to essentially cancel student loans
for most every… SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Student debt, yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: I’m sorry. Student debt for
college students. This is not only going to benefit needy students.
It’s also going to benefit people who would go on to careers where they can afford to
pay those loans back. I heard — voters were asking me in a number
of settings in New Hampshire, this doesn’t seem fair. Why spend government money for
people who could afford to pay back those loans? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, those people who
can afford to pay them back, under my wealth tax and tax plan, will certainly be paying
their fair share of taxes. Judy, we live at a time of massive income
and wealth inequality. And we also live at a time where every bloody program is enormously
complicated. It’s not just health care which is driving people crazy. It is filling out
forms. My income went up. I’m not eligible anymore. My income went down. I can do this. What I want to do and what I believe is universal
programs. The reason Social Security has been so popular over the years — you know what?
Billionaires like Donald Trump get their Social Security check. Mike Bloomberg gets a Social
Security check. It doesn’t mean much to them. The way you deal with social programs, in
my view, is, make them universal, and then you have the wealthy start paying their fair
share of taxes to pay for them. That is simpler. That is less complicated. JUDY WOODRUFF: You — I interviewed Pete Buttigieg
yesterday, who came out of New Hampshire a close second. Among other things, he said: This is not the
time for politics of my way or the highway. And he said, if your only choices are between
a revolution and the status quo, that’s a vision that leaves most Americans out. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Look, the agenda that
we are talking about is the agenda that working families want. I’m proud to have led the way, raised the
minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. Health care is a human right. We are the only major country
on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people. If somebody thinks that’s radical,
fine. I don’t think it is radical. You got to deal with climate change. Now,
I don’t know — Buttigieg or anybody else wants to deal with it in a modest way. You
can’t do it. The scientists are telling us we have an existential threat facing this
planet. I’m sure you have read a dozen reports about
this, OK? We have to act boldly. We have got to, frankly, tell the fossil fuel industry
they cannot be continue to destroy this planet. I support the Green New Deal. JUDY WOODRUFF: And you think that’s a plan
that appeals to moderate Democrats, as well as progressive liberal — and I’m asking,
because one of your most visible supporters, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, gave
an interview a few weeks ago in which she said that there’s such a thing as too big
a tent for Democrats. She questioned whether she and Joe Biden should
even be in the same party. It was sounding this — that this is a party that should limit
who belongs. (CROSSTALK) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: No, not at all. That’s
not my view. What Alexandria was talking about, I think,
is that, in Europe, where you have many, many parties, she and Biden probably wouldn’t be
in the same party. And that’s true. What I believe is that to win this election
— and I think it’s absolutely imperative that we defeat Trump, who is the most dangerous
president in modern American history — the way you beat him is to grow the voter turnout. We need the largest voter turnout in the history
of the country. And you know what, Judy? I don’t think that the same old/same old status
quo politics is going to excite people and bring them out. What our campaign is doing is reaching out
to disillusioned working people who no longer vote, to young people who have not gotten
involved in the political process to the degree that they should. That is the way, I believe,
we defeat Trump. JUDY WOODRUFF: But, with all due respect,
the turnout in Iowa not what it was in 2008, when Barack Obama… SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: That’s true. JUDY WOODRUFF: … engendered a huge turnout.
And then, in New Hampshire, the turnout among young people was down. (CROSSTALK) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: All right, let me say
two responses. Number one, in Iowa, you’re right. The turnout
was similar to what it was in 2016. But you know what? Young people under 29 years of
age, we saw a 33 percent increase in their participation. In New Hampshire, we won almost all of the
working-class communities in this country. And if we’re going to bring working-class
people back into the Democratic Party, I think, frankly, our campaign is the campaign to do
that. JUDY WOODRUFF: I was just going to say quickly,
though, the young — younger voter turnout, 18 to 29, in New Hampshire was down. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I — I heard that. I’m
not sure that that’s accurate. My understanding is that, on college towns,
the turnout was high. But we haven’t really analyzed those results yet. JUDY WOODRUFF: A question that has come up
from a number of voters, your health records. You said last fall you would release them
by the end of 2019. What is your plan about that? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, we did. We released
them, in the same way that other candidates did release them. We had… JUDY WOODRUFF: As full and as complete as… SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Yes, I think that that’s
fine. Look, I am — it’s no great secret I had a
heart attack in early October. Follow me on the campaign path. We’re working hard. I am
feeling fine. JUDY WOODRUFF: And you — I was going to ask
you, how do you feel? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I feel great, a little
bit tired. I haven’t had a day off in three weeks. (LAUGHTER) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: But, other than that,
I’m feeling pretty good. JUDY WOODRUFF: Understandable. I — Pete Buttigieg said yesterday — he said,
in order to compete against a president and his allies who’ve raised astonishing sums
of money, we need to go into this fight with everything we got. The president raised more than $60 million
in January. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well… JUDY WOODRUFF: Does he have a point? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: No, he does not have
a point. I mean, the other part of the answer that
you’re going to give me is, of course, because he’s raising money from some 40 or 50 billionaires
or whatever, who are pouring — big money interests, CEOs of the drug companies are
pouring a lot of money into his campaign. Look, that’s what candidates always say. At the end of the day, the American people,
in my view, or in most people, are, frankly, disgusted by the power of billionaires controlling
not only our economy, but our — the political life of this country as well. What we have done is raise money in a very
different way than the mayor, Mayor Buttigieg, has. We have received more contributions from
more people than any candidate in the history of this country at this point in election,
averaging $18 apiece. We are a candidate of the working class in
this country. Our major contributors are teachers. I’m very proud of that. I don’t go to billionaires’
homes. I don’t go to wine — whatever they call them — wine caves to raise billions
— you know, lots of money. We don’t do that. And anybody who tells you, Judy, that when
billionaires contribute, when the CEOs and when the pharmaceutical industry contribute,
they don’t want anything, they’re just doing it out of the goodness of their heart, I don’t
think anybody in America believes that. And that is why we have such massive — why,
in terms of the drug companies, we pay 10 times more than Canada and other countries
do for the same exact medicine. Of course, billionaires contribute for a reason.
They want influence in the political process. I don’t want their money. My job is to represent
the middle class and working families of this country. JUDY WOODRUFF: Of course, there’s another
billionaire in the race. We can talk about him the next time — the next time we’re together. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I heard about that. I
did. JUDY WOODRUFF: Senator Bernie Sanders, thank
you. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you very much,
Judy.

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