The Barefoot Accountant of Accountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLC, presents the video and transcript of an interview of Senator Bernie Sanders conducted by Bob Schieffer of CBS News’ Face the Nation on May 10, 2015.
BOB SCHIEFFER: We turn now to the Democratic side, and Hillary Clinton finally got a declared challenger. He is not a Democrat, Vermont– Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He’s called himself an independent socialist. Senator, welcome. Let me just start out by asking you, what is a socialist these days? I mean, I remember when a socialist was somebody who wanted to nationalize the railroads and things like that.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vermont/Democratic Presidential Candidate): That’s not the case.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Is that what you have in mind?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I am proud of being the longest serving independent in the history of the United States Congress. I’m proud that my state of Vermont allowed me to do that. When we talk about Democratic socialism, I think it’s important to realize that there are countries around the world like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, who’ve had social democratic governments on and off for many, many years. And we can learn a whole lot from some of those countries. For example, the United States is the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people as a right. And if you look at the health care systems in those countries, you know what? Not only do they cover all their people, much more cost effective than we are. We end up spending almost twice as much as they do, in terms of education, Bob, all of those countries; in Germany, Austria, many other countries. You know what they say? They’re in a highly competitive global economy. All people, regardless of their income, should be able to get a college education. College education is free in those countries. That makes a lot of sense to me. In terms of childcare, our childcare system today, talking about Mother’s Day, is a total disaster. Those systems are much better by and large. What they do is many of these countries have higher voter turnouts than we do. They have governments which do a lot better job representing their middle class, rather than a billionaire class, which have so much power today in our economic and political system.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, would you do consider yourself more liberal than the most liberal Democrat?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I think it’s fair to say that I am perhaps the most progressive member of the United States Senate. And by the way, Bob, I have made a decision to run within the Democratic primary process and I will abide by all of the regulations that come down in each of the states. I made that decision. That’s what we’re going to do.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So in states where you have to be a Democrat to run in (INDISTINCT) you will be–
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I am going to run– I am running as a Democrat in the Democratic primary process.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you right now, do you really think you could beat Hillary Clinton? And, if so, how and where is she vulnerable?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Okay. Great question. The answer is, yes. And the answer is, because there is, in my view, massive dissatisfaction in this country today with corporate establishment and the greed of corporate America and an incredibly unequal distribution of wealth and income which currently exists. Bob, when you have ninety-nine percent of all new income generated today going to the top one percent, when you have the top– you have the top one-tenth of one percent, only– almost as much income as the bottom ninety percent, people working longer hours for low wages and all of the money was going to the people on top. You know what people don’t think that’s a good idea. In terms of the politics of America, as a result of this disastrous Citizens United, Supreme Court decision, clearly, the billionaires, Koch Brothers and others, are owning the political process. They will determine who the candidates are. Let me say this thing. If elected president, I will have a litmus test in terms of my nominee to be a Supreme Court justice. And that nominee will say that we are all going to overturn this disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United because that decision is undermining American democracy. I do not believe that billionaires should be able to buy politicians.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Hillary Clinton says she is going to have a super PAC, says she has to do it, she didn’t like it but she has to do it to compete. What about that?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I understand where she is coming from. I will not have a super PAC. Look, we announced a week and a half ago, Bob, and since that time, we have had two hundred thousand people go to BernieSanders.com to sign up for the campaign. We’ve had close to ninety thousand contributions. Do you know what the average contribution was? It’s about forty-three dollars, forty-three bucks, for middle-class working families, so I don’t think we are going to outstand Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush or anybody else but I think we are going to raise the kinds of money that we need to run a strong and winning campaign.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, threshold question, why– why would you be better in all of that than Hillary Clinton?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, first of all, let me say that I– I have known Hillary Clinton for twenty-five years. I respect her and I admire her. But I think we are living in a very strange moment in American history. And that is the problems facing us, in terms of income and wealth inequality and the fact that real employment is eleven percent; youth unemployment, seventeen percent. In terms of the fact that climate change is threatening the very foundations of our planet, that we need strong and bold leadership, I would ask people to take a look at the roles that I’ve been playing for the last twenty-five years standing up for working families and I have had a record which is taking on the billionaire class, taken on Wall Street, taken on the private insurance companies, and the drug companies.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But why are– the question was why are you better at it, what– what’s wrong with Hillary Clinton? Is she– where is she vulnerable?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I’ll give you an example. Right now, as you know, Congress is in the midst of a debate on– on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I am strongly opposed to that trade agreement because I think it follows in the footsteps of other disastrous trade agreements which have cost us millions of jobs. In terms of foreign policy, Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. I voted– not only did I vote against it, I help lead the effort against what I knew would be a disaster. In terms of climate change, I have helped lead the effort against the Keystone Pipeline. I’m not quite sure that Hillary Clinton has come out with a position on that. So those are just some of the areas where we differ.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Bernie Sanders, we thank you for being here. Hope to talk to you again as we get down the trail. And we’ll be back in one minute with more on the campaign.
The Barefoot Accountant recap:
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders explains why he thinks he thinks his record of “strong and bold leadership” could help him best candidate Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
Bernie Sanders believes that he can beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic Presidential primary because many Americans are upset and angry about the gross inequality of income and wealth in their country, with 99% of the income going to the top 1% and with one-tenth of 1% of the population owning nearly 90% of the wealth in their country.
It is important to note that Bernie Sanders differentiated himself from Hillary Clinton on the following issues:
- He is against the Keystone Pipeline, implying that Hillary Clinton has not spoken out against it.
- He voted against the War in Iraq while Hillary Clinton voted for it.
- He is opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which will outsource another 40 million more jobs overseas while Hillary Clinton has not spoken out in opposition to this trade agreement and while Bill Clinton endorsed NAFTA.
- He will not take any money from Super PACs while Hillary Clinton will be taking big money from them.
So if you are for the Keystone Pipeline against the position of environmentalists; if you are for continued wars in the Middle East; if you are for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which will outsource 40 million more jobs overseas; and if you are for Citizens United and Super PACs buying elections; then you should vote for Hillary Clinton.