HAYES: At a round table with high school students yesterday in
Nevada, Hillary Clinton outlined a position on immigration that delighted
immigrant rights activists. Clinton didn`t just offer a clear and an
unequivocal support for a path to full citizenship for undocumented
immigrants, she went further than that, saying that as president, she would
do everything she legally can to help them.
She put herself, in fact, to the left of President Obama, promising to
expand his executive order of protecting so-called DREAMers from
deportation, to include the parents of undocumented immigrants brought to
you U.S. as children as well, even though the Obama Justice Department has
indicated it views such a move as illegal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are more people,
like many parents of DREAMers and others, with deep ties and contributions
to our communities who deserve a chance to stay, and I will fight for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This is not the only issue where Hillary Clinton has staked
out a position on the left, on tax rates, criminal justice reform and other
issues. Clinton has sought to align herself in the early goings, with the
liberal base of her party. Just this morning, her campaign manager Robby
Mook indicated she supported the push for debt-free college education.
Now, if Clinton seems to be acting like she is facing a primary
challenge from the left, that may be because — well, she is facing a
primary challenge from the left. There are currently two declared
candidates in the race for Democratic presidential nomination — the other
being Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
And despite the long odds Sanders would seem to face against Clinton
who boasts high name recognition and strong connections to donors and party
leaders, Sanders who only announced his campaign last Friday has had a very
good first week. “Huffington Post” reported he`s raised $3 million in just
four days. He has brought in a crew of former aides to President Obama to
help with his campaign.
Today, he unveiled legislation to break up big banks, drawing at least
an implicit contrast with Clinton who some progressives view as too closely
aligned with the financial sector.
Also today, Sanders sent a letter to President Obama asking him to
cancel a trip to Nike headquarters. Quote, “Given Nike`s legacy of
offshoring American jobs and exploiting low wage workers.”
And joining me now is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, candidate for
All right. Senator, let`s start with immigration reform. Do you —
if — as president, would you take the same position enunciated by Hillary
Clinton yesterday in terms of executive action to protect the parents of
those people who were brought here as children who were protected in the
president`s first executive action?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The short answer
is absolutely. And I applaud the secretary for taking that position.
Look, I voted and fought for immigration reform, voted for the Senate
passage of that legislation. We have 11 million people in this country
living in the shadows, living in fear. That`s got to end. We need a path
towards citizenship for all of those people.
And the best way forward, of course, is legislation rather than
executive action, but I certainly would go forward with that type of
HAYES: OK. Not to — I don`t want to tarry on this too long. But
you and now — you and now Secretary Clinton are endorsing a position that
the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel has rejected as unlawful,
just to be clear here. I mean, did they get it wrong?
SANDERS: Look, the courts are the people who determine what is legal
or not. And I think what you need is an administration that fights for
justice, fights for what`s right, takes the case to the courts and you do
your best to win that case.
HAYES: You introduced a bill today to break up too big to fail banks.
Is this an area of differentiation between you and Secretary Clinton?
SANDERS: Well, I suspect it is. But what`s most important, we have
to deal with the reality that you`ve got six financial institutions in this
country that have assets equivalent to 60 percent of the GDP in America.
They issue about half of the mortgages and one-third of the credit cards in
And in my view, if a financial institution is, quote/unquote, “too big
to fail”, it should be too big to exist. I think if Teddy Roosevelt, a
good Republican, were here today, he would say, break them up. They simply
have too much power. They are an island unto themselves. They are not
doing good service for the American economy.
HAYES: You, I think, are seen by progressives as a fellow
progressive. You have an identity that`s very associated with the liberal
wing of the Democratic Party.
I want to talk about your stance on guns. “Slate” had a headline,
“Bernie Sanders, Gun Nut”. They go through your record. They talk about
how you voted against the Brady Act. How you voted to allow guns on
checked bags on Amtrak. How you`ve actually gotten fairly high scores from
Are you, in fact, Senator, a gun nut?
SANDERS: Well, actually, if you check it out, the last rating I got
from the NRA to the best of my knowledge was an “F”, was an “F”. That
doesn`t quite make me a gun nut.
In my state of Vermont, we are a very rural state where guns are about
hunting, target practice, antique guns, and we have a pretty low crime
rate. I do believe, obviously, that nationally, guns in Baltimore and guns
in Los Angeles are very different. I have voted against the importation of
assault weapons. And I understand not every part of America is the state
HAYES: There is a big controversy brewing over the Trans Pacific
Partnership, specifically Congress giving “fast track” authority to the
executive, to be able to essentially strike the deal and vote on it in
full. Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was asked how the campaign,
the Clinton campaign, would deal with the trade deal. He joked, “Can you
make it go away?” Which I thought was a pretty funny line actually.
You have been an outspoken opponent to it. Do you want to respond to
Podesta`s joke there?
SANDERS: Yes, John. It ain`t going to go away. In fact, we`re going
to be voting on it fairly soon.
Look, ever since I have been in the Congress, what I have understood
is that all of these trade agreements, NAFAT, CAFTA, permanent normal trade
relations with China and now the TPP — these are proposals that by and
large are being pushed by corporate America, they`re being pushed by Wall
Street, they`re being pushed by the pharmaceutical industry.
Since 2001, Chris, we have lost almost 60,000 factories in America,
millions of decent paying jobs. Trade is not the only reason for the
deindustrialization of America. It has played an important part.
In terms of TPP, I do not want American workers involved in a race to
the bottom, competing against people in Vietnam where the minimum wage is
56 cents an hour. We need a trade policy which helps poor people around
the world, but you can do that without losing millions of jobs in this
country or driving wages down.
HAYES: All right. Senator Sanders, there`s a lot more I wanted to
ask you, including your brother`s campaign in England right now and the
Green Party. We`re going to have to save that for — someone told me about
it today and I said, what? But we`re going to have to save that for the
next time that you and I talk. You`ll be on the campaign trail, so there
will be lots of opportunities.
HAYES: Thank you.
SANDERS: Great. Thank you.