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tv   The CNN Iowa Presidential Town Hall  CNN  January 25, 2016 9:00pm-11:01pm PST

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>> clinton obama. >> exactly. >> and bernie sanders is not doing that. and that does create some heartburn, especially for black voters, it creates heartburn. it does. >> and i'm sorry to once you leave -- >> whatever. >> once you leave iowa and you leave new hampshire, people in the south, when we get to these other primaries, we want to build on and protect the legacy of barack obama. so she's hitting those notes. and i think that's going to carry her a little further. >> stand by, everyone. because this is the top of the hour and i have to tell everyone what we're doing here. you just heard hillary clinton and bernie sanders and martin o'malley a short while ago make their closing arguments at cnn's town hall in des moines. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. it's midnight here on the east coast and we are just one week away from the first vote in the nation at the iowa caucuses. can hillary clinton energize her campaign? will bernie sanders, his improbable rise, take him to the top? and who's the best candidate to go against the gop? we're going to continue to talk about our discussion here.
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let's show this new cnn/orc poll. it shows clinton leading the democratic race nationwide with 52% to sanders' 38%. continuing our conversation now, peter beinart, also van jones, gloria borger, michael smerconish, donna brazile, and bakri sellers. it highlights how important iowa was in all of this when you look at the polls, you look at what happened. also we didn't talk much about the republicans. have we mentioned trump once? >> thank god. >> it's midnight and we haven't mentioned him in an hour. >> and we haven't mentioned o'malley. >> i've got something nice to say about martin o'malley. >> first of all -- >> we did talk about o'malley. you said he was going to bring it. and you said, well, he showed up. he was present. >> he did do very well today. i mean, he's going before the firebrand surge. 74-year-old devout socialist who's a revolutionary. and hillary clinton, who's a staalward of the party. that's difficult.
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>> and he said let's not talk about process, let's talk about people. and i think in his response to many of the questions he tried to bring it back to the people. the people in iowa. and then he tried to bring it back to his own message in terms of delivering, as -- come on. i'm being generous. >> you know you're on tv, right? >> i'm going to be catty. he tries too hard to be transformative. >> i saw a tweet from a reporter at "the new york times" that says, "why does he always look like a stock photograph of someone running for president?" he's like the getty image -- >> candidates rise and fall in large measure on whether their messages capture something in the country. bernie sanders is doing well not because of his aesthetics but because of this particular moment in the democratic party anger at wall street and the fact that even a democratic president hasn't been able to rein them in has a lot of currency. martin o'malley has just never found an issue, a message that really resonates with democrats. >> he wins the aesthetic
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argument. definitely. >> he did talk about climate change. he talked about it from the point of view of jobs. he pointed out that 39% of iowa is being powered by clean energy right now. >> he mentioned black lives matter. >> he did mention black lives matter. >> i thought that was his strongest response of the night. a lot of practice on that issue. >> fair enough. but listen, i think that there are some issues out there when you talk about reproductive health for women, whether you're talking about clean energy and climate, that are really powerful issues for the base. and he tried to deal with that. and i think he gets some credit for that. >> but you know, he was trying to make at the outset of this campaign the generational argument that he was a generation maybe younger than certainly bernie sanders, hillary clinton, and that he was going to be the change candidate. well, it turns out that the 74-year-old happens to be the change candidate in the democratic party. who would have thunk that? and he kind of lost his mojo on
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that. and also after the violence in baltimore erupted, he had been the mayor of baltimore, he'd been the governor of maryland. i think that kind of was a huge speed bump. >> right. let's be honest. one thing that martin o'malley does come into this race with is he has a glaring progressive record. a track record back in baltimore and back in maryland. i'm not sure there's been any -- there have been very few governors that have implemented as many progressive policies in their state as martin o'malley. minus criminal justice reform and some of the things he did in baltimore. when you saw the city explode. >> i was surprised he actually brought the -- where's he going with this? >> that young lady was a bad young lady. >> as we say, don, she threw some shade. >> a lot of the students were -- >> he's still on the stage. he's still competing for votes. and there are still a lot -- i want to go back to the earlier point, there are still a lot of undecided people out there. so o'malley might catch fire.
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>> he did not -- he did not answer chris's question. i don't think it came from the audience. relative to the 15%. if you don't meet that threshold, where would you like your vote to go? >> he answered. >> no. >> he said my vote is stand resolute, do not go anywhere. >> martin o'malley is not only looking at 2016. >> is that really an answer? i guess it is. >> martin o'malley's looking at 2020. he's looking at whether this race puts him in a position to be in the top tier the next time around. >> let's talk about 2016 right now. because president obama sort of gave this tacit endorsement of hillary clinton today. half a hug to politico. let's listen to that. >> i think bernie came in with the luxury of being a complete long shot. >> right. >> and just letting loose. i think hillary came in with the both privilege and burden of being perceived as the front-runner. as i've said before, i think that like any candidate her
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strengths can be her weaknesses. her strengths, which are the fact that she's extraordinarily experienced and, you know, wicked smart and knows every policy inside and out sometimes could make her more cautious and campaign more in prose than in poet poetry, but those are also her strengths. it means that she can govern and she can start here day one, more experienced than any non-vice president has ever been, who aspires to this office. >> gloria, what was that? was that kind of an endorsement? was it a hug? what was it? >> it was a half hug -- >> it wasn't a chris christie hug. >> exactly. it was not. but it was interesting to hear obama talk about the problems of the front-runner and talk about hillary clinton very differently from the way we heard him talk about her when he first ran against her, it was kind of out of body.
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but you could see that he clearly understands that he eds her to win, as i was saying before, and that his legacy really depends on her. because bernie sanders has said that he doesn't like obamacare, he would dismantle it for single payer or would at least try to. i don't think he could possibly get that through any congress. but this is what he's talked about. and i think this is a president who understands where his legacy lies. and he likes her. >> you're an independent. >> yes. absolutely. >> so as an independent how did that read to you in did that read to you as an endorsement? >> it read to me as him wanting to help her over the finish line in iowa. that's it. >> go ahead, donna. >> true. but you know, this is something i know. he respects her. he really respects her opinion. he values -- >> and she'll tell you because she made -- he made her secretary of state. >> but he values her opinion. he respects her.
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and i know we go back to this whole issue of whether she's going to be -- i listen to these young men. i'm going to say this, baby. >> go on. >> she doesn't need to put obama behind her name. this woman has walked the walk. she has been in the fire. okay? i know bernie too. he's been out there in the fire. in fact, bernie has built some fires. but hillary doesn't need to have a man to make her great. she is outstanding in her own right, whether you like her or not. >> let's listen. are you done? because you're -- are you done? >> are we going to go to commercial? >> i can't wait to -- >> and the president just said that we have to change her name or add it. she has her own, you know. >> we'll take wagers in the break on what -- how soon that ends up in an ad. let's listen to her responding
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to that. >> i was really touched and gratified when i saw that. people here in iowa remember, we ran a really hard race against each other. and then i had the opportunity when he asked me to serve as his secretary of state. and it not only was a great working relationship. it turned into a real friendship. and he knows how hard the job is. he knows it firsthand. so i really appreciated what he said and how he said it because it was a positive reflection on what we have to get done and how hard it's going to be. and therefore the stakes in the election are really high. and i think that's what voters are beginning to really tune into starting here in iowa. >> he says also in there you get undue criticism, and he says, and by the way, i have some regrets about my campaign and some of the things we did. was that surprising?
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>> yes. that was surprising. [ laughter ] you know, i really appreciated him saying that because he'd said that -- he had that great line, which i love. i think he said something like, "you know, she had to do" -- he said i was like fred astare and she had to do everything i had to do only she was ginger rogers doing it backwards in high heels. and i thought that was a really -- [ applause ] a very sweet remark. >> so donna, i will give you that. she is an accomplished woman. and any accomplished woman they don't need to put a guy's name behind there. so i will give you that. but what do you think of that? you said there's a lot of blood on the table. >> well, no, i'm saying that 2008 for those of us who were actively involved. were you born there? i'm joking. after we get to the midnight hour you know that's a whole different donna that's going to show up. here's the thing. there was a lot of blood on the table. we know it was blood -- >> on the floor, everywhere. >> and the fight didn't end
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until june 4th when she announced. and then we had to go through the convention and try getting those two camps together. i was in the middle of some of those battles. >> i think there are still problems. >> president obama not too long ago criticized hillary clinton and said you know, it's different when you're running for president than when you're serving as president. when she called for no-fly zones in syria. and at his press conference he kind of gave her a little twist of the knife there and said you know, it's a little different. but without naming her specifically. so it's not as if they agree on everything. but again, i think he did what he felt he had to do. and i do think he genuinely respects her. >> this was important for the establishment of the party to come together, this was important. and i think at an emotional level you saw something in hillary clinton when she was talking about it, that was important personally. it was important politically. but if you're not part of the establishment it just looks like the establishment closing ranks -- >> i've got to get to a break if
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you can do it quickly, peter. >> what you're seeing is the democratic party is much more united than the republican party. it's a fundamental difference between these two parties right now, and it's a source of strength for the democrats. they don't hate each other in the way the republicans right now do. >> true. >> but it is -- yes. >> the democrats are acting like republicans and the republicans are acting like a bunch of democrats fighting all the time. >> stay with me, everyone. when we come right back, the man looming over this race. guess who? >> obama. >> donald trump. donald trump. e*trade is all about seizing opportunity. so i'm going to take this opportunity to go off script. so if i wanna go to jersey and check out shotsy tuccerelli's portfolio, what's it to you? or i'm a scottish mason whose assets are made of stone like me heart. papa! you're no son of mine! or perhaps it's time to seize the day.
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starts with an alfredo sauce withmade-from-scratch.oli because the most comforting thing about comfort food, is who you're sharing it with. marie callender's. we've been talking about the cnn democratic town hall tonight, but we've also got news on the republican side to share with you. donald trump sat down with our very own wolf blitzer today, and he took on his rivals, and he took another shot at fox news' megyn kelly. listen. >> before iowa there's a republican debate thursday night. fox is hosting that debate. you and megyn kelly have had issues. she's one of the moderators. are you going to be at that fox debate? >> well, probably. i don't like her. she doesn't treat me fairly.
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i'm not a big fan of hers at all. i don't care. she probably was -- i might be the best thing that ever happened to her. i don't know. whoever even heard of her before the last debate? but i thought she was very unfair in the last debate. a lot of people said i won that debate. everybody said i won the last debate. but i'm not a fan of megyn kelly. i don't like her. she probably doesn't like me. and that's okay. but she'd better be fair. i'd like to go to the debate. i enjoy the debates. i've done well in the debates. every single poll has said i've won every debate. but we're going to see what happens. going to be exciting. >> when you say probably, you haven't 100% decided you will be -- >> no. nothing's 100%. >> why not? >> i just have -- i'm not 100%. i'll see. if i think i'm going to be treated unfairly, i'll do something else. but i don't think she can treat me fairly, actually. i think she's very biased and i don't think she can treat me fairly. but that doesn't mean i don't do the debate. i like doing the debates. i've won every single debate according to every poll. i've won every single debate. i think the debates have been good. you know, after the last debate i went up 11 points in the
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polls. i went up 11 points right after the debate. the poll came out. i went up 11 points because of the debate. so i want to do the debates. they're good for me. but i don't think she can treat me fairly and i'm not a big fan of hers. maybe i kno too much about her. >> you and i have been doing interviews for at least a decade. you've changed your position on some issues. but on certain national security issues you've been remarkably consistent. >> it's true. >> and i want to get specific with you. on what you would do if you were elected president. this is october 2008. this is what you said about iraq. >> hey, look, it wasn't saddam hussein that attacked the world trade center. okay? in fact, those people when they sent their families back, most of them went back to saudi arabia. it wasn't saddam hussein that took down the world trade center. and in fact, saddam hussein killed terrorists. they had very few terrorists because he didn't want terrorists in iraq and he killed terrorists. so we go and attack saddam
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hussein. iraq now is the number one breeding ground for terrorists. all the terrorists go to iraq to learn their trade. you know we all have trades. and you go to iraq. but we didn't have that when saddam hussein was running iraq with an iron fist. now we do. we took out saddam hussein. what have we created? a mess. and the day we leave iraq it's going to be forget it. >> and there's not one word in that i would change. not even a word. i also said, if you went on or i said to other people at the time, that iran will take over iraq. it's going to happen. just as you're sitting there. iran will take over iraq. >> iran's influence in iraq has grown inordinately. >> it's not influence. they're going to take it over. >> what would you do -- if you were president on january 20th, 2017, you're sworn in as president. what would you do to, a, stop isis and, b, prevent let's say iran from taking over iraq? >> well, the one thing i would have done a long time ago is take the oil. and we still don't do it
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properly. but i would have taken the oil. when we left we shouldn't have been in iraq. and i said don't go into iraq and don't go in, you're going to destabilize the whole middle east, another thing i said there. you're going to totally destabilize the middle east and iran is going to take over. now we're in because of stupid decisions. we're in. and they didn't knock down the world trade center, by the way. they have nothing to do with knocking down the wrlths world trade center. thousands of lives. wounded warriors all over the place. and now iran has taken it over. i would take the oil but i would have taken the oil when we left. as bad as it was, we shouldn't have been there, i would have taken the oil when we left because we just left a shell. these aren't politicians. these are corrupt officials running iraq. these are totally corrupt people. and iran essentially is right now controlling iraq. if you look over history, they would fight but they were equal. nobody would move. they would fight for years and years. because there was -- we decapitated -- we decapitated their military, and now iran goes in and --
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>> how aggressive would you be in trying to dry estroy -- >> i don't want to tell you. you know why? because i want to be unpredi unpredictable. we need unpredictability in this country. you're asking a question like that. i know it's politically never good to say i don't want to tell you. but i have a good chance of winning. i don't want the enemies and even our allies to know exactly what i'm thinking. we've got to be poker players. we've got to be chess players. you know what we are. we're checker players, and we don't play well. and part of the reason is we always tell everything. like obama goes and he's got 50 people that he's sending over. why does he have to make an nuancement he's sending 50 people, he's sending 50 soldiers, our finest over there to iraq and to syria? why does he have to say that? why does he have to announce it? why couldn't he just let them go? excuse me. they have a target on their back. >> van jones, peter beinart, gloria borger, michael smerconish, donna brazile and
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backari. >> when he said that -- i was getting to that. when he said that, you guys gasped. why? >> because she's a reporter. and more than that she's a respected journalist. i don't watch her often because that conflicts with me watching anderson. >> preach. >> but she's a reporter. she's a moderator. she is a professional. and whether you like her or dislike her you just don't telegraph that. i think it's very unprofessional. >> he's like a cry baby. i'm going to take on isis but i don't like megyn being mean to me, mommy. it's like are you a tough guy or someone. >> what happened to any decorum in the political process? there is a way that you address women in general. and he has just debunked any form of respectability that's out there. my mother would not let me talk to another woman like that no matter what she was saying about me or who she worked for. >> but is there a method to -- i'm just --
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>> nobody is floating on television now that we're back from the sought here, what we were all just agreeing, which is that she's just not into him. and he's got to relax and -- he's got a reaction that is high schoolish. >> i was waiting for one of you to say it. >> okay. but is there a method to his madness? he's setting it up. >> i have to say, i didn't give him credit for many, many months. he has a great ear. maybe not with regard to megyn kelly. but he's very attuned. he tries out the lines. he goes back to the well. there's a method to his madness. he knows what he's doing. i used to think it was all buffoonery. but he plays the game very well. >> he's setting up the audience, for people to tune, in because there's this animosity between the two. >> she asked him a tough question, which i bet she will because she's a good journalist. if she asks him a tough
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question, then he can say, well, that's just megyn kelly, who doesn't like me. right? >> when you saw that political instinct was in the second half of the answer when he talked about the iraq war. and this is what donald trump's strength is. he is kind of liberated from some of the republican party talking points that most americans don't believe anymore. so he's actually willing to go out there and say you know what? the iraq war was a mistake. we should have kept saddam hussein in power. right? that's what a lot of americans think, even a lot of republicans think. but it's not the mainstream republican line. and it's that independence that is part of the reason he's doing well. >> he was right on the war, and he talks about iran. but he wants to bomb the oil fields. >> he actually sounds like nixon on this. >> you're giving him a whole lot of credit. >> listen, what nixon said in '68, i have a secret plan to end the war. i won't tell you what it is because if i tell you what it is then they'll know. but trust me, i have a secret plan. >> and he didn't. >> and the same thing just right
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now, you have donald trump saying i'm not going to tell you what i'm going to do. i'm going to do something. this guy is nixon on some sort of bizarre meth. and that's what you're seeing now. >> my goodness. did you say mess or meth? >> meth. methamphetamin methamphetamines. >> if it gets down to one on one and it's trump versus whomever in the republican primaries he's going to get called out, as he has been. it hasn't stuck yet. but for not being a conservative. for his plan -- right now with a very large field you can get away with a lot of stuff. cruz is starting. jeb bush tried, failed. lindsey graham tried, failed. rick perry tried, failed. you name it. and cruz is trying and failing to a degree. but there's a certain point when he says i have a secret plan the voters, republican voters say that's not -- >> when you say he's going to get called out on not being conservative enough. because here's the dinner
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conversation in new york city, at least in the circles. they say he's not a real republican, he doesn't believe what he's saying, he just wants to win and i may just vote for him on that premise. >> they say that because he's had positions all over the sxlas he compares himself to ronald reagan and he says so did ronald reagan have positions all over the place. >> he's not a conventional politician. he doesn't have a record in public office. he doesn't care what other people think about him. the voters who like him, they like him because of the enemies that he's made. that's why donald trump is doing so well. >> hillary clinton was asked about donald trump at the town hall. listen. >> hi, secretary clinton. america today is formed by a very diverse group of people. and with the current rise in islamophobia and the black lives matter movement how can they make sure that the united states today is -- that you protect the constitutional rights of all groups of people without marginalizing any one community,
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specifically as a mother of three young children as an american muslim, how can i make sure that this country is the best place on earth to raise my family? >> thank you. [ applause ] thank you for your service in the military. >> it's my pleasure. >> and one of the -- one of the most distressing aspects of this campaign has been the language of republican candidates, particularly their front-runner, that insults, demeans, denigrates different people. he has cast a wide net. he started with mexicans. he's currently on muslims. but i found it particularly harmful the way that he has
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talked about muslims. american muslims and muslims around the world. and i've called him out continuously about that. it's not only shameful and contrary to our values to say that people of a certain religion should never come to this country or to claim that there are no real people of the muslim faith who share our values and to have the kind of dismissive and insulting approach. it's not only shameful and offensive, which it is. i think it's dangerous. and it's dangerous in several ways. it's danrous because american muslims deserve better and now their children and they are the target of islamophobia, of threats. i've met a number of parents who have said their children are afraid to go to school because
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they are worried about how they will be treated. and we cannot tolerate this. and we must stand up and say every person in this country deserves to be treated with respect. and we must stand up against the bullying. >> so by all accounts it was a good answer? >> good answer. >> but there's something i want to talk about in the visuals and the imagery because i thought the answer was good. but i thought that the young lady asking the question was even more important. you had a muslim-american veteran of our military who decided she was going to go out and fight for our freedom and then come back home to a country where you hear donald trump yelling and screaming and saying kick them out, talking about raising her children. and even more importantly, if you juxtapose that against the images we saw from donald trump's rally this week where you had muslim-americans being escorted out, forcibly escorted out. and here you have a young lady who was actually able to ask about her children's future to
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the former secretary of state of the united states. that in itself encapsulates the difference in the decorum and the tenor of the two parties. and that is why i'm betting on america and i would bet on a democratic party to be number -- >> let me get to the independents. what do you make of that moment? >> i thought that was arguably her strongest response of the night. and i think maybe in the short term it doesn't do much to help or hurt trump but in the long term i think to your point among independents that's the sort of a response that i think decides an election. >> it shows how dramatically things have changed. back in 2000, not that long ago, that george w. bush was actually campaigning for the muslim vote, criticizing the clinton administration for the way it was treating muslims when they were trying to come to the united states. we have seen this dramatic shift in which the democratic party has become the party of mexican immigrants and the party of the rights of american muslims. and this is going to define the parties i think for elections to come, and it's going to hurt republicans because those
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population groups are growing in the united states and younger voters support their equal rights. >> but is it fair, xwloria, to say the bulk of the republican party and even most of the candidates have denounced this sort of language? >> yes, they have. >> no. >> very tepidly. >> very tepid at best. >> no, they've come out and said that donald trump is wrong. paul ryan, the speaker of the house -- >> don, here's the reality. i have a friend. her name is nancy lubling. she runs something called the crisis text line. it's where teenagers basically text in if they want to kill themselves. she said she has seen a dramatic jump in the number of muslim-american teenagers that have -- are really thinking about taking their own -- these are american kids. thinking about taking their own lives because of the tone and tenor. if the gop were out there denouncing this, those kids would feel differently. and they don't feel differently. >> she said tonight that kids who don't want to go to school, she referenced some of the same things -- i want to play this.
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more from donald trump's interview with wolf blitzer when he talks about his plan to defeat isis. listen to this. >> would you use ground forces to destroy isis? >> i will tell you, i will destroy isis. i will destroy isis. do you know how bad it is for me to say that? wouldn't it be nice if we could surprise them in general george patton didn't say wolf blitzer, would you use ground forces, no, i would use, no, i wouldn't use. you've got to have an element of surprise. you have to have some unpredictability. we have so predictable. you have to have -- you have to be unpredictable a little bit. when obama announced that he was leaving, okay? he gave a definite day. when heaid we're leaving iraq. we shouldn't have been there. but he should have never announced a date certain when we were leaving. we're totally predictable as a nation. now, bottom line, i will do a number on isis like you couldn't believe. but i don't want to sit here and tell you every single thing i want to do. you know, at some point we're
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warriors, right? at some point you have to surprise the enemy. i watch these guys like lindsey graham, who's just not a smart person. he says we have to go here with this number of people and we have to attack them from this level and this level. wouldn't it be nice if we could surprise them and knock the hell out of them? >> another interview we did on september 24th, 2007 right here. you said this about america's standing in the world at the time. >> well, just look at this country. we've gone from this tremendous power that was respected all over the world to somewhat of a laughing stock. and all of a sudden people are talking about china and india and other places, even from an economic standpoint. america's come down a long way, a long way. the united states has come down a long way. and it's very, very sad. we're not respected. >> that was the beginning of china -- that was the beginning of china. that was the beginning of ind ja. by the way, india's doing great. nobody talks about it. and i have big jobs going up in
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india. but india's doing great. that was the beginning of china. that was the beginning of india. look at everything i told you. everything i told you is all right. whether it's iraq, whether it's iran, whether it's china, whether it's india, whether it's japan. >> president george w. bush, he was in office -- >> right. >> -- in 2007 when you said this. >> absolutely. i'm no fan. i've never been a fan of bush. >> but who's more responsible for the weakening of america internationally? would it be president bush or president obama? because you've been very critical of both. >> i think bush did a bad job and i think obama carried it out. he continued to do a bad job. >> who do you blame more? >> i would say it's pretty equal. i would say obama's been very, very weak. it could have been stemmed at the beginning of his administration. what he didn't do is he didn't -- >> who? >> obama. the devaluation of the chinese currency has killed us. they have created one of the great thefts of all time. they have stripped our country of jobs, of money, of factories.
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you look at the number of factories that have closed. and i'm not only talking about china. i'm talking about other countries too. look at mexico. what they're doing to us. it's unbelievable. that's a mini version of china. and obama allowed them to get away with it now for almost eight years. >> if you were elected president, would you move the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem? >> i would, yes. >> how quickly would you do that? >> i'd do it fairly quickly. i have a lot of friends in that world. you know, i was at the israeli day parade in 2004, i was the grand marshal walking up 5th avenue. and i have great relationships to israel. and by the way, the worst thing that's ever happened to israel is barack obama. and especially with respect to this horrible deal that we just made with iran. this is the worst thing that's happened to israel. i do not know -- and i tell my jewish friends, how do you support this guy? he's a disaster for israel. and most of them don't know. they say, we don't know. it's almost like it's a habit. >> back in 2008 when we spoke you called sarah palin, who's now endorsed you, "very
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impressive" and you said you would trust her with the economy. >> i would trust her, yes. >> to deal with this economic crisis, the enormity, something that we haven't seen some say since the great depression. >> well, look at what other people have been doing, and they had a lot of experience and they're the ones that got us into this mess. maybe you need less experience. >> well, that was when she was chosen as the vice presidential nominee by john mccain. and i backed john mccain 100%. he was having an uphill battle because he was sort of like what happened? the last year of bush was a disaster. and john mccain was having a hard time. and yes, i always liked sarah palin. i respected her. i loved her loyalty. even her loyalty to me. look at the beautiful loyalty to me. she went out the other day and backed me in front of thousands of people. we had a packed arena at orel roberts university. bernie, by the way, does not get crowds -- >> you get big crowds. there's no doubt about that. >> and bernie is second. i will say.
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>> he gets big crowds too. >> but it's nowhere near -- >> would you consider sarah palin for your cabinet? >> i don't want to talk about it now. she called me up. she said i love what you've done, you've created a movement, you're going to win, i would love tone doris you. and i was a little surprised because i thought she might -- she's endorsed cruz in the past. in fact, without her endorsement he wouldn't have won for the senate in texas. so i was really impressed that she did that. but she never asked for a thing. >> did you see tina fey reprising sarah palin zblsh i did. >> "saturday night live." >> it was very cute. >> and darryl hammond plays you. what do you think of him? >> i think darryl's great. >> he does a good job. he's very funny you've got to admit. >> he's very good. >> one final question. a lot of buzz that you slept in a holiday inn express the other -- >> i did. two nights actually. i thought it was terrific. it was clean. it was nice. and the bed was good. that's all i need. you know. i don't need maralago. i want to win. i want to make the country great. i want to devote my energy,
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whatever this ability i've had over the years for making things really good and doing well. that's why when i put in my statements, my financial statements, i'm a private company. people couldn't believe how successful i am. more successful than they even thought. i built a great company. some of the greatest assets in the world. and i say that only in that that's the kind of thinking this country needs. we have people that are incompetent running our country. we can't have it anymore. we're not going to have a country left. we're going to do something great. we're going to make america great again. >> mr. trump, thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> thank you. >> my panel responds to the trump wolf blitzer interview right after this break. carry the centimeter, divide by 3.14 something something something... [ beeping, whirring ] great caesar salad! ♪ and now the name your price tool shows people policy options to help fit their budget. is that a true story? yeah! people really do save an average of over $500 when they switch. i mean about you inventing it. i invented the story, and isn't that what really matters?
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back now with reaction from my panel on the donald trump interview and wolf blitzer. you paid more attention to it than the rest of us because we were all discussing everything here. he stayed in a holiday inn and he liked it. >> and it was clean. >> and it was clean. >> there was a good bed. >> he went and found scripture. he liked it. >> two corinthians. >> one of the questions that we all wonder about this guy is whether -- i wonder. is whether there could actually be underreporting in the polls for donald trump because it's politically -- >> i've been saying that. >> i've been saying it for a while as well because it's politically incorrect especially to tell a stranger i'm for this guy. it's sort of a bradley factor in reverse. it makes me wonder.
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>> did we talk about that on television? >> we have, yeah. >> because i always say it comes with this. people say you -- you're zon lemon, right? >> yeah. >> i saw your interview with donald trump. they look over their shoulder and they go, you know, i like that guy. i don't agree with everything he says but i like the fact he'll say it. >> you go to an airport, you're in a green room. when trump comes on television, liberals, democrats, doesn't matter, everybody stops and they listen. when senator clinton's on television, it's like a commercial's on. people, even democrats keep talking. there's something going on here that i think democrats are underestimating. i'm very, very concerned now. i think that a donald trump would be very dangerous in a general election. i think he could go into an ohio, he might be able to talk to african-americans in ohio in a different way. he could cause problems. and i think that democrats have been underestimating this guy. >> why do you think that's happening? because as i've been telling you, just my experience, it's unscientific, but i hear democrats and think don't want to -- i think as you said
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underestimate him, but realize just how powerful donald trump is in this election cycle. >> i think it's partly frankly that it's pretty terrifying to think about what it says about america, frankly, to think that he could have this much support. i mean, this is a man who has called for a religious test on who should be admitted into the country and who has a basic disrespect for our liberal democratic constitutional order. i mean, there's something strongly authoritarian about his tendencies. i think part of the problem is people are actually afraid to believe it. >> i don't know -- i don't think it's just democrats who are underestimating him. i think republicans throughout this entire race underestimated him. and if you recall at the beginning when he started gaining traction republicans were sort of reluctant at first to take him on because they thought he would just go away. they thought he would implode. and then he kept saying things that they thought would make him implode. and he didn't implode. and then they started taking him on and nothing stopped. >> he didn't implode. >> the thing i'm seeing, though,
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is republicans, he's not an opponent, he's running as a republican. the worst thing you can do is underestimate your opponent. >> the primary, all the guys running against him. >> we've been focused on the movement conservatives and who's the top movement conservative. we've been talking about the establishment lane and then donald trump, who's in his own lane. so i think until we get an opportunity to see donald trump versus one member of the establishment and not the thing, the -- then we'll get a better sense of donald trump's strength in the electorate, not just with republicans but in the general election as well. >> the problem with that is it may be too late. after donald trump finishes in iowa, he finishes in new hampshire. he comes to the s.e.c. primary. he has this momentum and he has a whole lot of delegates. >> how will donald trump do in the south? >> donald trump is going to do remarkable in the south. >> you talked about this on "state of the union." >> oh, yeah. >> donald trump has packaged bigotry and xenophobia and he paired that with a lot of fear in this country and has sold it
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better than anybody has in the history of the united states, of this political structure. it's amazing. he's going to go and he's going to talk -- he uses language that's not even coded. donald trump doesn't even use dog whistle politics. i mean, he doesn't -- >> everybody can hear it. >> yeah. he doesn't even try to not offend you. >> can i say something nice about donald trump? it shows that i go to church every now and then. >> i need to go back. >> yeah. >> what donald trump has captured, because i talk to a lot of people too, he's captured the frustration and anger of ordinary americans who feel alienated from their government, who believe their politicians have said i'm going to washington and change things and they are frustrated -- >> wait a second. >> i'm not getting into the xenophobia and all that other stuff. i'm just saying that these are people who want to be heard. and donald trump is their voice. >> but wait a second. there are a lot of americans who feel economic anxiety who are turning to bernie sanders, right? you can feel that economic insecurity. you can be upset about the country. and you can decide who is to blame for that -- >> perhaps if bernie sanders didn't say he was a socialist they might be drawn to him.
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>> there's a lot of fuel in donald trump's sails that come from the fact that a lot -- not a lot but there are many americans who simply don't like the fact that a black man is in the white house. okay? and i just happen -- >> you're going all out tonight. >> it's 12:45. >> not in california. but go ahead. >> that is a fact. that is a motivating factor. i mean, we can talk about people's hearts, but is that not true? >> you're going to jump on this -- >> the demographic complexion of the country is changing dramatically. so barack obama is a symbol for a larger shift. >> i'm not talking about the xenophobia and -- there's racism in this country, but you cannot paint every trump supporter -- >> i agree. >> i won't go there. >> we're all going all in, right? pf we g before we get out of here. >> come join me. i'm in the water. >> you reap what you sow. and i said that via twitter two
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weeks ago. chris cuomo used it this morning right here with glenn beck. this is what you get when party leadership becomes men with moikphones. and when the leadership of the gop has been abdicated to a.m. radio and cable television presenters, not at this station, these candidates, cruz and trump, are a reflection of that leadership. so why should we be surprised when they vault to the top of the polls? because that's who's left in the gop. >> amen. >> there's a vacuum. >> i think not every trump supporter's racist. not every trump supporter's a white guy from the south either. >> these are -- >> not everybody's supporters of occupy wall street. >> republicans who are not only fed up with the establishment, they're fed up with the republican party. they believe the republican party has disappointed them at every turn, hasn't done what it said it was going to, do and they're looking elsewhere.
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and they're not looking toward establishment -- >> i've got to get to a break. >> here's the thing. you're a media guy. i think trump also is a creation of the media system that we're in. fdr was able to use radio in a different way. jfk used tv in a different way. obama used the internet in a different way. trump is a reality tv and social media phenomenon. and being rude on reality tv gets you more ratings. being mean on twitter gets you more followers. he's following the rules of the new system, and nobody else is. >> we don't have time to get to sarah palin and tina fey, do we? let's -- speak of television, go. >> for all you teachers and teamsters. you farmers and charmers. whether you're a mom or two broke girls or three men and a baby or a rock and roller, holy roller pushing stroller, pro bowler with an abscessed molar.
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>> she's a firecracker. she's a real pistol. she's crazy, isn't she? >> ga, ga, ga, ga, ga! >> she is the best impression of anyone i have -- >> i lovet. >> -- i have ever seen. talk about two people who drive headlines and ratings. those two together. >> and votes. >> and votes. >> but listen, i did not think when i actually saw them together that "snl" could do it any better but "snl" did it better. >> you knew that moment was coming because tina fey called and said get me the sparkly jacket, i'll be there in five minutes. we'll be right back after this break.
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takeaway moments. let's get everybody. i'll start with you, bakari. what's your takeaway from tonight? >> iowa's important. iowa's important in this race because of the simple fact that if bernie sanders wins iowa and new hampshire i think the game is really on. it's going to tighten up in south carolina and other places. but i think that hillary clinton did a great job tonight and probably is going to escape iowa to victory. >> if you're a veteran living overseas you can still caucus on monday night. the democratic party has made -- >> true party leader. >> and we also have satellite locations for seniors and others. so check your inbox. >> who separated themselves, donna? >> there's no question that hillary clinton did great, but i also thought that bernie sanders did a wonderful job. and martin o'malley too. i can't take sides. >> michael. >> performances tonight were
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good, beter, and best. i think we all know who fits into each category. i for one just cannot wait for people to cast ballots on monday. i'm so sick and tired of talking about the polls. and i want to see if the polls hold water for trump. >> i've got a minute. peter, go ahead. >> for me the takeaway is how strikingly different -- what a different america it is inside the democratic and republican party. you dent didn't get a lot of anger in the democratic party, not a lot of fear. think america is okay and on the right track. totally different climate than in the republican party. >> hillary clinton was so strong tonight. there was a whole stretch where chris cuomo just disappeared. chris cuomo is a huge force, and he just disappeared. that's how strong she was. >> don't tell him that. >> but bernie sanders showed america why he's surging. and i think he did a great job tonight. >> miss borga, you get the last word. >> hillary clinton knows she's got to win iowa. it's really important to her because her chances are not so good in new hampshire. if she wins iowa she can really
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blunt bernie sanders' momentum. and she came tonight with that understanding. and i think it really showed. he did a good job, but she really was out there saying this is my moment. >> win or go home. >> thank you, everyone. i appreciate it. everyone came to play tonight. all the candidates. >> three snaps for don. >> thank you. and a z formation. thank you, guys. or a circle, whatever one you want. that's it for us. i'll see you back here tomorrow night 10:00 p.m. eastern. make sure you tune in. and if you missed any of tonight's cnn presidential town hall you can see the whole thing in just a moment. good night. in background)seball on tv with heart failure, danger is always on the rise. symptoms worsen because your heart isn't pumping well. (water filling room) about 50 percent of people die (dog whimpering) within 5 years of getting diagnosed. but there's something you can do. talk to your doctor about heart failure treatment options. because the more you know, the more likely you are... (doghimpering)
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♪ we are here in iowa with the voters who are ready to question the three democratic candidates for president of the united states. >> tonight, the democratic candidates on one stage in iowa. >> help me make it happen. >> everybody ready to make a political revolution? >> the final forum before the
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first presidential votes, just one week away. >> are you excited about the future? >> hillary clinton, bernie sanders and martin o'malley taking tough questions from voters on the hottest issues within their party and across the heartland. >> i am not going to let the republicans rip up obamacare. >> if a bank is too big to fail, it's too big to exist. >> we should make it hard for criminals to get guns and easy for all americans to vote. >> with iowa up for grabs, their differences are clearer, and the stakes are even higher. >> what we do not allow, donald trump and the others to divide us up. there is nothing, nothing that we cannot accomplish. >> this is a cnn democratic town hall event. a chance for iowa voters to drive the presidential debate with decision day around the corner. >> we're getting into that period before the caucus that i kind of call the let's get real period. >> iowans are choosing. the nation is watching.
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and candidates are trying to close the deal with voters right now. ♪ [ applause ] all right. we are live at drake university in des moines, iowa, to hear from the democratic presidential candidates and the people who matter most in this election. the voters. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. of course, here in iowa, where we're being seen on our cnn affiliates across the state. we also want to welcome our servicemen and women who are watching on the american forces network around the world. and to our listeners on the westwood one radio network and sirius xm channel 116.
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i'm chris cuomo, and we really are thrilled to have you all with us. now, there have been debates. there have been interviews. tonight, something different. a chance for the people who will decide to ask the questions themselves. as you know, the people of this state are the first in the nation to have a say on who will serve in the oval office. they only have seven days left to make up their minds. in this hall tonight, iowa voters who plan to attend the democratic caucuses next monday night. they were invited by cnn and our partners, the iowa democratic party and drake university. audience members submitted questions to us. we have screened them to make sure they cover a variety of important issues and they do. however, the candidates do not know what the questions will be. many of the voters joining us tonight are undecided. some are leaning toward a particular candidate. now in a bit, we'll talk with governor martin o'malley and secretary hillary clinton, but first, please welcome senator
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bernie sanders of vermont. [ applause ] >> hi, chris. how are you? >> good to see you, senator. busy day? >> yes. and my wife told me to button my coat, but i think i'm too fat, so i'm going to keep -- [ laughter ] >> i'll do the same, then. i'll do the same. so do you remember when we first started talking about this election many months ago, you weren't sure that you wanted to run. you were not sure, you said, that there was an appetite in this country to discuss the problems between rich and poor. how surprised are you by #feelthebern and all that has followed?
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>> chris, our message has resonated much faster, much further than i thought it would. and i think what the american people are perceiving is there is something very wrong in this country when ordinary americans are working longer hours for lower wages, when we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth and almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1%. and then on top of that, people see that that rigged economy is sustained by a corrupt -- and i use that word advisedly -- a corrupt campaign finance system that allows billionaires today to spend as much money as they want through superpacs to elect the candidates of their choice. and all over this country -- and it's not just democrats. it is conservatives. it is republicans that are saying that is not what america
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is supposed to be about. so if you are asking me, why is it that our campaign has created the kind of momentum that it has, i think we are touching a nerve with the american people who understand that establishment politics is just not good enough. we need bold changes. we need a political revolution. >> so you have centered -- [ applause ] you have centered your campaign on this idea of income inequality. interestingly, president obama talking about the job just this morning says you do not have the luxury of focusing on just one thing when you are president of the united states. you have to be able to handle many different priorities. do you think you are up to the whole job? >> of course. president obama is obviously right. being president is an enormously difficult job. it's a job that entails dealing with a million different issues. i think i have the background. i think i have the judgment to do that. i would remind you and remind the viewers that in 2002 when george w. bush and dick cheney
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said we should go to war in iraq, bernie sanders listened very carefully and i said no, i think that war is a dumb idea. i helped lead the opposition to that war. and if you go to my website, listen to what i said, and sadly enough, it gives me no joy, much of what i feared would happen did happen. i do believe i have the background for the job. >> well, it is time for you to make the case. let's do it with the people that matter. the first question comes from gerri ohde. she is she's an undecided voter. gerri? >> yes, senator, some of your detractors have called you a socialist on occasions. and you don't seem too troubled by that and sometimes embrace it. i wonder if you can elaborate on that. >> sure. >> just to show us what the comfort level you have, your definition of it so it doesn't concern the rest of us citizens. >> well, what democratic socialism means to me is that economic rights, the right for economic security, should exist in the united states of america. it means to me that there's
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something wrong when we have millions of senior citizens today trying to get by on $11,000, $12,000 a year, social security. it means there's something wrong when the rich get richer and almost everybody else gets poorer. it means there is something wrong, and government should play a role in making sure that all of our kids, regardless of their income, are able to get a higher education. which is why i'm calling for free tuition at public colleges and universities. and why we have to deal with this horrendous level of student debt that people are having. now, what's going on in countries around the world, in scandinavia and in germany, the ideas that i am talking about are not radical ideas. so what democratic socialism means to me in its essence is that we cannot continue to have a government dominated by the billionaire class and a congress that continues to work for the
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interest of the people on top while ignoring working families. what this campaign is about and what i believe in is creating a government that works for all of us, not just a handful of people on the top. that's my definition of democratic socialism. [ applause ] >> next question, renae segran. she's a nurse. she says she's undecided. she sees how health care plays out every day. she has a concern for you. please, renae. >> senator sanders, you have branded your program, your single payer health program as medicare for all. and medicare has a reputation of having some problems. let me cite one example. a man in our clinic went in to the doughnut hole in september and could not afford the $1,200 a month it would cost him for insulin. so he had to decrease his dose to make its insulin stretch.
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so what do you -- why do you think that people would support your medicare for all program? >> well, i think people will support my medicare for all program because the united states today is the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people as a right. now, i'm on the committee that wrote the affordable care act, and i think the affordable care act has done a lot of good things. but yet we have 29 million people without any health insurance. your point is there are seniors today, and i meet them every day, who cannot afford the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs because in america everybody should know this. we pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. last year, while 1 out of 5 americans cannot afford the prescriptions their doctors write, last year the three major drug companies made $45 billion in profit because they spent
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hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions. so i believe we should join the rest of the world. i believe as a principle everybody should be entitled to health care as a right, comprehensive health care. and by the way, if we move toward a medicare for all, not only do we cover the needs of all people, including that gentleman, we will save middle-class people thousands of dollars a year on their health care bills because now we pay, by far, per capita, much, much more than any other country on earth. it is time in my view for us to have the courage to take on the insurance companies, take on the drug companies, and provide health care to all people at an affordable cost. >> the criticism is -- [ applause ] the criticism is to pay for this, what you are really asking for is one of the biggest tax hikes in history. and that is the criticism.
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>> but chris, that is an unfair criticism for the following reason. if you are paying now $10,000 a year to a private health insurance company, and i say to you hypothetically, you're going to pay $5,000 more in taxes or actually less than that, but you're not going to pay any more private health insurance, are you going to be complaining about the fact that i've saved you $5,000 in your total bills? so it's demagogic to say you're going to pay more in taxes. let's also talk about we're going to eliminate private health insurance premiums and payments, not only for individuals, but for businesses as well. again, we are the only country on earth that allows private insurance companies to rip us off. we spend three times more than the british, 50% more than the french. we can do better than we're doing right now. [ applause ]
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>> but just to be clear, you are going to raise taxes to do this? >> yes. we will raise -- we will raise taxes. yes, we will. but also let us be clear, chris. because there's a little bit of disingenuity out there. we may raise taxes, but we are also going to eliminate private health insurance premiums for individuals and for businesses. >> next question, sean callison, law student at drake. says he's undecided. what do you have? >> i think you've introduced a lot of programs that could help a lot of people. my question is, realistically, how do we fund those programs? where can we reallocate or cut spending on other programs. >> sean, great question and a very fair question. and i start off with the premise that in the last 30 years, although my republican friends don't like the term, there's been a massive redistribution of wealth in this country. it's gone from working families,
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trillions of dollars, to the top 1/10 of 1%. so yes, what this campaign is about is to say to profitable corporations who in some years don't pay a nickel in taxes, to the wealthiest people in this country who sometimes have an effective tax rate lower than truck drivers or nurses, yeah, you are going to start paying your fair share of taxes. now, how am i going to pay to make certain that public colleges and universities are tuition-free and we substantially lower interest rates on student debt? i pay for that because we're going to ask wall street to pay a tax on speculation. we are also believing -- i believe that after the working families of this country bailed out wall street, maybe it's their time to help the middle class of this country. [ applause ] now, i believe that we have an infrastructure that is
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crumbling. that's roads, bridges, rail, airports, levees, dams. we all know what's happening in flint, michigan. water systems, waste water plants. i believe that if we end this absurdity of allowing corporations who make billions of dollars a year in profits to stash their money in the cayman islands, bermuda and other tax havens, we eliminate that, we're going to bring $100 billion into the treasury. that money goes into rebuilding our infrastructure, creating 13 million jobs in five years with a trillion-dollar investment. i have paid for all of our proposals. >> senator, then the pushback becomes how you pay. now, in this room you are preaching to the converted somewhat. these are presumptively democrats. but you'll hear people say that your paying for it is punitive. you're going to punish people who make money. you're going to punish the financial district.
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you're going to punish and wind up changing the idea of an open and free economy because you're going to punish them for speculating, which means they won't speculate as much which means you won't get as much activity. and if you do a checklist of how you pay for everything, what you are doing is amassing the biggest government ever after president clinton said the era of big government was over. seems like bernie sanders is saying not only is it over, i'm going to do it bigger than ever. >> we've got to put what i am doing in context. and here's the context. today in america we have more income and wealth inequality than we've had since 1928. there has, chris, been a massive transfer of wealth. i'm talking about trillions of dollars. from the pockets of working families into the hands of the top 1/10 of 1%. that's a fact. so if you are telling me that at a time when wall street's
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recklessness, greed and illegal behavior brought this country to its knees, that i am going to say to them that they're going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes, fine. if that's the criticism, i accept it. i demand that wall street start paying its fair share of taxes. second of all -- [ applause ] >> what about the idea that you are bringing back the era of big government and making it bigger than ever? >> again, i believe -- you know, and iowa has played an interesting role in the fight for public education. and for 100-plus years, what's we have believed public education to be is up to the 12th grade. free public education up to the 12th grade. guess what? the world has changed. a college degree today is the equivalent of what a high school degree was 50 years ago. people want to criticize me, fine. i believe that every kid in this country who has the ability and the desire should be able to get a higher education, regardless of the income of his family.
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and i will pay for that through a tax on wall street speculation. >> they don't criticize the goal. they criticize the method of how you achieve it. is the era of big government back with president sanders? >> the era of protecting the middle class and working families is certainly something that i will make happen. i believe, for example, that when my republican colleagues talk about cutting social security, i say when you living on $12,000 a year social security, no, we shouldn't cut it. we should expand social security, and we cut that by lifting the cap on taxable income. so, chris, this is what i think. [ applause ] this is what i think. when we live in a nation of so much income and wealth inequality, where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%, when the 20 wealthiest people own more wealth than the bottom half of
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america, that is not, to me, what the american economy should be about. so, yes, people want to criticize me, okay. i will take on the greed of corporate america and the greed of wall street and fight to protect the middle class. >> next question, ron edwas says he's undecided. ron, what's your question for the senator? >> senator, given the ongoing gridlock in washington and the continuing republican resistance toward president obama's initiatives and the likelihood that republicans will win control over at least one house of congress, as president what specifically will you do to overcome the resistance, cure the gridlock, and garner the necessary support to implement your initiatives and actually get something done in washington? >> great question. let me answer it, if i might, in two ways. i am probably the most
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progressive member in the u.s. senate. but i have, over the years, not only in the senate, but in the house, worked with republicans when there was common ground. when i was in the house. in a number of years, i got more amendments passed on the floor of the house working with republicans than anybody else. number one and number two. in the senate just a couple of years ago in a dysfunctional congress, i worked with people like john mccain. people like jeff miller over in the house to pass the most comprehensive veterans health care legislation in the modern history of the united states of america. i have worked with republicans when there is common ground throughout my career. but this is what i also want to say. in my view, you have a congress today that is much more worried about protecting the interest of the wealthy and the powerful and making sure they get campaign contributions from the wealthy and the powerful. if we are serious about rebuilding the american middle class, if we are serious about providing paid family and
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medical leave to all of our people, if we are serious about ending the disgrace of having so many of our children live in poverty, the real way to do it is to have millions of americans finally stand up and say, enough is enough. for people to get engaged in the political process. to finally demand that washington represent all of us, not just a handful of very wealthy people. that's the way you bring about real change. >> next question, alexis coulash, drake university student, a bulldog, leaning in favor of hillary clinton, but she wants to explain why. >> give me a shot here, alexis. >> senator, recently you named planned parenthood and the human rights campaign as part of the political establishment that you plan to take on. how are you going to fight for women's rights more effectively than a female candidate with endorsements from organizations like these?
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>> that's not quite accurate. i have a 100% pro-choice voting record. in every speech that i give, what i say is not only do we stop the republican efforts to try to defund planned parenthood, we should expand funding for planned parenthood. [ applause ] now what i said, what i said on a television program, and i did not say it well, is that sometimes the base of an organization looks at the world a little bit differently than the leadership. so if you have 100% planned parenthood voting record, 100% pro-choice voting record, people are asking, why is the leadership not either supporting bernie sanders or why are they, you know, opposing him? and my point is that i will -- these are great organizations.
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i met with planned parenthood. they do a fantastic job, not only in defending women's rights in general, but talking about sexuality in america. they are a fantastic organization. count me in as someone who strongly supports them. so this was simply a question of endorsement policy, not whether or not i strongly support these organizations. do i have your vote yet? >> correct she's saying as to the premise of the question, not on whether you have her vote. >> i'm just kidding, but that is the difference. i support the organization. >> second aspect to your question. you said then the first female president. how do you think you'd be as helpful to women as a woman president would? what about that aspect? that's what hillary clinton represents on one level to voters, that's she would be the first female president, and there is something special in that when it comes to women's issues. >> of course, i understand that. but i think if you look at my record, in terms of fighting for women's rights, i think there are very few members of congress
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who have a stronger record. it's 100% lifetime, and i've been there for a while. in addition to that, you know, there have -- as you know, women are making 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. that is nothing but old-fashioned sexism, and i am a strong advocate and will fight for pay equity for women. i believe that -- and it's not only women, although it impacts women and women of color even greater, this level of pay inequality, inequity, is extraordinary. we're going to fight for pay equity, make sure that everybody earns the same amount for the same work. also, what we have got to do is people cannot make it on $8, $9, 10 bucks an hour. we've got to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. that will impact all people. it will impact wenorthan men as we raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. [ applause ] >> all right. so --
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>> one more point. one more point, chris. i'm trying to win her vote. leave me alone here. [ laughter ] all right? hillary clinton and i have a disagreement on a very important issue that impacts everyone but especially women. i believe that we should expand social security benefits by lifting the cap on taxable income. that will help millions of low-income seniors, especially women. ask hillary clinton if she's prepared to lift the cap on taxable income. >> all right, alexis. [ applause ] i want to put you a little bit on the spot. now that you heard the answer, what do you think now? he looks like that even when he's happy, so don't worry about his particular reaction. so after the answer, where are you? same place? open-minded? what have you got? >> it definitely means i'm going to have some hard thinking to do in the next week but it
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reassures me and it was a good plan to speak about. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> take progress where you find it. all right. we'll give alexis some time to think. the rest of you as well. we have more questions for senator sanders and his final pitch to these iowa voters when we come back. stay with us. it takes all kinds of jobs. and the best place to find the job that's right for you ♪ is on the world's number-one job site. indeed. how the world works. i thione second it's then, woosh, it's gone. i swear i saw it swallow seven people. seven. i just wish one of those people could have been mrs. johnson. [dog bark] trust me, we're dealing with a higher intelligence here. ♪ the all-new audi q7 is here. ♪
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democratic presidential town hall here at drake university in des moines, iowa. we're here with senator bernie sanders. we've been talking about the issues. you were working on a young woman there trying to get her vote. i have another woman. i think you've got some work left to do on. her name is secretary clinton. she has an ad out now. you both put out big ads. i know how you feel about yours. let's take a look at secretary clinton's ad and get your take on it. >> the world a president has to grapple with sometimes you can't even imagine. that's the job. and she's prepared for it like no other. a tireless secretary of state standing up against the abuse of women and girls. negotiating a cease-fire in gaza. leading the diplomacy that keeps us out of war. the presidency is the toughest job in the world, and she's the one leader who has what it takes to get every part of the job done. >> i'm hillary clinton, and i approve this message. >> the argument is, sure, bernie's got the heart, but i have the head.
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you have to be experienced, you have to know what to do. is secretary clinton simply better prepared for the job than you, sir? don't leave. we have another 15 minutes. [ applause ] >> this calls for a standing up response. that's all. let me shock everybody here. this is true. i have known hillary clinton for 25 years. you know what? i like hillary clinton, and i respect hillary clinton. and hillary clinton has devoted her life to public service, and i have tried, as i hope you all know, not to run a negative campaign. not to be attacking every other day, to keep this discussion on a high level where we debate the issues facing this country. [ applause ] and by the way, with a few exceptions, we're doing a lot better than the republicans in that regard.
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[ applause ] but on the other hand, that's not a very high bar to reach, so -- all right. what is this? all right. what do i think? let me just give you a couple of examples. the truth is that the most significant vote and issue regarding foreign policy that we have seen in this country in modern history was the vote on the war in iraq. okay? that's the fact. i voted against the war in iraq, and if you go to my website, listen to the speech that i gave when i was in the house in 2002 saying, yeah, it's easy to get rid of a dictator like saddam hussein but there will be a political vacuum. there will be instability. and it gives me no pleasure to tell you that much of what i feared in fact happened. hillary clinton voted for the war in iraq.
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all right. in terms of wall street, i fought against deregulation. led the opposition to doing away with the glass/steagall legislation. unfortunately, my side lost. wall street became deregulated. the rest is history. wall street has operated in a very significant way in a fraudulent way. and, obviously, their greed and recklessness helped destroy our economy and create the worst recession since the great depression. i led the effort against wall street deregulation. see where hillary clinton was on this issue. in terms of climate change, which everybody here knows and apparently everybody in the world knows except republican candidates for president, is one of the great environmental crises facing this nation. on day one i said the keystone
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pipeline is a dumb idea. [ applause ] >> senator -- >> okay. i think the bocken pipeline and pipelines in vermont and new hampshire are dumb. we've got to break our dependence on fossil fuel. why did it take hillary clinton such a long time before she came into opposition to the keystone pipeline? trade policy. i've understood from day one that our trade policies have cost us. nafta, cafta, tnpr with china, millions of decent paying jobs. i didn't have to think hard about opposing the trans-pacific partnership. took hillary clinton a long time to come on board that. >> so -- >> in other words, yeah, i do think i have the background and the judgment to take this very, very difficult job of being president of the united states. >> one point of pushback. we are in the final stretch here.
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intensity gets higher when you're in the final stretch like we are now. on january 19th you were talking about secretary clinton's experience argument and you referred to dick cheney. you said he had a lot of experience, too. >> right. >> now, referring to dick cheney when talking about hillary clinton, not exactly the most highbrow way to conduct the election, some might suggest. >> my only point was look, secretary clinton was secretary of state of this country for four years. that is a lot of experience. there's no debate about that. i was not secretary of state. but experience is important, but judgment is also important. and my own point was in talking about dick cheney, he had a lot of experience, too. his policies with regard to foreign affairs was an absolute disaster. so experience is important, but it is not the only thing. and i would urge people to check out my views on foreign policy, how we deal with isis, and i think they'll make a lot of
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sense to the people of iowa and the people of our country. >> let's get a question. carrie crawford says she's undecided. mother of three grown kids. what is your question? >> hello, senator sanders. in light of the recent mass shootings, i'm interested to know how you are going to make inroads with the powerful gun lobby to establish more effective gun control legislation? and the second part of my question is, how will you support easier access to mental health care in clinics? >> good. excellent questions. now, i have been attacked. in fact, this is an issue that hillary clinton has, you know, focused on, and that's politics, and that's fine. although some of you might recall that back in 2007 when she was running against barack obama, she also focused on that issue but she thought that obama was too strong on gun issues. and you may remember him referring to her as annie oakley.
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all right? today, hillary clinton is running a lot of advertisements on gun issues. interestingly enough, she's running most of them in new hampshire where she thinks it will work, not running so many of them in rural iowa. you can form your own judgment as to why that is the case. but to answer your question, in 1988 i ran for vermont's lone seat in the u.s. house of representatives. i ran as an independent against a democrat and a republican. the gun lobby said vote for either the democrat or republican. don't vote for bernie sanders. this is 1988. because bernie thinks that we should not be selling military style assault weapons in the
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united states of america. back in 1988. i lost that election by three percentage points. i cannot tell you that that is the only reason, but i had the gun groups working against the back then. since then, i have supported instant background checks, the expansion of instant background checks because i believe our job, if we're going to end these horrific mass murders, or at least have some impact in lessening the occurrence of them, we have got to do our best to make sure that guns do not get into the hands of people who should not have them. criminals, people with mental instability. i believe, as president obama does that we've got to deal with the gun show loophole. and that's what he's working on with his executive order. people should not be able to circumvent the instant background check through the gun show or through the internet. i believe that we should make a federal crime of the so-called straw man situation where people are buying guns legally, going throh the instant background check and then selling them to criminals. >> senator, address your shift
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on the issue regarding manufacturers and liability. tell them where you were first. >> i voted for the bill. the reason i voted for the bill is you've got a bill which has a number of elements in it. among other things it has a section which says we should not be selling ammunition which will pierce policemen's armor and protection. i think that's the right thing. it had a section in it where it said that we want to have safety locks for children on guns. that makes sense to me. it also had a provision in it which says the following, and people may disagree with me. this is my view. if you are a small gun shop in vermont and i legally sell you a weapon, okay, you go out, buy that gun legally and you go out and kill somebody. i think the gun shop owner should not be held liable for your criminal act. that's what i believe. now, within that bill also there were some onerous provisions. not good provisions. what happens if a gun manufacturer is selling a whole
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lot of guns into an area, far more guns than that area can consume? and what happens if that gun owner, that gun manufacturer should know that those guns are going into criminal hands. should that gun manufacturer be held liable? yes, he should. so i am willing now to look at that legislation, maintain what was good in it, get rid of what is bad in it. >> but isn't that kind of having it both ways? either they have liability as a manufacturer or they don't. the first argument seems to make sense. why would they be exposed to liability that other manufacturers are not? but are you having it both ways? >> i don't think so, chris. if you sell -- if you're a small gun shop owner and you sell somebody a gun. legally, all right you? don't do anything wrong. that's what you do. you sell guns. somebody buys the gun and goes out and kills somebody, do i think that gun shop owner should be held liable? i don't. >> what's the difference between selling one or selling 1,000. >> but the point is -- here's the point.
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if a gun shop owner should know, why should somebody be buying 1,000 guns, somebody should be thinking that does not make a t of sense. in that case, that gun shop owner or the gun manufacturer should be held liable. okay? and that's the issue. now, you're asking me also about mental health. when i talk about health care for all, i absolutely include in that the fact that mental health should be treated as part of health care. should be available to all people. [ applause ] i get calls -- i have gotten calls in my office, and i'm sure other senators have as well. this is the call. somebody calls us up and says i'm very worried about my brother. i'm worried what he might do to himself or, to answer your question, to somebody else. he may be homicidal. he may be suicidal.
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we have searched desperately to find health care -- mental health treatment for him. we cannot find mental health treatment which is affordable, which is accessible. in my view, we have got to move in the direction of making sure that everybody in this country who has a mental health crisis gets health care when they need it, not two months from today. >> carrie, how do you feel about the answer? >> i like the answer. that's sufficient. thank you very much. >> have a seat, senator. i'm tired following you around there. >> if you followed me around today, you'd be a lot more tired. >> "cnn today," your brother was on. gave a great interview. he said back in the day you were a great athlete. is that true, and what was the sport? i'm not saying i don't believe it to be true.
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i'm saying is it true and what was the sport? >> you know families exaggerate a little bit. i was a very good athlete. i wouldn't say graduate. pretty good basketball player. my elementary school in brooklyn won the borough championship. but -- [ applause ] hardly worth mentioning, but we did, yes. and, yes, i did take third place in the new york city indoor one-mile race. okay, well, you know, i -- i was a very good long-distance runner. i would say not a great runner, but i was captain of my track team, won a number of cross-country meets and certainly won a whole lot of races. so good, very good. not great. >> right. now, this is what they call a bait and switch. i don't really care about your athletic record. if you were elected president, you're 75 now. >> 74. >> 74 going on 75.
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[ applause ] you're close to 75. >> i'm going on 75. so are you. you're going to be 75. >> that's true. that's true. you would be the oldest person elected president. you have medical records. you say you're going to release them. should you release them to be fair to the voters of iowa before they vote? >> absolutely. they're sitting -- where are they, gene? they're on our table right now? all right. we will release them. that's my wife. yes, of course, we'll release them. >> you're going to do it before iowa? >> yes, sure. and i am -- if there's wood here, i would knock on it. >> my head's close enough. >> all right. i have been blessed with good health and good endurance, and there's nothing in the medical records that is going to surprise anybody and we'll get them out as soon as possible. >> thank you for clarifying that. something else your brother said. he got emotional. he was saying, boy, would our parents be proud of the success that bernie has had. you have to think about that as well.
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when you think about why you are doing this and what it means, what does it mean to you about what your parents would think if they saw you now? >> that they wouldn't believe it. we grew up -- my dad came from poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket. couldn't speak english and he never made a whole lot of money. my brother and i and mom and dad grew up in a 3 1/2-room rent-controlled apartment in brooklyn, new york. and we never had a whole lot of money. and if you ask me, chris, this would be so unimaginable, the fact that i'm a united states senator would have been really beyond anything that they would have thought possible. the fact that i am running for president of the united states, you know, i do think about it. and i think they are very proud, but it's certainly something that i don't think they ever believed would have happened. >> you've got 30 seconds. tell the voters of iowa what you want them to know.
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>> look, hillary clinton is a very good person. martin o'malley is a very decent guy. so i'm not -- this is not personal stuff. it just seems to me that the crises that we face as a country today -- and we didn't even get into climate change to a significant degree. inequality, poverty in america. an obscene and unfair campaign finance system. these problems are so serious that we have got to go beyond establishment politics and establishment economics. in my view, we need a political revolution where millions of people stand up and say, you know what? that great government of ours belongs to all of us, not just the few. that's why i'm running for president. thank you. [ applause ] >> senator sanders, thank you for taking the opportunity. good luck to you in the iowa caucuses next week. all right. our thanks to senator sanders. coming up, hillary clinton and martin o'malley get their turns on stage.
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[ applause ] welcome back to the cnn democratic presidential town hall here at drake university in des moines, iowa.
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this is the last, best chance for the candidates to face iowa voters and answer their questions directly before they caucus next monday. now, we've heard from senator sanders, in a bit we're going to hear from secretary clinton, but right now the floor belongs to former maryland governor martin o'malley. [ applause ] >> hey. chris, how are you? >> good to see you. >> good to see you too, man. thanks. thanks. [ applause ] thanks a lot. >> have a seat. how are you feeling a week out? >> i'm excited. it's iowa caucus time, and chris, i've seen this before. once iowans get into that decision-making pocket, none of the pollsters back east can tell you how it's going to turn out. [ applause ] and i wish you could be out there with me. i have been campaigning the iowa caucus, i've been to over 120 events and getting up on the chair, doing town halls like this.
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and we're seeing larger and larger crowds. and the beauty of the people of iowa is, they're not intimidated by polls. they're not intimidated by pundits, and they have this birthright, they feel, to upset the apple cart. and with only three of us in this democratic primary, there's only one of us who can still upset the apple cart. come on now. [ applause ] >> "the des moines register," they gave their nomination, their endorsement, to secretary clinton. okay. they give their endorsement to her. in it they talk about you. and they say that you are better suited as cabinet secretary than as president. what do you want to say to iowans to prove that their biggest paper is wrong? >> well, this is what i have to say. look, i'm in this chris, to win this. i'm running for president of the united states. and the reason i'm running is this. our country is facing big challenges. and we have deep divisions in our country. and we need a candidate who can actually pull us together. who can heal these divisions,
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who can get things done. that's what ooifz done all my life. i'm not a divider. if i were, i would not have been able to accomplish the things we accomplish in a very troubled city or in our state through a recession. and that's what i believe the people of iowa are looking for. a president who will move us forward. who will build on the good things that president obama has done, and actually take that job creation legacy and turn it into rising wages again for every american family. that's what we need. and we need new leadership to do that and break through the gridlock of washington. >> you mentioned president obama, he was speaking this morning about the election a little bit more deeply than he has in the past. he was doing an analysis of secretary clinton and senator sanders. he described the senator as a bright shiny new object and it has a fascination for people. i thought you were supposed to be the bright, shiny new object in this. what happened? >> well, look, i'm offered to be able to offer my candidacy in the company of secretary clinton and senator sanders. if you look at our democratic primary and the debates we've had, we're certainly doing a
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much better job of speaking to the goodness in our country rather than to fear, anger, and loathing like we heard from the other guys. [ applause ] >> are you ready to take your case to the people? let's take a question. joy latson, a student at iowa state university. she's originally from st. louis. her parents work in ferguson. she says she's undecided. what's your question for the governor? >> is this q & a time? am i allowed to stand? >> you can do whatever you want to be. >> i'm not capable of doing q & a in iowa from a seat. >> it's fine. >> good evening. >> hi. >> your history as mayor of baltimore and governor of maryland show that you pushed for zero tolerance policing and felony punishments for low level drug offenders, which usually affects the black population. how are you planning to ensure racial equality when your history in office contradicts your current platform to fight structural racism? [ applause ]
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>> yeah. well, look, let's talk about this. in 1999 our city of baltimore had become the most violent, the most addicted, and the most abandoned city in america. and when very few other people would step up who could bring us together and turn it around, i did. and that year, and for about the 12 years leading up to that point, we were burying over 300 young, poor black men every single year. and yes, black lives matter, and i told the people of my city, look, we do not have to accept a reality of 24/7 drug dealer occupation over our poor neighborhood. when you call from a poor neighborhood for police service, they should respond the same way that they do in wealthier neighborhoods, black and white. there are a lot of things we got right. there were a lot of lives that we saved. i promise to improve how we police the police.
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we actually did start closing down open air drug markets, and in the course of my executive service, both as mayor and as a governor, i never stopped searching for the things that work so we can do more of them to save and redeem lives, and the things that don't work so we can stop doing them. so we greatly increased drug treatment. we saved hundreds and hundreds of lives from overdose deaths. we started tracking discourtesy, excessive force. i drove down use of fatal police-involved shootings to three of their four lowest years in baltimore history. and as governor, i restored voting rights to 52,000 people. i repealed, as a crime, i decriminalized the possession of marijuana. i banned the box on people who are implying for state employment, and -- [ applause ] and not the first time, not the second time, but the third time, by bringing people together, including a few republican
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votes, i made my state the first state south of the mason-dixon line to repeal the death penalty in america. [ applause ] so -- >> governor. >> look, it's hard to appreciate at the time, but one true story and quickly, chris. >> go ahead. >> there was a family of seven people. a mom, a dad, and five kids. who in east baltimore were fire-bombed in their sleep and killed by a drug dealer. and the reason, because they were picking up the phone and calling 911 and asking for relief for their kids from this sort of 24/7 drug dealer occupation. look, i think all of us have a responsibility, i know i feel a responsibility to constantly look for the things that work and the things that don't work. by the end of my time as governor, we had driven down violent crime to a 30-year low, and we had also driven down our
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incarceration rate to a 20-year low. you can do both of them at the same time by doing the things that work. [ applause ] >> next question, dan koenig. he owns small two businesses in des moines. he says he's laeng toward bernie sanders but he's here to give you a shot and he has a question. what is it? >> hello. yes. i'm a small business owner -- >> tell me your name again. >> daniel koenig. >> daniel. >> and you know, you run the numbers and you try to figure out okay, at the end of the day when you're spending as much on your health care every month as you do your mortgage, what ways would you choose to try to lessen that burden on the middle class and, you know, small business owners like myself? >> yeah. look, i think we need to build upon the good things that president obama has done with the affordable care act. but no program ever came into existence in a perfect condition. so we have to improve it. one of the ways i think we need to improve it is by covering the
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high-value, sort of early, out of pocket expenses that people are experiencing. what i hear from a lot of folks all over iowa is maybe while their premiums have leveled off they're paying more out of pocket, more, and their deductibles are higher. so we need to push the insurance companies to actually offer products that pay for those early -- those first out-of-pocket expenses. but let me take you up to a slightly larger and higher level, and it is this. look, we need to, we need to change what it is that we fort wellness at the center. in my own state we moved all 46 of our acute care hospitals out of fee for service and started paying them global payment for all of their medicare and medicaid patients. why? because the biggest driver of your high health insurance costs and throughout our country is the hospital cost at the center. and we told our hospitals that if you reduce avoidable hospital
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readmissions you can share in those savings. and the "new england journal of medicine" did an article about four weeks ago and said, i'll be damned, it actually works, we can dial up wellness, we can reduce the expense here, and that's the future, i believe, and every state has a role to play in moving that way because clearly we're still paying too much for health insurance. our system's called an all-payer system. we have a rate setting commission, and we're able to replace the institutional profitability, i mean the hospitals aren't going bankrupt by any means, but we're able to put wellness at the center. and that's what we need to do as a country to bring down the high cost of health care. [ applause ] >> thank you, daniel. another question for you. jenna bishop, she's from drake university, she says she's undecided on what candidate she's supporting and she has a question about young voters for you. >> well, it's still early. there's six days. >> hi, governor.


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