office the president is now visiting a mosque inside the united states. it comes at a time when anti-muslim sentiment is growing and religious tolerance, at least in some corners, is waning. president obama arrived at the islamic society of baltimore late this morning. he is now meeting with community leaders. he is expected to deliver formal remarks at any moment now. we'll have live coverage of the president visiting this mosque. let's go to our white house correspondent michelle kazinski. she's joining us now live. set the scene for us. seven wreerz into his presidency he decided to visit a mosque. what kind of a decision was so late in this presidency? >> we asked that question to the white house, and they didn't have an answer to that. why hasn't he done this before? they wanted to focus on the reasons now. you know, look at the timing of it. he recently -- he has a prayer breakfast tomorrow. they felt like the scene was right for this kind of visit at this time.
they really want to hit on religious freedom in america, but another big question is how forceful is he going to be to counter the rhetoric that's out there. he has been pretty forceful in his remarks in the past, getting specific too. certain things that candidates have said saying that's not what we're about. that plays into the hands of isis. the white house press secretary getting even more specific in some of the remarks he said lately about the rhetoric, calling it hateful, cynical, pessimistic, and dark. we'll see exactly how political the president gets in his remarks, but keep in mind, he is in a religious setting. he is talking to religious and community leaders. we do expect his remarks to be pretty lengthy according to the press secretary. they could be any minute now, wolf. >> we're getting ready. he is about to be introduced, we're told. michelle, specifically, i think, he has been angered and others have been angered about remarks from donald trump, the republican presidential candidate, saying there should be a temporary ban on all
muslims coming into the united states until the u.s. can figure out what's going on as far as terrorism is concerned. i know the president has spoken out about that. we're not necessarily referring specifically to the name of donald trump. >> yeah, i was just going to say that. he never mentions him by name. the president has gotten pretty specific about certain things that have been said out there. we even asked the white house. it seems like almost every day and every speech he gives he is responding to the rhetoric that's out there. the white house insists it's not about that. it's about american values. we expect him to really kind of frame it that way. the white house says they also want to talk about all the accomplishments of muslim-americans, and they also want to use his appearance to counter bigotry in their words. you know, wolf, it was just in september that a cnn poll came out showing that about one-third of all americans and some 40% republicans believe that president obama himself is a muslim, and this is a subject
that they really want to hit upon, the timing is right now. wolf. >> we're going to have a lot more on the race for the white house coming up later this hour. i'll speak live with democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders. yesterday we spoke with hillary clinton during this hour. right now i want to listen in had as the president of the wraits is being introduced over at the islamic society of baltimore. a student from the university of maryland is speaking right now. let's listen in. >> never did i feel as though i wasn't part of the community. i was just as american and just another high schooler. i was -- i'm sorry. assertions as such gave me the confidence to be who i am today, and i strongly believe to a lot of muslims out there the appearance of our president in our local mosque today is it exactly just that.
now it is my honor to introduce to you the president, our president, of the united states, president barack obama. [ applause ] >> please be seated. well, good afternoon. thank you for the wonderful introduction and for your example, your devotion to your faith and your education and your service to others. you're an inspiration. you're going to be a fantastic
doctor, and i suspect, saba, your parents are here because they wanted to see you so where is saba's parents? there you go. yeah. let's give -- [ applause ] good job, mom. she did great, didn't she? she was terrific. to everyone here at the islamic society of baltimore, thank you for welcoming me here today. i want to thank muslim-american leaders from across this city and this state and some who traveled even from out of state to be here. i want to recognize congressman john sarbanes who is here. [ applause ] as well as two other great leaders in congress and proud muslim-americans. congressman keith ellison from the great state of minnesota and congressman andre carson from the great state of indiana.
this mosque, like so many in our country is an all american story. you've been part of this city for nearly half a century. you serve thousands of families. some who have lived here for decades as well as immigrants from many countries who work to become proud american citizens. now, a lot of americans have never visited a mosque. some folks watching today who haven't, think of your own church or synagogue or temple, and a mosque like this will be very familiar. this is where families come to worship and express their love for god and for each other. there's a school where teachers open wrung minds, kids play baseball and football and basketball, boys and girls. i hear they're pretty good. cub scouts, girl scouts, meet
and recite the pledge of allegiance here. with interfaith dialogues, you build bridges of understanding with other faith communities, christians and jews. there's a health clinic that serves the needy regardless of their faith. members of this community are out in the broader community working for social justice and urban development. as voters you come here to meet candidates. as one of your members said, just look at the way we live. we are true americans. the first thing i want to say is two words that muslim-americans don't hear often enough, and that is thank you. thank you for serving your community, thank you for lifting up the lives of your neighbors, and for helping keep us strong and united as one american family. [ applause ] this brings me to the other
reason i wanted to come here today. i know that in muslim communities across our country this is a time of concern and, frankly, a time of some fear. like all americans, you're worried about the threat of terrorism. on top of that, as muslim-americans, you also have another concern. that is your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of the very few. the muslim-american community remains relatively small. several million people in this country. as a result, most americans don't necessarily know or at least don't know that they know a muslim person. as a result, many only hear about muslims and islam from the muse after an act of terrorism
or in distorted media portrayals in tv or film, all of which gives this hugely distorted impression. since 9/11, but more recently since the attacks in paris and san bernardino, you have seen too often people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the fleece of an entire faith. recently weave heard inexcusable political rhetoric against muslim-americans that has no place in our country. no surprise then that threats and harassment of muslim-americans have surged. here at this mosque twice last year threats were made against churches. around the country women wearing the hijab, just like saba, have
been targeted. we've seen children bullied. we've seen mosques vandalized. siek americans and others perceived to be have been targeted as well. i just had a chance to meet with some is extraordinary muslim-americans from across the country who are doing all sorts of work. some of them are doctors. some of them are community leaders, religious leaders. all of them were doing extraordinary work. not just in the muslim community but the american community. they're proud of their work in education and on behalf of social have yous and the environment and education i should point out they were all much younger than me, which is happening more frequently these days.
you couldn't help but be inspired by the work that they're doing, and you could not help but be heartbroken by their action newsing zits. they talked about how their children were asking are we going to be forced out of the country? why do people treat us like this? are we going to be rounded up? conversations you shouldn't have to have with children. not in this country. not at this moment. hi people write to me and say i feel like i'm a second class citizen. i've had mothers write and say
my heart cries every night thinking about how her daughter might be treated at school. a girl from ohio, 13 years old, told me i'm scared. a girl from texas signed her letter a confused 14-year-old trying to find her place in the world. these are children just like mine. and the notion that they would be filled with doubt and questioning their place that's not who we are. we're one american family, and when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second class or targeted, it tears at the very fabric of our nation.
[ applause ] we have to take this head on and be honest sxes clear about, it and we have to speak out. this is a moment when as americans we have to truly listen to each other and learn from each other, and i believe that it has to begin with a monday understanding of some basic facts. i express these facts, although they would be ob where yous to many of the people in this place because, unfortunately, it's not facts that are communicated on a regular basis. let's start with this. for more than 1,000 years, people have been drawn to islam's message of peace.
the very word islam comes from salam. peace. the standard greeting is peace be upon you. islam is rooted in compassion and whoever wants to enter paradise, let him treat people the way he would love to be treated. and for christians like myself, i'm assuming that sounds familiar. the world's 1.6 billion muslims are as diverse as americans themselves. they're from latin america to southeast asia, brazilians, nigerians, indonesians. they are white, brown, and black.
there's a large african-american muslim community. diversity is represented here today. a 14-year-old boy in texas whose muslim spoke for many when he said we just want to live in peace. there is another fact. muslim has always been part of america. starting in colonial times, many of the slaves brought here from africa were muslim, and even in their bondage, some kept their faith alive. a few even won their freedom. when enshrining our bill of rights, our founders meant what they said when they said it applied to all religions. they were often then called mohammedans. the religious statute for
religious freedom that he wrote was designed to protect all faiths, and i'm quoting. thomas jefferson now. the jew, the gentile, the christian, and the mohammedan. [ applause ] jefferson and john adams had their own copies of the koran. ben franklin wrote even if they were to send a missionary to preach to us, he would find a pulpit at his service. [ applause ] >> this is not a new thing. generations of muslim-americans help to build our nation. they were part of the flow of immigrants who became armors and merchants. they built america's first mosque, surprisingly enough, in
north dakota. america's oldest sur vooifg mosque is in iowa. the first islamic center in new york city was built in the 1890s. muslim-americans worked on cranking out assembly lines. a muslim-american designed the skyscrapers of chicago. in 1957 when dedicating the islamic center in washington d.c. president eisenhower said i should like to assure you my islamic friends that under the american constitution and in american hearts this place of worship is just as welcome as any other religion. [ applause ] and perhaps the most pertinent
fact, muslim-americans enrich our lives today in every way. they're our neighbors and teachers who inspire our children. doctors who trust us with our health. future doctors like saba. they're scientist who's win nobel prizes. young that create new technology wez use all the time. they're the sports heroes we cheer for. like mohammed ali. one of the americans waving the red, white, and blue will be a fencing champion wearing her hijab in the next olympics. she is here today. stand up. come on.
i told her to bring home the gold. not to put any pressure on you. muslim-americans, keep us safe. they're our police and our firefighters. they're in homeland security, in our intelligence community. they serve honorably in our armed forces, meaning they fight and bleed and die for our freedom. some rest in arlington national cemetery. [ applause ] >> we're honored have some of our proud service members here today. please stand so we can thank you for our service.
>> they are pointing out that so often they felt invisible and part of what we have to do is to lift up the contributions of the muslim-american community not when there's a problem, but all the time. our television shows should have some muslim characters that are unrelated to national security. [ applause ] >> right? because it's not that hard to do. in other words, the time when
there were no black people on television. you can tell good stories while still representing the reality of our communities. we do have another fact that we have to acknowledge. even as the overwhelming majority and i repeat the overwhelming majority of the world's muslims embrace islam as a source of peace, it is undeniable that a small fraction of muslims propogate a perverted version of islam. this is the truth. groups like al qaeda and isil, they're not the first extremists in history to misuse god's name. we've seen it before across faiths.
right now there is an organized extremist element that draws selectively from islamic texts, twists them in an attempt to justify their killing and their terror. they combine it with false claims that america and the west are at war with islam, and this warped thinking that has found ad hereins around the world, including tragically as we saw in boston and chattanooga and san bernardino, is real. it's there. and it creates tensions and pressure that disproportionately burden the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens. the question then is how do we move forward? how do we keep our country strong and united? how do we defend ourselves
against organizations that are bent on killing innocents, and it can't be the work of any one faith alone. it can't be just a burden on the muslim community, although the muslim community has to play a role. we all have a responsibility. with the time i have left, i just want to suggest a few principle that is i believe can guide us. first, in a time when others are trying to divide us along the lines of religion or sect, we have to reaffirm that most fundamental of truths. we are all god's children. we're all born equal with inherent dignity. so often we focus on our outward differences, and we forget how much we share. christians, jews, muslims, we're all under our faiths descendants of abraham. the mere tolerance of different religions is not enough.
our faiths summons us to embrace our common humanity. old mankind, the koran teaches, we made you peoples and tribe that is you may know one another. [ applause ] so all of us had the task of expressing our religious faith in a way that seeks to build bridges rather than to divide. second, as americans we have to stay true to our core values, and that includes freedom of religion for all faiths. i already mentioned our founders like swrerch knew that religious liberty is essential not only to protect religion, but because religion helps strengthen our nation. if it is tree, if it is not an
extension of the state. part of what's happened in north africa and other places where we see sectarian violence is religion being a tool for another agenda, for power, for control. freedom of religion helps prevent both ways. protects religious faiths. protects the state from hose that want to take over the state from using religious animosity as a tool. that doesn't mean that those of us with religious faith shouldn't be involved. we have to be active citizens, but we have to respect the fact that fact that we have freedom
of religion. many fought to abolish the freedom of slavery. many advocated for improvement of conditions for workers and there king was joined by people of many faiths challenging us to live up to our ideals. that civil activism, that civic participation that's the essence of our democracy, it is enhanced by freedom of religion. now, we have to acknowledge that there have been times where we have fallen short of our whered he'lls. thomas jefferson's opponents stirred things up, and he was a musl -- that he was a muslim. i was not the first. no, it's true. look it up. i'm in good company.
but it hasn't just been -- mormon communities have been attacked throughout our history. catholics, including protest prominently j.f.k., john f. kennedy, when he ran for president, was accused of being disloyal. there was a suggestion that he would be taking orders from the pope as opposed to upholding his constitutional duties. anti-semitism in this country has a sad and long history, and jews were excluded in colleges. if you are serious about freedom of religion -- i'm speaking now to my fellow christians, who remain the swrort in this country, we have to understand an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths. [ applause ]
when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up. we have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias and targets people because of religion. we've got to make sure the hate crimes are punished and that the civil rights of all americans are upheld. [ applause ] and just as faith leaders, including muslims, must speak out when christians are persecuted around the world. [ applause ] >> or when anti-semitism is on the rise because the fact is that there are christians who are targeted now in the middle east despite having been there for centuries. there are swrus who have lived in places like france for
centuries who now feel obliged to leave because they feel themselves under assault. sometimes by muslims. we have to be consistent in condemning hateful rhetoric in violence against everyone, and that includes against muslims here in the united states of america. [ applause ] >> none of us can be silent. we can't be bystanders to bigotry. together we've got to show that america truly protects all fait faiths, which brings me to my next point. as we protect our country from terrorism, we should not reinforce the whered and the rhetoric of the terrorists themselves. i often hear it said that we
need more clarity. the suggestion is somehow that if i would simply say these are all islamic terrorists, then we would actually assault thave so problem by now apparently. i agree we do need moral clarity. let's have some moral clarity. groups like -- groups like isil are desperate for legitimacy. they try to portrait themselves as religious leaders and holy warriors who speak for islam. i refuse to give them legitimacy. we must never give them that legitimacy. [ applause ] they're not -- they're not defending islam. they're not defending muslims. the vast majority of the people they kill are innocent muslim men, women, and children. by the way, the notion that
america is at war with islam ignores the fact that the world's religions are a part of who we are. we're not -- we can't be at war with any other religion because the world's religions are a part of the very fabric of the wraits, our national character. [ applause ] >> the best way for us to fight terrorism is to deny these organizations legitimacy and to show that here in the united states of america we do not suppress islam. we celebrate and lift up the success of muslim-americans. that's how we show the lie that they're trying to propegate. we shouldn't play into terrorist propaganda. we can't suggest that islam itself is at the root of the problem. that betrays our values.
it alienates muslim-americans. it's hurtful to those kids who are trying to go to school. remember the boy scouts. thinking about joining our military. that kind of mindset helps our enemies and helps our enemies recruit. it makes us all less safe. let's be leer about that. now, finally, just as all americans have a responsibility to reject discrimination, i have said this before. muslims around the world have a responsibility to rejeswrekt extremist ideologies that are trying to penetrate within muslim communities. here at this mosque and across
our country around the world muslim leaders are roundly and repeatedly and consistently condemning terrorism and around the globe muslim who's dare to speak out have often been targeted and even killed. so those voices are there. we just have to amplify them more. [ applause ] >> you know, it was interesting in the discussion i had before i came out. some people said why is there always a burden on us, you know, when a young man in charleston shoots african-americans in a church is this there's not an expectation that every white person in america suddenly is explaining that they're not racist. they can -- everybody is assumed to be horrified by that act. i recognize that sometimes that doesn't feel fair, but part of the answer is to make sure that the muslim community in all of
its variety and every -- all the good works that it's doing and all the talent that's on display, that it's out there visible on a consistent basis. not just at a certain moment. but what is also true is that there is a battle of hearts and minds that takes place -- that is taking place right now, and american-muslims are better positioned than anybody to show that it is possible to be faithful to islam and to be part of a pluralistic society and to be on the cutting edge of science and to believe in democracy and so -- so i would urge all of you not to see this as a burden, but as a great opportunity and a great -- a great privilege to show who you
are. to use a little christian expression, let your light shine. when you do, you'll make clear that this is not a clash of civilizations between the west and islam. this is a struggle between the peace-loving overwhelming swrort of muslims around the world and a radical tiny minority, and ultimately i'm confident that the overwhelming majority will win that battle. [ applause ] >> muslims will decide the future of your faith, and i'm confident of the direction it will go, but across the islamic
world, influential voices should consistently speak out with an affirmative vision of their faith. and it's happening. these are the voices of muslim clerics who teach that islam prohibts terrorism. when he commits an act of murdered all mankind.he has - scholars know islam has a tradition of respect for other faiths, and muslim teachers who point out that the first word revealed in the koran means read, to seek knowledge, to question assumptions. [ applause ] muslim political leaders have to push back on the line that the west oppressions muslims and against conspiracy theories that says america is the cause of every ill in the middle east. now, that doesn't mean that muslim-americans aren't free to
criticize american u.s. foreign policy. you know, that's part of being an american. i promise you as president of the united states i'm mindful that this is a healthy tradition that is alive and well in america. but like leaders everywhere, these leaders have been offering and need to continue to offer a positive vision of progress. that includes political and economic progress. we have to acknowledge that much of the violence in places like the middle east is now turning into fights between sects. shia, sunni, and others. where differences are often exploited to serve political agendas. this bloodshed is destroying muslim families and communities, and there has to be global
pressure to have the vision and courage to end this kind of thinking and this approach to organizing political power. it's not historically unique. it's happened in every part of the world. from northern ireland to africa to asia. it's right here in the united states. in the past. but it is something that we have to fight against. we know it's possible. across the history of islam, different sects traditionally have lived and thrived together peacefully and in many parts of the world they do today, including here in the united states. like people of all religions, muslims living their faith in a modern pluralistic world are called upon to uphold human rights, to make sure that everyone has opportunities. that includes the aspirations of
women and youth and all people. if we expect our own dignity to be respected, so must we respect the dignity of others. [ applause ] let me conclude by saying that as muslim communities stand up for the future that you believe in, that you exhibit in your daily lives, as you teach your children, america will be your partner. we will. i will do everything i can to lift up the multimrift of muslim voices that represent peace. [ applause ] >> we will continue to reach out to young muslims around the world empowering them with science and technology and entrepreneurship so they can pursue their god-given potential and help build up their
communities and provide opportunities. it's why we will continue to partner with muslim-american communities. not just to help you protect against extremist threats, but to expand health care and education and opportunity. [ applause ] >> that's the best way to build strong resilient communities. our values must guide us in this world. engagement with muslim-american communities must never be a cover for surveillance. we can't give into profiling entire groups of people. we can't securityize our entire relationship with muslim-americans. we can't view it solely through the prism of law enforcement. we have to believed trust and respect. that's how we'll keep our communities strong and our communities united. now, as i was in discussion with the young people before i came
in here, i said this will be a process. law enforcement has a tough job. some of these groups are specifically trying to target muslim youth. we're going to have to be partners in this process. there will be times where the relationship is clumsy or mishandled. but i want you to know that from the president to the fbi director to everybody at law enforcement my directive and their understand issing that this is something we have to do together, and if we don't do it well, then we're actually not making ourselves safe. we're making ourselves less safe. here i want to speak directly to the young people. in our lives we all have many identities. we are sons, daughters,
brothers, sisters, classmates. we're cub scouts troop members. we're followers of our faith. we're citizens of our country. today there are voices in this world, particularly over the internet, that can constantly claiming that you have to choose between your identities. being muslim, for example, or an american. if you ever wonder if you fit in here, let me say as clearly as i can as president of the united states, you fit right here. you're right where you belong. you're part of america too. you're not muslim or american. you're muslim and american. don't grow cynical. don't respond to ignorance by embracing a world view that suggests you must choose between
your faith and your patriotism. don't believe that you have to choose between your best impulses and somehow embrace a world view that pits us against each other or worse, glorifies violence. understand your power to bring about change. stay engaged in your community. help move our country forward, your country forward. [ applause ] we are blessed to live in a nation where even if we sometimes stumble, even if we sometimes fall short, we never stop striving for our ideals. we keep moving lowers to that more perfect union. we're a country where if you work hard and if you play by the rules, you can ultimately make
it no matter who you are or how you pray. it may not always start off even in the race, but here more than any place else, there is the opportunity to run that race. as we go forward, i want every muslim-american to remember you are not alone. your fellow americans stand with you just as some i described are friends after she decided she was going to start wearing a hijab. that's not unusual. because just as so often we only hear about muslims after a terrorist attack, so often we only hear about america's response to muslims after a hate crime has happened, and we don't always hear about the extraordinary respect and love and community that so many americans do. i'm thinking about the
7-year-old boy in texas who emptied his piggy bank to help a mosque that had been vandalized. [ applause ] >> or all the faith communities that rallied around muslim-americans after tragedy. the hurz and the synagogues standing shoulder to shoulder with their local mosques, including the woman carrying a sign saying we love our muslim neighbors. think of our men and women in uniform who when they heard that a little girl was afraid because she is a muslim, sent her a message, i will protect you. [ applause ] i want every american to remember how muslim communities are standing up for others as well because right now as we speak there are muslims in kenya who save christians from terrorists and muslims who just
met in morocco to protect religious minorities like christians and jews. [ applause ] the good people of this mosque helped the city move forward after the turmoil of last we're. muslim-americans across the country helped african-american churches rebuild after arson. remember the muslim-americans in boston who reached out to victims of the marathon bomb. the muslim-americans across the country who raised money for the families of san bernardino. the muslim-americans in chattanooga who honored our fallen service members, one of them saying in the name of god, the god of abraham, moses, jesus, and mohammed, god bless our fallen heroes. [ applause ] we are one american family. we will rise and fall together. it won't always be easy.
there will be times where our worst impulses are given voice. but i believe that ultimately our best voice will win out. that gives me confidence and faith in the future. after more than 200 years our blended heritage the patchwork quilt, which is america, that is not a weakness. it's one of our greatest strengths. the mother who wrote to me, the one that worries about her young daughter. it led her to end her letter with hope despite her fears. she said i still believe in one nation under god indivisible
with lib sxert have yous for all. may god's peace be upon you, and god bless the united states of america. thank you. thank you, everybody. thank you. >> very important speech by the president of the united states. the first time he has addressed the muslim community in a mosque since becoming president of the united states. first time in seven years. i want to go it our white house correspondent michelle kazinski. it comes at a very sensitive time in the race for the white house as well because there has been statements out there on the campaign trail as we all know that clearly have irritated so many people, especially in the muslim-american community. the white house said the president decided to do this now because why? >> they said it was a perfect time to do this basically. he is doing other religious event this is week. he recently appeared at an event honoring the holocaust. he felt like the scene was right now for him to do this, but absolutely politics plays into it. i mean, when the president appears anywhere now, gives a speech, one question everybody has is how much is this going to
be a response to donald trump and what his rhetoric is without saying his name? the president in this speech -- i mean, wow, this was a 45 minute long speech. it was perfect timing and this being the first time he appeared at a mosque in the u.s. you can tell he wanted to get everything, but the rhetoric played a central role. he called it hateful, manipulative saying it tears at the fabric of our nation. one thing the white house has been trying to do a lot lately in this political season is to create this real divide between the republican rhetoric and the democratic rhetoric. overall the president wanted to have a very positive message here. not just criticize the republican rhetoric, but talk about moving forward together and american values, wolf. sfroo all right. michelle, michele, thank you ve. once again, a very important speech by the president of the united states. when we come back we'll get reaction from bernie sanders, the democratic presidential candidate, he wants to be the
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welcome back. the two presidential democratic candidates will field questions from voters in a cnn town hall later tonight. it's a chant chance for both hillary clinton and senator bernie sanders to talk directly to the people of new hampshire. first senator sanders taking time out to talk with us. he is joining us now from burlington vermont. senator thank you for joining us. i wanted to get your reaction to what we just heard. it is a powerful, historic speech from the president of the united states. first same he actually visited a mosque since taking office. how important is this, from your perspective? >> i think it's very important. you know, if this country is about anything, it's about religious freedom, religious tolerance. and let me be very clear. what donald trump and some of these other people are doing are trying to condemn the muslim religion, trying to say that we should not have muslims coming into this country, is totally unacceptable.
attacking mexicans, that is not what america is about. america is about standing to the as one people, not allowing ourselves to be divided up by religion or by nationality. >> a lot of officials, white house officials, others suggest the president decided to deliver this important speech right now because of that rhetoric out there, including what donald trump suggested weeks ago, that there should be a temporary ban on all muslims entering the united states until the u.s. can figure out how to deal with the issue of terrorism. that was probably the timing that led up to today's event. >> let me tell you, wolf, i was in an even -- we did an event a number of months ago, george mason university. and a young muslim woman, i think she is studying engineering, came up. and we talked for a while. and she is frightened. and i've talked to muslim all over this country who are literally frightened with all of this hate talk going on. that is not what america is supposed to be. you can have a different point
of view on immigration or anything else, but we cannot be attacking people because of their religion. know you visited a mosque a few weeks ago. >> yeah. >> with congressman keithelistson, one of two muslim congressmen in the united states congress. you of course are jewish. do you think that potentially could be a problem working with the muslim world out there and trying to get help for example, in this war against isis? >> no, i don't. in fact, i think we have to understand that the muslims are the ones suffering most, are being killed most, being dislocated most by isis. and we also have to understand that when we listen to people like king abdula of jordan, what he says is that it must be muslim troops on the ground to destroy isis because they have hijacked what is islam is supposed to be. so i think what our job is is to work with muslim countries all
over the world, have major powers support them from the air, training troops, providing military equipment. but at the end of the day, i think it will be the muslim nations themselves destroying isis. >> the presidential democratic contest right now, senator, is down to a two-person race between you and secretary clinton. what's main difference between you and secretary clinton that you hope to convey at that cnn town hall later tonight? >> well, there are a lot of differences. you know, wolf, when the middle class this country is disappearing, when we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, when the 20 wealthiest people in this country now own more wealth than bottom 506%, we need leadership that stands up to the billionaire class and says to them you know what, you guys can't have it all. we've got to rebuild the middle class. and second of all, let's be frank. we have a very corrupt dpain
campaign finance system which allows wall street and billionaires to buy elections. here's the difference between hillary clinton and me. i have received 3.5 million individual campaign contributions averaging $27 a piece. hillary clinton recently announced the results, the take from her super pac, $25 million coming into her super pac. $15 million of that came from wall street. that is a very significant difference. our campaign is funded by the people to a significant degree. her campaign is funded by wall street and big money interest. >> some people say in a politically, strategically, that could be a mistake on your part, not having that super pac. you probably could raise a lot of money. but you are union wlarlly, they say, disarming. is that a problem? >> i think you are right. that is what a lot of people have said. but that's what we are taking on. that's what my campaign is about to say, yes, i can raise a lot of money if i had a super pac.
but i don't represent the interests of the billionaire class. i don't represent corporate america. i don't represent the very, very wealthy. so i'm going to let them keep their money. we are not going to have a super pac and what we are going to do is reach out to the american people at bernie sanders.com, and wolf i've got to kill i've been overwhelmed that up to this point in the campaign we have received more individual campaign contributions than any candidate in the history of the united states of america. and that indicates to me not only the kind of grassroots support we have, but that also tells me that people across this country -- and by the way, across the political spectrum, are sick and tired of super pacs. they are sick and tired of citizens united. and they are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections. >> are you suggesting that secretary clinton is beholden to wall street and big money? >> no. what i'm simply saying is a fact. she recently reported that her
super pac received $25 million, $15 million of that came from wall street. i will let the american people determine what all of that means. >> she also says she is a progressive. she says she gets things done. you said -- just recently you said she is a progressive on some days, to which she relied -- i'll play the clip for you, senator. listen to this. >> little disappointed, to be honest, yesterday. it was kind of a low blow when senator sanders said n response to a question, well, you know, maybe she's a progressive on, you know, some days. we've been fighting the progressive fight and getting results for people for years! so i hope we keep it on the issues. because if it's about our records, hey, i'm