tv CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall South Carolina CNN February 23, 2016 5:00pm-7:01pm PST
special election coverages. we'll have the results of the nevada caucuses throughout the night. will donald trump get win number three? but first the democratic town hall hosted by chris cuomo starts right now. good evening. tonight live here in south carolina, democrats will get a chance to see their candidates in a different way. face-to-face with the voters, men and women living with real problems that demand real solutions. so let's see if senator bernie sander and secretary hibbahilla tonight the democrats turn to face voters before their first chance to win in the south. >> south carolina has the opportunity to make american history. >> the fight goes on, the future that we want is within our
grasp. >> bernie sanders, victor in new hampshire, promising victory in november. >> you have a candidate who will beat donald trump, you're looking at that candidates. >> hillary clinton, iowa winner, nevada winner, talking commitment. >> i am going to fight for you, because we've got to knock down every barrier that is holding americans back. >> two candidates connecting with the voters before deciding who will get the most important job in this country. >> i just love answering questions and making clear where i stand. >> this is a brilliant audience, with people this smart, we can't lose. >> this is a cnn democratic town hall event, a chance for voters to get answers, before a primary that can make other break a campaign. south carolina is choosing, the democrats are in the spotlight, and they're talking to voters right now.
♪ [ applause ] hello from the university of south carolina, school of law here in the state capital of columbia. we're simulcasting live on cnn, cnn enespanol, also on the armed forces network and cnn's sirius/xm channel 116. so welcome to all of you. anderson cooper was here last week with the republican candidates. tonight it is the democrats' turn. voters are in control, some undecided, some not. all with somebody to say or to ask to senator sanders or secretary clinton. they came up with the questions. we reviewed them to make sure
the questions don't overlap. when i say them, the voters came up with the questions. be clear on that. i'm going to ask a few as well. tonight as always, it really is about you, the voters. now, senator sanders asked to go first. secretary clinton was fine with that, so let's get after it. joining us right now is the u.s. senator from vermont, bernie sanders. is the chair good? >> pretty good. >> pretty good. the tie good? you like it? >> very nice. >> so a lot of people thought you would not be sitting where you are right now, but here we are, three contests in. you and secretary clinton separated by one delegate, the same number pledged.
you're in this thing. what does it mean to you to be here tonight? >> well, it is kind of mind-blowing the progress we have made over the last nine months. you and i have been chatting for a long time. when i began we were 3% in the polls. to be honest, most people considered us a fringe campaign, never going to go any place. today in the national polls we have closed the gap to single digits, actually one poll had us ahead. in iowa, i was 50 points down, we had a virtual tie in new hampshire, 30 points down, we won. in nevada, we were way way down, came within five points. south carolina, we started here 7%, 8% in the polls. we have narrowed that. i think what it means to me is the american people are responding to our message that we have a corrupt campaign finance system, in which billionaires today are buying elections and undermining american democracy. we have a rigged economy in
which the ordinary people are working longer hours for lower wages, almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1%, and we have a broken criminal justice system in which we have more people in jail today than any other country on earth, largely african-american and largely latino. what it means to me and why our campaign has been doing so well, i think people are saying enough with establishment politics and establishment dmiks. we need a political revolution in which millions come together and say you know what? all our government belongs to all of us. you're sensitive is you have co-opted the cnn countdown clock. i'm not here to come after it, but just as yesterday said, it's been 17 days, 16 hours, and 32
minutes since she said she would look into -- clinton says she will do that when other candidates release their transcripts. i know you're saying i don't talk to the basics i don't have any, but you have done speeches that were paid before if -- >> that's not a problem. look, i have not had a paid speech, it's against the law to get paid speeches. i have given some speeches, the money was donated to speeches. way way back i got a few dollars. but what secretary clinton said, i will do it if other people will do it. i am happy to release all of my pages to wall street. here it is, chris -- there ain't none. i don't do that. i don't get -- i don't get speaker's feaes from goldman sachs. it's not there.
i'm happy to release them. it won't be shocking to anybody. i know it's been a while ago, but reported in 1974 -- >> that's a while ago. >> -- you said the cia is a dangerous institution that's got to go. you went on to say it was accountable to no one except right-wing lunatics to prop up fascist dictatorships. do you stand by those comments? >> that was 40 years ago. since then i've served as mare yor of the city of burlington. 16 years in the house and nine years in the united states senate, but let me tell you this. i do have concerns about past activities of the cia. cia was involved in the overthrow of a gentleman named mohammed mozadek way back when in iran, overthrew him on behalf of british oil. you know what happened? that led to the iranian revolution and we are where we are today. the cia was involved in the
overthrow of salvador allende, a democrat ecwho won an election, the cia overthrew him. so i have problems with some parts of our history which continues, by the way to the present. >> but the institution itself? >> the cia plays an important role. have they done things that they should not have done on behalf of the united states go. ? absolutely. >> okay. now, in the headlines, today the obama administration released its plan for closing guantanamo. you said this is a good plan. part of the plan involves the naval brig here in south carolina, in charleston that one day could house detainees. i'm sure there is concern in the audience tonight about some of the worst people in the world being in their backyard. why is that okay? >> what is okay is, look, we look like hypocrites and fools to the entire world. what we have done is locked up
people in a way that is causing all kinds of repercussions around the world. people say you're a democratic society, we have locked people up in an island. i think that has hurt us all over the world. obviously if people are terrorists, they need to be confined, and we need to make sure they stay in jail until whatever happens. but i think the president is right. i think we should shut down guantanamo. i think in the long run it will help us significantly. >> are you ready to talk to the voters? >> that's why i'm in south carolina. >> i know, you didn't come here because of me. >> sylvia johnson, one of the -- she says she is undecided. sylvia, thank you for being here. what's your question for the senator? >> good evening. so glad to be here. my question is, do you think an individual who legally purchased
a gun should be allowed to carry it openly in a public arena? such as places of worship, schools is public places? and if elected president, would you change the gun-free school zone act by allowing staff, teachers and at march tors to carry against in order to defend the students and themselves? >> to begin with, let me just say this. i have a d-minus voting record from the nra. i probably lost an election way back in 1988 because i said that
i didn't think it was proper in this country that military-style assault weapons be sold. now, the issues that you raise are often significantly state issues. if i was the governor of a state, would i be supportive of people taking guns into houses of worship? no, i would not. that's not something that i am comfortable with, but that's a decision being made by the state. what i will tell you, at the federal level, is that we have got to do everything we can to expand and improve the instant background check. our goal must be to make sure that people who should not have weapons, guns, do not have guns. that means people of criminal backgrounds, people who are mentally unstable. we have to deal with the straw man provision right now which allows people to legally buy guns, and then sell them to criminals. i'll tell you what else we have to do. we need a revolution in mental
health in this country. a lot of people -- [ applause ] -- let us be honest and acknowledge that many thousands of people walking the streets of america today who are suicidal and/or homicidal. they need treatment when they need treatment, now months from now. but bottom line, all of us are shocked and disgusted by the kinds of mass killings that we saw in that church and what happened to reverend pinckney, and we've got to do everything we can. what president obama said months ago i think captures it. the president said, look, this is a difficult problem. nobody here can guarantee you that terrible things don't happen, but just because it is a hard problem does not mean to say we should not do everything we can to try to end they mass killings. another question -- sylvia,
thank you very much. viv vidal. he's a student, the first member of his family to go to college. he says he is leaning towards of. what's your question, young man? >> senator sanders, i am a student here in columbia, south carolina. i'm from a rural area, raised in a single 46 parent home. i attend a historically black college here in south carolina. my question is you have a plan to make public college free. so where does historically black colleges, private historic black colleges fall under this plan? >> great question, and congratulations on what you have accomplished. you know, i grew up in a family when my dad came from poland without any money. he was a high school dropout, my mother was a dropout, so i was proud that they sent my brother and me to college.
i believe his turkeyly black colleges played a very important role. you're quite right. what i believe is in the year 2016, when we talk about public education, we should make sure that public colleges are tuition free. everyone in the country who has the ability and desire can get a college education, but in addition to that, we must sustain and strengthen the historically black colleges and universities who do a phenomenal job today educating a significant number of african-americans. you have my word that we will not sustain but substantial increase funding for the historically black colleges and universities. they are under today a lot of financial pressure, and one of the reasons they are under financial pressure is they do the right thing. they welcome kids into those
colleges that harvard and yale might not necessarily welcome. some of those kids are struggling. some of those kids may drop out, but that's the right thing to do, and those colleges deserve very strong support. you have my word a sanders administration would provide that support. while we're on the topic of things you could do in your administration that would helped the african-american community, speak to what remains a sizable gap. we look at the nevada entrance polls, as you well know, senators, among black polls tess 76-22. why do you believe your message is not resonating as well there if. >> well, chris, you know, when we started in south carolina, my message wasn't resonating with anybody. nobody knew who i was. i'm running against a candidate who's one of the best-known people in the world, a candidates who ran here a very strong campaign in 2008, who
knows a lot of people. so we started with no support. our support has grown and it has grown in the african-american community. what i believe to the degree we can get our message out and the message is that we have a criminal justice system, which is broken, that there are something very wrong when african-americans in south carolina and around the country get nervous about walking down the street or going into their car and being stopped by a police officers, that should not be happening in america now when we have ideas about how to deal with that, when african-ameri n african-americans hear my point of view that when youth unemployment in the african-american dmunt for high school graduates is 51% -- 51% unemployed or underemployed, we have a plan to invest in jobs and education, not jails and incarceration.
we have very specific ideas about how the federal government, you know, local police departments are run by municipalities, federal government can play a major role in ending the mill tarization of so many of our local police departments. they look like occupying arms, and we'll make the police departments look like the diversity of the communities they are serving. there's a lot to be done. let's look to your right. it's a question about what's happening with the supreme court. he's an attorney and the past president of the south carolina trial lawyers association. >> good to meet you. >> he said he supports secretary clinton. >> i'm not going to pick on you about that. senator, welcome to south carolina, and welcome to my alma mater, the university of south carolina. with the passing recently of justice scalia, the issue of appointments to the justice in
the supreme court in my opinion has risen to the top of this election. we all know the supreme court elected a president in 2001 and look what happened. >> i know that, you know that, probably some people would disagree. >> i have good friends of mine that would vehemently disagree, but that's okay. we're all friends. just speaking of the police cases, two cases yesterday regarding stopping was argued before the supreme court. eight justices, it will probably end up a 4-4. so these issues and other profound issues will be coming up. just today senator grassley advised chairman of the senate judiciary committee advised senator mcconnell there would be no hearings on any presidentiale nominee. no vote on any presidential nominee, so we will continue for at least another year with eight justices. >> counsel, is there a question in there? >> it's coming. the next president of the united states will appoint justice
scalia's successor. with that in mind, past justices of the supreme court, not present but past, which past justices do you admire the most? and why? >> before i get to your question, i'm not so sure that you're right. i hear what mcconnell has to say and i hear what chuck grassley has to say, but let me say this. we have been dealing in the last seven years with an unprecedented level of obstructionism against president obama. literally it turns out on the day that obama yaw inaugurated republicans came together and said what will they do? they came to the conclusion that obstruct, obstruct, obstruct, make it as different as we would. i've been at the president's
side time and time again to get a stimulus bill through, affordable care act, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. but what you are seeing today in this supreme court situation is nothing more than the continuous and unprecedented obstructionism that president obama has gone through. and this -- and this is on top of this birther issue, which we hear from donald trump and others, the racist effort to try to de-legitimatize the president of the united states. can you imagine that? to say he's not really the president. he wasn't born in the united states, which is nonsense. it's a funny think on that issue. my dad came from poland. i'm running for president.
guess what? nobody has asked for my birth certificate. maybe it's the color of my skin. i don't know. >> senator -- >> to answer your question, thurgood marshall was a damned good supreme court justice. >> also brooklyn? >> i was born and moved into a 3 1/2-room rent-controlled apartment in brooklyn. >> and you were talking about those who were big voices in the birther movement. do youably trump was motivated by racism? >> i'm not a psychoanalyst, and boy would a psychoanalyst have an interesting time with donald trump. [ applause ] but this is what i will say, and trump is clearly not the only person involved in this.
there was an effort to try to delegitimatize the president. you can disagree with obama all unfortunate, but to say the president of the united states who won an election fair and square was not a legitimate president really undermines what we are as a nation. so i think what that was -- that was -- i'm not going to supply to trump, but do i think at least in some parts of that republican base there is race involved in that? absolutely. absolutely. >> another question. clint fleming spent 40 years in the banking industry, and is now in a tax preparation company. he says he's undecided. what's your question? >> let me work on this guy. >> the question, senator, it appears to me that a lot of your efforts are in social programs of social issues. my question, with the mood of
this united states, how are you going to convince the voters you can make a difference as relates to social issues, free education. there's several states out there where we provide minimum education. so the question is, how are you going to -- from a banger's standpoint, where is the money going to come from? >> okay, thanks, clente, for the questioned. i find it funny -- not so funny, but i find it interesting that over the last 30 years, clente, there's been a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class and working families to the top 1%. trillions have flowed to the top of one tenth of 1%. any of you hear an uproar about that? what a terrible thing?
middle class shall shrinking, saw a doubling, a doubling of the percentage of wealth they own. no one talked. the established was fine, wall street was happy with it, media happen with it. i'm talking aboutness like saying every kid in the country who has the ability should get a tuition-free going to a public college or university if that's their choice. i'm going to pay through that through a tax on wall street speculation. when wall street collapsed because of their greed, you know what? you bailed them out. now i think maybe it's time for wall street to help the middle class. >> when i talk about creating 13 million jobs through a trillion dollar investment and rebuilding a crumbling infrastructure and anyone thinks it was just flint,
michigan who was in trouble, you week mistaken. you name it. i'm going to pay for that by ending loopholes that allows profitable multinational corporations stashing their money in the cayman islands and in other tax havens. in some cases not paying a nickel in taxes. we're going to use that move, and biff, and we're going to targets those investments -- all right. so, to answer your question, clente, the top one tenth of the percent own -- so here it is, folks, you can like it or not. this is my view. we are going to ask profitability multinational corporations and the rich to start paying their fair share of
taxes. >> two things. first one is, you said in iowa, i do not represent the interests of the very wealthy. if you're president of the united states you have to represent everybody, don't you? do you believe there's a risk of seeming divisive in a statement like that? >> divisive? >> you can use any word you want. >> when you have the 20 wealthiest people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million people. when you have a handful of billionaires spending hundreds of millions trying to buy elections and represent candidates and have candidates elected to represent the wealthy and the powerful, frankly, chris, i think we need a movement in this country, and no individual can do it alone. a political revolution which says to the billionaire class, a, your greed has gone a long way to destroy our economy. and second of all, you can't have it all.
this country belongs to all of us, not a handful. i will take them on. >> all right. so in terms of what you want to provide, then you get to the, will that be enough? four former chairs of the white house council of economic advisers, say there's no credibility economic research that supports the positive impacts you're touting. one of them goes so far to say it's like magic flying puppies is winning lotto tickets tied to their collars. >> let me guess. those were organized by the clinton campaign. a wild and crazy guess. >> no, they weren't -- >> well, tomorrow we have well over 130 economists and health care experts who will say exactly the same. chris, you have enough experience to know, you can go to an economist, one will say this, we have economists say what this country needs, et cetera, et cetera.
economists have different points of view, but we have documented how we pay for -- let me say a world on health care, because that's where some of the criticism comes from. here's the story, folks. the story is, germany, the united kingdom, france, sweden, deck mark, holland, canada, every imagine country on earth guarantees health care to all people. guess what? not only do they guarantee health care to all of their people. we, who have 29 million unemployed, and many of you under -- 29 million uninsured, and many of you underinsured with large copayments, many of you and prescription drugs, we end up spending, chris, almost three times more than the british do, 50% more than the french, far more than the canadians. when people say, well, bernie we can't do what every other major
country does, run a cost-effective health care system that guarantees health care to all people, stop the huge ripoffs that come from the pharmaceutical industry, such that 1 out of 5 americans can't even fill their prescriptions. frankly, i don't believe it. i don't believe it. we spend far more than any major country and get much less. what the real issue is here, do we have the guts to take on the power of the insurance companies? do we have the guts to take on the pharmaceutical industry who has 1300 paid lobbyists in washington, d.c.? and these guys spend zillions in campaign contributions? i believe that when the american people stand up and they say, you know what? health care is a right of all people, not a privilege, yeah, i believe we can do that. >> another question for you, senator. meet tracy jackson to your right. she runs a nonprofit, says she is voting for secretary clinton,
but has a question for you. >> hi, senator sanders. i was recently asked to teach a leadership course at my alma mater. if you were going to be a guest speaker in my class, what two leadership truths would you share with my undergraduate students? >> first of all, thank you for what you do. >> thank you. >> i believe that you cannot be a good leader unless you go into yo your heart of hearts and passionately believe in what you were leading. i go around the country and see kids coming up, i would like to be a senator, i would like to be a governor. not good enough. why do you want to be a senator? why do you want to be a governor? what is your passion? what motivates you? if you don't have that passion, if you don't really believe in something, you are not ever going to be a good leader. so my an would swer would be, w
you believe? what kind of community? what kind of country do you want us to be? and are you prepared to fight for that? are you prepared to take on very powerful special interests? in order to achieve the vision that you have? that would be my message. thank you. all right. let's take a seat, take a break. when we come back, we'll have more with senator sanders at the cnn democratic town hall. we're going to continue from columbia, south carolina right after this. please, have some water. it's free. i think it landed last tuesday. one second it's there. then, woosh, it's gone. i swear i saw it swallow seven people.
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they speak louder. we like that. not just because we're doers. because we're changing. big things. small things. spur of the moment things. changes you'll notice. wherever you are in the world. sheraton. (patrick 2) pretty great.ke to be the boss of you? (patrick 1) how about a 10% raise? (patrick 2) how about 20? (patrick 1) how about done? (patrick 2) that's the kind of control i like... ...and that's what they give me at national car rental. i can choose any car in the aisle i want- without having to ask anyone.
days away. don't be nervous. i have a question for you. the clinton campaign recently released a web ad hitting you for what they say is being a single-issue candidate. i want to play the ad. take a look and listen. >> no bank is too big to fail, no executive too powerful to jail. >> you've got to break up these huge financial institutions. ♪ >> attacks on wall street speculation. >> the disastrous and illegal behavior on wall street. >> the wealthiest people, the top 1.5%. the ceos of wall street companies. >> pretty self-explanatory. what's your response? are you too single-issue focused? you didn't like it?
was it a picture thing or a message -- >> my hair was even worse. >> is that what it was? >> at least let me comb my hair there occasionally. you know, single issue. anybody here who's gog to my rallies, they are the longest, most boring discussions in the history of politics. i talk for an hour, hour and a half. of course i talk about wall street. i'll tell you something, if i may, why secretary clinton is nervous. people are asking, how does it happen or why does her super-pac receive millions and millions from wall street? what does it means when you give speeches to a financial institution like goldman sachs, and a couple hundred thousands for giving that speech. maybe they're nervous about the wall street issue, but when i talk about, i talked about a disappearing middle class. i talk about raising the minimum
wage. i talk about rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure. i talk about making public colleges and universities tuition free. i talk about a health care program that works for all of our people. i talk about a tax system that is fair and equitable. i talk about making certain that every woman in this country has the right to control her own body. and that we fight for pay equity for women workers. i talk about ending a disastrous trade policy. want to talk about a difference between secretary and clinton and me? she supported nafta. she supported permanent normal trade relations with china. i have led the opposition to virtually all of these disastrous trade agreements which have cost us millions of dollars. what i am fighting for right now is a political revolution in
which government starts working for working people and for the middle class, and that a revolution, which is prepared to take on the billionaire class today, which has enormous power, so the idea that i'm just talking about wall street, wall street is enormously important, by the way, but it's not the only issue. >> tell people who the revolution looks like? this is a big part of the motivation for where you think will have change. >> last election, republicans want a landslide victory, all over the country. 63% of the american people didn't vote. 80% of young people didn't vote. republicans will always win elections when people are so disillusioned with the political process that they don't vote,
and the voter repression that is being mounted all over this country. here is the answer means the revitalization of american democrat sick. it means my view is we should have one of the highest voting turnouts in the world, not one of the lowest. it means we make it easier for people to get involved in politics, not harder. this is why, chris. when young people and working class people and low-income people, people on which do not participate in the political process. when they get involved, when they stand up and say, you know what? i'm a working mom. i want to make sure i have quality affordable child chair, we will have afford acquality child care. when people talk abouted need to take on the fossil fuel industry to deal with the climate change. i don't go around saying vote
for me, i'm going to solve your problem. i say vote for me, together when millions stand up, we can make real change. >> so let's hear from one of the vote who are wants to be part of the process. thomas kilpatrick says he is undecided. >> welcome to columbia. >> you talked a lot about the millionaire billionaire class. i'm wondering if you could name one who you admire, and why? >> look, there are great billionaires. people who are serious, i don't great with everything that bill gates has done, but you know, this is a guy who has made massive investments in education and health care around the world. he's not just sitting on his money. he's trying to make the world a better place. he's not alone. there are other people. so this is not some kind of
personal vendetta against, you know people who happen to have a lot of money. about what ends up happening in this country, thomas is you have people like the koch brothers, okay, second wealthiest family in this country, they and a few of their billionaire friends are going to spend $900 million on this campaign in order to elect candidates who represent the rich and powerful. i think that stinks. i think that's undermines american democracy. i think that's why we have to overturn this disastrous citizen united supreme court decision. so this is not personal. it's not personal. it is simply saying that you have a handful of people who have incredible wealth and incredible power. they have economy power. they have political power. i think that's not what the united states of america is supposed to be about. angela is an attorney who works in commercial real estate. she says she is leaning toward
you, senator. >> keep leaning. >> what's your question? >> senator sanders, i believe it's fair to say that you're a career politician. you've been in government for over 30 years. can you unequivocally assure your supporters that when you are elected president of the united states, you will not be beholden to any persons or special-interest groups. >> thank you so much for that question. look, when we talk about why so many people are giving up on the political pros, people understand that we have a political system, which is corrupt and it's rigged, okay? now, i know every politician, democrat, republican, whatever, who receives millions in campaign contributions, they say oh, they contributions will not impact me. then the question we ask is, why are these special interests making these contributions? make they're dummies and just throwing their money around?
i don't think so. so here is what i'm enormously proud of. not only do i not have a super pga pac, we don't raise money from corporate american, wall street or billionaires. we have received 4 million individual contributions from well over a million people. you know the average contribution? $27. [ applause ] >> so, angela, i guess i am indebted to the people who have contributed $27. those are the people i will stand for and fight for. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. on your left we have barbara cunningham, a retired private sector health worker. she says she is leaning towards supporting on you saturday, but she has a question. >> hi are senator sanders. i've been a lifelong democrat and always supported the clintons, but i love what you
say. i've waited for my whole life for a truly liberal politician with a platform like yours, including affordable health care for all. my concern is with medicare for all. there's hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs in the health insurance industry all across this country that could be adseriously affected. do you have a transition plan? >> we sure do. >> that would keep these jobs from being put in jeopardy if you can implement medicare for all? >> thank you for the question. i am an advocate for a medicare for all program, but i think what we need is rather than people billing -- people spending enormous amounts of time driving doctors crazy and insurance companies, can i prescribe this drug or not? we are going to need when we provide insurance to 29 million people who don't have it, when we deal with the problems of high deductibles and copayments
and more people get the health care they wants and need, we'll have all kinds of jobs opened in health care. the first people in line should be those people currently in the private health insurance industry. our goal is to make sure that when we spend a dollar, it's not on administration and bureaucracy, but on the provision of health care to the american people, and people like you have a whole lot of experience in that area, can play a vital role in making us and allowing us to do that. >> dave sprung is on your right. he has a question that's highly related to the discussion you're having right now. a student, he says he's undecided leaning a bit towards secretary clinton, has a question for you. >> senator sanders, cigarette smoking contribute to approximately 480,000 deaths each year in the united states. i lost my father, a lifetime smoker to lung cancer in 2014. if you were to be elected
president, can you think of any reforms put in place? for example, you can't consider raising the minimum legal purchases age from 18 to 21? >> i don't that i would go in that direction. by the way, my dad smoked two or three packs a day. i remember it like yesterday, waking up in the morning and coughing and coughing. he died young, and cigarettes certainly contributed to that. we have lost god knows how many people who are addicted to tobacco. what i would do and what i think we've got to do is take on -- you know, when i talk about the greed of corporate america, you know, we talk about the pharmaceutical industry that makes prescription drugs unaffordable, maybe at the top of that list actually is the tobacco industry. you know what they are doing right now around the world? they are trying to peddle cigarettes to kids all over the world. they go into countries and they
come up with these colorful packages, and have pretty girls literally giving out like heroin dealers, literally giving out cigarettes to kids to get them hooked on nicotine. as indicate, this product is killing people and costing our health system billions. i will do everything i can. we're not doing a good enough job. we are making some progress. we are making some progress, but we could do better. if, for example you are a low-income person addicted to gress and you want to get off, can you find in most states easy access to the kinds of treatment that you need to get you off of that addiction? the answer is not really. one of the interesting things that are happening, by the way in this country, you know who's doing more and more? it's the low-income people, the working-class people, people who didn't necessarily have as much education as others. so i think we have a major
health crisis with regard to cigarettes and tobacco. we have to take on the tobacco industry and be very clear, you cannot continue to clear the children of america. we can do that in a number of ways. maybe we raise taxes, make it unaffordable for kids to buy that product, but it's something i feel very passionate about. if i could, chris, one story. this even gets to trade agreements. give you an example how crazy these trade agreements are. phillip morris, large tobacco company in the world, sued the small little country of uruguay, and philip morris said you are denying or company future profits. we want the freedom to kill the children of uruguay and you're taking away our freedom.
that's how crazy some of these trade agreements are, but that's a whole other satire, but taking on the tobacco industry is something i would enjoy doing very very much. and on a few personal questions. and on a few persona questions. we talked to you in new hampshire. we talked about religion. you said your spirituality is that we are all in this together. explain to people what, in your head and in your heart, motivates that togetherness? is there a higher power? is there a higher intelligence? what do you believe in? >> this is what i believe. every great religion in the world, christianity, judaism, islam, buddhism, essentially comes down to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. and what i have believed in my
whole life, i believed it when i was a 22-year-old kid getting arrested in chicago fighting sessi segregation. i believed it my whole life that we are in this together. not words. the truth is at some level when you hurt, when your children hurt, i hurt. i hurt. and when my kids hurt, you hurt. and it's very easy to turn our backs on kids who are hungry or veterans who are sleeping out on the street and we can develop a psyche, a psychology which says i don't have to worry about them, going to worry about myself, i need to make another $5 billion. but i believe that what human nature is about is that everybody in this room impacts everybody else in all kinds of ways that we can't even understand. it's beyond intellect. it's a spiritual emotional thing. so i believe that when we do the right thing, when we try to treat people with respect and dignity, when we say that that
child who is hungry is my child, i think we are more human when we do that than when we say this whole world is me, i need more and more, i don't care about anybody else. that's my religion. it that's what i believe in. i think most people around the world, whatever their religion, their color, share that belief, that we are in together as human beings. and it becomes more and more practical. if we destroy the planet because we don't deal with climate change, trust me, we are all in it together. all right. so we have got to work together and that is -- that is who my spirituality is about. [ applause ] >> so on one hand, you have the notion that nothing will leave you as hungry as the appetite for more. on the other hand, you have something that you believe in so deeply that you would rather lose this election than win and have to compromise on that thing. is that true for you?
and if it is, what matters to you so much that you would rather lose than win and compromise? >> you know, that's a fair question. when you are a candidate for president, it's certainly not just me, it's secretary clinton, anybody else, you meet so many people. many, many thousands -- we've had hundreds of thousands of people coming out to our rallies. wonderful people. i mean, from all walks of life. and just today we were in norfolk, and kids come up to me and say, you've given me hope. and you've rekindled my interest in democracy and in politics. if i let those people down who have faith in me, that's a scary thing when so many people have faith in you and believe you can do something. so it scares me very much if i ever let those people down, it would be a terrible, terrible thing. so i will try to continue to do
my best to run a principle campaign for standing up for the people who today don't have a lot of power. and hopefully will continue to have the courage to take on those who are abusing the power that they have. >> senator, take 30 seconds, make your closing pitch to the people of south carolina. >> 30 seconds? >> 30 seconds. >> look, i have known secretary clinton for 25 years. i respect her and i like her. you know, in the midst of a campaign, crazy things happen, but that's the truth. i like her and i respect her, so this is not some kind of personality fight or stuff like that. we're not republican, after all. [ applause ] but what i do believe is that given the crises facing this country, you know, and i've ticked off some of them, but essentially it comes down to the fact that a very few people control our economy, control our
political system. it is too late, in my view, for establishment politics and establishment economics that we need a political revolution when millions of people come together. and basically say that our government belongs to all of us and is going to represent all of us. not just the few on top. so with that, i would very much appreciate the support of the people of south carolina next saturday. thank you, all, very much. >> senator sanders, thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you. >> all right. still to come, hillary clinton joins us. you are watching a cnn democratic town hall live in south carolina. remember, primary day fast approaching. stay with us. ♪ alright, what do you think boys? we could do tacos. we could do some thai. ooo... how 'bout sushi, eh? [weird dog moan/squeak] why not? [dog yawning/squeaking]
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all right. we're coming to you tonight from the school of law at the university of south carolina in columbia for the time democratic town hall before voters go to the polls this weekend. now, you've already met senator bernie sanders. right now, let us welcome former secretary of state, former u.s. senator from the state of new york, former first lady, former 2008 presidential candidate, hillary clinton. [ applause ] >> great to see you here. >> good to see you. >> thank you so much. >> have a seat. i'm sorry it took me a second, there were a lot of titles to get through there. >> i know. i'm sorry about that. >> so here we are. you fought off a late surge from bernie sanders in nevada. your supporters say they're feeling momentum. you picked up a big endorsement.
there's a gentleman in the front row, congressman clyburn, who wound up coming out for you. where is your head on it? do you believe that you have turned a corner. >> look, i believe every election or caucus has to be taken seriously. you have to work hard for every vote. that's what i'm going to be doing here in south carolina. i'm taking no vote, no place for granted. so that's not how i think about it. i think that, you know, we have had three contests, we have about 47 to go. and i'm going to work hard on each and every one of them. >> now i notice you did not bring me any package of paper tonight of speech transcripts. earlier tonight i asked senator sanders will you give your transcripts as speechers, you said when others give, i'll give. he said he doesn't have the speeches. if he can find the speeches he did for money, he'll gladly give the transcripts up. will you agree to release these
transcri transcripts? that has become an issue. >> if everybody does it. that includes the republicans. they have made a lot of speeches. what is this about? this is about whether i have the best plan to go after wall street, a record that already demonstrates my willingness to take on wall street and financial interests. there's no question about that. i did it before the '08 crash. i've done it since in this campaign, i've been absolutely clear. a lot of people have said i have the most comprehensive, effective, comprehensive plan to make sure wall street never wrecks main street again. i've also said i will use the tools that president obama achieved in the dodd/frank regulations. best, tightest regulations we've had in a long time, and they provide the opportunity to break up the banks if they pose systemic risks and i've said i will do that. if that becomes the case. >> all the more reason to move this as an issue. you know everybody is not going
to bring up their transcripts. there will be 100 reasons why. >> why is there one standard for me and not for everybody else, chris? i mean, at some point, at sol point, you know, look, i'm on record. i have a record. it certainly is far different from the republicans because they think, actually, and have said that the cause of the great recession was too much regulation on wall street which is an absolute joke. i have been up front and strong on this issue for a long time. as strong, i would argue, as my esteemed opponent. so, you know what, if people are going to ask for things, everybody should be on a level playing field and i'm happy if that were the case. >> you do understand, though, the temptation of the unknown? i don't have to explain this to you. you understand that when people ask for something -- >> with all due respect, there is no unknown. i am on record, i went to wall street before the great recession. i called them out. i said what they were doing in the mortgage market was going to cause serious problems. i called for reining in ceo pay,
i called for ending the loophole that lets hedge fund managers get a lower tax rate. i have been on record for a really long time. i've now put forth a plan, it's in public arena. i want to people to hold me accountable. that's what i'd do. the other part of this i find somewhat concerning, actually, is the argument seems to be that if you ever took money from any business, of any kind, then you can't fulfill your public responsibilities. well, that's just not the case. i mean, president obama took an enormous amount of money, more than anybody ever had from wall street in 2008 when he was successful in his election, and then he turned around and pushed through the toughest regulations that we've seen since the great depression. so the argument just doesn't hold up, but, again, you know, if everybody's going to do the same thing, then i'll be part of it. >> we will continue to wait, then, and see what happens on that issue, but there are others that must be covered, of course.
president obama just released his plan to close guantanamo bay. you've said you believe in the plan. one part of it, though, will be the transfer of the people who are there now. there is a military holding facility in charleston, south carolina, which may receive some of the people from guantanamo. tell the people of south carolina, i asked the same thing to senator sanders, why is it okay to have some of the worst people in the world in their backyard? >> well, first of all, the president hasn't made any decision about where the transfers would go. and i think what he wants to, and i hope he can achieve this, is to work with the congress, but i've been on record in favor of closing guantanamo for a long time. since 2008. when i was secretary of state working closely with the president, i had a special envoy to find places that could take back some of the prisoners just as president bush had done before president obama. i believe the president is right to try to close it.
i think it is a continuing recruitment advertisement for terrorists. i know that he wants to work with the congress and i hope the congress will work with him, chris, because there is no reason for us to continue to have guantanamo which is a very serious, i geruess, symbol, i would say, for a lot of the people around the world who would do us harm and try to recruit others to do us harm. so where they end up should be a matter of negotiation. i know that's what the president wants to do. i will say this, we've got a few places in the country, not here, but, you know, the maximum security place that i think is in colorado, there's one in illinois, that hold some really terrible people who have committed horrific crimes including the mastermind of the first attack on the world trade center in 1993. the president's trying to figure out what to do with people who are too dangerous to be
released, who have to be maintained in a very tough maximum security environment. and all i can hope is that the congress will work with him. i remember back in the '08 election, president obama, senator mccain and i all had the same position so i hope some of the republicans will understand that we're in a fight against terrorism, we have to defeat it, we don't need to have guantanamo hanging out there over our heads. >> memory is short for compromise in comedy these days. comety, not the joke that we behold. let's start with foreign policy. >> absolutely. >> i want you to meet a student here at the university of south carolina, ran for student body president. he is an independent voter, says he is undecided. has a question for you, secretary. >> great, great. >> good evening, mrs. clinton. >> good evening. >> first of all, i hope your campaign goes better than mine dead. >> well, do not give up. >> oh, no, ma'am.
>> keep going if it's something you want to do, don't get deterred. >> thank you. madam secretary, you are for a regime change in syria. as we learned in iraq, recently libya, getting rid of longtime dictators and affiliates can lead to problems unforeseen. if assad was to be deposed, how would you direct the state department and national partners to install within that country a government capable of containing and mitigating the sectarian and insurgency violence that will undoubtedly increase thus further destabilizing the region? >> that's an excellent question. let me say, first of all, talking about syria and libya, in syria, it looks like, and i hope it's the case, we will have a cease-fire by the weekend. i know that secretary kerry has been working very hard on that and i hope that takes hold because we need to turn the attention of everyone in syria to defeating the terrorists and we've got to stop the ongoing
bombing that russia has carried out in support of the assad regime against the syrians, themselves, who are trying to, you know, wage a civil war against assad. so i'm hoping that that happens because we do have some work to do and i would like it to be work that, number one, has safe havens for people in syria, number two, begins a political dialogue which was your question, how do you create some kind of outcome that will have a more stable future? who do you get at the table? i worked on that when i was secretary of state. i know secretary kerry continues that work. and the russians and the iranians are the two biggest supporters of the assad regime. so they have to be part of any kind of ongoing political diplomatic effort. libya's a little different. you know, libya actually held elections. they elected moderates. they have tried to piece together a government against a lot of really serious challenges
internally coming from the outside with terrorist groups and other bad actors. they're working to try to unify the different factions inside libya so they can take united action against the terrorists and try to get the east and the west of the country working together. you know, there ay're a rich country. they have oil. they are not without resource but they've got to get over their internal disputes and the united states, europe, and others are helping them to try to do that and i think they need time and support. i know the united states has taken actions against terrorists inside libya, particularly isis training camps and i support that because i want to give the people of libya a chance to actually form a government and realize the promise of getting rid of gadhafi who had so oppressed the country for, you know, more than 40 years. hollowed out all the institutions.
threatened genocide against his own people which is one of the reasons why the rest of the world intervened. and i'm hoping that we can give them the time and space to actually make a difference for they're country in the future. >> how do you explain the time and space to people? when you look at -- for example, you're right about isis being there. by most estimates it's in a nightmare phase. see what happens when we get involved, see what happens when we take someone out, we don't know what's going to replace it. do you believe there's a mistake involved in libya? >> let me make two points. one, let's remember what was going on at the time, the height of the arab spring. the people in libya were expressing themselves, were demanding their freedom and gadhafi responded brutally and said that he would just hunt them down like cockroaches and made it very clear he would use his mercenaries because he didn't have a standing army, he had a lot of hired mercenaries
from around to do literally that. the europeans who are across the sea from libya, you know, came to us and said, this is on our doorstep, we need your help. basically they said, we're with you in afghanistan, we need you now to help us with libya because we've got to prevent this terrible happening that could result from gadhafi. we had arabs come to us and say the same thing. we formed the first coalition between nato and a arab nations. arab nations actually ran a lot of the air campaign and other support systems. so i think you have to look at what was going on at the time and why it seemed, and i agree with this, to make sense for us to bring our special assets to the table to help the people of libya. now, i go back to this point, they had an election and it was a good election. it was a fair election. it met international standards. that was an amazing accomplishment for a nation that
had been so deprived for so long. you know, the united states was in korea and still is for many years. we are still in germany. we are still in japan. we have a presence in a lot of places in the world that started out as a result of conflict. and if you think about south korea, there were coups, assassinations, a lot of problems for the koreans to build their economy, create their democracy. this doesn't happen overnight. yes, it's been a couple of years. i think it's worth european support, arab support, american support to try to help the libyan people realize the dream they had when they went after gadhafi. >> a young lady standing, has a question for you. her name is kyla gray. she's a student at columbia college. she's leaning in your favorite but you have work to do with kyla. she has not made up her mind completely yet. kyla, what's your question for the secretary? >> good evening.
recently i started wearing my hair natural -- >> i'm sorry, started what? >> recently i started wearing my hair natural and i've noticed a difference in the way some people address and look at me. in the wake of thing like ferguson and black lives matter and the recent backlash against beyonce for her formation video. there have been a lot of racial tensions recently in our nation. so my question to you is what do you intend to do to help fix the broken racial relations in our nation? >> well, kyla, first of all, thank you for being so candid and brave to stand up and say this about yourself because i think it really helps to shine a spotlight on what our, one of the many barriers that stand in the way of people feeling like they can pursue their own dreams, be who they are, they can have the future that they want in our country, and i believe strongly we have to deal with systemic racism and systemic racism is found in our criminal justice system, it's
found in housing, in job opportunities, in education. and it's also cultural. and so there are barriers that people are encountering that i think we need to be honest about. you know, i just came from central baptist church with mothers of the movement. i think they might be here. and, yes, they are. you know, i'd want them to stand up, if you don't mind. i mean, these are the bravest women -- [ applause ] you know, these -- these five women have lost children to police actions and to random senseless gun violence. and there's no doubt that in each case, as they said at the church earlier, there is a racial component to it. a young black teenager, 17 years old, playing the music in his car too loud with a bunch of his
friends and a white guy comes up and tells them to turn the music down. they exchange words. the man pulls out his gun and kills him. so we have serious challenges, and i think it's important for people, and particularly for white people, to be honest about those and to recognize that our experiences may not equip us to understand what a lot of our african-american fellow citizens go through every single day. so, for me, when i talk about breaking down all the barriers that stand in the way of people's ambitions and dreams, racism along with economic issues, educational issues, and all the rest, have to be addressed. otherwise, you know, we are never going to be the nation we should be. we're never going to overcome our legacy. you know, dating back to slavery, segregation, jim crow, it is still, unfortunately, alive and well and you've got
places in this state where an african-american baby has a higher rate of dying than you have in a lot of other places. the infant mortality rate can be compared to some third world poor countries. you know, in this state, your governor and legislature wouldn't extend medicaid and so people can't get the health care that they deserve to have. so i think there are a lot of barriers that we have to be honest about, and i think honesty and willingness to listen to each other, actually respect each other, would go a long way toward us rolling up our sleeves and dealing with a lot of these issues and giving you the feeling that you have a right to wear your hair any way you want to. that's your right. [ applause ] now -- >> you look great. >> as somebody who has had a lot
of different hairstyles. i say that from some personal experience. >> i'm just happy to keep my hair. that's my whole -- you know, kyla mentioned beyonce. let's talk about beyonce for a second, because why not? you know, specifically, what happened at the super bowl halftime performance. it upset a lot of men and women in the law enforcement community. they felt that they were targeted. and they feel that this is one of many anti-police messages. and now there's this resulting call, don't buy her cds, don't support her because she does not support the police. do you understand where they're coming from? do you agree? and how do you see in terms of reconciling these points of view? >> you know, look, i think there are an enormous number of police officers in our country that perform honorably every single day. they put themselves in harm's way. they connect with the communities. they are sworn to protect. and we should show them all the respect that they have earned and deserve.
but we have problems in our criminal justice system in a lot of places that we can't ignore. and, you know, put aside any particular celebrity or any particular song or performance, the fact is that we have too many instances here in south carolina. we had walter scott, north charleston. there was a young white teenager, if i believe right, zachary hammond, who was unarmed and killed in a police action here in south carolina. we have lost too many young people, so what's the answer? i don't think the answer is for us to find ourselves in opposing camps where we're just going to be looking at each other with, you know, mistrust. we have to figure out how we're going to lift up the good practices, reform policing, provide more support, so that force is a last resort, not a
first choice, and that means helping to train police so that, you know, when they go out on the streets, i'm sure they're nervous and scared, too, so how do we create a better understanding about how to deal with different situations that deescalate instead of escalate? you know, one of the mothers here, you know, lost her son. several police officers were asked to move him out of a public park. they said, no, he has a right to be in a public park. this happened in milwaukee, wisconsin. marie wra ha hamilton is here. her son was dantre. one police officer who knew somebody who was in the restaurant that wanted him moved showed up and, you know, so he started beating this young man with a baton and when the young man, you know, tried to protect himself and grabbed the baton, you know, the officer pulled out his gun and shot him. now, you know, numerous times. so we've got to come to grips with the fact that we've got to do some retraining here. we've got to do some work to
make sure that our police are understanding how best to deal with situations where somebody's not armed, somebody's sitting on a park bench. and he ends up dead. you know, so there is work to be done, and i don't -- i think the right response is, let's respect the police, let's be sure that we hold up those who are doing the right things, and protecting us and let's try to help more police follow that example and then let's hold police behavior accountable so that there's an incentive for people to change how they are doing police practices. and, you know, president obama had a policing commission and, you know, i embraced all of their recommendations and as president, you know, i would try to work with the police and work with the community and work with victims of violence, getting everybody together because what we want to is stop this from happening again. we want to save lives.
we want to prevent any other mother from going through what these mothers have gone through. that would be my goal as president. >> having another for you. >> okay. >> sally horn on the left, she's a student, part-time law clerk. says she's undecided. has a question. go ahead. >> hi. >> welcome to the palmetto state. >> thank you. >> i'm from rockville, south carolina and had the pleasant an and delight of attending a women's college. elaborate on how attending a women's college prepared you for the specific challenge of running for president especially when it's often challenging when people don't recognize women's issues as significant or women, themselves, as significant. >> well, that is a great question. >> thank you. >> thank you. i have been to agnus scott. i went to wellesley college. a women's college. look, i think what i got out of going to a women's college was that women were in charge of
everything. you know? that's just a fact. and, you know, we ran the student government. we ran the newspaper. we ran the yearbook. we ran all the activities. so it was a great leadership opportunity. and, you know, i know that you can find that in many different settings, but for me, it really helped to give me the confidence and the understanding of what leadership meant. it put me in some challenging p positions to associate issues that i learned a lot from. so i feel very grateful for that experience. and, you know, when i got to the united states senate, i was so grateful to the women who'd been there before. and we formed a bipartisan group and we used to meet off the record on our own, no press,
nothing ever reported out of it, you know, to trade information and ideas about how you did the work of being a senator. and how we could support each other where appropriate. you know, funny little things, like what do you do with your handbag? i mean, you know, that's an issue. you got it figure it out. serious things about how we could support each other on women's issues. how we could make some of the concerns we had about childcare, about equal pay, real to the rest of our colleagues who may not have thought about it as much as we had. so i think there's real support to be found when you're lucky enough to work with other women. and i was certainly fortunate in both the senate and the state department to have that experience. and i give a lot of credit to my education equipping me to be able to do the work that i've done.
>> secretary, have another question for you. jamie, she's a law student at the university of south carolina. she's leaning toward senator sanders. has a question. >> hi, secretary clinton. >> hi. >> so my mom supports you and i've been leaning toward bernie for several reasons including he's not corporately funded. i feel like he reallies y understands my generation's problem with student debt and how much pressure we're under with that. my question for you is what do you think has been causing this common generational gap that i see so many places between your supporters and senator sanders' supporters? >> well, i'm not sure, to be honest. i really don't know. i want you to know that whether you end up supporting me or not, i will support you. and i will support the young people of this country because that has been -- that has been my life's work. let me say a word about student debt because i honestly believe that my plan to make college affordable and to help you pay down your student debt is a very
effective way of doing what i know must be done. particularly with student debt, you're in law school now? >> yes. >> did you come out of college with debt? >> luckily, i didn't have any debt from undergrad, but -- >> now you do. >> yes. >> i borrowed money when i was in law school also. >> yes. >> and i know that is can be a burden and so here's what i want to do. i want you to be able to refinance your debt at much lower interest rates. it makes no sense at all that you're paying -- do you know what your interest rate is? >> it's between 7% and 9%. i'm already $75,000 in debt and i'm only halfway through. >> you know, i want everybody to understand this, she borrowed money for the principle and to be able to pay her fees to go to law school and i would bet a good percentage of what you now owe is because of the interest. a 7% to 9% interest rate when we haven't had interest rates that high in years. it makes absolutely no sense.
we need to refinance it, we need to strip as much of the interest payments out that we possibly can. we need to give you a chance to move into a contingency repayment program. that's what i had when i went to law school. i paid back my loan at a percentage of my income because i went to work for the children's defense fund right out of law school. and i didn't make much money at all. i can't even remember. think $14,000 is what sticks in my head. i paid it back as a percent of my i concome. so i could go to work and do the work i love doing. brought me to south carolina to do a project to get kids out of adult jails. i really am grateful for that. so i want to move you into those programs then i want to have a date certain when your debt ends. i don't think you should be paying debt more than 20 years at all and shorter if we can figure out how to do it. and i don't think the federal government should be making money off of lending you money to get your education. i think we've got to fix that as well.
and i'm going to be introducing more national service jobs so that if you do national service, you can get basically your education free which i think we should do to have more young people involved in national service. and then on the affordability side, i do disagree with senator sanders about his plan about free college because i want to have debt-free tuition but i don't believe my family or donald trump's family or a lot of other families that can afford it should have the advantage of free college. i think they should be contributing on behalf of their children. i want -- >> secretary -- >> i want this to be a program where we have affordability and i have a particular commitment to the historically black colleges and universities because both the public and the private hbcus do so much good. i hope you'll go to my website, hillaryclinton.com and look at what i'm actually proposing because i think you might find it interesting then go talk to your mother.
>> all right. on your left, we have the reverend robert cooper. he's the presiding elder of the florence dylan district for the ame church. >> okay. >> he's still undecided and has a question for you. reverend? >> hi, reverend. >> good evening, madam secretary. i'm reverend cooper. my question to you is that my concern is about the illness of the family, the degeneration of the value of the family. when you look at the stage of americans, all the actors, little children that used to sit around mom and dad table, all the shooting, the looting and the killing. they once sat around mom and dad table. that was the first academy they ever attended. and it points to there is an illness in the family. seeming though the young people have to take all the blame for it. when you think about the shooting that happened in charleston just a few months
ago, if that young man had a chance to have breakfast with his mother or a tight-knit family, someone would have detected that he had a problem and might not would have happened. if you were to become president, what would you do to help some wellness come back to american families? >> you know, reverend, i think your question is an incredibly important one because strong families are at the core of a strong society, a strong america, and the family is the first introduction any child has to how to behave in society, what's expected, what the values should be. so we do have to do more to help lift up families and support families. and a lot of families are under tremendous economic stress right now. and a lot of families just are trying to keep body and soul together, trying to make enough money to keep food on the table and a roof over the head. and the working hours that are demanded by so many employers make it difficult for a lot of families, particularly headed by
single mothers, to be able to spend the time that you would want and i would, of course, want, to see families spend together. so i think it's both an economic issue as well as a sort of personal issue. on the economic front, let's raise that minimum wage. let's get more income into the pockets of those women who are minimum wage workers. let's get equal pay so that people who are working hard are given the dignity, the respect, and the income they deserve. let's get incomes rising again. let's get more good jobs for more people. something that would help the family feel that they weren't on such rocky terrain and not sure where the next step would be. and also let's do more to help support families as they raise their children. and i think this is not something that can be done only by the government. i wrote a book called "it takes a village to raise a child."
i believe that. i think faith institutions, community institutions, trying to get the extended family to be more supportive are all part of how we help families do right by their own kids. and i think we can also do more with better early childhood education when families are looking for it, they can't afford it. universal pre-k program so that more kids get off to a good start in l school. but time is the most precious commodity and we need to figure out how we get more income into families so they can actually have more time with their kids. and i will do everything i can because i believe in this. that's how i was raised. you know, my husband and i, you know, certainly did everything we could to make sure that one or both of us was home with our daughter. that we were there at night to have dinner, to, you know, read to her before she went to sleep. and we believe in that. and we know it makes a difference for the children. so what we want to is to help more families have the support they need which too many of them don't have right now. to be able to do more to get
their own kids off to a good start. and i think that would be a great way to help families and to help our country get stronger in the future. >> secretary, speaking of time, fortunately we have more time tonight but we do have to take a quick break. >> okay. >> we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, we do have more of your questions from former secretary of state hillary clinton as our debate continues here in columbia, south carolina. ♪
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soon learned that one of our ancestors we thought was italian was eastern european. this is my ancestor who i didn't know about. he looks a little bit like me, yes. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at ancestry.com all right. we are back here at the school of law at the university of south carolina. we have former secretary of state hillary clinton and i have a question for you and a little bit of video to watch. >> okay. >> you may not know, but the late-night comedians love you. they love you. they love to do things about
you. stephen colbert had fun with an interview you had recently with scott pelley. you'll remember it. i want to play you a piece of it. >> and something has emerged, something has just emerged. just last night that is potentially damaging to hillary clinton's campaign, and it's hillary clinton. it's true. who has been dogged by questions of trustworthiness. and here she is yesterday with our good friend, scott pelley. >> you know, in 76 jimmy carter famously said, i will not lie to you. >> i have to tell you, i have try in every way i know how literally from my years as a young lawyer all the way through my time as secretary of state to level with the american people. >> some people are going to call that wiggle room that you just gave yourself. >> well, no -- >> always tried to. >> i've always tried to. >> jimmy carter said i will never lie to you. >> you're asking me to say have i ever? i don't believe i ever have.
i don't believe i ever have. i don't believe i ever will. i'm going to do the best i can to level with the american people. >> how can you be this bad at it? just say no. just say no. you're running for president of the united states. even -- even richard nixon knew to say, i am not a crook. he didn't say, it has always been my intention, as far as i believe, i will do the best i can not to be a crook. will you lie is the home run of campaign questions. you just say no and touch all the bases. >> funny guy, serious topic. is that a question that you'd like another shot at answering? >> i'll just say, no. [ applause ] >> you make mr. colbert very happy. >> good, good, i want to make
him happy in. >> if you do that. you know the universe of thought this comes from. you've known it for a long time. you've dealt with it for a long time. many of us have watched it. today, a federal judge, as you know, issued on a ruling on a motion that could pave the way for the possibility that you could be subpoenaed in order to obtain any information. whatever the details of this latest case, it's what they call the drip, drip, drip theory of this. it doesn't go away. what is your statement to democrats who are afraid that this right, wrong, good, bad, it will not believe you in this race and may compromise you now and going forward? >> that there is no basis for that, chris. you know, look, i'm well aware of the drip, drip, drip. i've been in the public arena for 25 years and have been the subject of a lot of ongoing attacks and misinformation and all the rest of it. but i can only tell you what the facts are, and, you know, the
facts are that every single time somebody has hurled these charges against me, which they have done, it's proved to be nothing. and this is no different than that. you know, and i testified for 11 hours on the benghazi committee. people were really, oh my goodness, oh my goodness. i told the truth. i testified under oath. at the end, they had to say, there was nothing there. here i have turned over 55,000 pages of e-mails. nobody in any cabinet position has ever been as transparent or open. i know there are, you know, challenges about what the state department did or didn't do. that will all be worked out. it is just not something that, you know, is going to have any lasting effect. and i am not at all worried about it. >> so then let's go to the audien audience. >> yeah, let's do it. >> mary mcclelland, a retired high school guidance counselor. she says she is undecided. has a question. >> great. great. >> i'm coming to the red because i want to bring the red and blue together here. >> thank you.
i am currently receiving social security benefits, and that's after working for nearly 40 years as a high school guidance counselor. currently, there are more than 63 million people receiving social security benefits. hardworking people who have been able to work and secure these funds. my question to you, madam secretary, is this. how do you plan to fund the social security trust fund to enable us to have a solid and secure social security system moving forward, to keep me giving my benefits and those in the next generation? those young people who are moving toward social security age. >> well, first of all, we're going to prevent the republic
chance from privatizing it. that has to be the highest priority, and i listen to the republican candidates, the ones who are still competing, and they all are very critical of social security. i think ted cruz called it a ponzi scheme. they've all said they should be changing it dramatically. i'm absolutely against that. i fought it we i was a senator. i will never let that happen as president. with respect to the social security trust fund so we can extend its life and make sure it is there for younger people coming up, we have to go where the money is. that means we have to look at different ways of trying to get more money into the trust fund. raising the cap on the income that is subject to the social security tax is one way of doing it. another way of doing it is expanding the social security tax to investment income, so-called passive income, because a lot of well-off people don't make a lot of what we would think of as earned income
but they have a lot of income because it comes from capital gains and investment and other sources. so i think we have to look at something like either one of those. there may be some other ideas, but i'm going to do everything i can to extend the life of the social security trust fund. and it is also important, though, to look at people who are not getting by on what they currently have under social security. there are a lot of low-wage workers who didn't make much, and it's really difficult for them. there are a lot of women who were not in the formal workforce. you've been a professional, you've worked for all those years but a lot of women may have been in, may have been out, may have raised childrens may have cared for an ill relative. they don't have a lot of what they'ver they've earned in the social security trust fund. then the other group i'm concerned about are widows who lose half their benefit when their husband dies. so i want to prevent it from being privatized.
i want to extend the social security trust fund, and i want to figure out how we up the benefits for people who are literally barely hanging on. the three groups i mentioned are the ones i'm looking at most cloe closely. we're going to make sure we extend it and it will be there so young people have the same kind of guarantee you did and i did when we started out. >> thank you very much. >> madam secretary, you have john on your right, the for instance principal of a charter school. >> how are you? >> great. >> we're the only school in the state that offer more instructional days than required by law. we offer 230 instructional days versus the traditional 180. you look at countries like india and china, they offer, they require their high school students to attend 220 days on average. and that's 40 days more than our high school students. do you think that puts our students at a disadvantage?
and if so, would you work with states to help modernize that policy? >> here's what i think it does, and thank you for being involved in education. it's so critically important. i think we need to focus on disadvantaged kids, low-income kids, kids with learning difficulties because they do need more time on task. others could also benefit from it, but we understand and you do, i'm sure, from the research, that the more time that kids who need that time have, the more likely they will make gains in their learning. in fact, there's a lot of research which shows that, you know, for most middle class or well-off kids, they get out of school in the spring or early summer, having gone to 180, 185, whatever the days are in their state, and then they do things over the summer that keep them learning. where a lot of disadvantaged kids get out and they actually
lose some of the learning they've gained during the year. so i want very much to expand the school day and the school year and provide more structure starting with kids who would be most benefited from it, but i am in favor of states looking at how they might do that for every student, but i'm most concerned about the kids who are left out and left behind and need more time on task. the research on this is very clear. in fact, you know, i have said i want to be a good partner for educators and teachers, but i want to help them do what they know they're supposed to do. we need better and fewer tests. not more tests. we need more support in the classroom because a lot of kids come with needs, and as the reverend was saying, a lot of kids who have challenges at home, you know, the school is the only place other than the family where they might get some additional assistance. so we need to look at this from a broader perspective, and you're right, more days, more
hours, actually does produce results particularly for kids who need that kind of structure and support. >> madam secretary, we have marjorie wentworth on your left. she is poet laureate of south carolina. >> she's the what? >> poet laureate of south carolina. she says she's supporting you. >> that makes me very happy. >> i'm not going to recite a program. >> i wish you would. >> the world was astonished at the generosity of the forgiving statements made by family members whose family were killed in the charleston massacre, emanuel church. just two days after at the bond hearing. and, you know, it helped our city heal. you were there. you saw that. led to a nobel peace prize nomination which is extraordinary. [ applause ] and, yes. and, you know, one of the things i want to ask you is why do you
think that forgiveness is so rarely an action that we take, especially in terms of violent conflict, and, you know, how could you, as president, harness the power of forgiveness in terms of helping heal all the division in our own country and beyond? >> that's a great question. you know, i could not be standing here in i had not been forgiven many times and if i had not been able to forgive myself those who i thought had in some way disappointed or wronged me. so i, as a person of faith, believe profoundly in the power of forgiveness. and we need to do more to try to take >> and we need to do more to
take the example. i was very fortunate to spend quite a bit of time with nelson mandela, i know bishop tutu. it was a leap of faith to bring together those who had been o oppressed, in a process that truly was a national effort to try to forgive enough that the country could be held together, that the nation could be born, that the work could begin and it was to me a stunning example of what is possible. i think there's a lot that we could do in this country if we could figure out how to harness those feelings. and i see so much anger and fear
and bitterness. some of it's being played out in our political system right now. the kind of language that's being used, violent images, threats again people. it is deeply troubling to me because we have to try to unite our country, not divide it if we're going to deal with a lot of the challenges that we face. so i would very much consider if there were a formal way and, if not, what we would do to talk more about forgiveness and reconciliation to try to begin bringing people together from different backgrounds. obvious riff different races, different ethnicities, every other of the wonderful mosaic that makes up our country so people could begin once again to try to see them services in the others' life. the old saying walking in someone else's shoes because i think that's essential to sort of nurture the ground out of which forgiveness and
reconciliation and unity to come. i think it's one of our biggest challenges. i hope we find ways to try to address it. i will certainly give it as much thought as i can and try as president to think of ways to lead that. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> have a seat pip have a question for you on exactly that theme, i idea of being able to see yourself in somebody else who may appear as an opponent. you said recently when you were reminiscing about the significance of justice scalia, you said it's so beautiful that nino scalia had ruth bader ginsburg, that either though they were ideologically or philosophically from a legal perspective different, they were still very close friends. it may me wonder who do you consider, your scalia, this person on the other side of the aisle that you have real disagreements with but you consider a friend.
>> you know, i thought a lot about that, chris, because of the scalia example. i just want to make three quick points before i get to your question. one, scalia -- justice scalia and justice ginsburg actually got to spend time with each other, they got to know each other as people. and it went just a showing up, doing the work and leaving. what's happened in our congress and i'm sure congressman clyburn can remember the days when people actually got to spend time with each other. you got to know their families, you got to know a little bit about them so that they were not just some kind of political caricature, they were a real pu person. i don't know how we get back to that under the precious, ideologically, political, partisan pressures we're under. it's a great loss for our country. when i got to washington when my husband became president, i
looked for opportunities to work across the aisle. yes, was it hard, there was a lot of incoming battles back and forth -- i worked with tom delay one of the most partisan republicans in the congress to reform the adoption and foster care system. we never became friends but we did something good for a lot of young kids that had better lives because it have. i worked with lindsay graham to get health care for the national guard. we traveled together. i traveled with john mccain who i grew to very much like and respect and consider a friend. the women republican senators are people, you know like susan collins from maine that i have a lot of regard for and have worked with and others. it took time, though, to get to ne each other. they had the same feeling about me. i came into the senate, i, you know, was a first lady and now i'm in the senate so i had to really work hard to develop those relationships.
that's what i want to do as president because relationships underlie everything. if you don't have those relationships, it's really hard to get things done. it's hard to get them even with the relationships but in the absence, it's practically impossible. i want to do what i can to try to find that. now, there will be people who are not interested at all, but i still think there is a critical mass of members of congress who actually do want to get something done and who would be interested in, you know, kind of getting to know one another, getting to know me as president if they don't know me before as senator or secretary of state. so people like john mccain, susan collins are people that i felt, you know, i got to know well and worked well with. >> so it's more of a group. you don't have someone special -- >> no, no. >> maybe to come. >> well, i hope so. i would love that to get things done, it would be great. >> so you have a big date coming up here in south carolina. take 30 seconds, please. sanders had the same amount of time, and make a final pitch to
the people here tonight. >> first of all, i'm thrilled to be here campaigning toward the primary on saturday. as i said, the first time i came to south carolina was as a young lawyer with the children's defense fund, i've been back many times since. i am going to work very hard to break down all the barriers that stand in the way of south carolinians and americans achieving their dreams. those include economic barriers we have work to do, to create jobs, get incomes rising again. i want to go after manufacturing and infrastructure and clean energy and raise the minimum wage and get equal pay for women's work and defend the -- extend and figure out some way we extend medicaid in states like south carolina to take care of the people who deserve to have health care. and, yes, i'm going to work on education. i want to start with early
childhood education. we have work to do. but mostly i want you to know it would be an incredible privilege and honor to represent this country at such a consequential time. the next president will face challenges here at home and around the world. you will be voting on saturday for a president and commander in chief. i am willing, ready and i will serve you with the utmost of my ability and commitment to making this country all it should be for everyone who's in it. thank you very much. [ cheers and applause ] >> secretary clinton, thank you very much. we thank all of you, we thank the candidates. special thanks to the voters for asking such great questions. thanks to the viewers at home and everybody here in columbia for their amazing hospitality. thursday night at 8:30, a cnn republican debate from houston, be sure to join us for that. tonight is a huge night in
politics and it's not over. our coverage continues in washington with the latest on the nevada caucuses. anderson cooper, jake tapper and dana bash pick it up after a quick break. thanks again. nexium 24hr is the new #1 selling frequent heartburn brand in america. i hope you like it spicy! get complete protection with the purple pill. the new leader in frequent heartburn. that's nexium level protection. we wonerere. and here. and here. here. and here. uh, here. also in here. back there. behind here. even next to these guys, here. in the nation's largest, independent study, rootmetrics just named verizon number one network for the fifth time in a row, here. so when the other guys claim they're the best, remember: there's only one, number one. and now we'll pay up to $650 to switch to the best network. this one right here.