tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 7, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
stay with cnn for march madness on the campaign trail. we're going to have all-day coverage tomorrow, super tuesday, round two. wednesday night we're simulcasting univision's democratic debate from miami at 9:00 eastern, and on thursday cnn's republican debate from miami at 8:30 p.m. eastern. that's it for us tonight. thanks for joining us. cnn's broadcast of the democratic debate last night from flint, michigan begins right now. we want to begin tonight with the people of flint themselves. this is mikki wade. she's a public housing program manager and the mother of two kids. she said she's currently undecided and has a question that both of you will be able to weigh in on. miss wade? >> the water has impacted our
lives in such a way that living comfortably in our home isn't the same anymore. the constant drives to pick up water just so my children can wash their hair, to wash our fruits and vegetables, and to brush our teeth is incredibly difficult. once the pipes are replaced, i'm not for sure if i will be comfortable ever drinking the water. if elected president, what course will you take to regain my trust in the government? >> secretary clinton? we'll begin with you. >> well, mikki, it's a very fair question because your government at all levels have let you and your children and the people of flint down. so i think there are several things. all the repair work that is being done and mayor weaver announced a program that we support to begin to help train people in flint to be able to do some of this work, to distribute the water. everything that is done has to be triple-checked to regain your trust.
and to hold those who are responsible for fixing the pipes and delivering the clean water which as you said you bathe in it, you drink it, you wash food in it. you do everything with it. every one of us should have to just run through in our minds how we use water every single day to understand the pressures and the real pain that families are going through. so i will make sure as president that i double and triple check. i will work with elected officials who i trust like your mayor, like your senators, like your member of congress, so that we can assure you that when it's fixed you can trust it. you deserve nothing less. >> secretary clinton, let me follow up with you on that. the people here, they still can't drink the water in their own homes as you well know. they can't bathe their kids in the water here. and they are desperate for accountability and specifics. as president can you give any specifics about what you could do if you were president that would make ms. wade's life better and life better for people here? >> i support what president
obama is doing. he called for and got accountability from officials at the epa, who should have done more to make sure the state was doing its job. he has expanded medicaid to begin the process of helping kids particularly get the health care they need. he's also ordered that there be a head start program. i support that. when it comes to the water itself, we are supporting a program that mayor weaver announced today, flint waterworks, to actually pay people in flint, not outsiders, people here to deliver the water while we are fixing the pipes. and i would do even more of that. as president, what we were able to put together was a beginning. as president i would concentrate resources on this city for economic development, for more jobs -- >> thank you. >> -- as we fix the water and provide the health and education interventions that children need. >> senator sanders?
for miss wade specific. >> what is going on is a disgrace beyond belief. as president of the united states this is what i would do. is if local government does not have the resources, if state government for whatever reason refuses to act, children in america should not be poisoned, federal government comes in, federal government acts. [ applause ] what is absolutely incredible to me is that water rates have soared in flint. you are paying three times more for poison water than i am paying in burlington, vermont for clean water. first thing you do is you say people are not paying a water
bill for poison water. [ applause ] and that is retroactive. second of all, to ease anxiety, cdc has got to come in here and examine every child and adult in this community in terms of the amount of lead they may have. [ applause ] thirdly, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world we have got to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, our water systems. i've got a bill for a trillion dollars. creates 13 million jobs. rebuilding flint, michigan and communities all over this country. >> thank you, senator. [ applause ] we're going to have more on infrastructure shortly but i want to follow up with you. this crisis in flint as you know, as everybody in this room knows, was created by the government. your policies are about expanding government.
why should people from flint trust that more government is the answer? >> well, that's a good point, anderson. i suppose they can trust the corporations who have destroyed flint by a disastrous trade policy which have allowed them to shut down plants in flint and move to china and mexico. we can trust them, i'm sure. [ applause ] or maybe, anderson, maybe we should let wall street come in
and run the city of flint. because we know their honesty and integrity has done so much for the american people. look, we live in a democracy. and i'm the last person to deny the government is failing in many respects. but at the end of the day i will trust the people to create a government that works for them rather than wall street or corporate america. [ applause ] >> secretary clinton, you've now
both called for the governor to resign. i believe that's new for you. previously you had not called for that. but you're calling for that tonight. it's easy to blame the republican governor, rick snyder. but the federal government also dropped the ball here. according to section 1414 of the safe drinking water act, the epa has to step in and take action when a state is informed about water problems and doesn't do anything for 30 days, as the state here didn't
do. the epa knew for months and months, never warned the people of flint not to drink the water. as president would you fire the head of the epa? >> well, i think that the people here in the region who knew about this and failed to follow what you just said rightly, the law required, have been eliminated from the epa. >> so far one person has resigned. >> well, i don't know how high it goes. i would certainly be launching an investigation. i think there is one.
i was told some of the higher-ups were pushing to get changes that were not happening. so i would have a full investigation, determine who knew what when, and yes, people should be fired. how far up it went, i don't know. but as far as it goes, they should be relieved. because they failed this city. but let me just add this, anderson. this is not the only place where this kind of action is needed. we have a lot of communities right now in our country where the level of toxins in the water including lead are way above what anybody should tolerate. we have a higher rate of tested lead in people in cleveland than in flint. so i'm not satisfied with just doing everything we must do for flint. i want to tackle this problem across the board. and if people know about it and they are not acting and they are in the government at any level, they should be forced to resign.
>> senator sanders, would a president sanders fire the head of the epa? >> president sanders would fire anybody who knew about what was happening and did not act appropriately. [ applause ] and president sanders would make the point that how does it happen in the wealthiest country in the history of the world? what are our priorities when, among others, republicans today are fighting for hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks for the wealthiest people? how did we have so much money available to go to war in iraq and spend trillions of dollars, but somehow not have enough money not just for flint -- the secretary is right. there are communities all over this country. it's not just infrastructure. it is education.
detroit's public school system is collapsing. >> thank you, senator. >> anderson, the bottom line is and what my campaign is is changing our national priorities. we need a government that works for all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors. >> i want to go to lee-anne walters, one of the first people to report problems with the water in flint. one of her twin boys stopped growing. her daughter lost her hair. she said she's undecided and has a question for both of you to answer. but we'll start with senator sanders. ms. walters? >> after my family, the city of flint and the children in d.c. were poisoned by lead, will you make a personal promise to me right now that as president in your first 100 days in office you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire united states and notification made to the citizens that have said service lines? >> i will make a personal
promise to you that the epa and the epa director that i appoint will make sure that every water system in the united states of america is tested and that the people of those communities know the quality of the water that they're drinking and that we are going to have a plan to rebuild water systems in this country that are unsafe for drinking. >> let me just point out for accuracy's sake, there are 10 million lead service pipes delivering water to people all across this country tonight. secretary clinton? >> well, i agree completely. i want to go further, though. i want us to have an absolute commitment to getting rid of lead wherever it is. because it's not only in water systems. it's also in soil and it's in lead paint that is found mostly in older homes. that's why 500,000 children today have lead, lead in their bodies. so i want to do exactly what you
said. we will commit to a priority to change the water systems and we will commit within five years to remove lead from everywhere. we were making progress on this in the 1990s. i worked with then senator obama to get more money, more support to do more to remove lead. that has unfortunately been in many ways moved to a lower priority. i will elevate it and i will do everything i can. water, soil, and paint. we're going to get rid of it. >> thank you, secretary. i want to go to my colleague don lemon. >> anderson, thank you very much. secretary clinton, you called for the resignation of governor snyder or for him to be recalled. there are residents of this city who want to see criminal charges brought against those who are responsible. do you think people should go to jail? >> well, that's going to be up to the legal system, don. i can't standing here -- i don't have all the facts. but people should be held accountable wherever that leads. if it leads to resignation or recall if you're in political
office, if it leads to civil penalties, if it leads to criminal responsibility, there has to be an absolute accountability and i will support whatever the outcome of those investigations are. >> senator sanders, do you think people should go to jail? >> well, i agree. we can't sit up here, i can't sit up here and make judgment over whether or not somebody committed a criminal act. but i will tell you this. that after an investigation if people in fact were found to have committed a criminal act -- i talked to a mother. imagine this for a second. a mother who had a bright 7-year-old gregarious girl doing well in school. two years later that child is now in special education. intellectual capability significantly deteriorated. that is a crime against that child and the people of flint, and clearly people are going to have to be held accountable. >> thank you, senator. thank you, secretary.
i want to turn now to bryn mickle, editor of the "flint journal," he's our local partner in this debate and he has our next question. bryn? >> secretary clinton, it took this water crisis for politicians like yourselves to notice we are a city in trouble. you've only both recently started talking about flint, holding campaign events here in just the past few weeks. secretary clinton, you even made the crisis the centerpiece of a new campaign ad. why should the people of flint believe that you aren't just using this crisis to score political points? >> well, i think because throughout my -- throughout my public career i have been evening the odds for people in every way i could. i started out with the children's defense fund and worked throughout my time as a young lawyer, as a person and activist, certainly in arkansas, then in the white house, to try to fix problems wherever i saw them.
and this problem is one that is particularly outrageous and painful at the same time. so when i heard about it, i immediately sent people here to find out what was going on. it was almost unbelievable. we had this problem in other places, but we don't say it was actually caused by decisions made by public officials in positions of authority as this one was. then when i talked to the mayor i basically said, what can i do to help? then when i came here and i met with some of the mothers and met their children and heard their stories, i'm just determined to do whatever i can. so i have put together resources from the private and philanthropic communities to help provide a bridge because you've got to get the federal money. you've got to get the state money. but i'm going to do everything i can. and i will be with flint all the way through this crisis in whatever capacity i am. and if i'm president it will always be a priority for action
from me. [ applause ] >> bryn has a follow-up. >> senator sanders, what about you? your first visit to flint as a presidential candidate was just over a week ago. that's almost five months after the people here were told to stop drinking the water. what took you so long? >> well, first of all, that's not quite accurate. i was here long before that. and i'll tell you what i did. what i did is meet very quietly in detroit with parents and others who were impacted by this disaster. and the second thing that i did is hold a town meeting, which was as non-political as i could make it, for hundreds of people to tell me and the world through the media exactly what was happening here in flint. i think the fear and the legitimate fear of the people of flint is that at a certain point the tv cameras and cnn is going to disappear. and then -- [ applause ]
and then people are going to be left struggling in order to live in a safe and healthy community. all i can say is if you check my record going back a long time, i have stood with those who are hurting. i have stood with those who have no money. and i have taken on virtually every powerful special interest in the united states of america. that's my record and i'm proud of it. >> thank you, senator. [ applause ] this city is also facing a jobs crisis. 75% of flint's manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last 25 years. in about the same amount of time michigan has lost 230,000 manufacturing jobs. i want to go to ta'nesha martin. she grew up here in flint but she now works in detroit at the shinola watch factory which you
know is often held up as the blueprint for how to save american industry jobs. she said she's leaning toward secretary clinton, and she has a question for her. >> a lot of members of my family worked in the auto industry here in flint. that's ultimately what i wanted to do once i got out of school. but unfortunately i was unable to get any one of the big three. and that's why i now reside at shinola. if you are elected president, what are you going to do to convince factories to keep the jobs here in the united states instead of sending them overseas to other countries? >> i'm going to do what i think will work, which is both carrots and sticks. let me talk about the carrots. we're going to have a very clear set of proposals and incentives for manufacturing so that we change the way that companies think about making investments again in america.
i have a comprehensive manufacturing plan that i will be implementing. we're also going to invest more in infrastructure, as we both have said. it's woefully underresourced. that will put a lot of people to work. i want to do more to help small businesses. they are the source of 2/3 of our jobs. we've got to help them start and grow, particularly minority and women-owned small businesses. we need to do more to help create clean energy as a source of good jobs. but i'm also going to go after companies. you know, when a company decides to leave, like nabisco is leaving, and they've gotten tax benefits from chicago and illinois to stay there, i'm going to claw back those benefits. they're going to have to pay them back if they're leaving a place that actually invested in them. i am also going to go after companies like johnson controls in wisconsin. they came and got part of the bailout because they were an auto parts supplier. now they want to move some of their headquarters to europe. they are going to have to pay an exit fee.
we're going to stop this kind of job exporting and we're going to start importing and growing jobs again in our country. >> senator sanders, i will let you -- >> i am very glad, anderson, that secretary clinton has discovered religion on this issue. but it's a little bit too late. secretary clinton supported virtually every one of the disastrous trade agreements written by corporate america -- [ applause ] nafta, supported by the secretary, cost us 800,000 jobs nationwide, tens of thousands of jobs in the midwest. permanent normal trade relations with china cost us millions of jobs. look, i was on a picket line in the early 1990s against nafta because you didn't need a ph.d. in economics to understand that american workers should not be forced to compete against people in mexico making 25 cents an hour.
[ applause ] and the reason that i was one of the first, not one of the last to be in opposition to the tpp is that american workers should not be forced to compete against people in vietnam today making a minimum wage of 65 cents an hour. look, what we have got to do is tell corporate america that they cannot continue to shut down. we've lost 60,000 factories since 2001. they are going to start having to if i'm president invest in this country, not in china, not in mexico. >> secretary clinton? [ applause ] >> well, i will tell you
something else that senator sanders was against. he was against the auto bailout. in january of 2009, president-elect obama asked everybody in the congress to vote for the bailout. the money was there and had to be released in order to save the american auto industry and 4 million jobs and to begin the restructuring. we just had the best year that the auto industry has had in a long time. i voted to save the auto industry. he voted against the money that ended up saving the auto industry. [ applause ] >> oh -- >> i think that is a pretty big difference. >> well, if you are talking about the wall street bailout where some of your friends destroyed this economy -- >> you know -- >> excuse me, i'm talking. >> let him respond. >> if you are going to talk, tell the whole story, senator sanders. >> let me tell my story, you tell yours. >> i will. >> your story is voting for every disastrous trade agreement and voting for corporate america.
did i vote against the wall street bailout when billionaires on wall street destroyed this economy, they went to congress and they said oh, please, we'll be good boys, bail us out. you know what i said? i said let the billionaires themselves bail out wall street. it shouldn't be the middle class of this country. >> okay. >> secretary clinton. >> wait a minute. could i finish? you'll have your turn. all right. but ultimately, if you look at our records, i stood up to corporate america time and time again. i went to mexico. i saw the lives of people who were working in american factories and making 25 cents an hour. i understood that these trade agreements were going to destroy the middle class of this country. i led the fight against us. that is one of the major differences that we have. >> secretary clinton.
>> if i could, to set the record straight, i voted against the only multinational trade agreement that came before me when i was in the senate. it was called cafta. i came out against the tpp. after it was finished i thought it was reasonable to actually know what was in it before i opposed it. i opposed it. now, let me get back to what happened in january of 2009. the bush administration negotiated the deal. were there things in it that i didn't like? would i have done it differently? absolutely. but was the auto bailout money in it? the $350 billion that was needed to begin the restructuring of the auto industry? yes, it was. so when i talk about senator sanders being a one-issue candidate, i mean very clearly, you have to make hard choices when you're in positions of responsibility. the two senators from michigan stood on the floor and said we have to get this money released. i went with them and i went with barack obama. you did not.
if everybody had voted the way he did, i believe the auto industry would have collapsed, taking 4 million jobs with it. [ applause ] >> senator sanders? >> i believe that the recklessness, the greed, and the illegal behavior of wall street drove this country into the worst economic downturn in the history of the -- modern history of the united states of america. and i will be damned if it was the working people of this country who had to bail out the crooks on wall street. and what i proposed, and i had an amendment that was defeated by a voice vote on the floor of the senate that said, to those
people on the top who benefitted from wall street greed, i said, you pay for the bailout. don't go to my constituents who are struggling to make ends meet. in terms of the auto bailout, of course that made sense. in terms of the stimulus package, of course that made sense and i strongly supported president obama's position on that. but let us be clear. one of the major issues -- secretary clinton says i'm a one-issue person. i guess so. my one issue is trying to rebuild a disappearing middle class. that's my one issue. >> senator sanders -- [ applause ] >> all i can say is that given the terrible pressures that the auto industry was under and that the middle class of this state and ohio and indiana and illinois and wisconsin and missouri and other places in the
midwest were facing, i think it was the right decision to heed what president-elect obama asked us to do. he sent a letter, an authorized letter asking us to support that to save the auto industry. yeah, were there things in it that you and i would not have necessarily wanted? that's true. but when it came down to it, you were either for saving the auto industry or you were against it. i voted to save the auto industry. and i am very glad that i did. >> let me just say this. while we're on wall street. one of us has a super pac. one of us has raised $15 million from wall street for that super pac. one of us has given speeches on wall street for hundreds of thousands of dollars. now, i kind of think if you get paid a couple hundred thousand dollars for a speech, it must be
a great speech. i think we should release it and let the american people see what that transcript was. [ applause ] >> let me -- >> and i have said and i will say again, i will be happy to release anything i have as long as everybody else does too. because what really is behind that question, republicans and democrats, is whether i can stand up to wall street. let's have some facts instead of some rhetoric for a change. i went to wall street when i was a united states senator. i told them they were wrecking the economy. i asked for a moratorium on foreclosures. i asked that we do more to try to prevent what i worried was going to happen. i also called for closing loopholes including the carried interest loophole. i also called for changes in ceo pay. i have a record. and you know what? if you were going to be in some way distrusted or dismissed
about whether you can take on wall street if you ever took money, president obama took more money from wall street in the 2008 campaign than anybody ever had. and when it came time to stand up to wall street, he passed and signed the toughest regulation since the great depression. the dodd-frank regulation. >> senator sanders, just yesterday in fact you said -- i believe it was yesterday you said not only her speech must have been a fantastic speech, it must have been a shakespearean speech for that a money. is her answer enough for you, that she'll release it when all the republicans and democrats -- >> you want everybody else to release it. well, i'm your democratic opponent. i release it. here it is. there ain't nothing. i don't give speeches to wall street for hundreds of thousands. you got it. second of all, when we talk about being tough on wall street, and this really galls me
and the american people, recently goldman sachs among many other financial institutions on wall street as you know reached a settlement with the federal government for $5 billion because they were selling worthless packages of subprime mortgages. $5 billion settlement. you know how many people, executives on wall street have gone to jail? if you're a kid caught with marijuana in michigan, you get a police record. if you're an executive on wall street that destroys the american economy, you pay a $5 billion fine and no police record. if i'm elected president, we will bring justice back to a broken criminal justice system. [ applause ] >> secretary clinton? >> well, i think we are in vigorous agreement on this. i have said repeatedly, no bank is too big to fail, no executive too powerful to jail, and i have said i would use the tools in
the dodd-frank regulations, that if any bank posed a systemic risk to the economy, they would be broken up. because we now have tools, laws that we didn't have before. and i am very happy we did. because there does need to be accountability, including criminal accountability if it is called for. >> senator sanders, i just want to show the audience, you sent a tweet -- i want to return to trade. you sent a tweet on thursday. this is the tweet. i'm showing it to the viewers. it said, "the people of detroit know the real costs of hillary clinton's free trade policies." p shows pictures of crumbling buildings. it seems like you're blaming her for the situation in detroit. >> i am blaming the trade policies. this is an amazing thing, which i didn't know until recently. i wonder how many people didn't know this. >> but you're calling them hillary clinton's free trade policies. >> hillary clinton and everybody else who supported these disastrous trade policies. she wasn't alone. we had many, many republicans and far too many democrats who supported these disastrous trade policies. [ applause ]
do you know that in 1960 detroit, michigan was one of the wealthiest cities in america? flint, michigan was a prosperous city. but then what happened is corporate america said why do i want to pay somebody in michigan a living wage when i could pay slave wages in mexico or china? we're going to shut down, we're going to move abroad. we're going to bring those products back into this country. those trade policies as much as any other set of policies has resulted in the shrinking of the american middle class. and i'll tell you what else it did. it's not only job loss by the millions, it is the race to the bottom so that new jobs in manufacturing in some cases today pay 50% less than they did 20 years ago. how stupid is that trade policy? [ applause ]
>> secretary clinton? >> you know, if we're going to argue about the 1990s instead of talking about the future, which i'd much prefer because i think every election is about the future and you all deserve to know what we will do to help you have a brighter future. but if we are going to talk about the 1990s, i think it's only fair to say that at the end of the 1990s after two terms of my husband's presidency the unemployment rate in michigan was 4.4%. there had been a net increase of 54,000 manufacturing jobs. there had been a net increase of 653,000 jobs overall. and one of the ways jobs were brought to and grown here in michigan was through something called the export-import bank, which helped a lot of businesses, particularly small businesses, be able to export around the world. senator sanders opposes that. i think we are in a race for exports. i think china, germany and everybody else supports their businesses.
here in michigan there has been $11 billion in recent years used to support exports. primarily from small businesses. i favor that. he's opposed it. i want to do everything i can for us to compete and win in the global economy as president. >> senator sanders -- i just want to explain to viewers what the export-import bank is in case everybody is not quite as wonkish as all of us on the stage here. the export-import bank, it's a federal agency, gives loans to companies that export american products. senator sanders, you do oppose it. the vast majority of the bank's customers are small businesses. 176 right here in michigan. what do you say to the small business owners who rely on the bank to make -- >> i'll tell you what i say. do you know what the other name of the export-import bank is and what it's called in washington? it's called the bank of boeing. because boeing itself gets 40% of the money discharged by the
export-import bank. 75% of the funds going from the federal government and the export-import bank goes to large profitable corporations. many of these corporations have shut down in america and have gone abroad to exploit poor people. you know what? i don't think it's a great idea for the american taxpayer to have to subsidize through corporate welfare profitable corporations who downsize in the united states of america. 75% of that money goes to large profitable corporations. >> senator sanders, you were the only member of the democratic caucus to vote against it. you're agreeing with senator ted cruz on this. why is he right and the democrats wrong? >> well, let me tell you. i don't want to break the bad news. democrats are not always right. democrats have often supported corporate welfare.
democrats have supported disastrous trade agreements. but on this issue i do not believe in corporate welfare. in fact, secretary clinton may know or not know that as a member of the financial services committee, i worked hard and successfully to make sure that at least 20% of the money went to small businesses, which is where it should go, not to profitable corporations downsizing in our country. >> secretary clinton? [ applause ] >> when i traveled around the world on your behalf as secretary of state and went to 112 countries, one thing i saw everywhere was how european and asian countries were supporting their companies back in their countries. to be able to make sales and contracts in a lot of the rest
of the world. in fact, without the export-import bank supporting businesses of all sizes, i believe more jobs would be lost here at home and more jobs literally would be exported. instead of exporting products, we would be exporting jobs. i just believe that senator sanders took that lonely position because most of us who saw the results, i saw it as a senator from new york. your senators saw it here in michigan. they can give you the names of the 240 companies in michigan that have been helped. there is a company in livonia that is being helped. there's companies all over this state. and i know if we're going to compete and win in the global economy, we can't let every other country support their companies and we take a hands-off approach. i will not agree with that. >> i'm going to let you respond but i just want to push back on this. senator sanders is correct.
the majority of this money from this bank does go to boeing, companies like caterpillar. do they need this money? >> i will tell you what, anderson. after i investigated it, i concluded that they did. and here's why. there are two big plane manufacturers in the world. there's airbus, and there's boeing. airbus does everything it can to get contracts to sell planes everywhere in the world. we don't have as quite an aggressive outreach from our government. i did go in many places around the world to sell american products because the alternatives were usually european, asian, primarily chinese products. that to me was an unacceptable concession. so yes, boeing and other big companies get support just like their competitors do from the companies that they are from in the countries that provide the support.
>> thank you. senator sanders? >> isn't it tragic that these large multinational corporations making billions of dollars a year, shutting down in america, going to china, going to mexico, oh, absolutely they need a handout from the american middle class. i don't think so. second of all -- second of all -- [ applause ] second of all, secretary clinton has traveled the world. she's been to europe. and let's talk about europe versus the united states. i am sure that when you were in europe and france and germany and the uk and all of the other countries, you noticed something. and that is every one of those countries guarantees health care to all of their people as a right. [ applause ] and i am sure you know as i know you do that in countries like the uk compared to america, we are spending almost three times as much as they spend in the uk
for health care for our people. we are spending 50% more than the french. when we talk about europe and their pluses and minuses, one thing they have done well that we should emulate, and that is guaranteed health care for all people through a medicare for all program. >> thank you, senator sanders. secretary clinton, 30 seconds and i have to take a break. 30 seconds if you can. >> and we are on the path to doing that thanks to president obama and the affordable care act, we have 90% coverage. we are lacking 10%. [ applause ] we're going to stay on that path and we're going to get to 100% universal coverage. >> we have to take a break. we'll continue this discussion. we have a lot more to talk about. we're going to take a short break. we'll have more of the democratic presidential debate from flint, michigan when we come back. [ applause ] blade. many blades. sharp blades. blades here, blades there. some more over there... whoa! that's not another blade. this is shielding.
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(phone rings) hi mom! hi dad! some people get to travel for work. i'm video chatting with my parents. they just moved down to boca. honey, can you see us? sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference. oh that's the look of someone whose phone is at 4 percent. wanna plug in? i'm all charged up! her long day as anne. hair stylist starts with shoulder pain when... hey joanne, want to trade the all day relief of 2 aleve with 6 tylenol? give up my 2 aleve for 6 tylenol? no thanks. for me... it's aleve. [ applause ] welcome back to the cnn democratic presidential debate live here in flint, michigan. we want to continue the discussion now and turn to the subject of crime. as most of you know two weeks
ago an uber driver in kalamazoo, which is two hours from where we are tonight, went on a shooting rampage, killing six people, injuring two people. one of the injured was a 14-year-old girl. her name is abigail kopf. she was shot in the head. her heart stopped. she was on life support. it looked like she might not make it. but amazingly, abigail pulled through. [ applause ] her father -- her father gene kopf is here tonight. i know you have a question. before you ask your question, i just want to ask, how is abigail doing tonight? >> she's now laughing and giggling but she has a long road of physical recovery. [ applause ] >> i should point out you are leaning towards senator sanders, but i know you have a question that applies to both candidates. we'll first toss it to secretary clinton. what's your question? >> the united states has had a rash of mass shootings over the
years. 42 shootings in the united states this year alone. the man who shot everyone including my daughter in kalamazoo had no mental health issues reported and had a clear background. what do you plan to do to address this serious epidemic? i don't want to hear anything about tougher laws for mental health or criminal backgrounds because that doesn't work. [ applause ] >> secretary clinton? >> first of all, i am looking at your daughter and i'm very grateful that she is laughing and she is on the road to recovery. but it never should have happened. on average, 90 people a day are killed by gun violence in our country. i think we have to try everything that works to try to limit the numbers of people and the kinds of people who are given access to firearms. the brady bill, which has been in effect now for about 23
years, has kept more than 2 million purchases from going forward. so we do have to continue to try to work on that because not every killer will have the same profile. but the comprehensive background checks, closing the gun show loophole and closing the online loophole, closing what's called the charleston loophole, where you get a gun at the end of three days even if the background check is not completed, which is what the killer in charleston did and then they found out he shouldn't have gotten the gun. he killed nine people at mother emmanuel church. i also believe so strongly, gene, that giving immunity to gun makers and sellers was a terrible mistake because it removed any accountability from the makers and the sellers. and it also disrupted what was a
very promising legal theory to try to get makers to do more to make guns safer, for example. to try to give sellers more accountability for selling guns when they shouldn't have. so that is an issue that senator sanders and i differ on. i voted against giving them immunity. but i think we should very seriously move to repeal that and go back to making sure gunmakers and sellers are like any other business, they can be held accountable. and then i do think we've got to have a public -- >> thank you. >> -- well, we've got to have a public discussion. because we have created a culture in which people grab for guns all the time. and there has got to be a way to have more warning signals and more efforts to try to stop that from happening like with the man who shot your daughter. [ applause ] >> senator sanders. >> i remember president obama being on television maybe three months ago. i'm sure the secretary remembers
as well. and she knows the president. i know the president. and he's generally speaking in public at least not a very emotional guy. and he, after the mass killing in oregon if my memory is correct, he said look, to be honest with you, let's be honest, nobody has a magic solution to this problem. any lunatic tomorrow, any person can walk into a theater and do something horrific. and you know what? for us to tell you that that absolutely will not happen would be untrue. but what the president said, he said look, this is a tough issue. but we have got to do everything we possibly can to minimize the possibility of these mass killings. you're looking at a guy who comes from a rural state, no gun control. i have a d-minus voting record from the nra. you're looking at a guy who in 1988 lost a statewide election for congress because i was the
only candidate who said you know what, i don't think it's a great idea in this country to be selling military-style assault weapons which are designed to kill people. >> senator sanders. >> i lost that election by three votes. i agree with what the secretary said. we need to expand and improve the instant background checks. bottom line is people who should not have guns in america should not be able to buy guns in america. >> secretary clinton mentioned the so-called charleston loophole, what she's calling the charleston loophole. is that something if you were presidential you would work to extend that three-day -- >> absolutely. that bill had some sensible provisions. it had the banning of bullets that pierce policemen's armor. is that a good thing? i think we'd want to get rid of that. that particular legislation had safety locks on guns so the kids do not pick them up and shoot them. that bill had bad things in it. what i have said -- >> longer than three days
waiting period? >> absolutely. that was a very arbitrary decision. what that real debate was about, as you may or may not know, was about how long it would take for the instant background check to go into effect. i wanted that instant background check to go into effect as soon as possible. that was the most important part of that bill. >> secretary clinton -- actually, senator sanders, let me continue to follow up. because secretary clinton mentioned the liability. right now families of sandy hook victims announced that they are going to sue remington, which made the ar-15 which was used in the newtown massacre. [ applause ] now, they believe -- those families believe that remington, the distributors, the sellers should be held legally responsible for how that gun, how their product is used. now, the lawsuit may not go anywhere because of the bill you voted for, legislation that prevents gun makers from being
sued. tonight what do you say to those families? >> this is what i say. if i understand and correct me if i'm wrong. if you go to a gun store and you legally purchase a gun and then three days later you go out and you start killing people, is the point of this lawsuit to hold the gun shop owner or the manufacturer of that gun liable? if that is the point, i have to tell you, i disagree. i disagree because you hold people in terms of the liability thing where you hold manufacturers' liability is if they understand they are selling guns into an area that is getting into the hands of criminals, of course they should be held liable. but if they are selling a product to a person who buys it legally, what you're really talking about is ending gun manufacturing in america. i don't agree with that. >> well, that is not what happened.
i think it's important for people to understand. because of the proliferation of guns, because of the epidemic of gun violence in our country, there were a group of cities, states, and other concerned people who in the late '90s and early 2000s were working on legal theories they thought would make gun makers to do more to make guns safer and force sellers to be much more responsible. the nra saw this happening and they said we have got to stop it. last thing in the world we want is to have guns that you can only shoot with your fingerprint or to have guns with such strong safety locks on them that they may not be sellable. so the nra went to the congress and the head of the nra has said this was the most important nra legislation -- >> secretary -- >> -- in more than 20 years. and they basically went to the congress. i was there. i was in the senate. and they said give us absolute
immunity. >> you're over time. >> no other industry in america has absolute immunity, and they sell products all the time that cause harm and they're held responsible. >> senator sanders. >> as i understand it, what you are talking about is not what secretary clinton is responding to. as i understand it and maybe i'm wrong on this. what you are essentially saying, what people are saying is that if somebody who is crazy or a criminal or a horrible person goes around shooting people the manufacturer of that gun should be held liable. and if that is your position, then what you are saying essentially, if that is the case as i understand it, it's not what secretary clinton's talking about. i agree with what she said. but if that is the case, then essentially your position is there should not be any guns in america. period. >> that is like the nra position.
>> can i finish, please? all right? you can -- there are people who hold that view. that's fine if you hold it. i think what you do is hold those people who have used the guns accountable -- >> we're going to move on. >> -- and try to make guns as safe as possible. but i would disagree on that. >> we're going to move on. don? >> anderson, i just want to finish because this -- i know some of the parents from sandy hook. i want people in this audience to think about what it must feel like to send off your first grader, little backpack maybe on his or her back, and the next thing you hear is that somebody has come to that school using an automatic weapon, an ar-15, and murdered those children. they are trying to prevent that from happening to any other family. the best way to do that is to go right at the people. we talk about corporate greed. the gun manufacturers sell guns to make as much money as they can make! [ applause ]
>> senator sanders. >> you know, i think it is a little bit -- [ applause ] it is a little bit -- look, what happened at sandy hook, what happened in michigan, what has happened far too often all over this country, is a terrible, terrible tragedy. and we have got to do everything we can as i mentioned a moment ago to end these mass killings. but as i understand what your question is -- and you're not the only person whose heart was broken. i was there in the senate when we learned about this killing. it is almost unspeakable to talk about some lunatic walking into a room -- i mean, it is hard to even talk about it. we all feel that way. but if as i understand it, anderson, and maybe i'm wrong, but you're really talking about people saying let's end gun manufacturing in america. that's the implication of that. i don't agree with that. >> we're going to move on.
don lemon? >> thank you very much, anderson. as a black man in america, if i were born today i would have a one in three chance of ending up in prison in my life. secretary clinton, on the campaign trail you are calling for an end to the era of mass incarceration. but a lot of folks in the black community blame the 1994 crime bill, a bill you supported, for locking up a generation of black men. given what's happened since 1994, why should black people trust you to get it right this time? >> well, don, let me say this. senator sanders voted for that bill. we both supported it. and i think it's fair to say we did because back then there was an outcry over the rising crime rate. and people from all communities were asking that action be taken. now, my husband said at the naacp last summer that it solved some problems but it created other problems, and i agree. and one of those problems was
unfortunately a move to expand the reasons why people would be incarcerated not just at the federal level, which was what this bill was about, but in states and localities as well. that's why the very first speech that i gave in this campaign was about criminal justice reform and ending the era of mass incarceration. because i believe absolutely that too many families were broken up, too many communities were adversely affected. so we've got to do a bunch of things. on the criminal justice side, look, we've got to have better policing. that means body cameras. that means ending profiling. that means doing everything we can to make sure there's respect between the community and the police. when it comes to incarceration, that means we have to limit mandatory minimums. we have to end disparities in treatment -- >> the question, though, secretary clinton, is why should black people trust you this time to get it right? that's the question. >> well, senator sanders voted for it as well. are you going to ask him the same question? >> probably will. >> do you think your support --
your husband has said this bill was a mistake. do you think it was a mistake? >> i just said that. he said at the naacp that there were some aspects of it that worked well. the violence against women provisions have worked well, for example. but other aspects of it were a mistake, and i agree. that's why i'm focused and have a very comprehensive approach toward fixing the criminal justice system, going after systemic racism that stalks the justice system, ending private prisons, ending the incarceration of low-level offenders, and i am committed to doing that. >> and senator sanders, before you respond i want to ask you this. back in 1994 here's what you warned. you said we are dooming tens of millions of young people to a future of bitterness, misery, hopelessness, drugs, crime, and violence.
but you voted for the bill anyway. was your vote a mistake? >> you know, as i think secretary clinton knows, as we all know, there are bills in congress that have bad stuff. there are bills in congress that have good stuff. good stuff and bad stuff in the same bill. now, if i had voted against that bill, secretary clinton would be here tonight and she'd say bernie sanders voted against the ban on assault weapons. bernie sanders voted against the violence against women act. those were provisions in the bill as the secretary indicated. in that bill there was good provisions. i have been a fierce fighter against domestic violence ever since i was mayor in burlington. violence against women act has protected millions of women. it was in that bill. the ban on assault weapons. that's what i have fought for my whole life. it was in that bill. now, what you are reading, though, is i went to the floor, as