Bernie Sanders in ABC News N.H. Democratic Debate


On Budget & Economy: The greed of the billionaire class is destroying our economy

We've got to deal with the elephant in the room, which is the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. When you have six financial institutions in this country that issue 2/3 of the credit cards and 1/3 of the mortgages, when 3 out of 4 of them are larger today than when we bailed them out because they are too big to fail, we've got to re- establish Glass-Steagall, we have got to break the large financial institutions up.

I don't have a super PAC. I don't want campaign contributions from corporate America.

And let me be clear: While there are some great corporations creating jobs and trying to do the right thing, in my view--and I say this very seriously--the greed of the billionaire class, the greed of Wall Street is destroying this economy and is destroying the lives of millions of Americans. We need an economy that works for the middle class, not just a handful of billionaires, and I will fight and lead to make that happen.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Corporations: Corporate America & Wall Street won't like President Sanders

Q: Fortune Magazine put you on its cover with the headline "Business Loves Hillary," pointing out your support for many CEOs in corporate America. Eight years later, should corporate America love Hillary Clinton?

CLINTON: Everybody should. I want to be the president for the striving and the successful. I want to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share,

Q: Will corporate America love a President Sanders?

SANDERS: No, I think they won't. So Hillary and I have a difference. The CEOs of large multinationals may like Hillary. They ain't going to like me and Wall Street is going to like me even less. We need an economy that works for the middle class, not just a handful of billionaires, and I will fight and lead to make that happen.

CLINTON: There are currently two hedge fund billionaires running ads against me here in N.H. Now, why are they running ads against me? And the answer is: Because they know I will go right after them.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Corporations: Let's create America that works for all, not handful on top

People are anxious about the fact that they're seeing the new income and wealth going to the top 1 percent. They're saying the rich are getting richer, what are you going to do about it? Somebody like Trump comes along and says, "We hate Muslims, because Muslims are terrorists." I say to those who go to Trump's rallies: He thinks a low minimum wage is a good idea. I believe we stand together to address the real issues. Let's create an America that works for all of us, not the handful on top.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Crime: Police officers should not be shooting unarmed people

Today we have more people in jail than any other country on earth, 2.2 million people. Predominantly African-American and Hispanic. We are spending $80 billion a year locking up Americans. I think we need a major effort to come together and end institutional racism. We need major reforms of a broken criminal justice system. What does that mean? Well, for a start it means that police officers should not be shooting unarmed people, predominantly African-Americans.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Crime: Jobs and education, not jails and incarceration

I was a mayor for eight years, worked closely with a police department. What we did is move that department toward community policing, so that the officers become part of the community and not, as we see, in some cities an oppressive force. We need to make police departments look like the communities they serve in terms of diversity. We need to end minimal sentencing. We need to pledge that we're going to invest in this country, in jobs and education, not more jails and incarceration.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Drugs: Take marijuana out of the controlled substances list

Q: What to do about drug addiction?

CLINTON: Heroin is a major epidemic. I would like the federal government to offer $10 billion over ten years to work with states.

O'MALLEY: The number of heroin deaths is growing significantly. We have to tell doctors who are prescribing opiates that we cannot have this huge number of opiates out there.

SANDERS: Today we have more people in jail than any other country on earth, 2.2 million people. Predominantly African-American and Hispanic. We are spending $80 billion a year locking up Americans. I think we need a major effort to come together and end institutional racism. We need major reforms of a broken criminal justice system. What does that mean? It means that we have to rethink the so-called war on drugs which has destroyed the lives of millions of people, which is why I have taken marijuana out of the Controlled Substance Act. So that it will not be a federal crime.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Drugs: Treat addiction as a disease, not a crime

The number of heroin deaths is growing significantly. What do we do? For a start, we have to tell doctors who are prescribing opiates that we cannot have this huge number of opiates out there, where young people are taking them, getting hooked, and then going to heroin. Second, we need to understand that addiction is a disease, not a criminal activity. When somebody is addicted and seeking help, they should not have to wait months to get that help.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Education: Tax Wall Street and make public universities free

My proposal is to put a speculation tax on wall street, raise very substantial sums of money, not only make public colleges and universities tuition-free, but also substantially lower interest rates on student debt. You have families out there paying 6 percent, 8 percent, 10 percent on student debt, refinance their homes at 3 percent.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Families & Children: $1.61 a week for paid family & medical leave

Hillary CLINTON: I don't think a middle-class tax should be part of anybody's plan right now.

SANDERS: When Secretary Clinton says, "I'm not going raise taxes on the middle class," let me tell you what she is saying. She is disagreeing with FDR on Social Security, LBJ on Medicare and with the vast majority of progressive Democrats in the House and the Senate, who today are fighting to end the disgrace of the United States being the only major country on Earth that doesn't provide paid family and medical leave. What the legislation [costs] is $1.61 a week. Now, you can say that's a tax on the middle class. It will provide three months paid family and medical leave for the working families of this country. I think, Secretary Clinton, $1.61 a week is a pretty good investment.

CLINTON: Senator, I have been fighting for paid family leave for a very long time. I have a way to pay for it that actually makes the wealthiest pay for it, not everybody else.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Foreign Policy: Think about what happens AFTER we get rid of dictators

CLINTON: [In Syria, we should work with Russia to] turn their military attention away from going after the adversaries of Assad, & put the Assad future on the political & diplomatic track.

SANDERS: I have a difference of opinion with Secretary Clinton on this. I worry that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change without knowing what the unintended consequences might be. Yes, we could get rid of Saddam Hussein, but that destabilized the entire region. Yes, we could get rid of Gadhafi, a terrible dictator, but that created a vacuum for ISIS. Yes, we could get rid of Assad tomorrow, but that would create another political vacuum that would benefit ISIS. Getting rid of dictators is easy. But before you do that, you've got to think about what happens the day after. We need to put together broad coalitions to [avoid having a] political vacuum filled by terrorists. In Syria the primary focus now must be on destroying ISIS and [it's a] secondary issue to get rid of Assad.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Foreign Policy: Not policeman of the world; focus on ISIS first

Hillary CLINTON: The reason we are in the mess we're in, that ISIS has the territory it has, is because of Assad. We now finally have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS. We finally have a U.N. Security Council Resolution bringing the world together to go after a political transition in Syria. If the United States does not lead, there is not another leader. There is a vacuum. And we have to lead, if we're going to be successful.

SANDERS: Of course the United States must lead. But the US is not the policeman of the world. The US must not be involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East. The United States, at the same time, cannot successfully fight Assad and ISIS. ISIS, now, is the major priority. Let's get rid of Assad later. Let's have a Democratic Syria. But the first task is to bring countries together to destroy ISIS.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Foreign Policy: I do not believe in unilateral action against terrorism

Our goal is to crush and destroy ISIS. I voted against the war in Iraq because I thought unilateral military action would not produce the results that were necessary and would lead to the kind of unraveling and instability that we saw in the Middle East. I do not believe in unilateral American action. I believe in action in which we put together a strong coalition of forces, major powers and the Muslim nations. One of the heroes in the Middle East is King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Foreign Policy: Easy to overthrow a dictator but hard to control aftermath

Where we have a disagreement is that if you look at regime changes, you go back to Mossaddegh in Iran, you go back to Salvador Allende who we overthrew in Chile, you go back to overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Iraq. It is relatively easy for a powerful nation like America to overthrow a dictator but it is very hard to predict the unintended consequences and the turmoil and the instability that follows after you overthrow that dictator.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Gun Control: I have shown courage against NRA on gun issues

Gov. O'MALLEY: In Maryland, we overcame the NRA's objections. [The lack of progress on federal un laws] i's because of the flip-flopping, political approach of Washington that both of my two colleagues on this stage have represented there for the last forty years.

CLINTON: I have been for the Brady bill; I have been against assault weapons.

SANDERS: In 1988, just to set the record straight governor, I ran for the U.S. House. I said, "I don't think it's a great idea that we sell automatic weapons in this country that are used by the military to kill people very rapidly." Gun people said, "Vote for one of the others, but not Bernie Sanders." I lost that election by 3%. Quite likely for that reason. Do not tell me that I have not shown courage in standing up to the gun people, in voting to ban assault weapons, voting for instant background checks, voting to end the gun show loop hole and now we're in a position to create a consensus in America on gun safety.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Gun Control: People have the right to buy guns, with sensible regulations

O'MALLEY: Senator Sanders voted against the Brady Bill. Senator Sanders voted to give immunity to gun dealers. What we need on this issue is not more polls. We need more principle. When ISIL does videos that say the easiest way to get a combat assault weapon in the US is at a gun show, we should all be waking up. We need comprehensive gun safety legislation and a ban on assault weapons.

SANDERS: It's a country in which people choose to buy guns. More than half of the people in Vermont are gun owners. That's the right of people. I think we have to bring together the majority of the people who do believe in sensible gun safety regulations. Who denies that it is crazy to allow people to own guns who are criminals or mentally unstable? We've got to eliminate the gun show loophole. We have got to see that weapons designed by the military to kill people are not in the hands of civilians.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Health Care: The middle class will pay less with single payer health plan

CLINTON; Senator Sanders' commitment to really changing systems: free college, a single payer system for health, and it's been estimated we're looking at 18 to $20 trillion, about a 40 percent increase in the federal budget. I have looked at his plans for health care, and it really does transfer every bit of our health care system including private health care, to the states. I think we've got to be really thoughtful about how we're going to afford what he proposed.

SANDERS: Secretary Clinton is wrong. You know that the US per capita pays far more than other country. It is unfair simply to say how much more the program will cost without making sure that people know that we are doing away with cost of private insurance and that the middle class will be paying substantially less for health care on the single payer.

CLINTON: Your proposal is to go and send the health care system to the state. And my analysis is that you are going to get more taxes out of middle class families.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On Health Care: We spend more on care than countries with single-payer

Not only are deductibles rising, 29 million still have no health insurance and millions can't afford to go to the doctor.. Why is it that the US is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people? This ties into campaign finance reform. The insurance companies, the drug companies are bribing the s Congress. We need to pass a Medicare for all single payer system. It will lower the cost of health care for a middle-class family by thousands of dollars a year.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On War & Peace: End perpetual warfare in the quagmire of the Middle East

I'm running for president because I want a new foreign policy; one that takes on Isis, one that destroys ISIS, but one that does not get us involved in perpetual warfare in the quagmire of the Middle East but rather works around a major coalition of wealthy and powerful nations supporting Muslim troops on the ground. That's the kind of coalition we need and that's the kind of coalition I will put together.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On War & Peace: I voted against 1st Gulf War, which led to 2nd Gulf War

I voted against the first Gulf War, which set the stage, I believe, for the second Iraq war. What I believe is the US cannot be thought of as the policeman of the world, that when there's an international crisis all over the world, in France and in the U.K., hey, just call up the American military and the American taxpayers, they're going to send the troops, and if they have to be in the Middle East for 20 or 30 years no problem.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

On War & Peace: Tell Qatar and Saudi Arabia that they must fight ISIS

There must be an international coalition, including Russia, a well-coordinated effort. This is a war for the soul of Islam. The troops on the ground should not be American troops. They should be Muslim troops. I believe that countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar have got to step up to the plate, have got to contribute the money that we need, and the troops that we need, to destroy ISIS with American support.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. Dec 19, 2015

The above quotations are from ABC News/WMUR Democratic Debate
at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire
Moderated by David Muir and Martha Raddatz.
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