5 Best Moments of Bernie Sanders' Town Hall on CNN
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) held a town hall on CNN at 9pm on January 9. Sanders voiced his concerns regarding Trump's cabinet, the Democrats' future and the repeal of Obamacare. Here were 5 of his best moments.
1. Sanders said he has "very, very strong concerns" about the President-elect's nominees, but vowed to listen carefully during the confirmation hearings taking place this week.
He then pointed out why Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions' gutting of the voting rights act is the antithesis of his own message regarding bringing more people into the process. He also spoke about the irony of Donald Trump nominating a climate change denier (Scott Pruit) to head the EPA.
While Sanders wouldn't commit to voting against the nominees upfront, he isn't inclined to vote for them either.
"All that I am doing here is trying to be polite!" he told host Chris Cuomo, to which Cuomo retorted, "It's too late to be polite."
+1 for Cuomo.
2. He touted his free college education plan and new collaboration with New York Gov. Cuomo, and threw in a free lesson about democracy.
Last week, Sanders was introduced as a special guest during Gov. Cuomo's rollout of his tuition free college plan. Sanders vowed to work towards implementing the governor's plan across America; a message he reiterated during the Town Hall.
"What do you say to people who say, 'Instead of making me pay for your kids to go to college through taxes, get after the private universities and make them deal with the cost structure that's crippling the system to begin'? Cuomo asked Sanders.
"I think ... this business of making you pay for somebody else, you're doing it today, this is called society. This is called democracy, you are now paying taxes so that some can go to a public school today. All I'm asking you, Chris, pay a little bit more in taxes so that somebody can go to college as well," Sanders reminded Cuomo, who earns upwards of $2 million annually.
"But it's not just you, again, we have major corporation after major corporation not paying a nickel in federal income taxes... billionaires who pay an effective tax rate lower than their secretaries," Sanders continued. "We have the money to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. I think in the long run it will do an enormous amount of good for this nation."
3. He put an Obama-bashing Trump voter to shame.
"It's very easy to blame Barack Obama for everything," Sanders reminded small business owner Jim Jacobs who claimed small businesses had been "kicked in the teeth" by the Obama administration.
Jacobs voted for Donald Trump and lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania; the wealthiest county in the state.
"Obama did raise taxes... he raised taxes on the top one or two percent.. I would have gone further. I think the wealthiest people in this country are doing phenomenally well. Fifty-two percent of all new income generated today goes to the top 1%," Sanders said.
However, he agreed that we should take a second look at regulations imposed on small businesses that don't necessarily make sense.
4. He vowed to protect the undocumented
Jenny Gutierrez, a high school teacher from Maryland who voted for Hillary Clinton told Sanders that her students, many of whom are undocumented or have undocumented parents are very worried about the incoming Trump administration.
"I've talked to them and I've let them know that they're going to be okay, that they need to focus on their education and not worry about possible deportation, but senator really what do you have to say?" she asked Sanders.
Sanders called the teacher a "heroine" as he thanked her for her work. He then spoke of his own heritage and noted the deep divisions in our country that Trump campaigned on.
"Please tell your students that there are many of us in the Congress, not just Democrats and progressives, who will do everything that we can to protect those beautiful children," Sanders said.
5. He called Donald Trump a pathological liar.
"Let me say something, it will sound rude and it will sound partisan," Sanders said, taking the gloves off.
"We are dealing with a man who, in many respects, is a pathological liar," he said of Trump.
"I have many conservative friends and I disagree with them, they're not liars, they have their point of view," Sanders compared.
"Time after time after time [President-elect Trump] says stuff which is blatantly absolutely untrue..."
Needed to be said.