Sanders agrees with Clinton that his supporters "are living in their parents' basement" but "of course" it bothers him that she called him a false promise
October 2nd, 2016
11:37 AM ET

Sanders agrees with Clinton that his supporters "are living in their parents' basement" but "of course" it bothers him that she called him a false promise

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), joined anchor, Jake Tapper to discuss the New York Times report on Trump’s taxes, audio of Clinton criticizing Sanders, Gary Johnson’s second “Aleppo moment” and more.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Brooke Lorenz- Brooke.Lorenz@turner.com

 CNN STORY

Sanders: Trump's taxes prove system rigged

Sanders brushes off leaked Clinton criticism

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Sanders slams Trump over NYT report on taxes

Bernie Sanders reacts to leaked Clinton audio

 

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Sanders on Gary Johnson's 2nd “Aleppo moment”: You know, that wasn't the most impressive interview I have ever heard. But I think, more importantly than that, people make mistakes doing interviews.  Look at his point of view on issues like the environment, on climate change, on the economy.  And I think, if any of the people voted for me take a hard look what he stands for, I think - and understand where he's coming from, they will not be supporting - not be supporting him.

 

Sanders on The New York Times report that Trump has not paid federal income taxes for 18 years: Let me get your reaction to this news about Donald Trump and not paying federal income taxes.  Some Trump supporters would argue, why should he pay any more taxes than the law requires him to.  What do you think?  SANDERS: Well, you know, Jake, this is exactly why so many millions of Americans are frustrated, they are angry, they are disgusted at what they see is a corrupt political system in this country… So, Trump goes around and says, hey, I'm worth billions, I'm a successful businessman, but I don't pay any taxes.  But, you, you make 15 bucks an hour, you pay the taxes, not me. That's why people are angry and want real change in this country.

 

Sanders on Clinton's hacked audio calling him a "false promise": TAPPER:…What was your reaction when you heard that, calling your ideas indefensible, saying that you were selling them false promises?  SANDERS:  Well, two things. If you listen to the whole discussion that she had, a very important point that she made is that a lot of young people who went into debt, worked very hard to get a good education get out of school and can't find jobs commensurate with the education that they received. And there's a lot of unhappiness about young people.  And this is an issue that we must address.  But the bottom line here is that I think that what Secretary Clinton and I have done since the election, since the primary nominating process, we have worked together in a number of areas…And, by the way, apropos to Donald Trump not paying any taxes, she's come up with an estate tax proposal which will ask the very wealthiest people in this country, wealthiest families in this country to start paying their fair share. TAPPER:  Yes.  I get that, Senator.  But she's calling other ideas you pitched, not the ones that you two are working on together, but she called other ones false promises and said what you were doing was indefensible.  That must bother you. SANDERS:  Well, look, we're - of course it does. But we're in the middle of a campaign.  And I - trust me.  If you go to some of the statements that I made about Hillary Clinton, you can see real differences.  So we have differences.  There's nothing to be surprised about.  That's what a campaign is all about.

 

Sanders on audio from The Washington Free Beacon of Clinton describing his supporters: (AUDIO CLIP) CLINTON:  Some are new to politics completely.  They are children of the great recession, and they are living in their parents' basement.  So, if you're feeling that you're consigned to being a barista or, you know, some other job that doesn't pay a lot and doesn't have much of a ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing. TAPPER:  What was your reaction to that, sir? SANDERS:  Well, I agree with her.  What she's saying is what I suggested a moment ago.  There are young people who went deeply into debt, worked very hard to get a good education, and yet they are getting out of school and they can't find decent-paying jobs.  And that's a major problem.  They are living in their parents' basements.  And that's the point there. So, I personally do believe we do need a political revolution, that we do need to transform the society, create decent-paying jobs, make sure that Donald Trump and his billionaire friends start paying their fair share of taxes, do what Donald Trump does not want us to do, address the crisis of climate change, transform our energy system, do what Donald Trump does not want us to do, raise the minimum wage to a living wage, and have pay equity for women.  So, I think that Secretary Clinton - and, by the way, as I said, I just talked to her a few days ago - she's prepared on all of those issues to move forward within the first 100 days of her administration… TAPPER:  Senator, what would you say to a Bernie Sanders supporter who listens to that tape and thinks, that sounds condescending, to call me a basement-dwelling barista that's buying false promises from Bernie Sanders, and I think she's just using Bernie Sanders to get elected? What is your message to that Bernie Sanders supporter? SANDERS:  This is what the message would be.  Take a hard look, not at Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  Take a hard look at the needs of the American people.  And issue by issue, whether it is climate change, whether it is Citizens United, the need to overturn that, whether it is pay equity for women, whether it is raising the minimum wage to a living wage, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, a tax system that says to Trump and his friends they are going start paying their fair share of taxes, look at Clinton's positions, look at Trump's positions, understand that one or the other of those two will be the next president of the United States. And after you take a hard look at those two candidates and their issues, I think the conclusion that the vast majority of people will reach is that Clinton is far and away the superior candidate.

 

Sanders on Deutsche Bank’s $14 billion fine for its mortgage-lending activities: TAPPER: …As you may know, the Clintons received almost a million dollars from Deutsche Bank for delivering four speeches behind closed doors.  In light of the fine and the ongoing investigation, should they return that money?  SANDERS:  Well, that's for them to decide. But what this tells me and what this whole Wells Fargo fiasco tells me, Jake, is what I have been saying all along, is that the business model of the largest financial institutions in this country and, in fact, around the world is fraud.  It is fraud. That's what they do.  Occasionally, they get caught after making huge amounts of money.  And that's I believe why we need to reestablish Glass-Steagall legislation and why I believe we need to break up these large financial institutions.  We cannot continue to tolerate, whether it's Deutsche Bank, whether it's Wells Fargo, whether it's Bank of America, the kind of fraudulent activity that we have seen for so long.

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST:  Hello.  I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, D.C., where the state of our union is taxed.

 

Overnight, "The New York Times" publishing a copy of Donald Trump's 1995 tax returns, or at least some pages from it, revealing a $916 million loss from failed business projects.  The law would allow him, theoretically, to use those losses to offset taxes on new income for as long as 18 years, "The Times" report.

 

So, did Donald Trump pay any federal income taxes?  His campaign's response - quote - "Mr. Trump is a highly skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.  That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes" - unquote.

 

That statement, you might notice, does not mention paying income taxes or dispute the authenticity of "The Times"-obtained document.  But they do say it was illegally obtained.

 

Joining me now is former presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

 

Senator Sanders, good to see you, as always.

 

Let me get your reaction to this news about Donald Trump and not paying federal income taxes.  Some Trump supporters would argue, why should he pay any more taxes than the law requires him to.  What do you think?

 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT:  Well, you know, Jake, this is exactly why so many millions of Americans are frustrated, they are angry, they are disgusted at what they see is a corrupt political system in this country.

 

So, what you have, at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, in the last 16 years, we have seen a 10-fold increase in the number of billionaires.  And at the same time, many of these billionaires have loopholes that their lobbyists and their friends on Capitol Hill provide to them which enable them to avoid taxes, in some cases, not paying a nickel in taxes.

 

So, you have got the middle-class people working longer hours for low wages.  They pay their taxes.  They support their schools.  They support their infrastructure.  They support the military.  But the billionaires, no, they don't have to do that, because they have their friends on Capitol Hill.  They pay zero in taxes.

 

So, Trump goes around and says, hey, I'm worth billions, I'm a successful businessman, but I don't pay any taxes.  But, you, you make 15 bucks an hour, you pay the taxes, not me.

 

That's why people are angry and want real change in this country.

 

TAPPER:  Let's talk about that.

 

You hit the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton this week to promote your new joint college plan.

 

Take a listen what Hillary Clinton said about you and your supporters back in February when she was at a closed door fund-raiser.  I want to make it clear this is just an excerpt of these comments.  And it came from an e-mail hack.  Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

 

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  There's just a deep desire to believe that, you know, we can have free college, free health care.

 

It's a false promise.  But I don't think you tell idealistic people, particularly young people, that they bought into a false promise.

 

His ideas are indefensible.

 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

 

TAPPER:  You are out there working very, very hard for Secretary Clinton, trying convince your supporters to back someone that many of them did not trust.

 

What was your reaction when you heard that, calling your ideas indefensible, saying that you were selling them false promises?

 

SANDERS:  Well, two things.

 

If you listen to the whole discussion that she had, a very important point that she made is that a lot of young people who went into debt, worked very hard to get a good education get out of school and can't find jobs commensurate with the education that they received.

 

And there's a lot of unhappiness about young people.  And this is an issue that we must address.  But the bottom line here is that I think that what Secretary Clinton and I have done since the election, since the primary nominating process, we have worked together in a number of areas.

 

Secretary Clinton has worked with me to make certain that public colleges and universities become tuition-free for all families earning $125,000 or less, that we double funding for community health centers, which means that we will have access to primary care for millions more Americans.

 

And, by the way, apropos to Donald Trump not paying any taxes, she's come up with an estate tax proposal which will ask the very wealthiest people in this country, wealthiest families in this country to start paying their fair share.

 

TAPPER:  Yes.  I get that, Senator.  But she's calling other ideas you pitched, not the ones that you two are working on together, but she called other ones false promises and said what you were doing was indefensible.  That must bother you.

 

SANDERS:  Well, look, we're - of course it does.

 

But we're in the middle of a campaign.  And I - trust me.  If you go to some of the statements that I made about Hillary Clinton, you can see real differences.  So we have differences.  There's nothing to be surprised about.  That's what a campaign is all about.

 

TAPPER:  She also said this about your supporters.  And let me also remind people you should go and listen - go to "The Washington Free Beacon" Web site.  They have the whole comments.  You should listen to them all.  But she said this about your supporters.

 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

 

CLINTON:  Some are new to politics completely.  They are children of the great recession, and they are living in their parents' basement.

 

So, if you're feeling that you're consigned to being a barista or, you know, some other job that doesn't pay a lot and doesn't have much of a ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing.

 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

 

TAPPER:  What was your reaction to that, sir?

 

SANDERS:  Well, I agree with her.

 

What she's saying is what I suggested a moment ago.  There are young people who went deeply into debt, worked very hard to get a good education, and yet they are getting out of school and they can't find decent-paying jobs.  And that's a major problem.

 

They are living in their parents' basements.  And that's the point there.

 

So, I personally do believe we do need a political revolution, that we do need to transform the society, create decent-paying jobs, make sure that Donald Trump and his billionaire friends start paying their fair share of taxes, do what Donald Trump does not want us to do, address the crisis of climate change, transform our energy system, do what Donald Trump does not want us to do, raise the minimum wage to a living wage, and have pay equity for women.

 

So, I think that Secretary Clinton - and, by the way, as I said, I just talked to her a few days ago - she's prepared on all of those issues to move forward within the first 100 days of her administration.

 

And, on top of that, unlike Donald Trump, she understands that Citizens United Supreme Court decision is undermining American democracy.  It has got to be overturned.  She will be supporting a constitutional amendment to do that, so that billionaires cannot continue buying elections in this country.

 

TAPPER:  Senator, what would you say to a Bernie Sanders supporter who listens to that tape and thinks, that sounds condescending, to call me a basement-dwelling barista that's buying false promises from Bernie Sanders, and I think she's just using Bernie Sanders to get elected?

 

What is your message to that Bernie Sanders supporter?

 

SANDERS:  This is what the message would be.

 

Take a hard look, not at Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  Take a hard look at the needs of the American people.  And issue by issue, whether it is climate change, whether it is Citizens United, the need to overturn that, whether it is pay equity for women, whether it is raising the minimum wage to a living wage, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, a tax system that says to Trump and his friends they are going start paying their fair share of taxes, look at Clinton's positions, look at Trump's positions, understand that one or the other of those two will be the next president of the United States.

 

And after you take a hard look at those two candidates and their issues, I think the conclusion that the vast majority of people will reach is that Clinton is far and away the superior candidate.

 

TAPPER:  A lot of Clinton advisers are worried, as I'm sure you know, that a sizable number of your former supporters might go to a third-party candidate such as Jill Stein or Gary Johnson.

 

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, struggled this week to name a foreign world leader whom he respects.

 

Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC:  Who is your favorite foreign leader?

 

GARY JOHNSON, LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Who is my favorite...

 

MATTHEWS:  Any - just name anywhere in the country - any one of the continents, any country.  Name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to.

 

You have got to do this.  Anywhere.  Any continent, Canada, Mexico, Europe over there, Asia, South America, Africa.  Name a foreign leader that you respect.

 

JOHNSON:  I guess I'm having an Aleppo moment.  The former president of Mexico...

 

MATTHEWS:  No.  Which one?

 

JOHNSON:  I'm having a brain - I'm having a brain...

 

MATTHEWS:  Well, name anybody.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

TAPPER:  I know you disagree with Gary Johnson on a range of policy issues, where you and Secretary Clinton agree.  Do you think he's qualified to be president?

 

SANDERS:  You know, that wasn't the most impressive interview I have ever heard.

 

But I think, more importantly than that, people make mistakes doing interviews.  Look at his point of view on issues like the environment, on climate change, on the economy.  And I think, if any of the people voted for me take a hard look what he stands for, I think - and understand where he's coming from, they will not be supporting - not be supporting him.

 

TAPPER:  I want to ask you about Deutsche Bank.

 

Obviously, as you know, two weeks ago federal regulators slapped Deutsche Bank with a $14 billion fine for its mortgage-lending activities during the housing bubble between 2012 and 2014.

 

As you may know, the Clintons received almost a million dollars from Deutsche Bank for delivering four speeches behind closed doors.  In light of the fine and the ongoing investigation, should they return that money?

 

SANDERS:  Well, that's for them to decide.

 

But what this tells me and what this whole Wells Fargo fiasco tells me, Jake, is what I have been saying all along, is that the business model of the largest financial institutions in this country and, in fact, around the world is fraud.  It is fraud.

 

That's what they do.  Occasionally, they get caught after making huge amounts of money.  And that's I believe why we need to reestablish Glass-Steagall legislation and why I believe we need to break up these large financial institutions.  We cannot continue to tolerate, whether it's Deutsche Bank, whether it's Wells Fargo, whether it's Bank of America, the kind of fraudulent activity that we have seen for so long.

 

TAPPER:  Lastly, sir, you were critical of the Clinton Foundation taking money from governments like Saudi Arabia during the primaries.

 

There's still talk of the Clinton Foundation continuing even if Secretary Clinton becomes elected president.  Chelsea Clinton is planning to stay on board.

 

Do you think that that poses a potential conflict of interests, and should the Clinton Foundation shut down if Secretary Clinton becomes president?

 

SANDERS:  Well, that's obviously something that the Clinton family is going to have to determine.  But I think it does raise serious questions if foreign governments, for example, are making contributions to a foundation tied closely to what I hope will be - who I hope will be the next president of the United States.

 

TAPPER:  Senator Bernie Sanders, we always enjoy having you on.  Thank you so much.  Happy new year to you, sir.

 

SANDERS:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

###END INTERVIEW###

 

 

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