Monday, December 28, 2015

Bernie Sanders on Face the Nation & Meet the Press (12/27/2015)

Yesterday Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" for a 6½ minute interview with John Dickerson. The full transcript is posted at CBS (and further below in this post) — and the interview is also posted at YouTube.

The articles below from CBS, PoliticusUSA, the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Gawker and CNN reported on Bernie Sanders' interview on "Face the Nation" yesterday morning. All the articles were mostly fair and mostly favorable — with the exception of CNN (known as the Clinton News Network).

CBS News: Face The Nation (December 27, 2015, 10:12 AM by Rebecca Kaplan) Why Sanders thinks he can win Trump's supporters:

"Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, faulted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for converting voters' legitimate concerns into hatred and said he can win over some of those voters with his message about improving the economy." [There's an embedded video, but only shows a small part of the interview.]

PoliticusUSA (Sunday, December, 27th, 2015 12:04 pm By Jason Easley) Bernie Sanders Rips The Mask Off Of Trump To Reveal A Fraud Who Hates Working People:

"During an interview on CBS’ Face The Nation, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unmasked Trump and revealed a billionaire candidate who is out to cut taxes for the rich while screwing over working class Americans."

Wall Street Journal (December 27, 2015 12:52 pm ET by Felicia Schwart) Bernie Sanders Wants Trump Voters:

"Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Sunday he thinks he can persuade supporters of Republican front runner Donald Trump to back him in the 2016 race. Mr. Sanders of Vermont said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that his message about economic inequality can appeal to Trump backers who are angry about lower wages and job losses."

PoliticusUSA (Sunday, December, 27th, 2015 2:05pm By Jason Easley) A Terrified Trump Throws A Twitter Tantrum After Bernie Sanders Truth Bombs His Lies:

"A terrified Donald Trump threw a temper tantrum on Twitter after Bernie Sanders obliterated the billionaire by fact bombing his lies. During an interview on CBS’ Face The Nation, Sen. Sanders said..."

The Guardian (Sunday, 27 December, 24 2015 3:34 p.m. EST by Amanda Holpuch) Bernie Sanders: I can win the backing of Donald Trump supporters:

"Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said Sunday that he believes he can boost his own standing in the race by swaying supporters of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump to back his campaign. Sanders told CBS’s Face the Nation that many of Trump’s supporters have legitimate fears stemming from income inequality that Sanders is best positioned to address."

Gawker (December 27, 2015 9:15 p.m. by Brendan O'Connor) Bernie Sanders Hopeful He Can Rehabilitate Trump Supporters:

"On CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, extremely optimistic Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticized Donald Trump for corrupting voters’ fears and anxieties into xenophobic and racial hatred. Sanders also said that he can win some of those people over."

Read all the articles above, and then read CNN's — and notice the "tone" they used...

CNN (Sunday, December 27, 2015 1:25 PM ET by Gregory Krieg) Bernie Sanders, Why Trump voters should back me:

"Trailing Hillary Clinton among Democrats, Bernie Sanders could be looking across the aisle for new support -- specifically at down-on-their-luck voters drawn to Donald Trump's populist economic message. In a taped interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, the Vermont senator -- a self-proclaimed democratic-socialist -- made an overture to "angry" Americans frustrated by financial woes and concerned by foreign terrorism." [There's also embedded video, but it has nothing at all to do with yesterday's interview on CBS "Face the Nation"]

* I've been getting copyright notices and having videos blocked at YouTube for posting interviews and presidential debates, so I'll try again below (in case YouTube blocks the video in the link at the top of this post.) The video below is the portion of the transcript of Bernie Sanders' interview on "Face the Nation" yesterday:

DICKERSON: We turn now to presidential politics. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders joins us from Burlington. Good morning, Senator. This year, as we look back, you and Donald Trump are the big surprise political stories. You have suggested recently that your message about the economic inequality can appeal to the Trump voters. Explain how that happens.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, many of Trump's supporters are working-class people. And they are angry. And they're angry because they are working longer hours for lower wages. They're angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries. They're angry because they can't afford to send their kids to college or they can't retire with dignity. And I think what Trump has done successfully, I would say, is take that anger, take that anxiety about terrorism and say to a lot of people in this country, look, the reason for our problems is because of Mexicans. And he says, they're all criminals and rapists. We have got to hate Mexicans. Or he says about the Muslims, they are all terrorists, and we got to keep them out of this country. Those are -- that's what we have to deal with to make America great. Meanwhile, interestingly enough, John, this is a guy who does not want to raise the minimum wage. In fact, he has said that he thinks wages in America are too high. But he does want to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top three-tenths of 1 percent. So, I think for his working-class and middle-class supporter, I think we can make the case that if we really want to address the issues that people are concerned about, why the middle class is disappearing, massive income and wealth inequality in this country, that we need policies that bring us together, that take on the greed of Wall Street, the greed of corporate America, and create a middle class that works for all of us, rather than an economy that works just for a few.

DICKERSON: But, Senator, essentially, you're saying that people should be concerned about what you're talking about, not what Donald Trump is talking about.

SANDERS: Well, not really, John. Everybody is concerned about the disappearing middle class or the fact that we have 47 million people living in poverty, that we're the only major country on Earth that doesn't provide paid family and medical leave or guaranteed health care to all people. People are very worried about how they're going to retire with dignity. And that's why I believe we need to expand Social Security benefits. Those are the issues that are on most working people's minds. And what I'm suggesting is that what Trump has done, with some success, is taken that anger, taken that -- those fears, which are legitimate, and converted them to be into anger against Mexicans, anger against Muslims. And, in my view, that is not the way we are going to address the major problems facing our country. The way we address them is, we bring our people together. We demand that Congress passes legislation which creates millions of decent paying jobs, raises the minimum wage, pay equity for women, making college affordable for all. And those are the ways, I think, that we improve lives for our people, not by dividing us up and having us hate Mexicans or Muslims.

DICKERSON: Let me switch to the issue of Sandra Bland. The grand jury in Texas decided that no felony was committed by the sheriff's officer jailers in connection with her death. And you said afterward -- quote -- "There's no doubt in my mind that she, like too many African-Americans who die in police custody, would be alive today if she were a white woman." What did you mean?

SANDERS: I saw that tape, John. I don't know if you did. But I saw the way the police officer behaved toward her. It is my very strong inclination that, if she was white middle- class woman, that would not have happened. But it's not just in Texas. What we have seen is, far too many people, often African- Americans, who are unarmed getting shot and killed by police officers. We need, in my view, very significant criminal justice reform. We need to make sure that lethal force -- now, being a cop is a very difficult job. And I was a mayor for eight years. I have worked with police officers. Most of them do a really good job. But we need to be clear that lethal force, killing people, should be a last option, not a first option. We need to make...

DICKERSON: But, Senator -- I'm sorry to interrupt. I apologize. But, in this case, there was no lethal force used against her. You're not saying that her death was committed by the officers in this case, are you?

SANDERS: No, no, of course not. But she was yanked out of that car, thrown to the ground, confronted by the police officers. She responded, and she ended up in jail, and three days later, she was dead. The way she was yanked out of that car and the way she was treated by that police officer is not something that I think would have happened to the average middle-class white woman.

DICKERSON: All right. OK. Let's switch to politics here. I was talking to a Democratic strategist who said that, in looking at your campaign, he said that you needed to attack Hillary Clinton as least as much as Senator Obama did in 2008. You said you won't do that. Is that going to be something that gets in your way in your ability to get the nomination if you don't attack in that way?

SANDERS: You mean do I have to wage horrible attacks against Hillary Clinton? I'm not going to do that. But what I will do is contrast our ideas and my record with Hillary Clinton. That's what elections are about. And that's what people want to hear. I voted against the war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton voted for it. We have different views on foreign policy. I do not believe in a situation in Syria no-fly zone, which I think can get us into a real quagmire. I believe in a coalition led by Muslim troops on the ground with the support of the major powers on Earth. I do not want to see the United States getting involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East. I helped lead the effort when I was in the House against the deregulation of Wall Street. I believe that Wall Street's greed and illegal behavior has been a disaster for this country, not only back in 2008, but it remains. You have got to break up these large financial institutions, reestablish Glass-Steagall. Those are differences of opinion that need to be debated.

DICKERSON: All right. All right, Senator Sanders, we're going to have to leave it there. We will look forward to seeing you in the new year.

SANDERS: OK. Thank you very much.

DICKERSON: We turn now to the Republican field...

Senator Bernie Sanders was also on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday...

The same day that he was on CBS's "Face the Nation", Senator Bernie Sanders also appeared on NBC's "Meet The Press" in an 8½ minute interview with Andrea Mitchell. The full transcript is posted here at NBC (and below) — and the full video of the interview is embedded directly below and posted here at NBC.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Sanders has shown surprising strength in the early voting states and in some hypothetical match ups against Trump. But what is his path to the nomination? Senator Sanders joins me now from Burlington, Vermont. Welcome back to Meet the Press, happy holidays senator.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Happy holidays to you and to all of your viewers.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Thank you very much. Well, let's talk about, first of all, the data breach and the dust up between you and the Democratic party. You fired one staffer. Suspended two others. Has any other action been taken, any update now, on this dispute?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, we're trying to work with the DNC to put this whole thing behind us. There were two breaches. We screwed up on one and the other one we did the right thing. Right now we're in negotiations with the DNC. Frankly, Andrea, I think for the American people there are far more important issues having to do with the disappearance of the American middle class and huge income and wealth inequality and climate change and the corrupt campaign finance system. So I think on both sides we'd like to focus on the real issues.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Well, while you're trying to, as you point out, focus on the real issues, there have been charges of sexism back and forth between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. He used a vulgar term against her and then said it wasn't really that vulgar. Then she said said that she's going to have Bill Clinton campaigning in January and he tweeted out in the last 24 hours, "Hillary Clinton has announced she is letting her husband up to campaign, but he's demonstrated a penchant for sexism. So inappropriate." Are we getting into an argument not only of sexism between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump attacking Bill Clinton?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I tell you what. We're going to let my wife Jane out and I think Hillary is going to be in real, real trouble. But look, the real issues are not Donald Trump's vulgarity. And he is vulgar. It is the fact that Donald Trump thinks we should not be raising the minimum wage. He believes that wages in America are too high. This guy wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 3/10 of 1%, and meanwhile what he wants to do is divide our country between Latinos and Americans and Muslims and everybody else. That's not the kind of America we need. Andrea, what we have got to do is ask the hard questions. And that is why is it that the people on top are doing phenomenally well while almost everybody else is seeing a decline in their real incomes? Why is it that we're not effectively addressing the fact that climate change is absolutely real. I am in Burlington, Vermont right now. Nobody can recall a Christmas Eve the likes of which we have seen where the temperature was 65°. And what the scientists are telling us, if we don't get our act together we're going to be leaving a planet to our kids and grandchildren which is not going to be in good shape. And yet Donald Trump, among others, denies even the reality of climate change, let alone doing something about it. So we've got some really important issues to discuss in this campaign. And I intend to do just that.

ANDREA MITCHELL: While these are really important issues, what recent polling shows is that Americans, since Paris, since San Bernardino, are more concerned about terrorism, the threat of terrorism, than they are about the economy. At least according to the polling. And in fact you have polled within eight points of Hillary Clinton in a recent CNN poll, taken before last Saturday night's debate. But the margin widened to 33 points among those polled after the Saturday night debate, which shows the--

SEN BERNIE SANDERS: Well, Andrea, I think--

ANDREA MITCHELL: --heavy on foreign policy. Let me just finish. Doesn't it show that you still, among people who are concerned about foreign policy, concerned about terror, you really have some ground to make up against Hillary Clinton.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: It's interesting the way CNN spun that poll, because you know what that poll showed? It showed between their last poll and this current poll we gained 12 points on Hillary Clinton. She dropped eight. We went up by four. That is the message of the poll. Another poll came out, Rasmussen, also showing us closing the gap. In New Hampshire some of the recent polls have us ahead and in Iowa, we're close to catching up to her. So I think what the polls are showing is that the American people are responding to our message. Now, in terms of ISIS and in terms of foreign policy, these are of course huge issues. The American people are concerned about another terrorist attack, and what I have said over and over again, we must destroy ISIS but we must do it in a way that is smart.

ANDREA MITCHELL:At the same time, the polling has shown that on foreign policy and on ISIS that you are far, far behind Hillary Clinton. And you have said that you would somehow persuade the Saudis to stop fighting in Yemen and turn their attention to ISIS. No one else has been able to get that, to persuade the Saudis to do that. How could you, as commander-in-chief, do what other presidents have failed to do in terms of getting the Saudis to listen to what America wants for the fight against these terror groups?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, what has got to happen, and certainly the United States and the other major powers have a great deal of leverage, A, it cannot be the United States alone. B, what many people in the Middle East understand, it must be the Muslims themselves on the ground destroying ISIS. So what we need is in fact a coalition. Saudi Arabia, Qatar are incredibly wealthy countries and they have got to start using some of their resources to help us destroy ISIS, rather than, in the case of Saudi Arabia, fighting in Yemen. In the case of Qatar, spending hundreds of billions of dollars in preparation for the World Cup in 2022. So what I think American leadership is about is putting together that international coalition to destroy ISIS. But let me also say this, Andrea. I know sometimes the media thinks that is the only issue. It is an enormously important issue. We have got to defend America. We have got to destroy ISIS. But right now are people watching this program who are 55, 60 years of age. They have zero dollars in their retirement account. They're wondering how they're going to make it in their older age, which is why we have to expand Social Security. There are millions of young people out there desperately want to go to college. Don't want to leave college deeply in debt. We have got to deal with that issue. We're the only major country on Earth that doesn't provide paid family and medical leave. Doesn't provide healthcare for all people as a right. We cannot ignore those issues. So my view is yes, of course, we've got to focus on foreign policy. We have to destroy ISIS. But I will not stop fighting for working families and the middle class, will not stop taking on a billionaire class whose greed, in many ways, is destroying our economy.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Now, as you head into these early voting states you have to win New Hampshire, your neighboring state. You're ahead in most polls there. Do you feel that the Democratic party, led by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is trying to sabotage your campaign and not being an impartial arbiter going into these early fights?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, as you've indicated, there's no question but that both Iowa and New Hampshire are enormously important for me or for any other candidate. When I began this campaign, Andrea, we were nationally at three, four percent in the polls. We were way, way behind in Iowa. Way, way behind in New Hampshire. In New Hampshire I think we may be a little bit ahead. In Iowa we're closing the gap. So in my view we've got a real shot to win Iowa. We've got a real shot to win New Hampshire. I am going to spending a lot of time in the next four or five weeks in Iowa, in New Hampshire. We have a wonderful grassroots organization. A lot of volunteers who are knocking on doors. And if we can win in Iowa or New Hampshire I think it really does open us up to a path toward victory.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Is the DNC giving you a fair shot?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Look, we have had our differences of opinions with the DNC, but at the end of the day the DNC, Hillary Clinton and myself, we want to defeat right wing extremism in this country. So we're trying to work out our differences of opinions.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Well, Senator, thank you very much and a happy holiday to you and your family. Safe travels.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you very much.

UPDATE: This morning on Fox News pundits were saying Bernie Sanders is desperate and trying to poach Trump's voters because he's doing doing so bad in the polls, etc. --- which of course, is total B.S.


  1. In a general election, Bernie Sanders wouldn't even need Trump's voters. Polls already show that Sanders beats Trump by wider margins than Hillary Clinton does.

  2. UPDATE:

    Washington Post (December 27 at 10:56 p.m. By John Wagner) In Nevada, Sanders mocks Republicans for running to casino mogul for a financial lift:

    During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sanders argued that he would better represent the economic interests of Trump’s working-class supporters, citing prior statements by Trump that wages in America are “too high.”

    “Lie!” Trump said on Twitter after the broadcast, denying that he had said wages are too high.

    Sanders responded with a tweet saying that Trump is “getting nervous that working families are catching on to whose interests he truly represents.” In an accompanying news release, Sanders pointed to multiple instances in which Trump said wages were too high.

    [* My Note: There's video showing Trump on two different occasions — once at a debate, and the following day during a TV interview — when he said wages in America are too high, and because of that we couldn't compete on the global market, and why he wouldn't raise the minimum wage. Trump either lied, or he doesn't remember saying this ... twice.]

    1. Like with most all other articles on the web, most reader comments on this WaPo article were very pro-Bernie. But one commenter wrote, "He's just kind of a barking dog" — when someone else responded, "A barking watchdog is your best friend when a thief is trying to steal your property and money."

  3. Donald Trump slammed the Republican Party of Virginia for its plan to require that 2016 primary voters sign a statement confirming they are Republicans because the requirement could discourage independent and first-time voters from casting primary ballots in Virginia, where primaries are open to all registered voters. According to some experts, the voter pledge has the potential to hurt Trump in particular, because his unorthodox candidacy has attracted voters disenchanted with traditional party politics.

    Supporters say the statement is a way of ensuring Democrats and other non-Republicans cannot vote in Republican primaries to sabotage the process. Hard-core conservatives influenced by the tea party movement have tended to support the pledge, while moderate establishment Republicans generally do not.

    The Virginia GOP said both parties have used statements or pledges in the past, including Fairfax County Democrats, who in 2003 required voters to sign a statement affirming belief in the party’s principles and support for the party nominee.

    * My Note: But then again, this could also be bad for Bernie Sanders too ... especially since there are more people who identify as Independents than as Democrats or Republicans, and many people might not want to register as either --- who are also disenchanted with traditional party politics --- and because Democrats outnumber Republicans, this could benefit Hillary Clinton. This is how the Dems and the GOP keep their lock on the corrupt duopoly political system.

  4. Trump was asked to sign a pledge saying he would back any GOP nominee, but Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich refused to say if he would endorse Trump if he won the GOP nomination.

    DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who limits Democratic debates to benefit Hillary Clinton) warned Trump that attacks on Bill Clinton would be at “his own peril” after the GOP frontrunner tweeted that Clinton has a history of sexism.

    But why? Here's Hillary Clinton's Message to Victims of Rape and Sexual Predators

  5. Great Update!

    Daily Kos (Monday Dec 28, 2015 12:20 AM PST by Egberto Willies) Bernie Sanders counters Andrea Mitchell's shallow interview by directing the narrative

    "I really enjoyed how Bernie Sanders handled the rather shallow and amateurish interview given to him by Andrea Mitchell. He ridiculed her on the gossipy Trump/Bill Clinton sexism reference. He belittled her concentration on petty issues by changing the question to address substantive middle-class centric issues. He challenged her misleading interpretation of a CNN poll. He ensured that she did no ignore his middle-class centric message in lieu of ISIS and warmongering."

    (* NOTE: Too date that article at the Daily Kos has 321 Recommends -- 150 Comments -- and 6,615 Shares)

  6. UPDATE:

    Washington Post (December 29, 2015 at 12:20 AM by John Wagner) Bernie Sanders hits back after being called a ‘wacko’ by Donald Trump

    Hours after being called a “wacko” by Donald Trump, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders fired back Monday at the Republican front-runner, saying he was pushing “pathetic policies” designed to benefit billionaires such as himself at the expense of misguided working-class voters who support him. Sanders and Trump have been engaged in an escalating war of words since Sunday, when the Vermont senator asserted during an appearance on “Face the Nation” that he is better-positioned than Trump to represent the economic interests of some the real estate mogul’s followers. Trump opposes raising the minimum wage and supports some tax cuts for higher-income earners, positions that Sanders argued during the CBS program are contrary to the interests of Trump’s lower- and middle-class supporters. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has made that argument before, but it gained greater prominence with the Sunday show exposure