Bernie Sanders on Iran, health care and Democratic electability


JUDY WOODRUFF: Democratic presidential candidates
have been speaking about Iran as they seek to contrast their foreign policy visions against
that of the current commander in chief. In New York City, former Vice President Joe
Biden said President Trump’s decision to strike out at Qasem Soleimani was dangerously incompetent. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), Presidential Candidate:
So the question is, was the reward of removing a bad actor worth the risk of what comes next?
We don’t have evidence to suggest that Trump or anyone around him thought serious about
— seriously about that calculus. JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, in an interview
with ABC today, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed again her own doubt that
the president made the right move. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), Presidential
Candidate: He is part of a group that our federal government has designated as a terrorist.
The question, though, is, what’s the right response? And the response that Donald Trump
has picked is the most incendiary and has moved us right to the edge of war. JUDY WOODRUFF: And joining us now from Burlington
to discuss the Soleimani attack and more, Democratic presidential candidate and independent
Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders, thank you very much for being
with us again. Let me ask you first about Iran. You have
criticized President Trump for targeting, the killing of General Soleimani. You called
it an assassination. But if the administration is able to produce
hard evidence that he was going to attack Americans, would you then say this was justified? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), Presidential Candidate:
Well, that’s a hypothesis. We haven’t seen that evidence. Frankly, I doubt that evidence
is there. Judy, I — what is going on right now feels
to me exactly what I saw in 2002 and 2003. And that was the lead-up and the justification
for the war in Iraq. I opposed that war vigorously, and it turned
out to be one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of the United States.
A war with Iran would likely be even worse. So, I will do all that I can to make sure
that, in this instance and in other instances, we solve international conflict diplomatically,
and that we try to put an end to endless wars. JUDY WOODRUFF: Senator, you have said that
this was in violation of international law. So, does that mean you believe President Trump
has violated — has committed a war crime? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Look, when you go around
assassinating leadership in governments, you are setting a precedent which says to any
country on Earth, hey, all we got to do is name these people terrorists, call them what
you want, and we can assassinate them. I think the world and this country is sick
and tired of endless wars that have cost us trillions of dollars, while our infrastructure
is collapsing, our health care system is dysfunctional. We have to deal with climate change and invest
heavily in transforming our energy system. Judy, in my view, we do not need to spend
trillions of dollars more in a war. JUDY WOODRUFF: Very quickly, on Iraq, you
have called previously for removing U.S. troops from Iraq. As you know, the Iraqi Parliament has said
U.S. troops should leave. Would you, as president, have U.S. troops pulled out? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Look, I want U.S. troops
out of Iraq. I have wanted that for a long time. But you bring them out in a measured,
intelligent way, working with the Iraqi government and with our international allies. What’s happened here, after the loss of 4,500
American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, trillions of dollars, essentially,
we are being booted out of Iraq. So, do I want to end the war there in Iraq
and bring American troops home? Absolutely. That is what I will do as president. But I don’t — it’s a sad state of affairs
to see, after all of this sacrifice, to see our troops booted out of the country. JUDY WOODRUFF: Senator, a couple of questions
on domestic policy. There are polls now that show most voters
would prepare to build on Obamacare, rather than go to a single-payer system, which is
what you advocate. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, depending on the
poll that you look out. The vast majority of people in the Democratic
primaries absolutely support a Medicare for all, single-payer system, because they understand
that, when we are spending twice as much per capita as the people of any other country,
and yet 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, 500,000 people go bankrupt
because of medically related bills, all at the same time as the health care industry
and the drug companies made $100 billion in profit last year, people understand this system
has got to change. And my own view is that, after 100 years of
talk in this country about the need to guarantee health care for all, now is the time to take
on the greed and corruption of the drug companies and the insurance companies, expand Medicare,
and provide a Medicare for all, single-payer system for all. It will cost the average American substantially
less than what he or she is paying today. That is the direction we have got to go in. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, in connection with that,
Senator, you recently acknowledged that a lot of people would lose jobs in a transition
to Medicare for all. You talked just recently about a program to
provide jobs, to provide job training to people who lose their jobs under the program. Are
you guaranteeing that people who lose their jobs under this new system would have a job? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: We have built in a very
generous transition period. One of the reasons we’re spending twice as
much per person as any other country on health care is, we have enormous administrative waste.
We have all kinds of people in the bureaucracy administering thousands of separate health
insurance plans. We need more doctors, nurses, psychologists,
psychiatrists, counselors. We need people to deal with the crisis of opioid addiction.
We don’t need more people just arguing for — representing the insurance companies, telling
us that we’re not covered, when we thought we were. So we have a very generous transition period.
But, at the end of the day, Medicare for all will create more jobs in health care than
we will lose, because, when you open the doors to health care for all Americans, we’re going
to need more practitioners, more people providing health care, not just filling out forms and
having a massive bureaucracy. JUDY WOODRUFF: Something else, Senator. In recent days, you have been saying you don’t
believe Joe Biden can win this election, because you said he would bring a lot of baggage.
You said you don’t think he would create the kind of excitement and energy that’s needed
to defeat President Trump. Are you saying absolutely he would lose to
President Trump? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: No. No, no, no, no. I’m
not saying that at all. I think that any of — I happen to believe,
it will not shock you, I am sure, that I am the strongest candidate to beat Trump. But
I think other Democrats, including Joe Biden, can do it as well. But here’s my point. To beat Trump, you’re
going to need a massive voter turnout. And the only way you do that is through a campaign
of energy, of excitement. You have got to bring working people. You have got to bring
young people into the political process. The truth is, as I think most people know,
Joe Biden voted for the war in Iraq. Joe voted disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA and
PNTR, which cost us millions of jobs. Joe voted for a bankruptcy bill which really has
hurt working-class families. Joe was on the floor of the Senate talking
about, in his view, the need to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I don’t think — I think Trump will have a
field day with that. And I just don’t think that the Biden campaign can create the energy
and the excitement we need to defeat the worst president in the modern history of this country. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, I know you believe you
would win the nomination, but, as you said, if you didn’t, are you prepared to support
Mr. Biden? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Absolutely. JUDY WOODRUFF: What about — I want to ask
you about one of the other candidates, though, because you have talked a lot about the billionaire
class. Would you be prepared to support Mike Bloomberg,
if he were the nominee? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I will support — look,
as I have said many time, I think that, in Trump, we have a pathological liar, the leader
of a corrupt administration, a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe. I am — I will support any Democrat who wins
the nomination. Hopefully, I will be supporting myself. JUDY WOODRUFF: Senator Bernie Sanders, joining
us from Burlington, Vermont, thank you very much. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you.

What Is Democratic Socialist vs Social Democrat?


We have a voicemail number. That number is two one nine two David P here
is a voicemail that came in with a question that clearly is the source of much confusion
in general in the United States. Take a listen. Hey David, I’m Austin. Long time listener. First time calling her. I’m from Pensacola, Florida and I wanted to
get your take on the difference between a democratic socialist and an actual socialist. Uh, thanks for any explanation. Uh, love the show. Have a great day. Okay, good. I know that I’ve talked about this before,
but any opportunity to clear this up is a good one. This is not about my interpretation of democratic
socialist versus social Democrat. The difference is democratic. Socialists are socialists and social Democrats
are not social Democrats. I know that a lot of them don’t like to use
this term. Social Democrats are capitalists who wants
a very well-regulated version of capitalism that takes the wealth created by the capitalist
system, disproportionally for the rich and reallocates it to social programs and government
spending to ensure that no one has a standard of living that goes too low. There are lots of, of comments like, well,
hold on. A lot of democratic socialists aren’t really
advocating for socializing the means of production, but they’re still democratic socialists. Well, no, they’re really not. I mean, okay, we can redefine terms. We can just say the terms have no meaning
anymore. Social Democrats might be socialists and democratic. Socialists might not. Uh, but as defined, um, uh, in the last hundred
years, social Democrats are capitalists and democratic socialists are not. We can play with the definitions. We can change the definitions, but it’s really
important to understand that. Uh, we have a great bonus. Throw 40 you today, tons of stories from my
vacation and a bunch of other, uh, things to discuss with you. Um, become a member in and get instant access
to the bonus [email protected] only two bonus shows bluff in 2019 and then begins it properly. He gets, uh, an election year in just a couple
of days. The David Pakman [email protected] [inaudible].