In one of the most exciting weeks of the campaign yet, Briahna heads to New York for Bernie's massive rally in Queens with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who along with Rep. Ilhan Omar endorsed Bernie for president last week. Then, Briahna sits down with campaign research director Tyson Brody to react to some of Bernie's spiciest moments from the debate.
Briahna Joy Gray: Bernie, and I can't stress this enough, is back.
Bernie Sanders: I am more than ready to assume the office of President of United States.
I am more than ready to take on the greed and corruption of the corporate elites and their apologists.
I am more ready than ever to help create a government based on the principles of justice, economic justice, racial justice, social justice, and environmental justice.
To put it bluntly. I am back.
Briahna Joy Gray: This is Hear the Bern, a podcast about the people, ideas, and policies that drive the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign and the movement to secure a dignified life for everyone living in this country. My name is Briahna Joy Gray, and I'm coming to you from campaign headquarters here in Washington, DC.
On this week's best of Bernie episode, we have a ton to cover because this was perhaps the single best week of this campaign so far. Last week, Bernie didn't just hold his own at the debate. Just two weeks after hospitalization, he won the debate, embarrassing all those prognosticators who opined that he wouldn't even show up.
So, last week I sat down with Tyson Brody, research director for the campaign, to react to the best parts of the debate, which at best have been ignored by the corporate media and at worst were fully misattributed to another candidate entirely. More on that later.
On top of an incredible debate performance, Bernie got a boost Tuesday night in the form of endorsements from two of the most principled, progressive, and popular candidates currently in Congress - Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota's Fifth District and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York's Fourteenth.
News Montage: Thousands packed a New York City event Saturday to see Senator Sanders officially receive a major endorsement from New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
He wanted to make his return to the campaign trail a big splash, and he did it with the help of one of the biggest stars in Democratic politics.
Briahna Joy Gray: And then on top of all of that, this past Saturday, Bernie Sanders went to Queens, New York, and in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge, across from the largest public housing project in the nation, on one of the most crisp, sparkling, and beautiful days of the year, in the most diverse urban area in the country, he spoke to the largest crowd to have assembled for any candidate in this campaign to date.
Over 25,000 people came to Queensboro Park, with thousands more listening from just outside because the park’s capacity had been reached. And a whole crew of us came up at dawn on a bus from DC headquarters to support Bernie as he announced the biggest endorsement of this campaign season.
We wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Briahna Joy Gray: Belén, what time is it?
Belén Sisa: It is probably like 6:35.
Briahna Joy Gray: And how are you feeling this morning?
Belén Sisa: Really excited. We’re going to the Bernie rally in New York!
Briahna Joy Gray: I'm frankly overwhelmed by all of the amazing remarks given on Saturday. And all of the extraordinary people I met and was reunited with in the crowd. Doctors I had met at a canvassing event in New Hampshire. Folks running for local office. My Twitter rolldogs. And my mom. But for the sake of this podcast here are the highlights.
Now, before the rally began, I had the pleasure of talking to a young couple on a 10,000-mile road trip to stump for Bernie.
Will Vanguard: We’re going California to Maine, then down to South Carolina, Georgia. We're hitting every state that votes on super Tuesday or before.
Briahna Joy Gray: So, what’s your pitch been?
Julia Sommer: It kind of varies depending on where we are. So, when there's event that we can go to, we join those, and we've done canvassing with the field organizers or other volunteers, but we've also been to places that didn't really have much going on yet. Like we stopped in Salt Lake City because Utah votes on Super Tuesday, and there was an event on the map, but no one was there to organize it. So, we just kind of like helped the volunteers who showed up and did some farmers’ market canvassing.
Will Vanguard: I think the main things that I've noticed that is not captured on like the news is that most people that we've talked to are either on the fence, they're undecided still, or if they're leaning towards somebody, they still love Bernie.
That's one of the main threads that brings everybody together. I literally had someone in New Hampshire the other day who said, I love love love love Bernie. However, I just wish that he was in a 40-year younger body. And then she said and for me that's mayor Pete right now, and I was like, okay and then you know what, and I showed her…
We have a one sheeter, double-sided piece of paper, that has like Bernie's the only candidate, and then like a dozen things that he's the only candidate on, and then on the other side has got all the polls that they don't show you, and I showed her that and she's like, yeah, you know, I love Bernie. I might just vote for him.
So, I mean these polls are saying that 20% are going for whoever… they're ready to go back to Bernie. They just need to be, you know, looked in the eye and reminded.
Briahna Joy Gray: A little bit later, I spoke to a young woman named Lucia Delaroca, who really embodied the spirit of the typical person I meet at rallies insofar as her personal life experiences directly informed her support for the candidate.
Lucia Delaroca: Yes. I have this Bernie tattoo on this exact spot because I know people that have scars on their arms because they've been, they've been so feeling despair that they'll cut their arms. And then I know people that have passed away from heroin because they couldn't deal with the pain. You know, it's a called the disease of despair, Bernie said.
But I got this right here because whenever I'm feeling the stress of this injustice and this economic inequality and what it does to families, you know, I look down at it, and I'm reminded of a man, 78-year-old Senator, who's always been real and unafraid of the establishment. And when he says, he says, despair is not an option.
So, he motivates me, and he keeps me focused. He keeps me fired up, to know that I'm not a loser. The system is set up to make us feel like we are. But Bernie, you know, fills me up with that passion and that fire. When I look at it, you know, I just get that tiger feeling in me like…
It’s set up for us to feel like we need to give up, but now when I look at this tattoo…
It really is hard for us foster kids, and Bernie has been fighting for us the whole time. Like he's been fighting for our parents. A lot of us didn't want to get taken away from our parents. We were only taken away because our parents were the working poor and couldn't take care of us and what was called neglect, you know, so that's why.
I have so many reasons why I love Bernie, but yes, I'm a former foster youth, you know, and Latina, but most importantly, you know, I'm a poor American kid, a child of working-poor kids, and I'm glad that they taught me about these social things when I was a young kid. I learned about. Dr. King, and that been…that's the standard.
Briahna Joy Gray: What was so extraordinary about my conversation with Lucia is how closely her sentiments were echoed in AOC’s speech. The reason she said she was supporting Bernie is because, her whole life, Bernie had been supporting her.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Last February, I was working as a waitress in downtown Manhattan at a taqueria.
I worked shoulder to shoulder with undocumented workers who often worked harder and hardest for the least amount of money. I was on my feet working 12-hour days with no structured breaks. I didn't have healthcare. I wasn't being paid a living wage, and I didn't think that I deserved any of those things.
Because that is the script that we tell working people here and all over this country, that your inherent worth and value as a human being is dependent on an income that another person decided to underpay us.
But what we're here to do is to turn around that very basic logic.
It wasn't until I heard of a man by the name of Bernie Sanders that I began to question and assert and recognize my inherent value as a human being that deserves healthcare, housing, education, and a living wage
Now I was born across this river in the Boogie Down. And like many first, second, and third-generation Americans, I grew up between two worlds in multiple contexts.
My mom was born in Puerto Rico. My dad was born in the South Bronx while the Bronx was burning.
And again, let's listen to our history.
My dad was born when the Bronx was burning, when landlords began to turn into arsonists because the insurance payouts were more valuable than the families that lived inside those buildings.
Now, that was the backdrop by which my parents started their lives. And the backdrop upon which I started mine was in a one-bedroom apartment in Parkchester in the Bronx.
They worked hard. We had a mattress on the floor and a crib in the closet. And that's how we started our American dream.
Now, it was shortly after that, that my mom and my dad looked at the quality of education in the Bronx, and they looked at 50% dropout rates. They looked at the inequity of education, the inequity of education funding. The fact that teachers weren’t paid, the fact that kids weren't given their tools to succeed, and that frankly it not only had to do with their income, but it had to do with their melanin, too.
And so, they made, and my family made, a really hard decision. And my whole family chipped in to buy a small house about 40 minutes north of here. And that's when I got my first taste of a country who allows their kids’ destiny to be determined by the ZIP code that they are born in.
And so, much of my life was shuttled between these two worlds, and not just the two worlds between the Bronx and Westchester County, but the continental U.S., New York State, and the realities of Puerto Rico where my family is, too, and we saw the distinctions between these two worlds.
I grew up where income inequality was an ingrained fact of life of my childhood. It took everything in us to try to give that next generation a chance. When I was 18, my dad died of cancer, and all of the work that we did in a generation, like that, was wiped out. And I know that that story isn't just mine.
It's all of our story. We are all, always, it feels like just one accident away from everything falling apart. And we have to change the fundamental logic of a system and a politics that puts corporate profit ahead of all human and planetary costs.
But when you rewind on that story, when I was a baby, my family relied on Planned Parenthood for prenatal care.
Then, Bernie Sanders fought for me.
When I was growing up and education was being gutted for kids in the quote-unquote wrong ZIP code, Bernie Sanders fought for us.
When I was a child that relied on CHIP so that I could see a doctor, Bernie Sanders fought for a single-payer healthcare system.
When the federal government decided to discriminate and abandon my queer family and friends, Bernie Sanders was putting his career on the line for us.
When I was a waitress, and when it was time for me to graduate college with student debt, Bernie Sanders was one of the only ones that said no person should be graduating with life-crushing debt at the start of their lives.
Bernie Sanders did not do these things because they were popular. And that's what we need to remember. He did this and he fought for these aims and these ends when they came at the highest political cost in America.
No one wanted to question this system.
And in 2016, he fundamentally changed politics in America.
I'm proud to say that the only reason that I had any hope in launching a long-shot campaign for Congress is because Bernie Sanders proved that you can run a grassroots campaign and win in an America where we almost thought it was impossible.
Briahna Joy Gray: Now, I know Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders were obviously the headliners, but guys, the Bernie bench is deep.
Here's documentary filmmaker Michael Moore with a barn-burning turn about how Bernie's lifetime of experience is anything but a weakness.
Michael Moore: The powers that be are very unhappy that you’re here.
They’re very unhappy that Bernie is back.
And so, they are doing everything they can to throw everything that they can come up with to get people to think differently about Bernie. To get people repeating their [inaudible].
We know what they are. You’ve heard of them. They want everyone to repeat them.
They got all the pundits repeating it on the news.
And now they want the average American repeating it.
So, what do they say? Bernie’s too old!
Yeah, well, here’s what’s too old: the electoral college is too old. That’s what’s too old.
A $7.25 minimum wage, that’s too old.
Women not being paid the same as men, that’s too old.
Thousands and thousands of dollars of student debt. What’s that? Too old.
A $10,000 deductible for your healthcare, what’s that? Too old.
Superdelegates, what’s that?
Fossil fuel, what’s that?
That’s what’s too old.
It’s actually a gift that we have a 78-year-old American running for president of the United States. And you know why that’s a gift? What has a 78-year-old seen? They’ve seen, Bernie has seen, the things many of us have never seen. A pay raise. How about that? A 78-year-old knows what a pay raise is. A 78-year-old knows what a pension is. Pensions, remember? Look it up.
A 78-year-old knows what is means to defeat fascism and white supremacy.
A 78-year-old knows what it’s like to have your library open every single day of the week.
A 78-year-old knows what regulations are, Boeing.
No, I’m glad he’s 78. And we will benefit from his wisdom and his experience and his knowledge and his love for the American people.
Briahna Joy Gray: And it always goes without saying that campaign co-chair Senator Nina Turner brought the house down.
Nina Turner: And when I say, Queens, that there's nobody quite like Senator Bernard Sanders, I mean that. We got some folks in mainstream and the neoliberal side who really can't understand the difference.
But I am going to break this down for you. There are many copies. There are people who didn't have the same guts and the same courage as Senator Bernie Sanders to run in 2016.
There are some people who sat on the sidelines when it was hard. There was only one person who stood up to the establishment, and his name is Bernard Sanders.
So yeah, we got a lot of copies. There's only one candidate in 2016 who told the multi-millionaires and billionaires in this country, keep your money, I’ll raise my money with the people.
There's only one candidate who's been marching with the working-class people not because he's running for president. But because it’s right. Hello, Marriott workers. Hello, Amazon workers. Hello, Verizon workers. Hello, teachers.
Come on, somebody, and I don't know about you, but I hail from a tradition that says that you will know the tree by the fruit that it bears, and Senator Bernie Sanders bears good fruit.
So, there are many copies. People want to talk about a framework. People who stand up in other folks’ living rooms and say to them, multi-millionaires and billionaires, that nothing will fundamentally change for you.
Well, Queens, I got a message: if nothing fundamentally changes for multi-millionaires and billionaires, then nothing fundamentally changes for you and you and you and you.
Briahna Joy Gray: Now, for the main event, I want us to focus on a particularly poignant section of Bernie’s speech. I highly recommend you watch the entire rally on Bernie's YouTube page. Mayor Yulín Cruz’s speech was also amazing. And Bernie’s speech did a terrific job of laying out the extraordinary scope of what this movement will accomplish.
But this section at the end. Well, it really captured the spirit of how it felt to be there that day. How it feels to be a part of this movement, and why it is that the people are going to win.
Bernie Sanders: I want you all to take a look around and find someone you don't know. Maybe somebody who doesn't look kind of like you. Maybe somebody who might be of a different religion than you. Maybe they come from a different country.
My question now to you is, are you willing to fight for that person who you don't even know as much as you're willing to fight for yourself?
Are you willing to stand together and fight for those people who are struggling economically in this country.
Are you willing to fight for young people drowning in student debt, even if you are not?
Are you willing to fight to ensure that every American has healthcare as a human right even if you have good healthcare?
Are you willing to fight for frightened immigrant neighbors even if you are native-born?
Are you willing to fight for a future for generations of people who have not yet even been born, but are entitled to live on a planet that is healthy and habitable?
Because if you are willing to do that, if you are willing to love, if you are willing to fight for a government of compassion and justice and decency, if you are willing to stand up to Trump's desire to divide us up, if you are prepared to stand up to the greed and corruption of the corporate elite, if you and millions of others are prepared to do that, there is no doubt in my mind that not only will we win this election, but together we will transform this country.
Thank you all very much.
Briahna Joy Gray: So much top-notch stuff has happened in the last week that it feels almost like a throwback to talk about the debate. But let's not forget that Bernie won that, too.
I sat down with Tyson Brody, research director for the campaign, to make sure that none of the extremely substantive arguments that he made that night go overlooked. After all, it's incumbent on us to pick up those arguments and share them with everyone in our lives who stands to benefit from this movement’s success.
Briahna Joy Gray: We are here to do a post-debate recap. Let's get started.
Bernie Sanders: Well, as somebody who wrote the damn bill, as I said, let's be clear. Under the Medicare for All bill that I wrote premiums are gone. Co-payments are gone. Deductibles are gone. All out of pocket expenses are gone. We're going to do better than the Canadians do, and that is what they have managed to do.
At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of people will save money on their healthcare bills, but I do think it is appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up.
They're going to go up significantly for the wealthy, and for virtually everybody the tax increase they pay will be substantially less, substantially less than what they were paying for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
Briahna Joy Gray: There's been a lot of healthcare discussion at these debates. The punditry post-debate largely talked about how it was almost boring to them, and Bernie gets this a lot, right? Like why are you talking about the same thing? Why in all these debates do we end up talking about healthcare? I think moments like this is why it's actually not boring at all because it's not, in the midst of all the back and forth, to hear a clear statement about what Medicare for All actually entails instead of just the endless discourse about how to pay for it.
I think it's really striking.
Tyson Brody: Yeah. I mean, I know people are bored because they don't want to keep talking about, well in their view, how scary or complicated Medicare for All is. We have to take this chance, and Bernie does, to speak clearly to the American people. Medicare for All is what we need, and Medicare for All is what's going to be much better for the vast majority of Americans.
Two economists from I think University of California Berkeley just released a study showing that 93% of Americans are going to pay less taxes overall under a Bernie Sanders administration. That includes after passing Medicare for All. And everyone wants to talk about like, oh, but are middle-class taxes going to go up or blah blah blah? But no one asked everyone else on stage for instance, well, how much are you gonna charge premiums? Are premiums taxes?
Briahna Joy Gray: Right, and the kind of more moderate cohort really came out in force in this debate. The Klobuchars and Buttigiegs of the world really tried to take a swing, but nobody asked them what they're going to do about the millions of people left uninsured. Nobody asked them what they're going to do about the high cost of premiums.
And remember, rising premium costs is a huge thing that Donald Trump ran on. And he was accurate in his assessment of the fact that premiums have gone up, and the average American family is paying $20,000 years in premiums. So, they're having this debate back and forth about maybe five thousand dollars of taxes, hypothetically, going up, and no one's having a conversation about the tens of thousands of dollars that the American family is paying under the status quo.
Tyson Brody: Joe Biden likes to tell you that if you pass Medicare for All, it’s going to come out of your paycheck. Newsflash. That's where healthcare already comes from, out of your paycheck. We just want to take less and give you more and join the rest of the industrial world in saying we can guarantee healthcare as a human right.
Briahna Joy Gray: Yeah.
Bernie Sanders: I get a little bit tired, I must say, of people defending a system which is dysfunctional, which is cruel. 87 million uninsured. 30,000 people dying every single year. 500,000 people going bankrupt. For what reason? They came down with cancer. I will tell you what the issue is here. The issue is whether the Democratic Party has the guts to stand up to the healthcare industry, which made a hundred billion dollars in profit, whether we have the guts to stand up to the corrupt, price-fixing pharmaceutical industry, which is charging us the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. And if we don't have the guts to do that, if all we could do is take their money, we should be ashamed of ourselves.
Briahna Joy Gray: Line of the night.
Tyson Brody: That's it. I mean, I don't know how much more concisely you can put it. What else are we doing if we aren't trying to make things better for people? Like why would you run for president and say, like look, I get it. Our healthcare system is terrible. It's really bad. What if I made it slightly less bad, but only maybe.
Briahna Joy Gray: Yeah, I mean this quote and the framing it up in these moral terms the way that he's done, it really silences everyone on the stage because what is there to say when you elevate human dignity as what's at stake here? Moreover, it was a sound grab that was so good, a quote so good, that it was misattributed to another candidate in the race in at least three publications last week.
Tyson Brody: I mean everyone wanted a piece of it. Look, I saw some people were a little teed off because, you know, criticized the Democratic Party. But let's be honest. We passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. We had a pre-emptive surrender to the pharmaceutical industry, the idea that they would not attack it, and what do they do?
They still attacked it. They're still charging more than anyone else on the planet and, frankly, deductibles have gone up. Co-pays have gone up. Healthcare is more expensive, and more people are paying more for less.
Briahna Joy Gray: I think that’s a really important point because I think the people on stage who are arguing for kind of Medicare for All who want it and other plans that carve out protections for the private insurance industry, what you're doing is ostensibly setting up an opportunity for them to keep a foothold and fight back against the kinds of changes that we actually want, and that's what we saw in 2010-2012, and that's what we're going to see as long as we basically preemptively cater to allowing them to have a room to still defeat programs that are actually geared not toward profits, but toward helping Americans.
Tyson Brody: We were one Republican Senator away from having Obamacare repealed.
Briahna Joy Gray: Yeah. Yeah.
Tyson Brody: Yeah. There's nothing left to say. If we're going to make change, let's make real change. Let's make change that helps everyone in America. Let's make the choice that it's not how many choices you have, let's give everyone the good plan.
Moderator: Income inequality is growing in the United States at an alarming rate. The top 1% now own more of this nation's wealth than the bottom ninety percent combined. Senator Sanders, when you introduced your wealth tax, which would tax the assets of the wealthiest Americans, you said, quoting you Senator, billionaires should not exist. Is the goal of your plan to tax billionaires out of existence?
Bernie Sanders: When you have a half a million Americans sleeping out on the street today. When you have 87 million people uninsured or underinsured. When you got hundreds of thousands of kids who cannot afford to go to college and millions struggling with the oppressive burden of student debt.
And then you also have three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society. That is a moral and economic outrage. And the truth is we cannot afford to continue this level of income and wealth inequality, and we cannot afford a billionaire class whose greed and corruption have been at war with the working families of this country for 45 years.
So, if you're asking me, do I think we should demand that the wealthy start paying, the wealthiest top one tenth of one percent, start paying their fair share of taxes so we can create a nation and a government that works for all of us? Yes, that's exactly what I believe.
Briahna Joy Gray: That's why I love Bernie Sanders.
Tyson Brody: Yeah, I mean that question is really like, hey Bernie, what have you been saying your entire career? Because this is it. I mean, what is the point of billionaires? And you know, people will say, well, I might become a billionaire. You don't become a billionaire. Let's be clear: sixty percent of wealth in society is inherited. We are living in an aristocracy, and you just don't know it.
When he's talking about the three families that own more wealth than the bottom half American society, he’s talking about the Waltons. Yeah, Sam Walton, who created Walmart, has passed. It is all his children, his grandchildren, that are just living off of basically your money that has gone into his store.
The idea that I we have to be more worried about the marginal tax rates of 400 families in America, when people are dying because they can't get healthcare, when people are starving because they have no money, when people are just depressed and have nowhere to go and nowhere to find help. And I'm supposed to be worried about the Waltons? My god.
Briahna Joy Gray: Amen, brother. Amen. Couldn’t say it better than that. I do want to say though, the little smile that crept up on his face as he was being asked the question, that delight and being able to just lay down the hatchet on what you've been saying for your entire life.
I felt that, too, Bernie.
Tyson Brody: Although, let's be clear, the question was, do you think there should be billionaires?
Oh God. Will they only have hundreds of millions of dollars? What would they ever spend it on?
Bernie Sanders: When we talk about a rigged economy, it's not just the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality.
It is also the fact that in sector after sector—whether it is Wall Street, where you have six banks that have assets equivalent to half of the GDP of the United States; whether it is media, where you have ten media companies that control about 90% of what the American people see, hear, or read; whether it is agribusiness, where we see merger after merger, which is resulting in the decline of family-based farming in this country.
We need a president who has the guts to appoint an Attorney General who will take on these huge monopolies, protect small business, and protect consumers by ending the price fixing which you see every day.
Tyson Brody: This actually plays into a plan that, you know, Bernie released right before the debate, our corporate accountability and worker ownership plan.
Where, as part of it, we have a very strong, by far the strongest antitrust plank in the field, where we're going to review every merger, every acquisition that occurred during the Trump era, and see if it was anti-competitive because Lord knows the Trump Department of Justice raises some questions.
But the important part of this is, and this is about the entire corporate accountability plan, which is you know, going to give workers up to 20% ownership of their company. It's going to eliminate the tyranny of asset managers. It's going to force democracy not just in the ballot box, but into the boardroom. There’s a lot of good plans, a lot of people have proposed great regulations and stuff, but you can only propose so many rules for the ruling class if the ruling class isn't going to follow the rules, right?
What we need to do and, this what Bernie's about, this is why you do antitrust, this is why you break up companies, is that you need to shift power back to the working class so they have the ability to enforce the rules that are already on the books.
And if you create these massive conglomerates that own more assets than the entire country, more than entire states or nations, then it's very hard for you to go to them and say, hey, don't do that.
Briahna Joy Gray: Yeah, I think that's such a fundamental point and one that kind of gets glossed over when folks say things like ,well, why is Bernie different? There are so many people on the left who are arguing the same thing.
It's this understanding that you can try to regulate, you can try to claw back some of the inequity, right? Or you can understand that the system is fundamentally going to be advantaged to those with wealth and power and say that, if membership on a board is what's enabling people to make decisions that are contrary to the interests and needs of the people who are working at the company, then you do need to make sure that people who work on the company are at the board and have a voting rights on the board so they can stop things at the root. You know, that you can't tinker around the edges, that you really have to establish democracy fundamentally and have worker ownership of all these companies, and it's enormously popular United States.
Tyson Brody: If you want to create policies that benefit and protect workers, empower workers. It's as simple as that.
Joe Biden: Where do you get the rest? Where's it come from?
Moderator: Senator Sanders, respond.
Bernie Sanders: Two ways. Joe, you talked about working with Republicans and getting things done. But you know what you also got done, and I say this is a good friend.
You got the disastrous war in Iraq done. You got a bankruptcy bill, which is hurting middle-class families all over this country. You got trade agreements like NAFTA and PNTR with China done, which has cost us four million jobs.
And let's get to Medicare for All. Let's be honest. We spend twice as much per person as do the people of any other major country on Earth.
And the answer is, if we have the guts that I would like to see, the Democratic party have that guts, to stand up to the drug companies and the insurance companies and tell them that the function of healthcare is to guarantee care to all people, not to make a hundred billion dollars in profit. If we stood together, we could create the greatest healthcare system in the world.
Tyson Brody: I want to quickly note that the hundred billion dollars in profit line is actually an undercount. I helped come up with that number. We were just counting the profits of the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance industry, and that's just the top ten pharma companies and the top 10 insurers.
It is way more than a hundred billion dollars if you do the entire healthcare industry.
Briahna Joy Gray: That clip was maybe my favorite. Don't come for the bull if you don't want the horns. I mean, Bernie Sanders, people have been saying that he’s not being as aggressive toward the other candidates. People have wanted to see a little bit of heat, and I think that you definitely saw it in this debate.
There are records. People have to justify their records. And for most people having a long record is a liability, and the fact that both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden has been national politicians for a really long time, and Bernie Sanders is able to run on his record, and Joe Biden has to justify his, tells you everything that I think you need to know.
Tyson Brody: Yeah. When people say well Bernie hasn't always been a Democrat, well, being a Democrat hasn't always led to great outcomes. It’s like Bernie said, the disastrous war in Iraq. The bankruptcy bill, which was passed on a bipartisan basis, and let's give credit to Senator Elizabeth Warren, who can also tell you all the bad things in that bill. And trade deals!
Starting with the Clinton Administration, working through the Bush Administration on a bipartisan basis, were these trade deals that were backed by the biggest companies in America, opposed by all the leading unions.
And guess who was right? The company's made money, and workers lost jobs.
And Bernie was saying this the whole time, and people were saying no Bernie, that's not going to be true.
And we prize bipartisanship and civility to the point that we care more about process than outcomes. And Bernie, this is what he starts saying 2016, saying, no, outcomes matter because outcomes are what matter to the American people and, frankly, over the past 30 years, outcomes haven’t been great for working people.
Briahna Joy Gray: Yeah, you can't teach good judgment.
Moderator: Why is your approach more likely to beat President Trump?
Bernie Sanders: I’ll tell you why. And here’s the radical reason why. It's what the American people want.
Alright, the American people do not want tax breaks for billionaires. They want the rich to start paying their fair share of taxes. Poll came out yesterday. 71 percent of Democrats support Medicare for All. The people of this country understand that we've got to make public colleges and universities tuition free. And more and more Americans, including Republicans, understand we need bold action if we're going to save this planet for our children and our grandchildren.
The way you win an election in this time in history is not the same old same old.
You have to inspire people. You have to excite people. You gotta bring working people and young people and poor people into the political process because they know you stand for them, not corporate America.
Briahna Joy Gray: Bernie beats Trump.
Tyson Brody: Bernie beats Trump.
Briahna Joy Gray: We've been talking about it a long time. This past week, there was a poll that showed that Bernie is the only person who outpolls Trump in Iowa. He has gotten more donations from Iowans than any other candidate in this race. And despite that somehow, the narrative that came out, an article was written up about that fact that described everybody, the title was something like two other candidates lose to Trump, as opposed to Bernie Sanders, the only one who beats Trump. Basically, again doing the Bernie blackout and erasing him from the narrative. We all know it's true.
Tyson Brody: Well, that's the thing, when people call Bernie a radical, actually in many ways, he's the most practical politician in America. He says, what if we propose things that everyone wants. People might want to vote for that. Not like a weird half version.
Or something that's almost like a foggy mirror image of like the thing people are asking for. No, people want healthcare, people want a college education, people want good paying jobs. It isn't complicated stuff. We can do the things every other major country does. And if we do that, and we offer people an actual choice that contrasts with Trump's endless lies. Trump's egregious corrupt. Trump just funneling the people's money away to his friends in corporate America, then we are not only going to win the election. That's how we start a political revolution.
Bernie Sanders: But I think at the end of the day, what I appreciate is that we have got to end the hatred that Trump is fostering on our people, the divisiveness, trying to divide us up by the color of our skin or where we were born or our sexual orientation or our religion.
And there is no job that I would undertake with more passion than bringing our people together around an agenda that works for every man, woman, and child in this country. Rather than the corporate elite and the one percent. A progressive agenda that stands for all is the way that we transform this country.
Briahna Joy Gray: I mean, that’s basically what you just said, Tyson.
Tyson Brody: Yeah. I mean, I'm just quoting from the master himself.
Briahna Joy Gray: Tyson 2028.
Tyson Brody: In the early part of that answer, he said, you know, look, Bernie has worked across the aisles repeatedly. He passed this bill, Veterans Choice Act with John McCain, the most comprehensive veterans’ legislation in the past 40 years.
It's so good that Trump, literally every speech he gives, claims credit for it, even though it passed in 2014, but we all know like linear time is something well beyond Donald Trump. He’s worked with Mike Lee to pass the first use of the War Powers Resolution since it was created to say we, America, should not be facilitating Saudi Arabia's disastrous war in Yemen, that's murdering so many innocent people, causing mass famine, chaos.
But the point being though that like, you know, so Bernie's done all this, Bernie's worked across the aisles, and he's always managed to find a way though to do it to push the progressive agenda forward. It's not working across the aisle in order to just to say you work across the aisle.
Briahna Joy Gray: Yeah, to kneecap Democrats.
Tyson Brody: Right, where it’s more important to do the process over the substance.
You can work with anyone to pass things that are good for people. The point is that you are doing things that people want, that we're creating a progressive America that will inspire the next generation, that will get people to come out to vote. To bump up our such low voter participation. One of the best indicators whether you're going to vote is your income and your education, and that's pretty rough because that's always going to be you're more likely to vote the smaller segments of the population you are.
Briahna Joy Gray: Yeah, and to look at the root cause of that that, I mean, sometimes people evoke that stat and it's a reason to say, well, let's not offer policies that are of interest to people who don't vote. Let's not attend to that group because it doesn't matter, they’re not going to go anyway. Instead of looking at the causation there and maybe saying the reason that those people don't vote is because they've seen politician after politician, decade after decade, promise and promise and see nothing really materially change in their life. And what this revolution is kind of banking on is that we're able to turn out those groups that have been historically ignored because they don't comprise the average normal voter population, and that by turning them out, if young people, if working class people, vote in the numbers that wealthy rich people have been voting in for the history of this country, then we will see a political revolution.
Tyson Brody: It’s a moral imperative to create a politics that appeals to the vast majority of the American people. The idea that you wouldn't is just sad.
Briahna Joy Gray: That's it for this week. Thank you all so much for all you've done to help us have such an amazing week. Thank you for attending the rally if you could, for door knocking, for talking to your family and friends, for sharing information about the campaign on social media, and for all of your record-setting contributions.
Let's work together to make every week as epic as the week that Bernie announced he's back.
As always, let us know what you think at [email protected] or send us a tweet with the #HearTheBern. If you haven't already, please take a moment to rate, review, and like us on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud or wherever you're listening. As always transcripts will be up soon.
‘Til next week.
Bernie is counting on all of us to continue fighting for our progressive agenda. There is only one way we will transform this country – and that is together.
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