Bernie Sanders New Hampshire Town Hall Transcript - transcription powered by Happy Scribe

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Thank you for coming out. Let me begin by introducing you to the next first lady of the United States. Let me thank Samantha Valenti. Let me thank ELEANOR Gunya. Brianna Gillman, let me thank Senator Nina Turner.

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And let me thank Cynthia Nixon.

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You know, there are a lot of well-known entertainers out there, but not so many of them are prepared to put their names and their reputations on the line to fight for justice.

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And I very much appreciate all of the work that Cynthia has done and appreciate so much the support she is giving our campaign. Cynthia Nixon. Thanks so much. It's going to be a busy day.

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It's the last day before the first primary of the twenty twenty election cycles. So today we started off in Manchester. We're going to Nashua. We're going to Salem later. And then we're gonna end up with what I think will be the largest event for the Democratic primary process. Tonight in Durham. So I thank all of you for being out here today in this crucial moment in American history. And I want to begin by telling you that our campaign is off to a great start.

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Now, all of you are aware that they have a little bit of problems counting the votes in Iowa, but they're still counting the votes in Iowa.

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But at the end of the day, what we know is we won the popular vote by six thousand votes.

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We won what they call the realignment vote by twenty five hundred votes. And the reason we did so well in Iowa, and I believe that we're going to do so well here in New Hampshire is not because of our TV ads, not because of our radio ads. It's because we have thousands of people knocking on doors and all of you who are volunteering in the campaign. I want to thank you so much. We have done something extraordinary on Saturday. I am told by our campaign director, if you can believe it, in one day, one day we knock on 20 percent of the doors in the state of New Hampshire.

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That's pretty good.

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And I want to thank the people of New Hampshire for helping to change politics in America.

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Four years ago, when I came to New Hampshire, I had a series of proposals that the political establishment said was very radical to extreme media establishment said was too extreme, the corporate establishment said was too extreme. Nobody believes in what Bernie is talking about. Well, it turns out that the people of New Hampshire did. And because you stood up for justice. We won 22 states last time around and helped transform the conversation of where America should be going.

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So today. Four years ago, I came to New Hampshire and I said, you know what, if you work 40 hours a week, you shouldn't be living in poverty. We've got to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour.

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Four years ago, that was a radical idea. You know what's happened since? Seven states have raised the minimum wage to fifteen bucks an hour. So as the U.S. House of Representatives, the hamako. Thank you. But getting that ball rolling.

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Four years ago, I came here and I said, you know what? We've got to rethink education and a higher education in America. There is something wrong when in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and many others by the millions are leaving school deeply in debt.

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Something wrong with that?

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Well, what's happened since is all over the country and states and cities and in counties, there is a significant movement forward to make public colleges and universities to Richard Free.

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And when we are in the White House together, it's going to be a big room and we're going to bring you all in the Oval Office. Got to squeeze a little bit like here. Well, we are going to do is not only make public colleges and universities tuition free so that all of our kids that watch and understand what that means. It's not really relevant to those who are in college. It is relevant to the kids who are in the fifth and sixth grade today because she got kids all over this country.

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And I grew up in a working class family. We didn't have a lot of money, but the word has got to go out to parents and kids that if you do well in school, in elementary school, in high school, no matter what your income is, you are going to be able to get a higher education if you want to go to college. It will be college if you want to go to trade school. It'll be trade school.

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But we will make public colleges and universities tuition free. We will greatly expand Pell Grants so that people in private school.

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We will expand work study programs and I'll pay you something else that we're going to do. And I want you to think big about this one. When the rulers of the universe know the rules of the universe and all those are the big money interests, they think they got it all. It's Wall Street and all these guys, they are the rulers of the universe. When they want something, they get it. Twelve years ago, when the crooks on Wall Street destroyed our economy, they went to the Congress and they said, Oh, please.

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Yes, we lied. We cheated, we stole. We acted illegally. But you got to bail us out. And Congress against my vote bailed them out. And then two years ago, the billionaires who control the political process in America said, hey, we're only worth three billion dollars. I mean, how can you get by on a few billion dollars nowadays? We need a tax break. And Donald Trump and his friend said, yeah, my God, how can you get by?

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I mean, the price of food going up. How do you get by up to three billion dollars of wealth. So two or three years ago, Trump and his friends gave the 1 percent billionaires and large profitable corporations. A trillion dollars in tax breaks. Trillion dollars in tax breaks.

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Anybody here know how much Amazon made? Over ten billion dollars last year. How much they paid in taxes? Anybody, you know, smart group of people, they paid zero.

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OK. That's what Donald Trump gave. The wealthiest guy in America happens to own Amazon. So the point I'm making here is if Congress can give huge tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations, you know what else Congress can do? We can cancel all student debt in America.

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And we're going to do that through a modest tax on Wall Street speculation. We bailed out Wall Street 12 years ago. It's Wall Street's turn to help the working class of this country.

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Now, what our campaign is about is thinking big and not small. And that means asking yourselves hard questions that you're not going to see on television or hear from Congress. All right. So here's the question I want you all to think about. Everybody in this room. Everybody in America at one point or another in your life is going to access the healthcare system. We all need health care. Why is it, my friends, that we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people want you to think about it.

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Our neighbors to the north border, on the Hampshire border on Vermont come.

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They have had universal health care for decades. That means anybody in that country goes to any doctor they want if they get sick and they end up in the hospital. They come out. You know what the bill is when you come out of the hospital for a month in Canada? No. Zero. OK. And meanwhile, after they provide quality care to all of their people. Turns out they are paying one half as much per person for health care as we all know the words.

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We are paying bifl more money for health care per person. We're paying eleven thousand dollars for every man, woman and child for health care.

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And yet we have 87 million Americans who have no health insurance or who are under-insured.

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We have thirty thousand people a year who die because they don't get to a doctor on time. We are paying by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.

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In some cases, we're paying 10 times more than the Canadians and people around the world for the same exact medicine.

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And what is also unbelievable and immoral and a disgrace, and that is in America, some five hundred thousand people a year go bankrupt because of medically related debt. That being said, I want you to think about it. Just take a deep breath and think about it. It means that in this country, through no fault of your own, if you are dealing with cancer, you are dealing with heart disease, you're dealing with Alzheimer's or some terrible illness.

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Not only do you have to cope with the illness, you've got to worry about whether or not you go bankrupt. Could your campaign that hundred thousand dollar bill, that is not what America is supposed to be about.

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Meanwhile, meanwhile, while so many of our people are uninsured or under insured, last year the health care industry made a hundred billion dollars in profit.

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Drug companies may use profits. So what we are here today to say to the health care industry, the function of a humane and rational health care system is to provide health care to all of our people, not a system in which drug companies and insurance companies make huge profits. And that is why.

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And that is why in the first week of our administration, we will introduce and we will pass a Medicare for all single payer program.

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Now, what does that mean? Now you're going to hear a lot of lies and misinformation about Medicare for all, because the people who control the health care system, they think the system is great profits for the insurance companies. Soaring drug companies making billions over billions. They're doing great. They will fight us tooth and nail. So what does a Medicare for all single payer program mean? What it means is we eliminate all premiums in America. Right now, you're paying a thousand bucks a month.

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500 bucks a month. Seventeen hundred bucks. No more. Not you or your employer, by the way. No more co-payments. So when you walk into the doctor's office, you drop the worry about that 50 bucks or 100 bucks that's gone. And we're going to eliminate one of the most absurd concepts that I have ever heard. We take it for granted, but it is totally absurd. That is the concept of a deductible. You all know what a deductible is.

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You would think that if you pay a lot of money for insurance, you pay off. OK. You pay too much. You're not happy about it. But you go to the doctor when you want. Wrong. You've got a $5000 deductible. You got a ten thousand dollar doctor. You got to take huge amounts of money out of your own pocket before you can walk into the doctor's office. We eliminate all deductibles.

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We don't live in a all out of pocket expenses. These are not radical ideas. I know some people think, oh my God, how did you think of all these?

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This is what goes on all over the world.

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And furthermore, because we are going to take on the greed and the corruption of the pharmaceutical industry, an industry that not only engages in price gouging, charging us any price they can get away with.

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They are also involved in price fixing and collusion. They ain't going to get away with that any more.

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That time is running out. And when we lower drug prices in America so they're not any higher than the prices they charge around the world. Under Medicare for all. Nobody in America will be forced to pay more than two hundred dollars a year for prescription drugs.

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Now, people say, you know, Medicare for all is going to be so disruptive with such a radical idea. Oh, my goodness. Actually, it is the least the squat approach to moving toward universal health care is what we're doing now. Medicare is a good program. It is not good enough on our Medicare for all. We're going to expand Medicaid to cover dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses. You know what else we're going to do? There are a whole lot of people in this country today or force when they're old or they have severe disabilities, are forced out of their homes into nursing homes.

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They would rather stay home on the Medicare for all. We will fold. We will fund home health care.

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You want to stay home. You will be able to do so. That is the right thing to do and by the way, could save some substantial sums of money.

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So what we do on the Medicare for all.

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We expand benefits. First year we go from 65, which is the eligibility age down down to fifty five, down to forty five. The next year down to 35, everybody is in. You got a card. You go to any doctor, you want one. You ask the doctor you go into. Now you stay with that doctor. You want to go to the hospital, you go to the hospital. We funded through a progressive tax system which will end up costing the average American substantially less than that family is paying.

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Right now, people say, oh, how are you going to fund Medicare for all? You know, we fund health care today. The median family income in America is sixty thousand dollars a year. That family right in the middle of the economy is paying twelve thousand dollars a year for health care. The employer is paying fourteen thousand dollars a year. We are going to lower the cost of health care for both very, very substantially.

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Now, there's another issue that we cannot run away from. You know, one of the problems with politics in America is there is a tendency to run away from the difficult issues. We are not going to do that. We have a president of the United States who is an embarrassment in so many respects, but he is a embarrassment not only to our country, but to the world in terms of his refusal to acknowledge the reality of climate change.

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So Donald Trump, in case you are watching, how are you? I want you to know that climate change is not a hoax.

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It is a dangerous reality.

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And unlike the Trump administration, our administration will listen to the scientists.

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And what the scientists are telling us is that not only is climate change real, they have underestimated the degree and the severity in which it is ravaging this country and the planet. Polar ice caps melting at a faster rate. Ocean warming at a fast rate. Drought getting worse. Extreme weather disturbances getting worse. And what the United Nations is telling us is that if we don't get our act together by the end of the century, there will be hundreds of millions of climate refugees, people unable to stay in their own communities because there's no clean drinking water, there is no land to grow their crops.

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We want to know what climate change is doing to the planet.

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Turn on television and see what's going on in Australia right now where that country is burning. Remember what happened in California with an unprecedented level of fires?

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What we will do under our administration is adopt the basic principles of the Green New Deal.

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We will transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

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We will create up to 20 million good paying union jobs. I'll tell you what else we are going to do, because climate change is not an American issue. Climate change is a global issue. We will lead the world and I will be reaching out to countries all over the world.

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Countries like China, India, Pakistan, Brazil, countries all over the world and make the case that we are in this together.

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It's not an American issue, not a Russian issue, not a Chinese issue. We are all going to suffer from climate change. And maybe, just maybe, instead of spending one point a trillion a year on weapons of destruction globally, maybe we should pool our resources and fight our common enemy, which is climate change.

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Our administration will tackle another very difficult issue, but an issue that needs to be tackled and that is the fact that we have a broken and racist criminal justice system.

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We must not continue living in a country which has more people in jail, disproportionately African-American, Latino and Native American. More people in jail than the peoples of any other country on Earth. So what we are going to do is invest in our young people, making sure that our kids get the job training and the education they need. We're going to invest in our young people, not in more jails and incarceration.

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We're going to and private prisons and detention centers who are going to end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana. We are going to expunge the records of those arrested for possession of marijuana. Now, what Donald Trump is about. It's a pretty ugly business. What he is about as president is trying to divide the American people off. That's what he does. He's trying to divide us all based on the color of our skin or where we were born or our sexual orientation or our religion or even our agenda.

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And one of the groups that he is targeting most are the undocumented in this country. Well, as the son of an immigrant, my father came to this country from Poland with not a nickel in his pocket, no education. I understand a little bit about the immigrant experience. My view is that instead of demonizing the undocumented, we're going to go forward and pass comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.

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We are going to end war policies which allow federal agents to snatch babies from the arms of their mothers and throw children into cages.

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That's not going to happen. And on my first day in office, I will sign an executive order undoing all of the racist executive orders on immigration signed by Donald Trump.

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And that means and that means, among many other things, restoring the legal status of the 1.8 million young people eligible for the doctor program.

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Now in Washington, I think the reason that a lot of people are disillusioned with what goes on on Washington in Washington is they look around them and people share common beliefs. We're not quite as divided as some would think we are. And in one issue in particular, there has been a coming together of people from rural states like Vermont and New Hampshire and urban communities like Chicago and New York City, people who are gun owners and people that were not gun owners.

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People have seen over the last several decades with hope and discussed mass shootings and gun violence in America. And the American people want action and they look to Washington and they say, why aren't you doing anything? And the answer is pretty simple. Is the American people want strong gun safety legislation, but the end or A does not end. The NRA has intimidated Trump and intimidated the Republican leadership. The N R A will not intimidate me.

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We will do what the American people want and what the American people want are universal background checks. If you have a history of violence, domestic violence or whatever it may be, you know what? You should not own a gun.

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We're going to eliminate the storm at the gun show loopholes which allow people to legally buy guns. We're going to eliminate the straw man provision and we're going to do something that the American people now want also, and that is to end the sale and distribution of assault weapons in this country.

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Now, there is a lot of hypocrisy, I know I won't shock you when I tell you there's a lot of hypocrisy in Washington. I know you're shocked to hear that. And one of the greatest examples of hypocrisy that I know is we have a lot of Republican senators and congressmen going up on the floor and they're saying, we believe in small government. We believe in getting the government off the backs of the American people.

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Well, I say to those hypocrites, if you believe in getting the government off the backs of the American people, understand that it is women who have the right to control their own bodies, not the government.

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So my promise to you is that I will never nominate anybody to the Supreme Court or the federal bench who is not 100 percent pro Roe v Wade.

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We will not apply Roe v. Wade. We'll put that into law. We will greatly expand funding for Planned Parenthood.

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So, my friends, here we are in Renge and tomorrow there is the first primary in the election 2020 election process, and not only is the whole country looking at the Hampshire tomorrow, but the world is looking at New Hampshire. What is New Hampshire going to do?

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So I am here to humbly ask for your support. I am here to ask you to bring out your friends, your family, your co-workers to vote tomorrow. I'm asking you to try to create the largest voter turnout in the history of the New Hampshire primary.

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And I'm asking you to do that for two reasons. Tomorrow could begin the end of Donald Trump. If we were here in New Hampshire after winning in Iowa, I think we've got a great chance to win in Nevada. I think we have a strong shot in South Carolina and California and the states that follow. So if we win here tomorrow, I think we've got a path to victory for the Democratic nomination.

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And when we win the Democratic nomination and when we put together a stronger as grass roots political movement this country has ever seen. We're going to defeat Donald Trump. But we are going to do more than to the Donald Trump. But we are going to do is begin the process of transforming this country. We are prepared with your help to take on the greed of Wall Street. The insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and the entire 1 percent.

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With your help, with your help, we are prepared not only to defeat Trump, but to create an economy and a government that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent.

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Thank you very much.