Quotes from the news wire:
If Donald Trump and Donald Trump family could get more than $ 880 million in special tax breaks to build a real estate empire, we can damn well make sure every kid in America gets a good education, even if Donald Trump and his family don't live in one of Mr. Trump's luxury apartment buildings, it's time for Donald Trump and the top 1 % to pay a hell of a lot more in taxes than they are today.
Every child has a right to a quality K-12 education, regardless of your race, regardless of your income, and regardless of your zip code, for too long, we have seen devastating education funding cuts used to pay for massive tax breaks for a handful of corporations and billionaires. When we are in the White House, that greed is going to end.
This week marks a victory for patients with LEMS and American taxpayers, and a blow to the greed of Big Pharma, suffering patients used to receive life-saving medication for free from Jacobus Pharmaceuticals -- until a competitor, Catalyst, bought the rights to the drug, received market exclusivity, and started charging $ 375,000 a year to those in desperate need.
If the banks and corporations feel that they can better exploit the people of Mississippi, New Hampshire, Hong Kong or Puerto Rico in order to make their blood profits -- let them go there, in the Dominican Republic, American companies pay native workers $ 2 a day for a full day's work. Vermont is not going to compete with that kind of slavery.
We cannot create an economy that works for all Americans if we continue to neglect the needs of rural America, in rural America, we are seeing giant agribusiness conglomerates extract as much wealth out of small communities as they can, while family farmers are going bankrupt and, in many cases, treated like modern-day indentured servants.
I think when people take a look at my record versus Vice President Biden's record -- I helped lead the fight against NAFTA ; Vice President Biden voted for NAFTA, i helped lead the fight against( permanent normal trade relations) with China ; Vice President Biden voted for it. I strongly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership ; Vice President Biden supported it. I voted against the war in Iraq ; Vice President Biden voted for it.
You will see in this campaign a lot of spontaneous activity that doesn't come from our national headquarters, people in Memphis, Tennessee and Los Angeles, California, they're going to come up with an idea, they're going to use local artists and musicians. So this is our effort to build a political movement, which will help us win the primary, help us win the general election and, in my view, it is the only way we bring about the kind of fundamental reforms we need in this country.
This is always the difficulty you have, so if somebody in some city or some state says something that's dumb, we can be sure that the local media will pick up on it. But I think everybody understands that when you have over a million people involved in the political process, you know, people will say what they say.
If somebody commits a serious crime -- sexual assault, murder -- they are going to be punished. They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That is what happens when you commit a serious crime, but I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.
I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people, so, I believe that people commit crimes, they pay the price. When they got out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right to vote. But I do believe, even if they are in jail, they are paying their price to society, but [also] that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.
You raise the issue I am a millionaire. Well, actually this year we had $560,000 income, thats a lot of money, and in my case, my wifes case, it came from a book that I wrote. A pretty good book, you might want to read it. Its a best-seller, sold all over the world, and we made money. So, if anyone thinks that I should apologize for writing a best-selling book, Im sorry, Im not going to do it.
Donald Trump told working people that Donald Trump was going to be on their side. Donald Trump is not on their side, and Donald Trump record proves that quite clearly, and we're going to make that very clear. And I think by the end of this campaign, I suspect that a number of people who voted for Donald Trump will understand that Donald Trump is not Donald Trump and that the agenda that we have, which is prepared to take on the billionaire class, is the agenda that they will support.
I will be campaigning in support of the Liberty Union utility proposal which calls for the public ownership of Vermont's private electric companies without compensation to the banks and wealthy stockholders who own the vast majority of stock in these companies, i will also be calling for public ownership of New England Telephone company -- which is probably the single greatest rip-off company in America.
I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries. In Vermont we have some $ 2 billion of deposits in our banks, in Vermont, as well as nationally, it is not tolerable to me that the control of capital would remain in the hands of the richest two or three percent of the population to do with it as they like.
Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology, which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world, we must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel. Rather, we must develop an evenhanded Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace.
My experience as a kid, living in a family that struggled economically, powerfully influenced my life and my values, unlike Donald Trump, who shut down the government and left 800,000 federal employees without income to pay the bills, I know what it's like to be in a family that lives paycheck to paycheck.
As we launch this campaign for president, you deserve to know where I come from — because family history heavily influences the values that we adopt as adults, today, I want to welcome you to a campaign which says, loudly and clearly, that the underlying principles of our government will not be greed, hatred and lies.
As a white person in America, you would've been the master, the slave owner. ... It was mostly black women who were enslaved in the house, who were raped, who were beaten daily, day in and day out, they endured physical and mental abuse. For a lot of people in America, that was like slap in the face to the black community, particularly to black women.
The way we treat women in our country has been abysmal in almost every way. We are finally addressing the issue of sexual harassment, and we need to get it right, but the conversation we are having now is only the tip of the iceberg. It needs to be an ongoing movement of women and men that includes a national discussion about sexism, sexual harassment, objectification, inequality and abuse of power.
Throwing 24 million Americans off of health insurance, raising premiums for older low-income Americans, while giving $285 billion in tax breaks to the top 2% is a disgusting and immoral proposal, thousands of Americans will die if this legislation is passed and we have to do everything that we can to see that is defeated.
I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process. I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am, but to all of our supporters – here and around the country – I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved.
Wasserman Schultz ' has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party. While Wasserman Schultz ' deserves thanks for Wasserman Schultz ' years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working peopleand young people. The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party. While Debbie Wasserman Schultz deserves thanks for Debbie Wasserman Schultz years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working peopleand young people. The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.
So many people have given up on the political process, including a whole lot of low-income people where the voting rates are low, young people who are not voting in large numbers. Our job is to bring people into the political process, to create a government that represents all of us, not just the one percent.
We are obligated to speak the truth as we see it. This is what real friendship demands, especially in difficult times, if elected president, I will work tirelessly to advance the cause of peace as a partner and as a friend to Israel. But to be successful, we have to be a friend not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian people.
It is absurd for elements within the Netanyahu government to suggest that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response to the most recent violence. It is also not acceptable that the Netanyahu government decided to withhold hundreds of millions of Shekels in tax revenue from the Palestinians, which it is supposed to collect on their behalf.
To suggest we don't fight this out to the end would be, I think, a very bad mistake. People want to become engaged in the political process by having vigorous primary and caucus process. I think we open up the possibility of having a large voter turnout in November. That is exactly what we need, a low voter turnout, somebody like a Trump can win. High voter turnout, the Democratic candidate will win.
I hear Secretary Clinton is in Ohio tonight talking about how concerned she is about the auto industry -- an industry decimated by the North American Free Trade Agreement and normalized trade with China. She supported those bad deals. I opposed them, now she says she wants to make it tougher for automobiles to be imported to this country under the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership. That's the deal she called the 'gold standard' when she was secretary of state.
The facts are that Hillary Clinton has vigorously supported almost every piece of disastrous trade legislation, i have opposed those pieces of legislation, helped lead the opposition to them, because I understood that American workers should not be forced to compete with people in Mexico, people in China that are making pennies on the dollar.
I don't think our supporters are inciting. What our supporters are doing is responding to a candidate who has, in fact, in many ways, encouraged violence, when he talks about ... 'I wish we were in the old days when you could punch somebody in the head.' What do you think that says to his supporters?
At a time when the middle class is shrinking, poverty is increasing and millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages it makes no sense to me to have an immigration bill which, over a period of years, would bring millions of 'guest workers' into this country who are prepared to work for lower wages than American workers, we need to increase wages in this country, not lower them.
At a time when nearly 14% of Americans do not have a full-time job and when the middle class is working longer hours for lower wages, I oppose a massive increase in temporary guest worker programs that will allow large corporations to import hundreds of thousands of blue-collar and white-collar workers from overseas.
We are going to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, we're going to rebuild the pipe system, the water system here in Flint, we're going to make sure that all of those people affected have the health care that they need and that those that were affected also get the educational opportunities that they need.
What I meant by that is I think many white people are not aware of the kinds of pressures and the kind of police oppression that sometimes takes place within the African-American community, i don't want to be lectured about talking about poverty whether it's white, black, Latino. Nobody in this campaign has talked about it more, nobody in this campaign cycle has proposed more specific ideas on how to address poverty.
Do you know what the other name of the Export-Import Bank is and what it's called in Washington? It's called the Bank of Boeing because Boeing itself gets 40% of the money discharged by the Export-Import Bank. Seventy-five percent of the funds going for the federal government and the Export-Import Bank goes to large profitable corporations.
No matter your party or political ideology, this is a sad day for America. Nancy Reagan was an exemplary first lady, a devoted partner, she was her husband's most trusted adviser and, as such, served our country well. Even after her time in the White House, she was an outspoken advocate for stem-cell research to find a cure for Alzheimer's. Nancy Reagan had a good heart, and she will be dearly missed.
All of that may be fantasy to the ruling class and the big money interests in this country. I don't think that's fantasy to the working people in this country who have worked longer hours for lower wages, who are tired of establishment politics and establishment economics, every proposal that we have brought forward, we've paid for ... Maybe the drug companies don't like it and the insurance companies don't like it. I think the American people do like it.
We have been dealing, in the last seven years, with an unprecedented level of obstructionism against President Obama, literally -- literally it turns out on the day that Obama was inaugurated, Republicans came together and said 'What are we going to do?' And what they concluded is we're going to obstruct, obstruct, obstruct, make it as difficult as he could to do anything.
There are a lot of differences of opinion between Secretary Clinton and myself on major, major major issues, but at the end of the day, this is the main one -- what we are seeing is more and more power going into the hands of the few. Who's life work is about standing up to the billionaire class, standing up to Wall Street?
Hillary Clinton is trying to embrace the president as closely as she possibly can. Everything the president does is wonderful. She loves the president, he loves her and all that stuff, and we know what that's about. That's trying to win support from the African-American community where the president is enormously popular.
I think the more the African-American community hears our message on a broken criminal justice system -- which has more people in jail today than any country on earth, largely African-American and Latino -- when they hear our message of an economy that represents all of us, not just the 1%. I think you're going to see us making progress there as well.
It is absolutely incomprehensible that we have Republicans in the U.S. Senate - my colleagues in the Senate - who refuse to honor the Constitution of the United States, correct me if I'm wrong, but the Constitution of the United States is pretty clear - that the President of the United States nominates individuals to the U.S. Supreme Court -- not a whole lot of ambiguity, is there?
Over the last seven years in this country, we have made enormous progress under the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden, no state in America knows more about the impact of the greed and illegal behavior of Wall Street than the state of Nevada. This state was decimated. We have made great progress but much more needs to be done.
Tonight, many of us are going to give our support to a candidate for president who has done more than any other candidate in living memory to bring together the disenfranchised, the hungry, the poor, the workers who are being thrown out of their decent-paying jobs and the farmers who are being thrown off of their land, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to place for nomination this evening the name of one of the great leaders of our time and a man who has waged the most courageous and exciting political campaigns in the modern history of this nation. I place for nomination, with a great deal of personal pride, the name of Jesse Jackson.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to place for nomination this evening the name of one of the great leaders of our time and a man who has waged the most courageous and exciting political campaigns in the modern history of this nation. I place for nomination, with a great deal of personal pride, the name of Jesse Jackson.
What criminal justice is supposed to be about is you do the crime, you are found guilty, you pay the price. I'm not aware that paying the price includes taking away your rights to vote in a Democratic society. You paid the price right? You're a citizen of the United States, correct? You have the right to vote. you have large numbers of African-American men and women not being able to vote. Somebody benefits from that.
Because what we will do is say, instead of giving tax breaks to millionaires, we are going to create millions of jobs for low-income kids so they're not hanging out on street corners, we're going to make sure that those kids stay in school or are able get a college education. So I think that when you give low-income kids, African-American, white, Latino kids, the opportunities to get their lives together, they are not going to end up in jail. They're going to end up in the productive economy, which is where we want them.
What the American people understand is that our great country was based on a simple principal, and that principle is fairness, let me be very clear, it is not fair when we have more income and wealth inequality today than almost any major country on Earth. And, when the top one-tenth of 1% now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%, that's not fair.
When we talk about transforming America, it means ending the disgrace of this country having more people in jail than any other country in the world, disproportionately African-American, and Latino, not only are we going to fight to end institutional racism, and a broken criminal justice system, we are going to provide jobs and education for our young people, not jails and incarceration.
I believe that, as a human being, the pain that one person feels, if we have children who are hungry in America, if we have elderly people who can't afford their prescription drugs, you know what, that impacts you, that impacts me, so my spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me.
I believe that, as a human being, the pain that one person feels, if we have children who are hungry in America, if we have elderly people who can't afford their prescription drugs, you know what, that impacts you, that impacts me, and I worry very much about a society where some people spiritually say, it doesn't matter to me, I got it, I don't care about other people. So my spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me. That's my very strong spiritual feeling.
I believe we are the stronger campaign to defeat that right wing Republican, the way Democrats win elections is when there is a large voter turnout ... I think our campaign has the capability to bring out a lot of working people, a lot of young people who in the past have not been involved in politics.
We lost (the nonwhite vote), but that gap is growing slimmer and slimmer between the secretary and myself. I think you'll find as we get to South Carolina and other states, that when the African-American community, the Latino community, looks at our record, looks at our agenda, we're going to get more and more support.
We started out organizing in Iowa a lot later than Senator Clinton did. She was here in 2008; has the experience we didn't have. She's done this before, we didn't. She has a very strong organization. And I applaud her for that, but I will tell you that the last couple of months we have gained a whole lot of ground and again I think we stand a real chance to create a large voter turnout.
It is also no secret that we have, as is the case in a democratic society, we have differences of opinion, i was on the floor of the Senate for eight and half hours, in disagreement with him over taxes. We disagree over the (Trans-Pacific Partnership). But by and large over the last seven years, on major issue after major issue, I have stood by his side.
Obama in 2008 ran a campaign which is really going to stay in the history books. It was an unbelievable campaign, do I think that in this campaign that we're going to match that? I would love to see us do that. I hope we do. But frankly I don't think we will. What happened in 2008 was extraordinary.
Well, count me in as one person -- you know, if Secretary Clinton and Gov. O'Malley want to do it, I'm there, i love debates. I think they are a way to inform the American people of our positions and our differences. So, I think that is a great idea. So, I'm in. If the other candidates are in, you count me in.
Likewise, Bernie Sanders said Bernie Sanders campaigned for President Obama in 2008 and 2012( though Sanders in 2011 casually discussed the possibility of President Obama getting a challenger, Bernie Sanders did not ultimately recruit one). We have got to do a lot better to protect the middle class, but it's important to remember how far we've come under President President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Obama in 2008 ran a campaign which is really going to stay in the history books. It was an unbelievable campaign. In places they ran out of ballots, as I understand, the turnout was so extraordinary, nobody expected it. Do I think in this campaign that we are going to match that? I would love to see us do that, I hope we can.
Wall Street's greed and recklessness and illegal behavior drove this economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Millions of people lost their homes, their life savings, and their jobs. And, yes, I believe that we have to break up the major financial institutions. We have to re-establish Glass-Stegall.
We can't wait to help Ellen with her exorbitant prices. We can't wait to help the minimum wage workers I meet who are working one, two jobs and still can't figure out how they are going to gather enough money to make any progress. We can't wait to deal with the student debt that so many young Iowans tell me they are struggling under. it really reminds me what happens here in Iowa eight years ago.
Universal health care is an idea that has been supported in the United States by Democratic presidents going back to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, it is time for our country to join every other major industrialized nation on earth and guarantee health care to all citizens as a right, not a privilege.
What this plan does, of course, is end private insurance payments for the American people, so instead of making a private insurance premium payment, you're now going to make a Medicare premium payment. And what all of the studies indicate is that payment under a Medicare-for-all single-payer system will be significantly less than what middle class families today are paying for health insurance.
I will vote to revise that bill. There are parts of it that made sense to me, look George, if you have a small gun shop owner in Northern Vermont who sells a gun legally to somebody and then, you know, something happens to that guy, he goes nuts or something, and he kills somebody, should the gun shop owner be held liable? I think not.
We're doing much better with independents. We even draw a little bit better with Republicans, so I believe, quite honestly, that with the enthusiasm that we are generating, with the kind of voter turnout that I think we can bring out -- look, Republicans win when people are demoralized and the voter turnout is low.
To those on Wall Street who may be listening today, let me be very clear: Greed is not good, in fact, the greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the very fabric of our nation. And here is a New Year's resolution that I will keep if elected president -- and that is if Wall Street does not end its greed, we will end it for them.
My opponent says that, as a senator, she told bankers to 'cut it out' and end their destructive behavior. But in my view, establishment politicians are the ones who need to cut it out, the reality is that Congress doesn't regulate Wall Street. Wall Street, its lobbyists and their billions of dollars regulate Congress.
Now much has changed over the decades, but unfortunately, some things have not. Institutional racism existed then. Institutional racism exist today, the criminal justice system was broken then. The criminal justice system remains broken today. And that's the sad reality of where we are as a country.
As we spend time with our families this holiday season, we who are parents should ask ourselves what we would do if our children faced the danger and violence these children do? How far would we go to protect them? we need to take steps to protect children and families seeking refuge here, not cast them out.
What's scary about Trump is you open -- there are a lot of people out there who feel certain ways and you see somebody who is running for president say these things, 'Whoa! Trump said that! I can say that! I can beat up the Muslim in my community! I can be a racist on a college campus now, because that's the climate.' So you're right, it is scary.
It strikes me that if you don't take part in the political process, you're really crapping on people who gave their lives to defend this country, WWII and elsewhere, obviously, this country faces enormous problems ... but that doesn't mean you walk away from it. But it means you engage and fight back.
What I have said over and over again is that I have not and will not raise a nickel for a super PAC, i am the only Democratic candidate who does not have a super PAC. I will not have a super PAC. They are nurses and they are fighting for the health care of their people. They are doing what they think is appropriate. I do not have a super PAC.
We're going to win, because first we're going to explain what democratic socialism is, what democratic socialism is about is saying that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of 1% in this country own almost 9%, almost -- own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%, that it is wrong today, in a rigged economy, that 57% of all new income is going to the top one percent.
Look, I think the President is trying to do the right thing. And what he's trying to do is put together a coalition of the Western democracies along with the Muslim nations to destroy ISIS, while at the same time making sure that we're not involved in a perpetual war in the Middle East, my own view is that the major issue that we have right now is to destroy ISIS. And I think we've got to work toward a political agreement to get Assad out of office.
Why over her political career has Wall Street been a major, the major campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? Maybe they're dumb and they don't know what they're going to get, but I don't think so, i have never heard a candidate, never, who has received huge amounts of money from oil, from coal, from Wall Street from the military industrial complex, not one candidate -- 'Oh these, these campaign contributions will not influence me.' But why do they make millions of dollars of campaign contributions? They expect to get something, everybody knows that.
I mean, I cannot walk down the corridors of Capitol Hill without being really begged by the media to attack Hillary Clinton, they want to make this personal. ... I choose not to do that. Let's talk about the economy, let's talk about Wall Street, let's talk about climate change, let's talk about education. Frankly, that is what the American people want to get discussed.
Well, what motivated that is that I think the American people want substantive discussions on substantive issues, there is a process in place for the email situation that Hillary Clinton is dealing with. Let it play itself out. As a nation, let us start focusing on why it is that so few have so much and so many have so little.
Under the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden, this country has come a long way economically since President Bush left office and we were losing 800,000 jobs every month and the world economy was on the brink of financial collapse, nevertheless, we still have a long way to go to create the kind of economy that works for all Americans and not just the top 1 percent.
I believe in serious debates on serious issues. I've known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. Maybe I shouldn't say this: I like Hillary Clinton. I respect Hillary Clinton, will the media, among others, allow us to have a civil debate on civil issues? Or is the only way you get media attention by ripping apart somebody else?
All that I can say is I am very proud of my record on women's issues. I certainly do not have a problem with women speaking out -- and I think what the secretary is doing there is taking words and misapplying them, what I would say is if we are going to make some progress in dealing with these horrific massacres that we're seeing, is that people have got to start all over this country talking to each other.
Well, I am who I am. And what I believe in, and what my spirituality is about is that we're all in this together. That I think it is not a good thing to believe that as human beings we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people, and you know, this is not Judaism. This is what Pope Francis is talking about, that we cannot worship just billionaires and the making of more and more money. Life is more than that.
What he said in so many words was, 'Thank you so much for electing me to be president, but I will take it from here. I will go forward and I will negotiate with (House Speaker John) Boehner and (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell and the Republicans,' he did this because he is a decent guy and he thought naively that Republicans really wanted to work or negotiate compromises. Truth is, they never, ever did.
He thought he could walk into Capitol Hill and the Oval Office and sit down with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans and say, 'I can't get it all. You can't get it all. Let's work out something that's reasonable,' because he's a reasonable guy, these guys never had any intention of doing (serious) negotiating and compromising ... I think it took the President too long to fully appreciate that.
Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate or the U.S. House, will not be successful in dozens of governors races all across this country, unless we generated excitement and momentum and produce a huge voter turnout, that turnout, that enthusiasm, will not happen with politics as usual.
That was a complicated vote and I'm willing to see changes in that provision, here's the reason I voted the way I voted : If you are a gun shop owner in Vermont and you sell somebody a gun and that person flips out and then kills somebody, I don't think it's really fair to hold that person responsible, the gun shop owner.
I think the Latino community is obviously deeply concerned about comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship is something I strongly support, and I think the Latino community is outraged over some of the racist attacks that have been made against some Latino groups -- and that is unacceptable.
I also know that there is an enormous amount of disgust in the African-American community with regards to certain police departments. We need to demilitarize local police departments so that they do not look like occupying armies. We want police departments that look like the communities they are serving.
Clearly if Sandra Bland, who was a middle class black woman, had been a middle class white woman, it is unlikely that the police would have treated her in the same way, unarmed African-Americans have been abused and sometimes killed while in police custody. Clearly these are issues that must be dealt with and changed.
When I say we need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, that's going to impact the country but it will impact African-Americans even more. When I talk about pay equity for women workers, it will impact all women but it will impact African-American women even more because they are more discriminated against and their wages are even lower than white women.
Many white people are not sensitive to the kind of abuse that African-Americans, especially younger African-Americans, receive at the hands of police officers and police departments. I think for most whites their experience with the police has been good or neutral because they don't interact with the police as much as those in the black community.
I oppose, at this point, a unilateral American no-fly zone in Syria which could get us more deeply involved in that horrible civil war and lead to a never-ending U.S. entanglement in that region, we do not want to make a very complex situation in Syria even worse. I support President Obama's effort to combat the Islamic State in Syria while at the same time supporting those in Syria trying to overthrow the brutal dictatorship of Bashar Assad.
I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that. and how long did it take us to elect an African-American to be president of the United States? What we should be doing is as a people is judge our candidates based on their views, their abilities, not the color of their skin, not on their religion. That is what America is supposed to be about.
What Trump is doing is appealing to the baser instincts among us -- xenophobia, and, frankly, racism, you target some group of people, you go after them. You take people's anger and you turn it against them. You win votes on that. I think that is disgraceful and not something we should be doing in 2015.
Don't tell anybody. I think what they know is that four months ago, when I entered this race, if you look at the polls, I was in 3 to 4%. Vast majority of the American people didn't know who Bernie Sanders was, they didn't know what my ideas were, and in last few months, we have amassed huge amounts of enthusiasm and huge amounts of energy, so obviously, I think the secretary's people are getting nervous about the kind of energy and enthusiasm our campaign is bringing forth.
Here's one area where Barack Obama and I disagree. Here's what I understand -- is that given the powers that be in Washington, Wall Street, corporate America, the big money interests -- change does not take place no matter who gets elected president unless there is a strong grassroots movement, brilliant campaign. But after he got elected he had the illusion -- the mistake -- of believing that he could sit down with Republicans and just work out some good compromises. That was never going to happen. The only way that we change life for the middle class in this country is when millions of people become actively involved in the political process. No president can do it alone.
And in fact, coming from a rural state which has almost no gun control, I think I can get beyond the noise and all of these arguments and people shouting at each other, and come up with real, constructive gun control legislation which most significantly gets guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.
I think it is unfortunate because, among other things, I wanted to talk about the issues of black lives, the fact that the American people are tired of seeing unarmed African-Americans shot and killed, but there are other issues as well that we have to talk about, and that is the fact that the middle class of this country is disappearing and most importantly, we don't bring change in this country... unless all people stand together. That is what we have to do.
Liberty University was kind enough to invite me to address a convocation and I decided to accept, it goes without saying that my views on many issues -- women's rights, gay rights, education and many other issues -- are very different from the opinions of some in the Liberty University community. It is very easy for a candidate to speak to people who hold the same views. It's harder but important to reach out to others who look at the world differently. I look forward to meeting with the students and faculty of Liberty University.
I wish I could tell you I had a magical formula for how to end racism. It's gone on in this country for before it was America, let me just say this, because I'm older than you: You're impatient, and you should be impatient. But if we were standing here 30 years ago and somebody said, 'You know, I think in 2008, the United States of America will elect an African-American president,' you know what people in this room would've said? They would've said, 'You are crazy. That will never happen because America has too much racist baggage.' But it happened. So, I guess you're right to be impatient, but we have made progress in this country. Not enough.
Yes, we have to raise individual tax rates substantially higher than they are today because almost all of the new income is going to the top 1%, and yes, those folks and large corporations will have to pay under a Sanders administration more in taxes so that we can use that revenue to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, create the jobs we need, make sure that every kid who has the ability is able to get a college education in America because public colleges and public universities will be tuition-free.
And yes, those folks and large corporations will have to pay under a Sanders administration more in taxes so that we can use that revenue to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, create the jobs we need, make sure that every kid who has the ability is able to get a college education in America because public colleges and public universities will be tuition-free.
All of you are aware of the tragic history of racism in America, but for a very long time, African-Americans and their white allies came together and they struggled and they stood up for justice and they stood up to lynching and they stood up to segregation and the stood up to a nation where African-Americans couldn't even vote in America.
So as a nation, we have a right to be very proud of the successes that we have seen because of the struggle of millions of people to create a less discriminatory society. That is something we should be proud of, but there is one struggle in which not only have we not succeeded but in which we are losing ground and that is the fundamental struggle for economic justice.
Until we finally pass comprehensive reform -- and I would very much like to see the House of Representatives pick up where the Senate left off -- we must be aggressive in pursuing policies that are humane and sensible and that keep families together, i strongly support the administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA is a good first step, but it should be expanded.
We cannot, and we should not, be talking about sweeping up millions of men, women and children, many of whom have been in this country for years, and we cannot allow a continuation of this ridiculous idea that suddenly we are going to throw millions of people out of this country. That is wrong and that type of discussion must end now.
I think we need to have as serious conversation about that, i think rural America needs to understand what urban America feels. Urban America needs to understand the culture of rural America. But I think together we have got to go forward to make certain that people who should not be having these weapons do not have them.
The gap between the very rich and everyone is wider than at any time since the 1920s. The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time and it is the great political issue of our time, Sanders roared, before thousands of supporters in Burlington, the liberal city he once served as mayor. 'Enough is enough.
At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, we need a progressive tax system in this country which is based on ability to pay, it is not acceptable that a number of major profitable corporations have paid zero in federal income taxes in recent years, and that millionaire hedge fund managers often enjoy an effective tax rate which is lower than the truck drivers or nurses.
To run a credible campaign in this day and age, you do need a whole lot of money, whether the magic number is $200 million, it is $150 million, it is a lot of money, but even with that, you would be enormously outspent by the Koch Brother candidates and the other candidates who will likely spend, in the final analysis, over $1 billion, if not two.
What we are saying today is pretty simply, that the taxpayers of this country want to make sure that when government contracts are made, those employers who get those contracts pay workers a living wage, a great nation will not survive, in my view, when so few have so much and so many have so little.
To run a credible campaign in this day and age, you do need a whole lot of money, whether the magic number is $200 million, it is $150 million, it is a lot of money, but even with that, you would be enormously outspent by the Koch Brothers candidates and the other candidates who will likely spend, in the final analysis, over $1 billion, if not two.
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