On CNN Thursday night, Chris Cuomo and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spent a good 15 minutes talking health-care policy, but Cuomo started off with politics, noting that President Trump’s poll numbers are improving. “Don’t you think that President Trump deservedly gets credit for this strong economy, that it’s not just a byproduct of what’s going on globally?” Cuomo asked.
Sanders did not agree, saying Trump has to explain why Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the U.K. also have historically low unemployment.
“Our economy is doing well in terms of unemployment,” he said. “But we are not doing well in terms of raising wages for working families,” and policy-wise, Trump “is going to war against working people. He is a tool of the wealthiest people in this country, and I think the American people understand that.”
Cuomo walked over to a whiteboard, saying he had done his homework and Sanders had to explain three things about his Medicare-for-all plan, starting with the idea that “socialized medicine,” and thus socialism, “smacks of the end of capitalism.” Sanders said Cuomo “is going to have to do some more homework,” pointing out that every other capitalist society has single-payer health care, and Americans love Medicare.
Cuomo noted that Americans hate change, and one in nine Americans works in health care, so Sanders’ plan endangers their jobs.
“We will create more jobs under a rational Medicare-for-all system than currently exists,” Sanders replied. “There will be a transition, just in the same way, Chris, as we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel. We create more jobs, but there will be pain and you gotta deal with that pain.” “Right, but dealing with pain is not something that is done well in politics,” Cuomo noted, and they sparred about the political viability of raising taxes versus eliminating private health insurance costs — and also, more personally, family dynasties.
CUOMO: “All right. One more beat on the political state of play and then policy. I did a lot of homework for you tonight, senator. On politics you said part of the remedy is new blood, new candidates. A great book about this. Handbook for revolution. You know, with a small ‘R.’ How you take back control of the democracy. Your candidates are not doing great. What did you get wrong?”
SANDERS: “Not — not true. Look, Chris. Do you think that — you know a little bit about politics. Do you think in a year or two suddenly we transform the entire Democratic Party, take on big money, take on the establishment? The truth of the matter is what we have been focusing on is grassroots activism and doing extremely well. We have been —”
CUOMO: “Why aren’t the candidates winning more?”
SANDERS: “Oh, my God, they’re winning all over the country.”
CUOMO: “You had a lot of gios lose. I don’t think you’re even at 500.”
SANDERS: “Chris, that is in all due respect not an intelligent way to look at it. I can be at 100% if I keep — supported candidates who had all the money and the power and the poll. We are trying to support candidates who are fighting for working people and by the way where we are winning hands down is that our Progressive agenda which is as you will remember is considered to be fringe and extreme, that’s kind of mainstream now. Raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks a hour. Making public colleges and universities tuition free. Rebuilding the infrastructure.”
SANDERS: “Our ideas on winning and at the grassroots level more and more people are getting involved.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
June 8th, 2018