Sen. Bernie Sanders Says U.S. Should Look More Like Scandinavia

Self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders on his 2016 presidential primary challenge against Hillary Clinton.
7:46 | 05/03/15

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Transcript for Sen. Bernie Sanders Says U.S. Should Look More Like Scandinavia
out for long.they're coming back. I'll take a few questions. We don't have time. I've got to get back. Bernie sanders squeezed out time to run for president. We're in this race to win. An unusual launch for a unique politician. ? The folk singer from Brooklyn became the socialist mayor of Vermont back in 1981 and took his message to the house. The rich have gotten away with murder. And the senate. This is not a tax on the rich. This is a tax on the very, very, very rich. And now the longest serving independent in congress -- I run vigorous campaigns. Is ready for Hillary. And senator Bernie sanders joins us. Welcome to this week. Why are you the best choice for president of the United States. For the last 30 years I have been standing up for the working families of this country and I think I'm the only candidate prepared to take on the billionaire class which controls our economy and the political life of this country. We need a political revolution in this country involving millions of people prepared to stand up and say enough is enough. And I want to help lead that effort. Does that mean Hillary Clinton is part of the billionaire class? It means that Hillary Clinton has been part of the political establishment for many, many years. I have known Hillary for 25 years. I respect her and I like her. But I think what the American people are saying, George, is that at a time when 99% of all new income is going to the top 1% and when the top 1/10 of 1% owns almost as much warmth as the bottom 90% maybe it's time for political shakeup in this country and go beyond establishment politics. You're asking for a lot of shakeup. Is it possible for someone who calls themselves a socialist to be elected president of the United States? So long as we know what democratic socialism is. If we no that in countries like Denmark and Norway and Sweden, they are very democratic countries. Their vote of turnout is higher. Health care is the right of all people. College education and graduate school is free. In those countries retirement benefits are stronger than the United States of America. And those countries, government works for ordinary people in the middle class rather than as is the case in our country for the billionaire. I can hear the republican attack ad right now. He wants America to look more like scandinavia. That's right. That's right. What's wrong with that? What's wrong when you have more income and equalty and a stronger middle class, a higher minimum wage than we do and stronger on the environment than we do? We do a lot in our country which is good but we can learn from other countries. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any country on Earth at the same time as we're seeing a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires. I don't think that's what America is about. You're the longest serving independent in congress. You said you would remain an independent but prepared to file as a democratic? In my heart I am an independent and have been for 30 years. I'm seeking the democratic party nomination for president of the United States and obviously I'm going to follow all of the rules and regulations to get on the ballad as a democrat. If you lose will you support the democratic nominee? Yes. I have in the past. Not going to run as an independent. No. I have been clear about that. Which ideas? What are the biggest differences between you and Hillary Clinton? It has a lot to do with our records. I think at a time when we have seen trillions of dollars shift from the middle class to the top 1/10 of 1% we have got to say very frankly that the wealthiest people of this country and largest corporations are going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes. Profitable corporations can't stash their money in the cayman islands and avoid taxes. That's my view. In terms of climate change I believe this is the great global environmental crisis of our time. I think we need bold leadership. I have been leading the effort against the keystone pipeline. In terms of trade, I believe the trade agreements we have had from way back, Normal trade relations with China have been a disaster. I voted against them. I'm helping to lead the effort against the partnership so that we do not continue to see shutdowns of factories in America and the loss of paying jobs. Hillary Clinton hasn't taken a final stand on that. That's my understanding. You told my colleague that you have concerns about the money raised by the Clinton foundation. What are the concerns? It's not just the Clinton foundation. Here are my concerns. It should be the concern of every American. And this is in a sense what my campaign is about. Can somebody who is not a billionaire who stands for working families actually win an election in which billionaire supporting hundreds of billions of dollars into the election? It's not just Hillary. It is the coke brothers. Sheldon Anderson. You're lumping her in with them? What I am saying is that I get very frightened about the future of American democracy when this becomes a battle of billionaires. I believe we need a constitutional amendment. To your turn citizens united. On our first day that we were out, we asked people to get involved in our campaign, 100,000 people signed up. 35,000 made donations to and we raised on that first day $1.5 million. You know what the average contribution was? What was it? $43. You got that out there again. You want to repeat that. Let's talk about a sanders administration. What would it look like? You voted against jack Lou. Name a couple people you would consider for treasury secretary. Robert Reisch. He has been a strong Progressive and understands we need economic policies that benefit working families are not the big money. You're right. I voted against these guys and I led the effort when I was in the house against the deregulation of Wall Street. I knew then that would be a disaster and turned out that I was right. How about secretary of defense? Well, little bit premature. Not ready to do that yet. Let me ask you. The presidential campaigns are famously x-ray of souls of candidates. Every part of your life is scrutinized. Let's do a shortcut. What's the most surprising thing people are going to learn about Bernie sanders over the course of the next year? I think Bernie sanders is the proud grandfather of seven beautiful kids. Grandchildren. Four kids. Married for almost 30 years. I grew up in a low middle class income family in Brooklyn, new York. 3 1/2 room apartment. Growing up with not a whole lot of money, George, that has been I think the most significant educational factor if you like in my life. I know what that's like. Most people believe you can actually become president of the United States. Are you worried your race might weaken Hillary Clinton? Without helping yourself? Let me say this. I think few would argue it is the most unusual political career in the United States senate. Nobody thought that I would be elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Very few thought I would be a republican to become a congressman by 16 points and people weren't sure I could beat the richest person in Vermont. I would say don't underestimate me. Thanks. Thanks. Coming up, what it means for

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