Transcript courtesy of the New York Times.
This came early, but I just had to say ....
SANDERS: You once had a pension. Those jobs, in many cases, are now gone. They’re off.True, but a lot of us have 401Ks and 403Bs in place of the pensions, making all of us a little bit Wall St. as it were. The argument should be against the GOP privatizing Social Security similarly. Don't demonize where I now everything I worked for. I need Wall St. to be healthy, but fair, clean, and legit.
Format did not permit Hillary to respond further. That was the cut-off. Hillary was not allowed another word here. But I would point out that Hillary initiated the first-ever such analytical process to streamline the State Department, the QDDR, as Secretary of State, and certainly will apply that model to all government agencies as POTUS. She has already done this and knows how! I wish she could have talked about that.WOODRUFF: Welcome back to the Democratic presidential debate. Before wereturn to our questions, we have a follow-up question from our Facebook group.And it is to Senator Sanders.Senator, it comes from Bill Corfield. He is a 55-year-old musician from Troy,Ohio. And he asks: “Are there any areas of government you would like toreduce?”SANDERS: Hey, I’m in the United States Senate, and anyone who doesn’t thinkthat there is an enormous amount of waste and inefficiency and bureaucracythroughout government would be very, very mistaken.I believe in government, but I believe in efficient government, not wastefulgovernment.IFILL: How about you, Senator Clinton — Secretary Clinton?CLINTON: Absolutely. And, you know, there are a number of programs that Ithink are duplicative and redundant and not producing the results that peopledeserve. There are a lot of training programs and education programs that I thinkcan be streamlined and put into a much better format so that if we do continuethem they can be more useful, in public schools, community colleges, andcolleges and universities.I would like to take a hard look at every part of the federal government and reallydo the kind of analysis that would rebuild some confidence in people that we’retaking a hard look about what we have, you know, and what we don’t needanymore. And that’s what I intend to do.SANDERS: If I could just answer that, we have also got to take a look at thewaste and inefficiencies in the Department of Defense, which is the one majoragency of government that has not been able to be audited. And I have thefeeling you’re going to find a lot of cost overruns there and a lot of waste andduplicative activities.
(As if never in this campaign cycle has he ever delivered a low blow.)CLINTON: But I want to — I want to follow up on something havingto do with leadership, because, you know, today Senator Sanders said thatPresident Obama failed the presidential leadership test. And this is not the firsttime that he has criticized President Obama. In the past he has called him weak.He has called him a disappointment.He wrote a forward for a book that basically argued voters should have buyers’remorse when it comes to President Obama’s leadership and legacy.And I just couldn’t agree — disagree more with those kinds of comments. Youknow, from my perspective, maybe because I understand what President Obamainherited, not only the worst financial crisis but the antipathy of the Republicansin Congress, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for being a president...(APPLAUSE)CLINTON: ... who got us out of that...(APPLAUSE)CLINTON: ... put us on firm ground, and has sent us into the future. And it is a —the kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president Iexpect from Republicans. I do not expect from someone running for theDemocratic nomination to succeed President Obama.
SANDERS: That is...
SANDERS: Madam Secretary, that is a low blow.
(Hillary gives him Carrie-at-the-Prom face via Sissy Spacek.)
Note to Senator Sanders: That is very unstable territory.I have worked with President Obama for the last seven years.
When President Obama came into office we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, 800,000jobs a month.We had a $1.4 trilliondeficit. And the world’s financial system is on the verge of collapse.As a result of his efforts and the efforts of Joe Biden against unprecedented, Iwas there in the Senate, unprecedented Republican obstructionism, we havemade enormous progress.(APPLAUSE)SANDERS: But you know what? Last I heard we lived in a democratic society.Last I heard, a United States senator had the right to disagree with the president,including a president who has done such an extraordinary job.So I have voiced criticisms. You’re right. Maybe you haven’t. I have. But I think tosuggest that I have voiced criticism, this blurb that you talk about, you know whatthe blurb said? The blurb said that the next president of the United States has gotto be aggressive in bringing people into the political process.That’s what I said. That is what I believe.(APPLAUSE)SANDERS: President Obama and I are friends.
No he was not - in 2008, when Obama was a senator. That was when HIllary ran against Obama as a fellow senator. The election when Bernie planned to primary President Obama was in 2012, when he was, you know, president.As you know, he came toVermont to campaign for me when he was a senator. I have worked for his re-election. His first election and his re-election.But I think it is really unfair to suggest that I have not been supportive of thepresident. I have been a strong ally with him on virtually every issue. Do senatorshave the right to disagree with the president? Have you ever disagreed with apresident? I suspect you may have.(APPLAUSE)CLINTON: You know, Senator, what I am concerned about, is not disagreementon issues, saying that this is what I would rather do, I don’t agree with thepresident on that, calling the president weak, calling him a disappointment,calling several times that he should have a primary opponent when he ran for re-election in 2012, you know, I think that goes further than saying we have ourdisagreements.As a senator, yes, I was a senator. I understand we can disagree on the pathforward. But those kinds of personal assessments and charges are ones that Ifind particularly troubling.IFILL: Senator, if you would like respond to — you may respond to that but it istime for closing statements and you can use your time for closing statements todpolicies he carried o that.SANDERS: Well, one of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.
By the way, Bernie, do not insult us. We do know who Mossadegh was. I wonder how many of your millennials know who Henry Kissinger is. I know Hillary's millennials do. Many of us remember his service and have issues with some policies he carried out under Nixon, but here's a reminder: He was secretary of state, not secretary of defense. Blaming Kissinger for bombings in Cambodia is like blaming Hillary for bombings - anywhere - while she was secretary of state - a diplomatic post.SANDERS: Where the secretary and I have a very profound difference, in thelast debate — and I believe in her book — very good book, by the way — in herbook and in this last debate, she talked about getting the approval or the supportor the mentoring of Henry Kissinger. Now, I find it rather amazing, because Ihappen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructivesecretaries of state in the modern history of this country.(APPLAUSE)I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice fromHenry Kissinger. And in fact, Kissinger’s actions in Cambodia, when the UnitedStates bombed that country, overthrew Prince Sihanouk, created the instabilityfor Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to come in, who then butchered some 3 millioninnocent people, one of the worst genocides in the history of the world. So countme in as somebody who will not be listening to Henry Kissinger.(APPLAUSE)IFILL: Secretary Clinton? CLINTON: Well, I know journalists have asked whoyou do listen to on foreign policy, and we have yet to know who that is.SANDERS: Well, it ain’t Henry Kissinger. That’s for sure.CLINTON: That’s fine. That’s fine.(LAUGHTER)You know, I listen to a wide variety of voices that have expertise in various areas.I think it is fair to say, whatever the complaints that you want to make about himare, that with respect to China, one of the most challenging relationships wehave, his opening up China and his ongoing relationships with the leaders ofChina is an incredibly useful relationship for the United States of America.(APPLAUSE)So if we want to pick and choose — and I certainly do — people I listen to, peopleI don’t listen to, people I listen to for certain areas, then I think we have to be fairand look at the entire world, because it’s a big, complicated world out there.
November 9, 2009