Mar 4, 2020
Bernie Sanders Speech Transcript: Sanders Reacts to Super Tuesday Results
Bernie Sanders spoke on March 4, 2020 to the press to discuss the Super Tuesday results from the previous day. Read the full transcript of his reaction speech.
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Bernie Sanders: (00:00)
We’re campaigning and doing everything we can to win in Michigan and Washington, Mississippi, North Dakota, Idaho and Missouri. What this campaign I think is increasingly about is which side are you on? Our campaign is unprecedented because there has never been a campaign in recent history that has taken on the entire corporate establishment. And I’m talking about Wall Street and I’m talking about the insurance companies and the drug companies and the fossil fuel industry. There has been never a campaign in recent history which has taken on the entire political establishment and that is an establishment which is working frantically to try to defeat us and there’s not been a campaign I think that it has been having to deal with the kind of venom we’re seeing from some in the corporate media. This campaign has been compared to the Corona virus on television. We have been described as the Nazi army marching across France, et cetera, et cetera.
Bernie Sanders: (01:28)
As we come into the last several months of this campaign, what I hope very much is that what we can focus on is an issue oriented campaign which deals with the concerns of the American people. As some of you may recall, the last debate that took place really was I think insulting to the American people. It was a food fight. It was about who could yell the loudest. That’s not what the American people want. They want a serious debate on serious issues. Joe Biden, is somebody I have known for many years, I like Joe. I think he is a very decent human being. Joe and I have a very different voting record. Joe and I have a very different vision for the future of this country and Joe and I are running very different campaigns. And my hope is that in the coming months we will be able to debate and discuss the very significant differences that we have.
Bernie Sanders: (02:34)
Joe is running a campaign which is obviously heavily supported by the corporate establishment. At last count has received funding from at least 60 billionaires, 60 billionaires. Our campaign has received more campaign contributions from more Americans averaging $18.50 than any campaign in the history of our country at this point in time. So what does it mean when you have a campaign which is funded very significantly by the wealthy and the powerful? Does anyone seriously believe that a president backed by the corporate world is going to bring about the changes in this country that working families and the middle class and lower income people desperately need?
Bernie Sanders: (03:29)
We are going to the Midwest. I’ll be in Michigan shortly and as I think everybody knows, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Midwest in general, Minnesota have been very hard hit by disastrous trade agreements. And Joe is going to have to explain to the people and the union workers in the Midwest why he supported disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA and PNTR with China which have cost this country millions of good paying jobs and in fact have resulted in a race to the bottom where people are now earning lower wages.
Bernie Sanders: (04:07)
Millions of people today lost good paying jobs in manufacturing and are now earning substantially less than they used to. Joe is going to have to explain to the American people why he voted for a Wall Street bailout, something that I vigorously opposed. Joe is going to have to explain to the American people who are so tired of endless wars which have cost us too many lives, destabilized many regions around the world, have cost us trillions of dollars, why he was a leader in getting us involved in the war in Iraq at a time when half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet. Joe is going to have to explain to the American people why he voted for a disastrous bankruptcy bill, which benefited the credit card companies. Joe is going to have to explain to people all over this country why he was on the floor of the Senate time and time again, talking about the need not only to cut social security, but Medicare, Medicaid and veterans programs. How does that happen? Why would a Democrat talk about cutting social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans programs?
Bernie Sanders: (05:30)
Joe and I have a very different opinion with regarding healthcare. Joe essentially wants to maintain what I consider to be a dysfunctional and cruel healthcare system in which we are spending twice as much per person on healthcare as are the people of any other country and yet we have 87 million Americans who are uninsured, underinsured. 30,000 people who are dying and 500,000 people will go bankrupt every single year because of medically related bills and on top of that, we pay by far not even close, highest prices in the world for prescription drugs from an industry which is involved in collusion and price fixing.
Bernie Sanders: (06:19)
So the American people have got to understand that this is a conflict about ideas, about a record, about a vision for where we go forward. And I like Joe. Joe is a decent guy and I do not want this campaign to degenerate into a Trump type effort where we’re attacking each other, where it’s personal attacks. That is the last thing this country wants. Joe has his ideas, his record, his vision for the future. I have mine and I look forward to a serious debate on the serious issues facing this country.
Bernie Sanders: (06:57)
Yeah, and I would hope that the media will help us do that. Allow that kind of debate to take place. And by the way, I would offer Joe, because I know the issue of healthcare among many other issues, is such an enormously important issue, I would hope that instead of having a debate where we have to spend 28 seconds trying to respond to a complicated issue, maybe we can spend an hour talking about why the United States is the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people through something like a Medicare for all single payer program. Yes ma’am?
Speaker 2: (07:30)
Senator, in 2016 you won Michigan. This is now become a swing state. Donald Trump flipped that state later on in the general election. Do you have to win that state to prove again that you can beat him in a general?
Bernie Sanders: (07:44)
Well, look, I have said, I’m asked every day, do I have to win this state, do you have to win that state? You know, I wish that we could win all of the states.
Speaker 2: (07:51)
But you won that over Hillary in 2016.
Bernie Sanders: (07:53)
We won it by a few points. Look, we are going in there with the full expectation and the hope that we will win. Michigan is obviously an enormously important state. It’s a state I feel very comfortable in. We’re going to be going to Michigan within a few days and I think some of the issues that the people of Michigan are concerned about are trade and they were devastated. They were devastated by trade agreements like NAFTA and PNTR with China, trade agreements which I vigorously opposed which Joe Barton supported and that is certainly one of the issues though I will be talking about in terms of Michigan. Hold on one second. Yeah ma’am.
Speaker 3: (08:35)
Senator, you talk about a mass movement a broad coalition. Are you disappointed that that wasn’t able to deliver more states last night and what’s your plan-
Bernie Sanders: (08:45)
Well, look, of course I’m disappointed. I would like to win every state by a landslide. It’s not going to happen. What we are trying to do is unprecedented. All right. We are talking about a political revolution. We are talking about bringing millions and millions of people today who have no voice, who have given up on the political process, who in many cases are working longer hours for lower wages, people who don’t want to have any healthcare, people who have not traditionally been involved in the political process. You all know what politics has always been about in America. You got a candidate from the establishment going out to rich people’s homes, raising all kinds of money and then running for president. This is a different campaign. This is a campaign which is trying to bring, and it is not easy, people who have not been involved in the political process.
Bernie Sanders: (09:37)
So if you might want to ask me maybe as a followup question, have we been as successful as I would hope in bringing young people in? And the answer is no, we’re making some progress. But historically everybody knows that young people do not vote in the kind of numbers that older people vote in. I think that will change in the general election, but I am honest with you, we have not done as well in bringing young people in the political process. It is not easy. Yes?
Speaker 3: (10:03)
And particularly African Americans voters, what’s your strategy going forward?
Bernie Sanders: (10:07)
Well, we’re doing better and no denying that Joe Biden has done very well with the African American community. But I think when you look, and I haven’t had the time honestly to analyze it, but I think if you look at California, if you look at people of color in general, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, we won that big time, big time, not even close. So we are doing very well with people of color. We’re going to do better I think for the African American community and we continue to try to do that. Yes ma’am.
Speaker 4: (10:40)
Senator, have you been in touch with Elizabeth Warren? Have you asked for her support? She’s weighing her next move.
Bernie Sanders: (10:46)
Yes, we did speak on the phone a few hours ago and what Senator Warren told me is that she is assessing her campaign. She has not made any decisions as of this point. And it is important, I think for all of us, certainly me who was known Elizabeth Warren for many, many years to respect the time and the space that she needs to make her decision.
Speaker 4: (11:14)
Did you ask for her support?
Speaker 5: (11:14)
Thank you. Senator. Two questions sort of on party unity. First off, very simply, do you still believe the person with a plurality of the delegates rather than a majority should be the nominee? And then also with reference to Elizabeth Warren and also what you were saying about the attacks on your supporters and campaign, obviously there’s been a lot of personal vitriol online, right? And people are pressuring Elizabeth Warren to drop out. Do you want to be a unifying figure and what’s your message-
Bernie Sanders: (11:38)
No, I don’t think people … Look, Elizabeth Warren is a very, very excellent Senator. She has run a strong campaign. She will make her own decision in her own time. And in terms of vitriol on the online, I’m disgusted by it. All right. Look, I think the Twitter world is an opportunity for people to debate issues, have good honest debates about issues, but not to make vitriolic attacks on somebody because you disagree with them.
Speaker 5: (12:13)
And the plurality question?
Bernie Sanders: (12:14)
Yeah, no, absolutely. Well, let me say a word on that, and again, I get a little bit annoyed because I think the media has been distorting my record on that. You all know that the rules of the democratic convention are different today than they were in 2016, something that we fought for. I wanted, I believed then, and I believe now that it should be the American people through the primary process who determines who the democratic nominee is. Four years ago, before the first vote was cast in Iowa Hillary Clinton had 500 super delegates lined up behind her. It’s like starting a hundred yard dash with one candidate on the 30 yard line. And that seemed to be absurd.
Bernie Sanders: (12:59)
I wanted to get rid of all super delegates. We did not prevail, but we did manage to get super delegates out of voting on the first ballot. So what I said then is before, without going into a whole long deal, before California, which was then the last primary, if there was some super … if we had won California, if we had the momentum, you’re super delegates were voting on the first ballot, yeah. Give us some thought. But right now there are no super delegates voting on the first ballot.
Bernie Sanders: (13:30)
And I just want all of you to think about what it will look like to this country if candidate X, and I don’t know who that candidate X might be, I hope it’s me, could be somebody else, goes into the convention in Milwaukee with the most votes and then the party leadership and the insiders in the corporate world say, “Oh yes, the people voted for you. You won a number of states. You’ve got more votes than your opponent, but we, the corporate world, the insiders, we don’t think you’re the candidate and we’re going to select candidate Z.” I think that would cause massive dismay within the American people. So yes, my views have not changed on that.
Speaker 6: (14:14)
I wanted to ask you about Michael Bloomberg stepping out and dropping out of the race and-
Bernie Sanders: (14:19)
Has he stepped out and dropped-
Speaker 6: (14:20)
He’s dropped out, supporting Joe Biden. We wanted to get your thoughts on what he brought to this race.
Bernie Sanders: (14:25)
Well, it’s the first I heard about that. He certainly brought a lot of money into this race and he certainly made a lot of television networks, very, very wealthy and I’m sure they’re very disappointed that he’s leaving. Look, I have no animos toward Mayor Bloomberg. I surely, strongly disagree with many of his policies as mayor of the city of New York, including stop and frisk and many other policies, but this just confirms exactly what I said. It’s what the media has been talking about for months.
Bernie Sanders: (14:59)
How do we stop Bernie Sanders? How do we stop a movement of working people and low income people? How do we stop a multi generational multiracial movement, which is standing up for justice? And what you do is you get candidates out of the race to rally around Joe Biden and now Joe will have behind them, I don’t know what was the first I’ve heard of what role Mayor Bloomberg will be playing, but obviously as the ninth wealthiest person in this country, he was worth some $60 billion dollars, I suspect we will see a lot of money coming into Biden’s campaign, probably a lot of negative ads attacking me.
Bernie Sanders: (15:38)
That’s what we’re taken on and we are taking on right now and we have to deal with this in Super Tuesday. And I mentioned this to you the other day. I don’t know if anybody did any research on it. We’re dealing with a group called the Big Tents, which is a corporate pack probably funded by the drug companies and the insurance companies and fossil fuel issue would be my guess. They spent millions and millions and millions of dollars in the last few days trying to tear us down and to defeat us. That is what this campaign is about. So when you talk about unprecedented campaigns, that is what we’re dealing with.
Bernie Sanders: (16:17)
We’re taking them all on. We’re taking on billionaires and now add Bloomberg to the list. We’re taking on Wall Street and I know they were getting very nervous, guess the stock market went up this morning because they thought that Biden did well. Taking on the military industrial complex. There has not been a campaign in modern American history maybe in the history of this country. And let me talk about unprecedented. If anybody in this room thought that a year ago, we began our campaign about a year ago that a campaign that was taking on Wall Street and the drug companies and the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry and the military industrial complex and the prison industrial complex, and most of the 1%.
Bernie Sanders: (17:00)
If anybody here thought that a year would come and go and we would be either tied for first, a few votes up, a few votes, down, delegates, up or down. That is a pretty amazing achievement and I just want to thank and maybe conclude by thanking the tens of thousands of volunteers who are standing up for justice in this unprecedented campaign. I have every reason to believe that we are going to win this thing.
Bernie Sanders: (17:23)
We’re going to win it in Milwaukee. And if we win it, this I firmly believe, that we are the campaign to defeat Donald Trump. And I know everybody, every Democrat out there and most independents and some Republicans understand the moral imperative to defeat Donald Trump. And I believe that the nature of our campaign, which is grassroots, is the campaign to defeat Trump. So thank you all very much. All right, one last question. Yeah.
Speaker 7: (17:55)
Thank you. We saw some new ads today.
Bernie Sanders: (17:59)
Speaker 7: (18:00)
Some new ads today you put out, one of them stitching together some praise from President Obama over the years. What is it that you’re hoping to achieve with that ad?
Bernie Sanders: (18:07)
Well look, we have worked with President Obama, I’m not going to say he and I are best friends. We talk every now and then. We worked closely and he was great on something that I think is enormously important, increasing by $11 billion money for the community health center program, something that he was very, very supportive of. And I wanted to make it clear because there’s a lot of dishonest statements about my relationship with Obama, to say that I worked with him and respect him and look forward to working with him. And by the way, let me say this, and this is true with what happened in 2016, I have not the slightest doubt that there is enormous pressure on President Obama to jump into this race and support Joe Biden.
Bernie Sanders: (18:54)
And some of you may have read the other day that he said no, that he thinks the best role that he can play, and I agree with him, is to support the winner so he doesn’t create more division. And I think he’s right, but that’s not easy for him to do. And I very much appreciate his willingness to do that. Thank you all very much.
Speaker 8: (19:12)
Senator, you say you’re the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump, but you lost nine states yesterday, so how do you still make that case?
Bernie Sanders: (19:14)