Sanders: ‘You Don’t Make Change by Sitting Down with Mitch McConnell’

‘If you want to antagonize those million people and lose your job, Mitch, if you don’t want to lose your job, you better start listening to what we have to say’


MATTHEWS: "But you get elected. Let’s say you get elected, you take off next January 20th. And you walk up to the Senate and you meet with the leadership and say, I have a program here. I want to have free — I mean, government-funded tuition for public universities. There’s things I want done on Social Security to increase benefits and things I want done on health care, so it can become like Medicare for life. You’ve got very strong positions."

SANDERS: "Right."

MATTHEWS: "And Mitch McConnell looks at you the way he looked at President Obama and says, 'Forget about it.'"

SANDERS: "And then you know what I say? I’d say, “Hey, Mitch, take a look out the window. There’s a million young people out there who don’t want to be in debt for half their life for the crime of going to college. If you want to antagonize those million people and lose your job, Mitch, if you don’t want to lose your job, you better start listening to what we have to say.” That’s the point. That’s how change takes place."

MATTHEWS: "But how do you squeeze a guy like him?"

SANDERS: "It’s not him. Mitch is —"

MATTHEWS: "All the Republicans."

SANDERS: "I know Mitch McConnell. These are smart —"

MATTHEWS: "How do you squeeze 60 senators? You need 60 senators. You need 60 senators."

SANDERS: "All right. Let me tell you this. Absolutely, positively, 100 percent, if we rally young people in this country to say, you know what, Germany, Scandinavia, other countries, they have free tuition in public college and universities. I have been all over this country, Chris. I talked to kids $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, $100,000 in debt paying a huge percentage of their income, OK? Young people stand up and say we are sick and tired of it. We don’t want to go in debt for our whole lives because we got a college education. You know what? We’ll win that fight immediately. But the trick is not to appeal to Mitch McConnell. It’s to say, Mitch, take a look at your e-mails."

MATTHEWS: "OK. What evidence do you have this has worked for you? Have you increased the turnout in these elections?"

SANDERS: "Look —"

MATTHEWS: "You know, have you as a senator been able to get 60 votes for anything? Have you ever been able to do this, what you’re talking about doing? When you say I can get 60 senators —"

SANDERS: "Well, I am not the president of —"


SANDERS: "What I am saying to you, Chris —"

MATTHEWS: "What evidence do you have you can do it?"

SANDERS: "What evidence do I have?"

MATTHEWS: "That you can do it."

SANDERS: "The evidence that I have is that’s the only way change is about —"

MATTHEWS: "Right, I agree with you."

SANDERS: “-- in this country. That’s what the civil rights movement was about. That’s what the women’s movement, gay movement.”

MATTHEWS: “It’s necessary, but is it sufficient?”

SANDERS: “That’s called, that’s the way –“

MATTHEWS: “Is it sufficient to get it done? They’re running their own states with their own conservative constituencies that will say, fine, Bernie Sanders is a liberal president.”

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