One-on-one with Sen. Bernie Sanders

Dec 2, 2019
By Taggart Houck

Sunday afternoon, Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke to a group of students at the University of South Carolina. His message to them was turnout at the polls.

Before that, he sat down with WYFF News 4, reflecting on his campaign and message for South Carolinians.

“We feel very good,” he said. “We feel that we’re doing well in the early states and that’s because we have, I think, the strongest grassroots movement of any candidate out there.”

Sanders’ movement has him third among all Democratic presidential candidates in South Carolina, according to a Nov. 18 Quinnipiac University Poll. He talked about his platform.

“That is, raising the minimum wage to a living wage to $15 an hour. It is doing what every other major country on Earth does, is guarantee health care to all people as a human right. It’s making sure that all of our kids, regardless of income, have the opportunity to get a higher education and make our public colleges and universities tuition-free and canceling all student debt. And by the way,” he said. “what is especially important in South Carolina. We intend to deal very aggressively with the crisis of climate change.”

Sanders said he’d focus on taxes to pay for his education plan.

“With a modest tax on Wall Street speculation, we can raise enough money to make colleges, and public universities in this country, tuition-free and cancel all student debt in America — something that I think we should be doing.”

According to the Quinnipiac poll, Sanders ranks second in the Democratic African-American vote.

“When you talk about health care, it is a crisis to everybody,” he said. “It is especially a crisis for the African-American community, where more people are not insured or underinsured, so when we talk about health care for all as a human right, I think that’s gonna resonate with the African-American community, with the white community and people all over the state.”

When asked about pharmaceutical companies, Sanders suggested a crackdown on rising prescription costs.

“We will negotiate prices with drug companies and not allow them to raise prices to any level they want if necessary,” Sanders said. “What we will do is come up with what other countries do, look at the average that other countries are paying around the world and make sure that the drug companies don’t charge us more and, furthermore, if necessary, we will say that pharmacists in this country, prescription drug distributors can buy FDA-approved medicine in Canada and in Europe and bring that into this country at much lower prices than we’re paying now.”

Sanders said he’s focused on garnering support throughout South Carolina ahead of the primary Feb. 29.

“We are going to run a vigorous campaign here in SC. We have a great staff we have a great group of volunteers, and we expect to do very, very well on election night.”

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