Transcript of the CNN Democratic Town Hall in New Hampshire on Feb. 3, 2016.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening, everyone.
What a night here in the nation’s first presidential primary state, one town hall (INAUDIBLE) on the two remaining Democrats and the questions voters want answered before making their choice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, the presidential race is more competitive than ever. And the Democrats are here, in New Hampshire, to face the voters again.
HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am so thrilled that I’m coming to New Hampshire after winning Iowa.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe we have a path toward victory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It’s down to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – just two candidates on one stage, taking questions from the people of this battleground state on issues that hit close to home.
CLINTON: I am excited about really getting into the debate with Senator Sanders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their differences are real and the stakes are soaring just days before the second crucial contest of 2016.
SANDERS: Millions of people come together and say loudly and clearly, enough is enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a CNN Democratic town hall event, a chance for voters to try to debate with decision day around the corner.
SANDERS: Democracy is not a spectator sport.
CLINTON: New Hampshire, the eyes of the world are going to be on you again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New Hampshire is choosing. The Democrats are in the spotlight. And they’re making their pitches to voters right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: And good evening from the historic Derry Opera House in downtown Derry, New Hampshire.
We are here tonight with just six days to go until primary day. Just six days left to decide, yet many voters remain undecided.
So tonight, Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders are here with the people of the state and the country for a conversation.
I want to welcome our viewers in the United States, in New Hampshire, around the world. We’re being seen on CNN, CNN En Espanol, CNN International.
I also want to extend a warm welcome to our service men and women who are watching on the American Forces network and to those who are listening on the Westwood One Radio Network and on CNN Channel 116 on Sirius XM.
In the audience here in Derry, New Hampshire, people who tell us they will be participating in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, which means registered Democrats or Independents. Some have already made up their minds. Others still trying to decide whom to vote for.
The clock is ticking, guys.
We asked audience members to come up with their own questions, which we – we’ve reviewed to make sure they don’t overlap. I’ll ask some questions, as well. But tonight is really about the voters getting to know the candidates.
So, let’s get started.
Up first tonight, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
COOPER: Thanks for joining us.
SANDERS: Good to see you.
SANDERS: Good to be with you.
COOPER: – you have had, obviously, quite a few days. It’s been quite a – quite a whirlwind for you. I understand your campaigned – the campaign says you’ve raised at least $3 million since – since Iowa.
I’m wondering out there, in New Hampshire today, what are you feeling?
What sort of momentum?
Are you feeling the Bern?
SANDERS: We’re feeling great.
SANDERS: Yes, I am, now that you ask. We’re feeling really great. I think the message that we are bringing forth is resonating with the American people. And you talked about money. One of the things that has happened in our campaign, Anderson, which has blown me away, it really has, is we have received three and a half million individual contributions. That is more than any candidate in the history of the United States up until this point.
And you know what the average contribution is?
COOPER: Twenty-seven dollars.
SANDERS: Hey, you heard.
COOPER: Ah, good.
SANDERS: And that’s pretty – and in a day of super PACs, where people are raising huge amounts of money from Wall Street and the drug companies, the fact that millions of individual contributions from working people and the middle class, who want us to go forward and to transform this country in very significant ways is very moving to me.
COOPER: I’m just going to ask a couple of questions then we’re really going to get it over to – to the audience.
There is an expectations game being played. And we’ve been seeing this from both campaigns in New Hampshire.
Hillary Clinton keeps – campaign keeps pointing to the fact that you’re from a neighboring state…
COOPER: – that you’re way up in the polls.
Are you still an underdog?
SANDERS: Of course we’re an underdog. We are taking on the most powerful political organization in the country. And that’s, you know, the Clinton organization. Secretary Clinton obviously ran here in 2008 and she won. Her husband ran here several times before that.
So this is her fourth campaign in that family here in New Hampshire.
It is clear that many people in New Hampshire do know me, because I come from a neighboring state. And
SANDERS: Her husband ran here several times before that. So this is her fourth campaign in that family here in New Hampshire.
It is clear that many people in New Hampshire do know me because I come from a neighboring state. And I think we have support because people over the years have seen the work that I am doing in standing up for working families and the middle class.
But in general, we started this campaign nationally, as you well know, 40-50 points behind Sec. Clinton. We had no money. We had no organization. And we had relatively little name recognition. I think it’s fair to say we have come a pretty long way in the last nine months.
COOPER: You are – I mean according to the latest I think CNN poll you’re up some 23 points some people say or believe here in New Hampshire. Obviously we know polls can get it wrong. How do you not underperform here? Because there is an expectation…
SANDERS: That’s the media game. That’s what media talks about. Who cares?
The point is underperform – the point is we are going to work as hard as we can to win. And after we do hopefully well here we’re going to go onto Nevada and then South Carolina and do as well as we can all over this country.
I got to say, all due respect, that’s media stuff. Over – you know I think some of these polls…
COOPER: You don’t look at polls, your campaign?
SANDERS: Sure we do. But some of these polls are off the charts. We’re not – I mean I think this is going to be a very close election here in New Hampshire.
COOPER: There’s been some back and forth on the campaign trail today about is Hillary Clinton a progressive. We’re going to get to that later on because we’ve got some questions from the audience about that, and some other questions.
But Sen. Barbara Boxer, a supporter of Clinton, came back, fired back basically at your campaign today, at you, saying of course Hillary Clinton is progressive and asked you know – said that Bernie Sanders is a Democrat on some days. You had said that Hillary Clinton is a progressive on some days. Is that fair? Because there are some Democrats who – I mean in your heart are you a Democrat?
SANDERS: Sure. I have made a decision to run for the Democratic nomination to be president of the United States. I was for 16 years in the House Democratic Caucus, for nine years in the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Right now I am the ranking member of the Budget Committee, appointed by the Democratic leadership and membership. A couple of years ago I was very proudly the chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee. So of course I am a Democrat and running for the Democratic nomination.
In terms of Sec. Clinton, I know the media is kind of making a big deal about this. All that I said, which is simply true, is I think it was in November in Ohio. You may recall this.
SANDERS: I don’t know the context of it, but Sec. Clinton said some people call me a – paraphrasing, some people call me a moderate. And I proudly say that I am a moderate. That’s what she said.
So all I said you can’t go and say you’re a moderate on one day and be a progressive on the other day. Some of my best friends are moderates. I love moderates. But you can’t be a moderate and a progressive. They are different.
COOPER: We’ll talk a little bit more about that. But I want to go to our audience. Our first guest Chris Brunel (ph), he’s an office administrator in Nashua. He said he’s leading toward supporting you, but he’s got some questions about your tax policies.
QUESTION: Sen. Sanders, the first thing I hear about you is that you’re going to raise taxes on the middle class. I support my family on a salary of $41,000 a year. I’m wondering if you raise my taxes, how does that help me?
SANDERS: Could I stand up?
COOPER: You can do whatever you want.
Chris, thanks very much for that good question. This is what we are going to do.
The United States is the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people. And we end up spending far, far more per capita on health care as do the people of any other country: Canada, U.K., France, whatever.
What we are going to fight for is a Medicare for All single payer program, which would provide comprehensive health care to your family and every family in America.
So let me tell you what we do. We raise your taxes if you’re somewhere in the middle of the economy about $500. But you know what we’re going to do for health care? We’re going to reduce your health care costs by $5,000.
So you’re going to pay a little bit more in taxes. But you’re no longer going to have to pay private health insurance premiums.
Now, I’ve been criticized for this. But I believe that health care is a right of all people, that we should not have these deductibles and copayments. We should not be paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. And our Medicare for All program will guarantee comprehensive care to all people, and save middle class families some thousands of dollars a year.
COOPER: Chris, let me just ask you. Does that math work for you?
QUESTION: I mean if it saves me on health insurance premiums I will gladly pay more taxes.
SANDERS: See. And, Chris, what happens in politics – I don’t want to shock anybody in the office. Sometimes people distort things. I mean I’ve had 30-second ads run against me. “Bernie is going to raise your taxes.” But they forget to say we’re going to do away with your private health insurance premiums.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She attacks us. But they forget to say we’re going to do away with your private health insurance premiums. Bottom line here is we spend almost three times more per person than the British, 50 percent more than the French. We can save substantial sums of money, and my Medicare for all system is funded in a very progressive way. Yes, you’ll pay a little bit more, but your health premiums will disappear.
ANDERSON COOPER: That’s assuming you can get that through, though.
SANDERS: Well, that’s – you know, that’s true. But all of what I am trying to do assumes something. When I talk about making public colleges and universities tuition free, and doing that and paying for that through a tax on Wall Street speculation. When I talk about rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, which as you know is in disrepair all over this country, and talk about doing away with huge loopholes that major corporations now enjoy – so that in a given year you have these large corporations making billions, not paying a nickel in taxes because they’re putting their money in the Cayman Islands. Now how do we get these things through? What this campaign is about is, not just electing a President, it is creating a political revolution where millions of people, many of whom have not been involved in the political process, stand up and demand a government which represents all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors. That’s how we make change.
COOPER: Let me ask you… When you, when you use the term revolution, makes some people nervous. What’s wrong with evolution?
SANDERS: Well, I think what we – you know, we had the, remember the Reagan revolution, and the Gingrich revolution, well, my revolution’s a little bit different. But it is a process. Look, let’s be clear. We have one of the lowest voter turnouts of any major country on earth. In the last election where Republicans won a huge victory, 63 percent of the American people didn’t vote, 80 percent of young people didn’t vote. Now, when people don’t vote, there’s a political vacuum that’s created. And I will tell you how it’s filled. It’s filled by lobbyists and campaign contributors who could care less about the middle class, who are there to protect the wealthiest people in this country. So what we are trying to do – and I would tell you, Anderson, with some success – is bring working people and young people and lower income people into the political process. And when that happens, you know what, we will raise the minimum raise, we will have health care for all people, we will make public colleges and universities tuition free.
COOPER: I want to – want you meet Jason Telerski, he’s in IT management, he’s in IT management. He says you are his dream candidate, but he does have some…
SANDERS: Oh. Buts always make me nervous. All right, Jason, fire away.
JASON TELERSKI: So you are my dream candidate in a lot of ways. The message of your campaign really speaks to me and on some issues I feel that you actually speak for me. But I also know that most people don’t have the same class-based view of the world that, that I do and that I think you do as well. I’ve seen all of your debates, and I just don’t see you connecting with the people that view, view the world through a religious or racial lens, people that see those as the powerful forces in our society. I’m wondering what you can do to better engage with the broader electorate to understand, and understand their points of view, demonstrate that you can be an effective leader for them.
SANDERS: Very good question and I thank you for it. We are reaching out, as strongly as we can, for example to the African-American community, and to the Latino community. And I think we are gaining more and more support in those communities, for a couple of reasons. Number one, within the African-American community, it’s not only an economic issue, raising the minimum wage and providing jobs. Youth unemployment for African-American kids now is 51 percent. So those are important issues, but I’ll tell you what else is an important issue, and that is the criminal justice issue. The fact that we have more people in jail in American than any other country, disproportionately African-American and Latino. The fact that blacks and whites do marijuana at about an equal level, and yet four times more blacks get arrests. The fact that blacks are more likely to be stopped by police in a, in a vehicle and get arrested than whites. Those are huge issues. And what I have said and repeat through a virtually all-white state, but I’ll say this all over the country. There will be no President who will fight harder to end institutional racism than I will, and we have got to reform a very, very broken criminal justice system. It breaks my heart, and I know that it breaks the hearts of millions of people in this country to see videos on television of unarmed people, often African-American, shot by police. That has got to end, and these are issues that I take very seriously, Jason.
COOPER: You know, I want to follow up because Jason also mentioned faith, which is something you’ve spoke a little bit about. You’re Jewish but you’ve said that you’re not active….
… African-Americans, shot by police. That has got to end. And these are issues that I take very seriously, Jason.
COOPER: You know, I want to follow up, because Jason also mentioned faith, which is something you’ve spoken a little bit about. You’re Jewish, but you’ve said that you’re not actively involved with organized religion.
What do you say to a voter out there who says – and that who sees faith as a guiding principle in their lives, and wants it to be a guiding principle for this country?
SANDERS: It’s a guiding principle in my life, absolutely, it is. You know, everybody practices religion in a different way. To me, I would not be here tonight, I would not be running for president of the United States if I did not have very strong religious and spiritual feelings.
I believe that, as a human being, the pain that one person feels, if we have children who are hungry in America, if we have elderly people who can’t afford their prescription drugs, you know what, that impacts you, that impacts me.
And I worry very much about a society where some people spiritually say, it doesn’t matter to me, I got it, I don’t care about other people.
So my spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me. That’s my very strong spiritual feeling.
COOPER: Senator, I want you to meet Denise Spenard. She was wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing. She says she’s undecided. She has got a question about terrorism.
DENISE SPENARD, BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING SURVIVOR: Yes, I am a fortunate survivor from the Boston bombing. And it has changed my life. And one of the biggest things is participating in events, large events. And I’m running the marathon again…
SANDERS: Good for you.
SPENARD: … this year with my husband. But my kids are going…
SPENARD: Thank you. Thank you.
So, my kids are going to be out there spectating. And I can only think about their safety while they’re out there. So my question to you is, what are your plans for keeping us safe from terrorism?
SANDERS: OK. For a start, in my view, we have got to crush ISIS, all right, for a start. And as somebody who voted against the war in Iraq, what I believe is we’ve got to learn the lessons of that war.
So we have to destroy ISIS, but we have to be not just tough, we have to be smart. And that means we work with a large coalition, led by on-the-ground Muslim troops. King Abdullah of Jordan made the point, it will be Muslim troops who destroy ISIS, because ISIS has hijacked their religion.
The United States, the U.K., France, Germany, Russia provide support, in my view, to the troops on the ground. So we’ve got to crush them.
Internally, what we have got to do is significantly improve intelligence. And I think we are not as strong as we can be in communicating with intelligence agencies all over this country.
If people come into this country, say, I’ve got to be screened although I happen to believe that we should accept refugees from the Middle East, from Syria and Afghanistan.
SANDERS: But I also appreciate the concern that others have, that we have got to screen those people, absolutely, thoroughly. There needs to be better coordination between federal, state, and local police.
We have to work, which is very hard, making sure that we are tracking Internet transmission of information, where ISIS has been successful in getting information out and recruiting people.
But your concerns – and again, thank you, you’re a symbol of courage, that you went through that horror in Boston and you’re going back and you’re running again. Thank you for your courage.
COOPER: I want to just follow up, just briefly on that. There is a disconnect. Democrats in Iowa who said that terrorism was the most important issue for them, they back Secretary Clinton over you by 37 points.
Why do you think that is? Why do you think they see her as more ready to handle that?
SANDERS: Well, I think because she has a great deal of experience. She was secretary of state of our country for four years.
But I would say, Anderson, that the key foreign policy vote in modern American history was whether or not we should go into Iraq. And Secretary Clinton was in the Senate then, I was in the House then.
We both listened to the same evidence. I made the decision, which I think history will conclude was the right decision, not to go to war. And if people want to go to my Web site, berniesanders.com, check out what I said in 2002.
And it gives me no – no joy at all to say that much of what I feared would happen did, in fact, happen in terms of the destabilization of the region.
So I think in terms of foreign policy, I have the judgment. We’ve been all over this world, met with foreign leaders. And I am confident that we can assemble a team that would do a great job.
COOPER: I want you to meet Gabriel Grave (ph).
She’s a student here in New Hampshire. She’s an Independent voter, but she’s supporting you.
GABRIEL GRAVE: Hi.
So I’m from Brooklyn, New York, like you are. And my question is that I’ve experienced and I’ve witnessed a lot of police brutality and racial unjustice.
And I want to know like I think and I do believe that it is neighborhoods primarily of people of color or lower income neighborhoods that are disproportionately affected by unjust policing.
And I want to know if you are to be elected as president of the United States, what would you do to enact change and combat this racial injustice?
GRAVE: Thank you.
SANDERS: Gabriel, you have asked a – an important question that is on the minds of millions of people, not just African-Americans, but – but all people.
Here’s what I would do.
For a start – and I speak as a former mayor. I was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, as many know, who worked very closely with our police department and believe that the vast majority of police officers in this country are hardworking, honest and are trying to do their best, doing very, very difficult work.
But if a police officer breaks the law like any other public official, that police officer must be held accountable. That’s number one.
SANDERS: Number two, you have seen on television, as I have, local police departments that look like occupying armies. We have got to demilitarize local police departments, make them part of the community, not invading armies.
SANDERS: – third, and very importantly, we have got to make police departments look like the communities that they serve. So if there’s a diverse community, the police department should reflect that diversity.
Fourthly, in terms of police action, the federal – you know, police departments are run by local governments. But the federal government can play an important role in helping to fund model type programs.
For example, I think we have to rethink the use of lethal force. I think too often, lethal force goes first rather than last. Obviously, there are times when policemen must use their guns and use them as quickly as possible.
But I think what we need to do is figure out ways to train police departments so that police officers – so that lethal force is the last resort, not the first resort.
So that’s some of the things that I would do.
COOPER: I want to ask you – because I think a lot of people don’t know much about your background on this subject. And it’s interesting, 54 years ago, you were in the front lines of trying to desegregate school housing at the University of Chicago. You were even arrested.
SANDERS: Don’t tell anybody that.
COOPER: What was it that motivated a 20-year-old white kid from Brooklyn to do that?
SANDERS: You know, it’s hard to say what motivates anybody. I think as a kid, I did – my parents weren’t political. My brother was a little bit. My parents were not.
But, you know, it – you know, like in any school you see big kids picking on little kids, you know. And I resented that. I always did.
And, you know, injustice bothered me very, very much. And when I went to the University of Chicago, I had the opportunity to – I wasn’t a great student, I have to – I have to admit it. In fact, I learned more off campus – I shouldn’t say this to other students, though.
SANDERS: Do your homework, study, but…
COOPER: You’ve got a lot of teachers in this room.
SANDERS: But I learned a lot off – off of campus and I got involved in a group some may know, some not, called the Congress on Racial Equality. And it was a great group and we got involved in trying to desegregate the housing owned by the University of Chicago, segregated housing. And we also got involved in efforts to desegregate the school system there and I got arrested.
But I think, you know, as far back as I can remember – and, Anderson, I can’t tell you why, but injustice is something that I have always fought throughout my life.
COOPER: I want you to meet Keith Howard.
He’s a veteran. He was harmless after serving in the Army. He’s now the executive director of Liberty House, which is a transitional facility for former homeless vets. He says he’s undecided.
KEITH HOWARD: Yes. Senator Sanders, throughout this election cycle, we’ve been contacted – we at Liberty House have been contacted by a number of Republican presidential candidates. To date, we’ve not heard from any Democrats.
Have you ceded the support of veterans to the Republicans?
And if your answer is no, what is your evidence?
SANDERS: What is my evidence?
My evidence is that I am the former chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. That I introduced, along with the support of the American Legion, the VFW, the DAV, the Vietnam vets of virtually every major veterans organization, the most comprehensive veterans health care legislation in the modern history of the United States of America.
And sadly enough, you know it’s one thing, Paul, Republicans talk about how much they love veterans. I got two Republican votes on a comprehensive bill supported by virtually the entire Veterans Committee.
But I didn’t give up. What I did then is work with people like John McCain, Jeff Miller over in the House. And we passed – wasn’t my ideal bill, I compromised. But it was the most significant piece of veterans health care legislation passed in modern history. We put some $16 billion in to veterans’ health care, as well as in taking care of veterans in a number of areas.
So it’s easy for politicians to give speeches. But what my work in the Senate has been involved is to making sure that veterans in this country get the best quality health care possible, get their benefits when they need them, not wait years and years. And we’ve made some progress on that.
Do our best to end veterans’ homelessness. President Obama put a lot of money into that. And we have had some success. Still have a way to go.
So I think if you check my record it will tell you that I received the award, the highest award from the American Legion and the VFW for my work on veterans’ issues. So I’m proud of that.
COOPER: Let me follow up on that. You were on the Veterans Affairs Committee for eight years. You headed it for two years.
COOPER: There were 18 inspector general reports talking about problems plaguing the VA. Why did it take so long? And did it take you too long to act?
SANDERS: Well, a fair question. And I think you know the answer is that we have worked on many, many issues, Anderson. And your point is fair that we should’ve acted sooner. We should’ve known what was going on in Phoenix, those long waiting lines and the lies that some administrators were telling us.
On the other hand, what we also did, though, is make significant progress in terms of dealing with homelessness. We passed a post 9/11 GI bill, which provides college education for the men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. We passed a Caregivers Act, which for the first time will provide support for those folks, mostly women, who are staying home with disabled vets.
So I think in recent years we have made some progress. Your point is a good one. We should have done better.
COOPER: All right. I want you to meet Marjorie Smith. She served nine terms in the state house here. She says she’s currently undecided. Welcome.
QUESTION: Thank you very much.
Senator, you and I have a lot in common. I was born in Brooklyn in 1941.
SANDERS: There we go.
SANDERS: You look younger than I do. Why is that?
QUESTION: That’s very kind of you to say. But I’m not running for president.
Senator, many of us see how deeply held your philosophy, and that matters a lot to us. We share those goals.
At the same time, you have worked for many years to say it’s my way or the highway. You talked tonight about wanting to have a revolution in the House and Senate in order to get people there who share your views.
There might be some new members of the House and Senate. But they’re not going to be all that many. How are you going to be able to work with a Congress that might not share our deeply held goals in order to achieve a more perfect union?
SANDERS: Well, Marjorie, thank you for your question. It is just not accurate to say – you know sometimes people may portray me in this respect. It is not accurate to say that it’s my way or the highway. Let me give you some examples.
I just mentioned that I compromised significantly with people like John McCain and Republicans in the House to pass what is regarded as the most significant piece of veterans’ legislation passed in many, many years.
Second of all, when I was in the House of Representatives, there were years, Marjorie, where I received more votes. I won more amendments than any other member of the House of Representatives because I reached out where there was common ground with Republicans.
So I think I have a history of being able to work with Republicans when there is common ground.
But here is the major point that I want to make. And I will continue to do that. But here is the truth, and it’s an unpleasant truth, and I know that not everybody here will agree with me.
In my view, we have a Congress today that is much more interested in doing the bidding of the wealthy and the powerful, Wall Street and the drug companies and the fossil fuel industries, rather than the needs of the American people.
And I believe we’re not going to make the real changes that we need, dealing with the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality, reforming a corrupt campaign finance system which allows billionaires to buy elections, dealing with climate change, making sure we don’t continue to pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs when last year the three major drug companies made $45 billion in profit.
Now, how do we change all of that? Well, where we can, we work with our Republican friends. But change, in my view, and what history tells us, has always come from the bottom on up.
That’s what the Civil Rights movement was about. That’s what the women’s movement was about. That’s what the gay movement was about. That’s what the environmental movement is about.
And what we need right now is a very profound and deep movement this country, where millions of people, in fact, get involved and say, I’m sorry, my kid is not going to have to graduate college $100,000 in debt. That’s wrong.
My mom is entitled to decent health care and prescription drugs that she can afford. Those are the kinds of movements that we need, and that’s how we will bring about real change in this country.
COOPER: I want you to meet Mark Viens. He’s a graphic artist. He’s a Boy Scout master. He says he decided to support you in the primary.
MARK VIENS, GRAPHIC ARTIST: Good evening, Senator.
SANDERS: That’s because I was a Boy Scout too.
VIENS: Good evening, Senator. Four of our last five presidents were elected and served two terms. Do you see any limitations for yourself in the ability to serve two terms to enact these sweeping changes that you envision for our country?
SANDERS: I don’t, Mark. You know, we’ll take one term at a time.
SANDERS: Got to get to the first term first.
COOPER: You would be 83 at the end of your second term.
SANDERS: Well, you know, thank goodness.
SANDERS: Let’s not be ageist, Anderson.
COOPER: I’m not, I’m not.
SANDERS: You know, I am, thank God, in good health. And one can’t predict the future, one never knows what happens tomorrow. But, thank God, I have – when I was a kid, I was a long-distance runner. I was not quite the marathon runner, but I was a cross-country runner.
And I’ve had good endurance and good strength my whole life. So, you know, if I am fortunate enough to win the general election, and we do well, yes, I would like to run for re-election.
COOPER: You’ve got a lot more energy than I do, certainly.
COOPER: We’re going to take a quick break. We’re going to be right back with more audience questions for Senator Sanders. You’re watching the CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall, live from New Hampshire.
COOPER: And welcome back to CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall in the Derry Opera House in New Hampshire.
We’re here with Senator Bernie Sanders.
We continue the questions.
I want to play for Senator Sanders a clip from Hillary Clinton’s speech Monday night after the Iowa Caucuses.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Here’s what I want you to know.
CLINTON: It is rare…
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).
CLINTON: – it is rare that we have the opportunity we do now…
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CLINTON: – to have a real contest of ideas.
CLINTON: To really think hard about what the Democratic Party stands for and what we want the future of our country to look like if we do our part to build it.
I am a progressive who gets things done for people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: There were a lot of your supporters who, when they heard that, didn’t think or expressed their belief that she’s not a progressive. We talked about this a little bit at the beginning.
But just so we’re clear, do you believe Hillary Clinton is a progressive?
SANDERS: Let me just say this. I have, um, enormous respect for Hillary Clinton. I’ve known her for 25 years. And it’s unfortunate, you know, in politics – and everybody should know this. What media often wants you to do and you’re asked this question, I’m sure it’s the same for Secretary Clinton, beat her up. Tell me something terrible about her. Attack her, because that will make the news.
I have tried my best not to do that. You’re looking at a guy who has been in politics a long time.
SANDERS: And I have never run a negative ad in my life and I look forward to never running a negative ad in my life, OK. I don’t think people deserve that. We have to – as Secretary Clinton just said, that’s what politics is about. It’s a debate on the issues.
Secretary Clinton has a long and distinguished public career. She has worked with children when she began, and God only knows that we need a lot of work, given the fact that we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on Earth.
So I respect it. I thought she did a good job as secretary of State. I served with her in the Senate. We worked together on some issues.
But there are other issues, Anderson, where I think she is just not progressive. I do not know any progressive who has a super PAC and takes $15 million from Wall Street. That’s just not progressive.
SANDERS: As I mentioned earlier, the key foreign policy vote of modern American history was the war in Iraq. The progressive community was pretty united in saying don’t listen to Bush. Don’t go to war.
Secretary Clinton voted to go to war.
Virtually all of the trade unions and millions of working people understand that our trade policies – NAFTA, CAFTA, permanent normal trade relations with China, etc. – have been written by corporate America and the goal of it is to be able to throw American workers… millions of working people understand that our trade policies, NAFTA, CAFTA, Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China, et cetera, have been written by corporate America.
And the goal of it is to be able to throw American workers out on the street, move to China and other low-wage countries, and bring their products back into this country. And that’s one of the reasons why the middle class of this country and the working class is struggling so hard.
Secretary Clinton has been a supporter in the past of various trade policies, NAFTA and PNTR with China. Reluctantly, and after a lot of pressure on her, she came out against the TPP, and I’m glad that she did.
Every sensible person understands that climate change is real. It is caused by human activity. And we have got to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel.
For a long time, Secretary Clinton was talking about the benefits of the Keystone pipeline. Well, there are no benefits to excavating and transporting some of the dirtiest fossil fuel in the world.
I was in the lead in opposition to the Keystone pipeline. I’m in opposition to the pipeline right here in New Hampshire and the pipeline in Vermont. I think we have got to move aggressively away from fossil fuel if we’re going to leave this planet in a way that’s healthy and habitable for our kids.
So those are just some of the areas…
COOPER: Just one quick follow-up to that. There’s a new book called “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Led Progressives Down,” you gave it a ringing endorsement…
SANDERS: No, I didn’t give it a ringing endorsement.
COOPER: But you blurbed it.
SANDERS: No, not true.
COOPER: OK. You tell me what you did.
SANDERS: I wrote a blurb for it. You may have the blurb there. And what the blurb said is that I think the next president should be very aggressive in bringing people into the political process.
And that, I believe, from the bottom of my heart. And if elected president, that will be a top priority of mine.
COOPER: Did President Obama let progressives down?
SANDERS: I think in some areas, progressive – for example, in the trade area. Right now, I think they signed today the TPP in New Zealand. I think it is a continuation of bad trade policies. The president supports it, I strongly disagree with it.
On the other hand, let’s be very clear. And I got a little bit upset that our Republicans friends suffer from a very serious illness called amnesia.
SANDERS: They forgot what the economy of this country was like seven years ago when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, when we were running up a $1.4 trillion deficit, and by the way, the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse.
President Obama and Vice President Biden have taken us a very, very long way from those dismal days. Are we where we want to be today? No. But we have come a long way and President Obama deserves an enormous amount of credit for that.
COOPER: Senator, as you know, in a recent poll, I’m sure, 88 percent of adults in New Hampshire said heroin abuse is a very serious problem in the state. I want you to meet David Cote.
He’s a recovery coach who’s in long-term recovery himself. He says he’s undecided, leaning towards you.
David, thanks for being here. What’s your question?
DAVID COTE, RECOVERY COACH: Thank you.
Thank you, Senator, for hearing me. I come to you tonight as the father of a teenager. I have a young teenage daughter. And my biggest concern these days is the availability of opiates and other drugs, substances on the street, and the effects that they have on our youth and on our citizens.
My question to you is, we’re losing 129 people a day in this country. In the city of Manchester, we’re losing one person a week at – you know…
COTE: … minimally. And my question to you is, if – what would you do in order to secure recovery services for those that have slipped through the cracks of prevention and moved on to treatment?
SANDERS: Thank you very much for your question. It is a crisis here in New Hampshire. And by the way, there’s a crisis in Vermont. You may recall our governor gave his state of the union speech a year ago on this issue.
Because, you know, people think, well, New Hampshire and Vermont, these are rural states, not a problem. You’re right, it is a terrible problem. What do we do?
For a start, we understand that substance abuse and addiction is a health issue, not a criminal issue.
SANDERS: And when I talk about moving toward universal health care, what I understand that to be, and it is absolutely imperative that it be, is understanding that mental health and addiction is part of health care.
And what that means is that when people need treatment they shouldn’t have to wait three months. When they need it, they should be able to get it. So that means we need a revolution in this country in mental health care to address the causes of addiction and provide treatment.
And I was to a treatment center in Manchester, which is kind of peer-oriented. Former people who had addiction work with other people. That’s one approach. There are many other approaches.
But the bottom line is we have a very, very serious crisis in this country. And we have got to make sure that when people need the help, they get the help.
And the other question that we have to ask is, and it’s a tough question. Nobody I know knows the answer. Why is it? Why is it?
One of the reasons, by the way, is I think that doctors are prescribing opiates in a way that they have got to cut back a little bit on. They’re giving out a whole lot of pills. A friend of mine got a molar removed. They got 50 very strong painkilling drugs.
And these drugs are rampant. Kids are using them, getting addicted then getting into heroin. So I think we got to talk to the pharmaceutical industry about what they’re producing, doctors what they’re prescribing. And then we have to make treatment available to people when they need it.
COOPER: I want you to meet Raul Bernal (ph). He’s a Democrat. He says he’s undecided.
SANDERS: First name is?
QUESTION: Right. Sen. Sanders, thank you very much for a great campaign that you’ve run. Voters in Iowa, voters in New Hampshire have had an opportunity to get to know you, to understand the details of your platform in forums just like this. And while I’m inspired by your passion on the issues, one of the concerns I have is your electability in a general election when there’s less opportunity to really connect with voters.
QUESTION: And you know, can you win…
QUESTION: … in other parts of the country?
SANDERS: Excellent question.
Look, in the real world there are people – I hesitate to say this in this room, but there are people who like Donald Trump. I know. Not in this room, but there are. And you know that’s the world.
We are a diverse political nation. And there are people who like and respect Hillary Clinton and people who like me and so forth and so on. And I don’t object. Somebody will stand up and say I support Hillary Clinton. That’s fine you know.
But what I don’t – I object to is people say well Bernie, I really like you. I like your ideas. I like your record. But I’m not going to vote for you because you can’t win. OK. So let me address that issue.
Number one, I’m not a great fan of polls, not even CNN polls.
But CNN had a poll, as I recall. And what that poll said is that Bernie Sanders ran significantly better against Donald Trump than did Hillary Clinton. OK. There was another poll said the same thing because among other things I do very well with Independents. And that’s one of the reasons why we are doing well against Republicans.
So number one, some of these polls have me way, way ahead of Donald Trump, further so than Sec. Clinton.
Number two, look at battleground states like New Hampshire. The last poll that I saw in New Hampshire had me 19 points ahead of Trump, Sec. Clinton 1 point. OK. Similar results, not quite so strong, in Iowa and Wisconsin.
OK. Polls, forget polls. They go up and down. What else?
Democrats win elections when there is a large voter turnout. That’s what Obama did in 2008. Republicans win elections when people are demoralized and give up on the political process.
I believe, and I think an objective assessment of my campaign and Sec. Clinton’s campaign – she’s running a good campaign. But I think an objective assessment would say that there is more excitement and energy in our campaign. We are bringing out working class people who have previously given up on politics. We are bringing out large numbers of young people.
So if you want to win in November. And I want us to defeat Republicans. Sec. Clinton wants us to defeat Republicans.
Everybody in this room understands that we don’t want some right-wing Republican in the Oval Office. But I believe, quite honestly that I am the strongest candidate to do that because I think I can drive a large voter turnout, bring in new energy into the Democratic Party.
COOPER: Let me ask you because…
… as you know…
As you know in this state an Independent, and there are a lot of Independents in this state, they can vote in the Republican primary. They can vote in the Democratic primary. So there are some voters out there, Independent voters, who are trying to decide between you or Donald Trump. What would you say to them?
SANDERS: This is what I would say. I would say that examine Trump’s record carefully. And it is not only his bigoted remarks against Latinos
ANDERSON COOPER: …you or Donald Trump. What would you say to them?
SANDERS: This is what I would say. I would say that examine Trump’s record carefully. And it is not only his bigoted remarks against Latinos, suggesting that Mexicans coming into this country are rapists, or criminals, or drug dealers, or his absurd remark that we should not allow Muslims into this country – even above and beyond those outrageous bigoted statements, take a look at what he stand for economically. This country has millions of people struggling economically. I believe we should raise the minimum wage to $15 over the next couple of years. Trumps says, no, $7.25, we should not raise the minimum wage. Most workers don’t agree with that. Trump in a Republican debated said wage are too high in America. Really? Too high in America? That’s what he said in a Republican debate. And here’s the other one that kind of blows me away. Trump is, as you know, a well-know, a well-known scientist, brilliant scientist. And he has concluded, after years of studying the issue, that climate change is a hoax brought to us by the Chinese. Now that shocked me, Anderson, because I thought that he would have thought it was a hoax brought to us by the Mexicans or the Muslims. Chinese I didn’t quite get. But the point is, if you examine his agenda, it is not an agenda for working Americans. He wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top two-tenths of one percent. So I think – and I would love the opportunity, frankly I’m prejudiced, I want Trump to win the Republican nomination – and I would love the opportunity to run against him. I think we would win by a (lot).
COOPER: I just have a few more. Actually it (looks like it seems)… So we just have time for a few more questions. We’ve covered a lot of, a lot of foreign policy issues. There’s a lot of folks out who really don’t know much about you, so I thought we’d just ask a couple of sort of lighter questions just to kind get to know you. I read one of daughters say that, if you had a car, or if they sold cars with manual locks on windows, that’s the kind of car you would get. So what kind of car do you actually have.
SANDERS: I have a small Chevrolet. It is one of the smallest Chevys that they make.
COOPER: Do you know what year it’s from?
SANDERS: Yeh, it’s about five years old.
COOPER: OK, not bad.
SANDERS: A red car.
COOPER: Is it true you chop your own wood? It’s a red car.
SANDERS: Pretty good on mileage, but yeh.
COOPER: Is it true you chop your own wood.
SANDERS: I wouldn’t go that far. People in Vermont and New Hampshire would laugh at me. What I do do is, you know, we have a wood stove and I, you know.
COOPER: You also in 1987, when you were Mayor of Burlington, you recorded an album on folk classics. How are those pipes doing? We’re in an opera house, how are they? Any more albums in your future?
SANDERS: Let me just say this. If you’re looking at a President who can carry a tune, I’m not the guy. I hope I have other attributes, but singing is not one of them. It’s the worst album. Actually it’s selling very well because people are buying it. It’s the worst album ever recorded. People can’t believe how bad it is.
COOPER: Along, along those same lines, I understand Larry David is hosting SNL this weekend. He does a pretty good imitation of you. Do you do a Larry David imitation?
SANDERS: Anderson, I’m going to… I know you’ve been in journalism for a long time.
COOPER: Are you doing your Larry David right now?
SANDERS: It’s true. I am Larry David. And you didn’t get it.
COOPER: What’s you, what’s your proudest moment? Either professionally or personally.
SANDERS: I think my proudest general moment is being married for 27 years, having four great kids, some of whom are here tonight, and seven very beautiful grandchildren. That’s my proudest (inaudible).
COOPER: If we ask… Your wife, Jane, is here. If we asked her to describe you in one word, what word do you think she’d use?
SANDERS: Tell ‘em, Jane.
JANE SANDERS: (inaudible).
COOPER: Integrity, OK. I thought you said anti-greed. Integrity, all right. I want to give you, I want to, this final one, I want to give you 30 seconds to make a closing argument to the people in New Hampshire.
SANDERS: OK. Thank you very much, and thanks for hosting this (event). I’ve enjoyed it. This is called democracy and I love this. Our country faces enormous problems. And if I believe that establishment politics and establishment economics could solve the problems, I would not be running for President.
The sad truth is that we have a rigged economic system. People are working longer hours for lower wages. Almost all new wealth and income is going to the top 1 percent and we have a corrupt campaign finance system which is undermining democracy and allowing billionaires to buy elections.
If elected president, I will do my best, working with the American people, as we revitalize our democracy, to take those issues on, to rebuild the American middle class and become the country that all of us know that we have the potential to be.
Thank you all very much.
COOPER: Senator Sanders, thank you very much.
SANDERS: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: When we come back, Hillary Clinton takes the stage, taking questions from the audience.
We’ll be right back.
ANDERSON COOPER: And welcome back to the CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall at the Derry Opera House in New Hampshire.
Thanks very much for being with us.
You heard from Senator Bernie Sanders.
Please welcome the former secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
Please welcome former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: Have a seat.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hello.
CLINTON: Thank you very much.
COOPER: So you’ve obviously had a pretty incredible several past couple of days. Congratulations on winning in Iowa. New Hampshire has always been good to the Clintons. How does it feel out there?
CLINTON: It feels great. I’ve had just an amazing time. We landed in the middle of the night from Iowa still pretty pumped up about winning there, and then got to work the next day.
And I’m seeing a lot of old friends, meeting a lot of new people. I have an uphill climb and I’m going to climb as high and hard as I can because I want to make my case for the people of New Hampshire.
As you said, they’re people that I feel very close to. They’ve been good to my husband, to me, my family.
But what’s most important is the first in the nation primary. It truly is a great opportunity to get out there, explain what you want to do as president, present your ideas, and get vetted by the people of New Hampshire.
COOPER: Bernie Sanders, just a short time ago, said he is the underdog here. Your campaign has said, you know, he comes from neighboring Vermont, you guys are down in the polls.
Do you feel you do better when you’re fighting from behind?
CLINTON: You know, I don’t know. I…
COOPER: Does it bring out something in you?
CLINTON: Well, the intensity of the experience and the importance of trying to convey what’s at stake in this election, because to me obviously Tuesday is a really big deal with the primary.
But the goal has to be to prevent the Republicans from getting back into the White House and undoing all the progress that has been made under President Obama.
CLINTON: And so I – I’m very proud of the campaign that Senator Sanders and I are running. I mean, we really have focused on issues. We share a lot of the same big progressive goals, but we have different ways of going about them. We bring different experiences.
But we are contrasting on issues, compared to the Republicans who, I think, are contrasting on insults. And I think it’s a better contest where we can take our ideas to groups like this throughout New Hampshire, get questions, have people vet them, and then let the voters make up their minds.
COOPER: You’ve talked about progressive values. Earlier in the day Senator Sanders was asked if you were progressive. He said some days. Are you really a progressive? In the past you have said you plead guilty to being a moderate.
CLINTON: Well, you know, you asked me this question in the first debate, right?
COOPER: I did. And it’s coming up again today.
CLINTON: And I said that I’m a progressive who likes to get things done. And I was somewhat amused today that Senator Sanders has set himself up to be the gatekeeper on who is the progressive because under the definition that was flying around on Twitter and statements by the campaign, Barack Obama would not be a progressive, Joe Biden would not be a progressive, Jeanne Shaheen would not be a progressive, even the late, great Senator Paul Wellstone would not be a progressive.
So I’m not going to let that bother me. I know where I stand. I know who stands with me. I know what I’ve done. But I don’t think it helps for the senator to be making those kinds of comparisons because clearly we all share a lot of the same hopes and aspirations for our country that we want to see achieved.
And I don’t think it’s appropriate that, you know, if Planned Parenthood endorses me or the Human Rights Campaign endorses me, you know, they’re thrown out of the progressive wing and put into the establishment.
That’s just not anything we need to do. Let’s have a good contest of ideas. Let’s contrast where we stand. And that’s what I intend to do for the next couple of days.
COOPER: It would obviously be historic if you were elected president, first female president.
CLINTON: You think so?
COOPER: I’ve studied a little bit of history. But it seems like young women aren’t rallying to this potentially historic moment. And I say this in Iowa, among women under 30, Senator Sanders beat you by 70 points. Why do you think that is?
CLINTON: That’s amazing. Yes. Look, you know, I was very fortunate to have a great team of young people, men and women, supporting me. But I accept the fact that I have work to do to convey what I stand for, what I’ve accomplished, what I want to do for young people in our country.
COOPER: Why do you think it is? That they’re…
CLINTON: But I – well, you know, I don’t really know, Anderson. I think – here’s what I want young people to know. They don’t have to be for me, I’m going to be for them. It doesn’t really matter.
CLINTON: If they are not supporting me, I will be their president, I will do everything I can to give them the opportunities they deserve.
As I speak with young people across the country in Iowa, New Hampshire, and elsewhere, I do sense this real feeling of being somehow disadvantaged, put on the wrong side of American…
CLINTON: people across the country in Iowa, New Hampshire and elsewhere. I do sense this real feeling of being somehow disadvantaged, put on the wrong side of American opportunity. And I understand that.
I mean the student debt problems, the feeling that the jobs that are out there are not producing the kind of income or opportunity that young people believe they should be able to get. But at the same time I’m so impressed by the level, the intensity of commitment of this generation to you know really going after discrimination, going after racism and sexism and the kind of abuses that LGBT community members have, looking for ways to bring more justice in the economy and the environment, fighting climate change.
So I’m impressed with them. And I’m going to do everything I can to reach out and to explain why good ideas on paper are important. But you’ve got to be able to translate them into action to get results for people.
I have a lot experience doing that. I think I can deliver positive change for young people in our country. And I hope to have the chance to win their support.
COOPER: What’s wrong with a revolution?
CLINTON: Well, that’s for Sen. Sanders to explain because that certainly is the core of his message to young people. I have a different take on it. I think the progress that we have made, and particularly the Democratic Party has made, has been hard fought for, hard won and must be defended.
So I want to defend the Affordable Care Act. It is one of the great accomplishments, not only of this president, but of the Democratic Party going back to Harry Truman.
The Republicans are…
You know, the Republicans are determined to repeal it. And they tried 62 times just to turn it back to the insurance companies.
Sen. Sanders and I share the same goal. We want to get to universal health care coverage. Before it was called Obamacare it was called Hillarycare, as you remember.
COOPER: I remember.
CLINTON: I fought really hard. The insurance companies and the drug companies spent millions against me. I know what it’s like to go up against the status quo and special interests.
So when President Obama succeeded, I was thrilled. I don’t agree with Sen. Sanders that we should start over, that we should throw our country into a contentious national debate about health care again. We’re at 90 percent coverage. I’m going to fix what needs to be fixed. We’re going to move from 90 to 100, which is a lot easier to get to than starting at zero to get to 100.
So we have a difference. And I think that…
… is the difference.
COOPER: I want you to meet some of the folks in our audience.
COOPER: This is Dave Skinell (ph). He’s a high school English teacher from Manchester. He says he’s undecided.
CLINTON: Hi, David.
QUESTION: Hi, Sec. Clinton. You – the next president will have as many as three Supreme Court appointments to make.
QUESTION: I’m wondering beyond abortion are there any issues on which you would impose or assert a litmus test. And if your answer is no, aren’t certain critical issues like marriage equality, campaign finance just so vital to what we believe in as Democrats that you would have to know the answer as to how these justices would rule before you make the nomination?
CLINTON: Well, I’ll tell you what, Dave. I do have a litmus test. I have a bunch of litmus tests because I agree with you. The next president could get as many as three appointments. You know one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again is because of the Supreme Court.
I’m looking for people who understand the way the real world works, who don’t have a kneejerk reaction to support business, to support the idea that you know money is speech, that gutted the Voting Rights Act.
I voted for the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act when I was in the Senate. It passed 98 to nothing based on a very extensive set of hearings and research. Supreme Court comes along. They substitute their judgment for the Congress, signed by George W. Bush.
That is one of our problems. They have a view that I just fundamentally disagree with about what the way we have to keep the balance of power in our society is.
So they have given way too much power to corporations. They have given Citizens United, the biggest gift to the Koch brothers, Karl Rove and all of those folks whose values I don’t share, and who are doing everything they can to try to turn the clock back.
We have to preserve marriage equality. We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community…
We’ve got to make sure…
We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed. We’ve got work to do…
And here’s how I CLINTON: – to make sure…
CLINTON: – we’ve got to make sure to preserve “Roe v. Wade,” not let it be nibbled away or repealed. We’ve got work to do and…
CLINTON: – here’s how I think about it, because when I was a senator, I had to vote on Supreme Court justices.
I’m looking for people who are rooted in the real world, who know that part of the genius of our system, both economic and government, is this balance of power. If it gets too far out of whack, so that business has too much power, any branch of the government has too much power, the delicate balance that makes up our political system and the broad-based prosperity we should be working for in our economy is the worse off for it.
So I have very strong feelings about what I’ll be looking for if I am given the honor of appointing somebody to the Supreme Court.
COOPER: I want you to meet Mr. Jim Kinhan (ph).
He’s a Democrat who says he is supporting you.
JIM KINHAN: Hello, Madam Secretary.
CLINTON: Thank you.
KINHAN: I’m very pleased to see you.
This may come a little bit from right field, this may seem, but it’s very personal to me and resonates probably with many other people who are elderly dealing with health issues.
The question is coming to me as a person who is walking with colon cancer. And I’m walking with colon cancer with the word terminal very much in my vocabulary, comfortably and spiritually.
But I wonder what leadership you could offer within an executive role that might help advance the respectful conversation that is needed around this personal choice that people may make, as we age and deal with health issues or be the caregivers of those people, to help enhance and – their end of life with dignity.
CLINTON: Well, first of all, thank you for being here.
Thank you so much for being part of this great New Hampshire primary process and thank you for support. And I really appreciate your asking the question. And I have to tell you, this is the first time I’ve been asked that question.
KINHAN: I – I figured that.
CLINTON: Yes. I – I really – I really…
KINHAN: Maybe any candidate.
CLINTON: And I thank you for it, because we need to have a conversation in our country.
There are states, as you know…
CLINTON: – that are moving to open up the opportunity without criminal liability for people to make this decision, in consultation by their families, even, in some cases, with medical professionals. But the issue is whether the medical professionals want to be involved or just be counselors.
So it is a crucial issue that people deserve to understand from their own ethical, religious, faith-based perspective.
So here’s how I think about it.
I want – I want, as president, to try to catalyze that debate because I – I believe you’re right, this is going to become an issue more and more…
CLINTON: – often. We are, on the good side, having many people live longer, but often, then, with very serious illnesses that they can be sustained on, but at some point, don’t want to continue with the challenges that poses.
So I don’t have any easy or glib answer for you. I think I would want to really immerse myself in the – the – the ethical writings, the health writings, the scientific writings, the religious writings. I know some other countries, the Netherlands and others, have a quite open approach. I’d like to know what their experience has been.
Because we – we have to be sure that nobody is coerced, nobody is under duress. And that is a difficult line to draw.
So I thank you – I thank you so much for raising this really important absolutely critical question that we’re all going to have to do some thinking about.
KINHAN: Thank you (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: I think this is Michael Feel (ph). Michael is a married father of one. He says he’s undecided. He’s learning – leaning toward Senator Sanders.
CLINTON: Hi, Michael.
MICHAEL FEEL: Hi, Secretary Clinton.
As senator and as secretary of State, you have a history of interventionist foreign policy that is troubling to many Democratic voters, including myself.
As a voter who is opposed to the United States being the world’s policeman, can you assure me that as president, you would not expand our military involvement abroad?
CLINTON: No, I can’t, Michael. I mean I – I’d like to be able to say I could, but here’s what I can say. I have learned and have been, you know, really in the crucible of making a lot of hard decisions over the last years.
And military force must always be a last resort not a first choice. That is one of the biggest differences between me and the Republicans.
I worked very hard as secretary of State HILLARY CLINTON: …decisions over the last years. And military force must always be a last resort, not a first choice. That is one of the biggest differences between me and the Republicans. I worked very hard as Secretary of State to do what I could diplomatically to avoid conflict. That’s why I worked to get the coalition together to impose sanctions in Iran, so that we could get them to the negotiating table, in order to test whether we could get an agreement to put a nuclear weapons agreement in place. I did that in large measure motivated by my deep concern that the absence of effective diplomacy might very well have sparked an arms race among some very unstable nations in the region, and maybe even led to conflict. I will do everything I possibly can to avoid sending American troops abroad, getting us involved in military conflicts. But I can’t in good conscious stand here and tell you that there would never be any circumstances in the time that I served as President where it very well might be in America’s best vital national security interest. So I want to be honest with you. I will do what I can, I will stand against adventurism, ill thought out missions. I will not send American combat troops to Iraq or Syria. That is off the table. That would be a terrible mistake. We will continue to use Special Forces, and we have to because of the kinds of threats we face. You know, the network of terrorist organizations – not just ISIS, but others who are part of this unfortunate network that stretches from North Africa to South Asia – pose serious threats to friends, allies, and partners, as well as to ourselves. And we’ve got to keep our country safe, and we have to work with the rest of the world to try to defeat ISIS, to end that terrorist threat. So I will be a very careful, deliberate decision maker when facing hard choices, because I know what’s at stake. And I know you can understand why there can’t be from me anyway a blanket statement. But I want to assure you I will be transparent, I will be open, and I will explain to the American people if any occasion arises where we do have to take military action to protect ourselves or our close friends and partners.
COOPER: I want to follow up the – yesterday on Capitol Hill the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Commander of the Marine Corps said that he thinks, and I quote, all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft, talking about Selective Service. Do you think women should also have to register for Selective Service, like men?
CLINTON: You know the first time I heard that yesterday and here’s the reasoning, as best I, I understand from listening to the testimony excerpts. That, if we’re going to open combat positions to qualified women so that they can compete to be Army Rangers, they can compete to be Navy Seals, they can compete to be Infantry Officers in the Marines, then we have expanded the definition of the all-volunteer military. I, I have to think about whether I think it’s necessary to go as far as our military officers are recommending. You know, from my perspective, the all-volunteer military has worked, and we should not do anything that undermines it because it has provided a solid core of people who are willing to serve our country. The idea of having everybody register concerns me a little bit unless we have a better idea of where that’s going to come out. Where I want people to register, I want every young person to register at the age of 18 to be able to vote automatically, and I think if – if we had, you know, if we had a system like that I would, I would be very, very pleased about it. I have a hard time imagining the kind of national emergency that would require the use of the Selective Service system. So I just have to be better informed about why they’re making this recommendation.
COOPER: I want you to meet Rebecca Hutchinson. She’s a former State Representative in New Hampshire. She says she’s undecided and she’s got a question for you.
CLINTON: Hi, Rebecca.
REBECCA HUTCHINSON, FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Thank you. I feel in a way I sort of have a follow-up to the previous question. You clearly have very impressive foreign policy experience, and I’ve heard you point out to us that President Obama chose you and trusted you to be his Secretary of State. But I get stuck when I think about you voted for the Iraq war, which you now say was a mistake. What have you learned since that vote that could give me confidence that you wouldn’t make a mistake of that magnitude again?
CLINTON: Oh, I think that’s a very fair question. You know, I did…QUESTION: was a mistake. What have you learned since that vote that could give me confidence that you wouldn’t make a mistake of that magnitude again?
CLINTON: Oh, I think that’s a very fair question.
You know I did make a mistake and I admitted that I made a mistake. And in large measure that mistake really arose from the Bush administration’s approach to what they thought they could accomplish in Iraq.
The very explicit appeal that President Bush made before announcing the invasion that getting that vote would be a strong piece of leverage in order to finish the inspections. And he made that comment.
And the U.N. Inspector Hans Blix said, give us the time, we will find out. Give us the hammer over their head, namely the vote, and we will be able to find out what they still have in terms of WMD. And the Bush administration didn’t give them the time. And that was a breach of faith, in my view.
But you know I gave them the vote, in large measure because I thought that would give us the time and we would find out, short of invasion. Turned out not to be. And I really regret that that’s the way President Bush proceeded.
That would not be something you would have to worry about with me. If I tell you we’re going to do diplomacy, we’re going to hang tough, we’re going to get answers, that’s exactly what we will do.
COOPER: I want you to meet Sean Burke (ph). He’s a Democrat from Derry, says he is a supporter of yours.
CLINTON: Hi, Sean (ph).
QUESTION: Hey. Once you become the nominee and got elected, how are you going to defend yourself against right-wing attacks?
CLINTON: Well, Sean (ph), I had a lot of practice.
So I could laugh up here, but it’s not easy. It is a brutal experience. And when it first started happening to me back in the early 1990s when I was working on health care. And you know I was just unrecognizable to myself. What talk radio was saying, what Republican members of Congress and their allies were saying. I was just stunned. I could not understand how they got away with it.
And I have had to learn to take criticism seriously, but not personally. And by that I mean this. The very fair question from Rebecca. People ask you questions or criticize you, think about it seriously. There are lessons to be learned, often from people who don’t agree with you. But don’t take it personally so that it just paralyzes you, literally stops you in your tracks.
And so now that I’ve been through this for so many years, Sean (ph), my understanding of the political tactics that the other side uses is pretty well versed. They play to keep. They play to destroy. They are constantly doing whatever they can to win. And they have a history now going back, you know, 35-36 years of going after people who they believe they can’t otherwise stop unless they engage in that negative attack.
So right now, for example, a couple of hedge fund billionaires have started a super PAC to run ads against me. Karl Rove has you know solicited money from Wall Street to run ads against me. I view that as perversely flattering because clearly they know I mean what I say and I will do what I say. And I will stand in their way and I will stop them from perpetuating an agenda on America that is bad for our democracy, bad for our economy, bad for our societies.
So I know I have to keep defending against them. But I’m the one who has the experience to do that. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever gone through to be the subject of tens of millions of dollars of untrue, terrible attacks.
And now the Koch brothers say they’re going to spend $750 million to defeat the Democratic nominee. I’m still standing, and I will be standing. So don’t worry about that.
COOPER: Let me just simply follow up. You mentioned attacks on the early 1990s.
COOPER: Do you still believe there’s a vast right-wing conspiracy?
CLINTON: Don’t you?
COOPER: I’m asking you.
CLINTON: Yes. It’s gotten even better funded. You know they brought in some new multibillionaires to pump the money in.
And look, these guys play for keeps. They want to control our country.
COOPER: I’m asking you.
CLINTON: Yes. It has gotten even better funded. You know, they brought in some new multi-billionaires to pump the money in.
And, look, these guys play for keeps. They want to control our country. Senator Sanders and I agree on that completely. They want to rig the economy so they continue to get richer and richer, they could care less about income inequality.
They salve their consciences by giving big money to philanthropy, and, you know, getting great pictures of them standing in front of whatever charity they donated to.
But make no mistake, they want to destroy unions. They want to go after any economic interests that they don’t believe they can control. They want to destroy our balance of power. They want to go after our political system and fill it with people who will do their bidding.
I said today in Dover, you know, I don’t think all of the Republican candidates are so ill-informed about climate change that they say they don’t know because they’re not scientists. They’re just doing the bidding of the Koch brothers.
They’re told don’t you dare say climate change is real because we’re in the fossil fuel business. So this is exactly what they are up to. And, yes…
CLINTON: … it is probably – look, at this point it’s probably not correct to say it’s a conspiracy because it’s out in the open. You know, there is no doubt about what they’re doing and who the players are and what they’re trying to achieve.
And they’re shopping among the Republican candidates to figure out who among them will most likely do their bidding. So just know what we’re up against because it’s real and we’re going to beat it.
But it’s going to take everybody working together.
COOPER: I want you to meet Alison Pyott. She’s an independent torn between you and Senator Sanders.
CLINTON: Hi, Alison.
ALISON PYOTT, PARTNER, WEALTH MANAGEMENT FIRM: I’m sensing a theme here. First, thank you so much for all you’ve done for our country and for women.
CLINTON: Thank you.
PYOTT: My question is the number of factors, some you have just described, have eroded trust in you. What will you do to regain that trust, engender trust in Americans and me?
CLINTON: Well, thank you for starting by saying it’s related to what I just said. And I acknowledge this as personally painful as it is.
When you have been subjected to the level, the velocity of attacks that come every day, even if there is no factual basis to it, it’s just normal for people to say, gosh, there has got to be something, why do they keep saying this and then we do that.
And, you know, I testify for 11 hours, there’s nothing to Benghazi, they don’t give it up, they keep coming after it.
So I know that I have to really demonstrate as clearly as I can who I am, what I stand for, and what I’ve always done. I’ve always been guided by the same values. I have always listened to people. And I’ve always worked as hard as I could to produce results for people.
So when I ran for the Senate the first time and I was out there and, you know, people were barraging, I was running first against Rudy Giuliani and all of that. And I was able to just keep going and tell people, here’s who I am, here’s what I do, I want to do this with you. And I won.
And then since years later when I ran, I got a higher percentage. And then I did have, as you all remember, a really tough campaign against then-Senator Obama. We saw each other very up close and personal.
And he wins and turns and asks me to be his secretary of state, because he trusts me, he trusts my judgment, he trusts my experience.
So all I can do is to just get up every day and work to do what I believe our country needs, find ways to help people, whether it’s on mental health or addiction or autism or student loans, whatever it might be.
And I trust the American people. I trust the people of New Hampshire to see my lifetime of work and service and to sort out all of the static and to know that I will work my heart out for you.
And that’s what I hope you will understand.
COOPER: I want to welcome Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett. He’s an independent, says he’s undecided about his vote.
CLINTON: Hello, Rabbi.
RABBI JONATHAN SPIRA-SAVETT, TEMPLE BETH ABRAHAM: Hello. Another rabbi, Rabbi Simcha Bunem taught that every person has to have two pockets and in each pocket they have to carry a different note. And the note in one pocket says the universe was created for me. And in the other pocket the note says I am just dust and ashes.
And I want you to take a moment and think about what you would tell us about your two pockets. How do you cultivate the ego, the ego that we all know you… UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The note says I am just dust and ashes. And I want you to take a moment and think about what you would tell us about your two pockets.
How do you cultivate the ego, the ego that we all know you must have, a person must have to be the leader of the free world, and also the humility to recognize that we know that you can’t be expected to be wise about all the things that the president has to be responsible for?
CLINTON: Another absolutely wonderful question.
Thank you, Rabbi.
I think about this a lot. Um, I feel very fortunate that I am a person of faith, that I was raised in my church and that I have had to deal and struggle with a lot of these issues about ambition and humility, about service and self-gratification, all of the human questions that all of us deal with, but when you put yourself out into the public arena, I think it’s incumbent upon you to be as self-conscious as possible.
This is hard for me. You know, I never thought I’d be standing on a stage here asking people to vote for me for president. I always wanted to be of service. I met my husband, who was such a natural, knew exactly what he wanted to do. I was happy to support him while I worked in the Children’s Defense Fund and legal services and taught law, and, you know, had our daughter.
I never thought I would do this. And so I have had to come to grips with how much more difficult it often is for me to talk about myself than to talk about what I want to do for other people, or to tell stories about, you know, the man I met in Rochester who – whose AIDS medicine is no longer affordable. And that – that can grip me and make me feel like there’s something I can do about that.
So I’m constantly trying to balance how do I assume the mantle of a position as essentially august as president of the United States not lose track of who I am, what I believe in and what I want to do to serve?
I have that dialogue at least, you know, once a day in some setting or another. And I don’t know that there is any ever absolute answer, like, OK, universe, here I am, watch me roar or oh, my gosh, I can’t do it, it’s just overwhelming, I have to retreat.
It’s that balance that I keep to try to find in my life that I want to see back in our country. And it will be something that I continue to talk about with a – you know, with a group of faith advisers who are close to me.
I get a scripture lesson every morning from a minister that I have a really close personal relationship with. And, you know, it just gets me grounded. He gets up really early to send it to me. So, you know, there it is in my in box at 5:00 a.m..
I have friends who are rabbis who send me notes, give me readings that are going to be discussed in services. So I really appreciate all that incoming.
And the final thing I would say, because again, it’s not anything I’ve ever talked about this much publicly, everybody knows I – I have lived a very public life for the last 25 or so years. And so I’ve had to be in public dealing with some very difficult issues and personal issues, political, public issues. And I read a, um, a treatment of the prodigal son parable by the Jesuit Henri Nouwen, who I think is a magnificent writer of spiritual and theological concerns. And I – I read that parable and there was a line in it that became just a lifeline for me. And it basically is practice the discipline of gratitude.
So regardless of how hard the days are, how difficult the decisions are, be grateful. Be grateful for being a human being, being part of the universe. Be grateful for your limitations. Know that you have to reach out to have more people be with you, to support you, to advise you, listen to your critics, answer the questions.
But at the end, be grateful. Practice the discipline of gratitude. And that has helped me enormously.
COOPER: We’re going to have more questions from the audience for Secretary Clinton when we come back.
We’ll take a short break.
COOPER: Welcome back to CNN’s Democratic Presidential Town Hall at the Derry Opera House in New Hampshire. We are here with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I want to play a piece of video…
COOPER: …from Senator Sanders the other night in Iowa after the votes came in, and get you to respond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: We do not represent the interests of the billionaire class, Wall Street, or corporate America. We don’t want their money. We will… And I am very proud to tell you that we are the only candidate on the Democratic side without a Super PAC. And the reason that we have done so well here in Iowa, the reason I believe we’re going to do so well in New Hampshire, and in the other states that follow, the reason is the American people are saying no to a rigged economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We got a number of questions, even from people who support your policies, who say they do believe that you represent the interests of Wall Street and corporate America. How do you respond?
CLINTON: Well, look, that’s just not the case. And I did represent New York, obviously. There was no doubt that I took on a lot of what was going down on Wall Street, including calling them out on the mortgage issue…
CLINTON: And I did represent New York, obviously. There was no doubt that I took on a lot of what was going down on Wall Street, including calling them out on the mortgage issues, calling for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau even before we got one created, calling for changes in CEO pay.
But I honestly think that the best answer to this is the fact that everybody that I know who looks at what’s happening in this campaign sees the same thing. The Wall Street interests, the money interests, the Republican political interests are spending a lot of money to try to defeat me. So I just find it kind of a strange argument.
I happen to agree with Sen. Sanders. I’m not just going after Wall Street though. I think that’s too narrow a target.
I think we need to go after a company like Johnson Controls that is trying to avoid paying taxes after all of us bailed it out by pretending to sell itself in a so-called inversion in Europe. It’s a perversion. It should be stopped.
I want to go after the hedge funds that have bought up drug companies, you know Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Turing Pharmaceuticals, taking drugs that have been around a long time and upping the price.
So I take seriously the obligation that I would have as president once again to try to get the deck un-stacked, to get the odds favoring the average American again…
And but I just have to – I have to respectfully say, I think Sen. Sanders’ target is too small, I really do. You know I respect him going after the big banks. I agree with him. No bank is too big to fail. No executive to powerful to jail.
But we actually passed the process to be able to take on banks that pose excessive risk in our financial system in Dodd-Frank. So let’s know the next president has to implement, but doesn’t have to achieve that.
Here’s what I want to do. I want to go after all the other culprits. It wasn’t just the big banks. It was the insurance company AIG. It was the investment bank Lehman Brothers. It was Countrywide Mortgage. It was Wachovia.
There were a lot of bad actors. And if all you do is look over here, I’m telling you, they’re going to be over there in the shadow banking sector just cooking up all kinds of ways to once again put our economy at risk.
So I’ve got no argument that we need to take on these vested interests. I just have a wider group that I think we need to go after, from pharmaceuticals…
… insurance companies, shadow banking and other corporations that I think are undermining our ecoomy. And frankly they are undermining our democracy.
This Johnson Controls thing really infuriates me. We bailed them out. The Republicans wanted the auto industry to just fail. They didn’t care about the millions of jobs.
Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress gave them a bailout. It turned out to be a good deal. All of us paid for it. They paid back the Treasury. So we didn’t lose any money and we saved millions of jobs. And the auto industry just had a great year.
Johnson Controls was one of those begging for the bailout. And now they’re not going to pay their taxes? We’re going to go right after that. That is absolutely wrong.
And we need to be focused on getting a fix for that.
COOPER: One of the things…
One of the things that Sen. Sanders points to and a lot of your critics point to is you made three speeches for Goldman Sachs. You were paid $675,000 for three speeches. Was that a mistake? I mean was that a bad error in judgment?
CLINTON: Look. I made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions.
COOPER: But did you have to be paid $675,000?
CLINTON: Well, I don’t know. That’s what they offered, so…
You know every secretary of State that I know has done that.
COOPER: But (inaudible) for office they’re not running for an office…
CLINTON: Well, I didn’t know…
COOPER: … have known.
CLINTON: To be honest I wasn’t – I wasn’t committed to running. I didn’t know whether I would or not.
COOPER: You didn’t think you were going to run for president again?
CLINTON: I didn’t. You know when I was secretary of State several times I said you know I think I’m done. And you know, so many people came to me, started talking to me.
The circumstances, the concerns I had about the Republicans taking back the White House, because I think they wrecked what we achieved in the 1990s with 23 million new jobs and incomes going up for everybody. I did not want to see that happen again. I want to defend President Obama’s accomplishments and the progress we’ve made. I want to go further.
So yes, I was convinced. But you know anybody who knows me who thinks that they can influence me, name anything they’ve influenced me on. Just name one thing. I’m out here every day saying I’m going to shut them down, I’m going after them. I’m going to jail them if they should be jailed. I’m going to break them up.
I mean they’re not giving me very much money now. I can tell you that much.
Fine with me. I’m proud to have 90 percent of my donations from small donors and 60 percent, the highest ever, from women, which I’m really, really proud of.
… break them up.
I mean, they’re not giving me very much money now. I can tell you that much.
CLINTON: Fine with me. I’m proud to have 90 percent of my donations from small donors and 60 percent, the highest ever, from women, which I’m really, really glad about.
COOPER: So just to be clear, that’s not something you regret, those three speeches, that money?
CLINTON: No, I don’t, because, you know, I don’t feel that I paid any price for it and I am very clear about what I will do and they’re on notice.
COOPER: I want to see if Chris Lopez is here.
Chris, there you are.
Chris is an independent with a question for Secretary Clinton. She says she’s undecided, I should point out.
CLINTON: Hi, Chris.
CHRIS LOPEZ, WORKS FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: Hi. Thanks for taking my question.
I see a lot of hypocrisy in this country when I have a really hard time getting the medicine I need and yet it’s really easy to get alcohol. What will you do to decriminalize marijuana so people – so I and people like me can get the pain and spasm relief that we need?
CLINTON: I will do a lot, Chris, because we have an opportunity to do much more with respect to research into marijuana, what it can do to help people with the kinds of conditions you’ve just briefly described.
I want to move it from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II so that we can begin to do more research. The NIH and a lot of universities can begin to try to find out. Because I want you to know what we know from science.
But I also want you to be able to use it while we’re doing the research. And so many states, as you know, have moved to provide legal protection for the use of medical marijuana.
I support that. I think that the states are the laboratories of our democracy. We should be learning about what works, what doesn’t work. Different states have actually listed the kind of illnesses and conditions that it can be used for. Are they right? We don’t know. That’s why we have got to do the research.
I also want you to know what dosage is right, what interacts with the other medication you’re taking. I want to accelerate this because I have no doubt that there are very real benefits for people.
We know in chemotherapy, we know from other conditions in using the right amount of the right kind of marijuana. I just want to make sure it’s the right amount and the right kind. That’s why I want to get that research up and going as quickly as possible.
But you said something else which I think is really important. We can’t be here in New Hampshire and not talk about the addiction problem in New Hampshire. Not talk about the fact that there have been more deaths by overdoses than car crashes in this state.
Not talk about the lives that are being destroyed, the people that I meet, the grandmothers raising their grandchildren because they’ve lost their children. I just left a rally in Manchester, and a woman grabbed my hand and she said, I just lost my son to an overdose.
So I have been working with elected officials like Senator Shaheen, like Governor Hassan, like Governor Shumlin of Vermont, who supports me, to try to figure out how do we put together a new approach, a new law enforcement approach so that first-time, low-level drug users are not sent to jail but instead we have more treatment and recovery programs?
There are 23 million people who need help in our country, both alcohol and drugs. There are 10 percent of the kind of spaces that they need to take care of those people. So we’ve got to work on law enforcement.
We have to work on doctors to understand better when they prescribe opioids, which is often the first step towards heroin. We have to have every police department equipped with naloxone, which is the antidote to reverse overdose, save lives here in New Hampshire. We’ve got to put more money into this.
So all of this to me fits together. You deserve answers about marijuana and we deserve more treatment for people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol for other kinds of challenges. So that’s what I would like to do.
COOPER: I want you to meet – this is Julie Carnigan, she’s from Windham.
JULIE CARNIGAN, NEW HAMPSHIRE RESIDENT: Hi. Thank you for taking my question.
I’m the proud mother of five girls, two of my own, three step-daughters. And unfortunately they are all “feeling the Bern.” And I would like to know what you would do to convince them to vote for you.
CLINTON: How old are they?
CARNIGAN: They’re in their – 21, 22, and a couple of 23s and a 25-year-old.
CLINTON: Well, first of all, tell them I’m glad they’re interested in politics, and I really mean that. I want them to be involved. I want them to feel like I felt when I was that age, some years ago, and getting excited and interested in politics for the first time.
I also want them to take a look at my record, what I have done my entire life, starting as a young lawyer working for the Children’s Defense Fund, taking on the problem of juveniles incarcerated with adults in South Carolina, trying to gather information to end segregated academies…
CLINTON: I want them to take a look at my record, what I have done my entire life, starting as a young lawyer working for the Children’s Defense Fund, taking on the problem of juveniles incarcerated with adults in South Carolina, trying to gather information to end segregated academies in the South. I want them to know that I was a legal services lawyers, standing up for equality under the law, defending people’s rights because I believe passionately that those of us who have the opportunity to serve should serve.
And then I hope they will look at what I have accomplished from, you know, starting the Children’s Health Insurance Program that insures eight million kids, looking at ways to try to be smart in reforming our adoption and foster care system, with very partisan Republicans when I was First Lady. Getting healthcare for our National Guard. Helping to negotiate and implement a treaty to reduce nuclear weapons. A long list. And the reason I say that is I think it’s very important that, as people move toward the primary on Tuesday, whatever your age, you really think about what someone is proposing and what their record is about getting it done. And as I’ve said and I mean it absolutely, I have the highest respect for Senator Sanders.
But as the “Concord Monitor” said today in its writing about this, you know, it’s, it’s very hard to see how any of his proposals could ever be achievable. So I don’t want to over promise. We’ve got too much of that. I want to tell people what I will do. I want to be specific because I do want to – to go back to the question I was asked earlier – recreate the trust that seems to have been splintered in America. We need to set big goals again. I am all for that. I have big, ambitious goals. Affordable college, early childhood education, making sure that we are on the path to paid family leave, all of which will help your daughters.
But I also want them to hold me accountable. I want them to say, OK, how’s that actually going to happen? What do we have to do to make it? We’ve got to get 60 votes to break a filibuster in the Senate. Nancy Pelosi has said, we’re not going to revisit healthcare. We’re going to stick with the Affordable Care Act. That’s exactly where I am. We’re going to improve it. Because I am somebody who wants to actually produce a real difference in people’s lives. I am a progressive who gets results. And I will be a progressive President who gets results. And the final thing I would say is, it is still the case that there are challenges and obstacles to young women’s ambitions.
And I’m going to try to break the highest and hardest glass ceiling. I hope it splinters completely and, and I hope for your daughters it opens doors that might not be open right now, regardless of whether any of them ever do any politically. But in their lives, their profession, how they’re treated. I hope it does give them more of a sense of empowerment. That’s what I want for my daughter and my amazing granddaughter, and that’s what I want for your daughters.
COOPER: (inaudible). Just as we did with Senator Sanders, we’ve talked about a lot of important policy issues. I just want to ask kind of a couple of personal questions just for voters to get…
CLINTON: You don’t think they know everything?
COOPER: Well, I don’t know. We’ll see about that. It’s interesting to me, I mean you have – as you said, you have been one of the most famous women in the world now for, for decades. You have no anonymity. If you could be anonymous for just one day, what would you do?
CLINTON: I used to do this in the White House and, you know, I would, I would put on a baseball cap and sunglasses and, you know, sweat pants and a sweat shirt, and put my hair back, and I would go walk. And I would tell the Secret Service they had to wear casual clothes, they had to take the things out of their ears, they had to look like they were just tourists. I had the best time, you know. I would, I would end up over on the Mall sometimes, walking around. And a family would come up and say, would you mind taking our picture in front of the White House. I’d be happy to. Here, why don’t you…
So, you know, there’s nothing I like better than to be anonymous, as hard as that is to achieve. So I would spend the day, you know, out in nature, talking a long walk, walking through one of the beautiful towns here in New Hampshire, stopping in a cafe, stopping in a bookstore. You know, maybe calling some of my friends, some of whom are here tonight, and say, don’t tell anybody but meet me, you know, there. That’s what I, that’s what I want to do, and it’s what I get the great joy out of. I am so fortunate that I still have my friends from grade school and every other phase of my life. And they keep me grounded, they keep me honest, they deflate my head, they deal with the universe in one pocket and the dust and ashes in the other. So anytime….
CLINTON: that I still have my friends from grade school and every other phase of my life. And they keep me grounded. They keep me honest. They deflate my head. They deal with the universe in one pocket and the dust and ashes in the other.
So any time I get to spend time with them. And then of course it would have to end with seeing my granddaughter because that’s the crème de le resistance…
COOPER: What does she call you?
CLINTON: She calls me grandma. Grandma. Yes.
She’s working really hard on words. And it was so thrilling. They came to Iowa that last weekend because we obviously weren’t going to leave.
And so they got in late the night, Saturday night. And Sunday morning I’m getting ready. And you know Bill and I are you know having coffee and everything.
So Chelsea brings her in and she sees me. She goes “grandma”. And honest to goodness, the caucus could’ve ended right there. I would’ve been perfectly happy…
… saying the best thing has happened to me right this minute in Iowa. So that’s where I’d end my day.
COOPER: You talked about the circle of friends you have. Obviously in 2011 your mom passed away.
COOPER: In 2008 she was part of your campaign.
CLINTON: She was.
COOPER: And you wrote about how at the end of the day you would, you know, sit around the kitchen table with her, kick off your shoes and just talk about everything that had happened.
COOPER: What do you think – what advice do you think she would give you today in this campaign in this year?
CLINTON: You know, my mother truly is my inspiration because she had such a terrible, miserable life and was abandoned and rejected by her own family, and was out at the age of 14 working as a housemaid. And her resilience, her love, her ability to have her own family to take such good care of us was just, you know to me the ultimate accomplishment in any life.
And she would always give me the advice she gave me as a little girl. You know you get knocked down. Everybody gets knocked down. What matters is whether you get up.
And when you get up, what do you do? How do you behave? Are you going to be bitter? Angry? Upset? Are you going to try to be positive, get something done, help somebody else? And I’m sure that’s exactly what she’d be saying now.
She’d be encouraging me. She’d be very proud, a little apprehensive because you know it’s a brutal business being in politics.
And people say things about those you love, whether it’s your daughter or someone else. So she was very supportive. But you could tell you know how much pain she kind of absorbed from time to time.
And so I would sit with her and I would say don’t listen to that stuff, mom. And she’d say, well I have to know what they’re saying about you. And I’d say you know don’t put yourself through that. And so that would be what she’d be doing now I think too. Yes.
COOPER: I want you to be able to make your closing argument…
COOPER: … to the people in New Hampshire.
CLINTON: Well, thank you.
Well, first of all, thanks again for being part of this process, this first in the nation primary. You know I said earlier today some people said well you know Sen. Sanders is ahead. And I respect that. And so maybe you know I should go onto the next state. And I said absolutely not.
New Hampshire has been so good to me and my family. And I love campaigning in New Hampshire. I love this process.
So, you’re going to have to put up with me. I’m going to be going around the state, going to as many events as I can, answering as many questions, trying to talk about what I am offering. I really believe that we have a chance to build on the progress we’ve made and to get results for people.
To get the economy producing more good jobs, to get incomes rising again, that’s my goal. I will not raise middle class taxes because the middle class hasn’t even yet recovered from the Great Recession.
We’re going to stick with the Affordable Care Act. We’re going to make it work.
We’re going to get early childhood education, affordable college and pay down student debt, a lot of the agenda that is important to our country, particularly to young people.
And we’re going to defend our rights. We’re going to defend a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.
We’re going to defend Planned Parenthood. We’re going to defend marriage equality and end discrimination against LGBT Americans. And we’re going to take on the gun lobby because it is absolutely unconscionable to have…
… 33,000 people a year die from gun violence.
So please, join me in this campaign. I hope you will come out and vote for me on Tuesday. And I will fight for you every single day in the White House. Thank you all very much.
COOPER: I want to thank both candidates for coming tonight, the voters for being here and asking such amazing questions…
And the viewers at home. I also want to thank everybody with the Derry Opera House for their hospitality…
With the New Hampshire primaries now just days away, a reminder we’ll be here for it all with (inaudible) expert analysis…
Our coverage continues with Don Lemon right after this.
CLINTON: Thank you all.
Thank you, guys.