Bernie Sanders and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes went to Kenosha, Wisconsin to hold a town hall meeting with Trump voters, to face their questions directly, and further a discussion.
Asked about Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S., several Trump supporters said Trump only suggests controversial policies for attention and isn’t serious. Sanders minced no words with his reply:
“Why do you vote for somebody who, in a sense then, is lying?”
The audience roared with approval when Bernie Sanders said it, and the entire scene belies the question of why the Democratic nominee in this year’s election failed herself to hold a similar event and open a discussion with voters.
Then, a small-town Trump voter explained to Bernie Sanders that she voted for Trump in 2016 because she wanted “change,” and complained about undocumented immigrants — calling them “those people” — taking jobs where she worked, which she claimed depressed her own pay. She continued
“Who’s paying for this? Who’s paying for the Medicaid? Who’s paying for the Social Security? Who’s paying for the Medicare?” she asked rhetorically. “Now, have any of you seen down on the streets that it seems as though we have become the silent minority and not the majority?”
Asked by host Hayes who she was referring to, she replied, “The people who need the Medicare, the people who need the Social Security, who need the help with the education.” That’s when Bernie stepped in:
“Good point. Let’s see if we can go forward on this,” Sanders began. “I am assuming that you believe, correct me if I’m wrong, that we should not cut Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid. Is that correct or not?”
“Yeah, I believe they shouldn’t be cut,” she replied.
“Do you know who is now working very hard to try to do that?” said Sanders.
“Republicans in Congress have a plan under the guise of saving Medicare and saving Social Security, making devastating cuts. That’s what the Republicans are now trying to do.”
Checkmate. Well played, Bernie.
Watch it here:
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition