By Mary Margaret Olohan
2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday that “we have a racist society from top to bottom.”
The Vermont senator spoke Friday evening at ABC’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire, where he discussed racism in the United States as former Vice President Joe Biden and billionaire Tom Steyer argued over who has more support from black voters.
“We have a racist society from top to bottom,” Sanders said, adding that this “racist society” is “impacting health care, housing, criminal justice, education — you name it.”
“And clearly this is an issue that must be dealt with,” he added. “But in terms of criminal justice, what we have got to do is understand the system is broken, is racist.”
“We invest in our young people, in jobs, in education, not more jails, and incarceration. We end the war on drugs, which has disproportionately impacted African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. We end private prisons and detention centers in America.”
On health care, Biden attacked Sanders over his Medicare for All plan, asking, “how much is that gonna cost?”
The two candidates kicked off Friday night’s debates by sparring over Medicare for All at Saint Anselm College. The former vice president pointed out that though Sanders promises to provide Medicare for All, he “is not willing to solve what the damn thing” will cost.
“Bernie says that you have to bring people together, and that we have to have Medicare for All,” Biden said. “But Bernie says — and he says he wrote the damn thing. But he’s not willing to solve what the damn thing’s gonna cost.”
“How much is it gonna cost?” Biden asked Sanders. “Who is gonna pay for it? It will cost more than the entire federal budget we spend now. More than the entire budget. The idea middle class taxes aren’t going to go up is just crazy.”
He continued: “So how much is it gonna cost? If you ask Bernie that — I’ll ask him again tonight sometime — he says, ‘Go figure, I don’t know, we’ll find out.’”
“Imagine you’re going to unite the country walking into the Congress, say, ‘I got this bill, it’s gonna provide Medicare for everybody, I can’t tell you how much it’s gonna cost — we’ll find out later, it’s likely to be double everything we spend in the federal government, who do you think is gonna get that passed?”
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