Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders’ performance at a Fox News-hosted town hall Monday night is being touted by his supporters as evidence that the 77-year-old democratic socialist has the ability to pierce the “Fox News bubble.” One particular moment from the event that has gotten some attention online, including over at The Hill, is when co-host Bret Baier asked the largely Sanders-sympathetic audience if they’d support the senator’s “Medicare For All” plan. By their response, it’s clear that a lot of them would do so enthusiastically.
Here’s a clip of the moment:
In its report on the event, Fox News also draws attention to the audience’s response to the question. Asked point blank if government-controlled “Medicare for All” would mean that Americans will “pay more in taxes,” Sanders admitted it would but promised that he’d make sure we were paying for the estimated $32 trillion in costs over 10 years rather than racking up more unsustainable debt.
“We pay for what we’re proposing, unlike the President of the United States,” he said, adding later: “In terms of Medicare for All, we are paying for that by eliminating as I said before, deductibles and premiums. We are going to save the average American family money.”
“When Baier polled the audience at the town hall — which was clearly supportive of Sanders throughout — most indicated they would support Sanders’ health care plan, despite currently having private insurance they would lose,” Fox notes.
Some other notable moments from the rather contentious event includes Sanders’ response to questions about his tax returns, which showed that he and his wife made over a million dollars in both 2016 and 2017 and over a half-million in 2018, when he paid an effective tax rate of 26%. During that time he gave “only $10,600 to charity in 2016 and $36,300 in 2017, the records showed, followed by nearly $19,000 in 2018,” Fox reports.
Asked why he didn’t voluntarily give the government more in taxes since he’s pushing for a wealth tax, Sanders said, “Pfft … come on … I am, I paid the taxes that I owe … Why don’t you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes?”
Asked by co-host Martha MacCallum if he’d be willing to voluntarily “pay 52% on the money that you made,” Sanders again fired back. “You can volunteer too. Martha, why don’t you give? You make more money than I do,” he said.
“I didn’t suggest a wealth tax,” she replied. “And she’s not running for president,” added Baier.
As for all the money he’s made while railing against capitalism, Sanders insisted that he’s not being hypocritical. “When you wrote the book and made the money, isn’t that the definition of capitalism and the American dream?” asked Baier.
“No,” said Sanders. “What we want is a country in which everyone has an opportunity. … A lot of people don’t have a college degree. A lot of people are not United States senators.”
“If anyone thinks I should apologize for writing a bestselling book, I’m sorry, I’m not gonna do it,” the senator added.
Sanders also again repeated his call for prisoners to vote and defending abortion until birth.
Partial transcript via Fox News.