Speed Reads

campaign 2016

In New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders discusses his spirituality, criminal justice reform

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told the crowd at CNN's Democratic Town Hall Wednesday night that if elected, he will take on "a corrupt campaign finance system which is undermining democracy" and "rebuild the American middle class."

On health care, Sanders said he is going to "fight for a Medicare for all, single payer program, which would provide comprehensive health care" for all Americans. "The United States is the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care for all people and we end up spending far, far more per capita on health care as do the people of any other country — Canada, the U.K., France," he said. His plan involves raising taxes "if you're somewhere in the middle of the economy by about $500," but health care costs will be reduced by $5,000. "You will no longer have to pay private health insurance premiums," he said. "I believe health care is a right of all people. We should not have these deductibles and co-payments. We should not be paying the highest prices in the world for prescriptions."

When asked about how he can appeal to religious people, Sanders said he wouldn't be running for president if he didn't have "very strong religious and spiritual feelings." His "very strong spiritual belief" is that "we are all in this together, and when there are children going hungry, and when veterans sleep on the street, it impacts me." He revealed he's always been bothered by injustice, and "there will be no president who will fight harder to end institutional racism than I will. We have got to reform a very, very broken criminal justice system. It breaks my heart, and I know it breaks the hearts of millions of people in this country, to see videos on television of unarmed people, often African-Americans, shot by police. That has got to end."

Sanders discussed crushing the Islamic State, improving intelligence agencies, and screening refugees thoroughly, before admitting he wants to see Donald Trump win the Republican nomination so he can run against him. Sanders also explained why he thinks his campaign has been successful: "It's not about 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." Catherine Garcia