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Bernie Sanders’ NY Daily News Interview Meltdown is Spectacular

Bernie Sanders’ NY Daily News Interview Meltdown is Spectacular

When you have difficulty explaining your hallmark policy pieces…

On April 1, Bernie Sanders sat down for an interview with the NY Daily News editorial board. It was terrible. So terrible, The Washington Post said it was, “pretty close to a disaster.”

Sanders was unable to answer basic questions about several of his campaign policy centerpieces. Most notably, Sanders struggled to explain how he would break up banks.

Daily News: Okay. Well, let’s assume that you’re correct on that point. How do you go about doing [breaking up the banks]?

Sanders: How you go about doing it is having legislation passed, or giving the authority to the secretary of treasury to determine, under Dodd-Frank, that these banks are a danger to the economy over the problem of too-big-to-fail.

Daily News: But do you think that the Fed, now, has that authority?

Sanders: Well, I don’t know if the Fed has it. But I think the administration can have it.

Daily News: How? How does a President turn to JPMorgan Chase, or have the Treasury turn to any of those banks and say, “Now you must do X, Y and Z?”

Sanders: Well, you do have authority under the Dodd-Frank legislation to do that, make that determination.

Daily News: You do, just by Federal Reserve fiat, you do?

Sanders: Yeah. Well, I believe you do.

Then Sanders was asked about the Palestinian pursuit to prosecute war crimes in the ICC.

Daily News: Do you support the Palestinian leadership’s attempt to use the International Criminal Court to litigate some of these issues to establish that, in their view, Israel had committed essentially war crimes?

Sanders: No.

Daily News: Why not?

Sanders: Why not?

Daily News: Why not, why it…

Sanders: Look, why don’t I support a million things in the world? I’m just telling you that I happen to believe.

And Sanders doesn’t quite understand how subways work these days either:

Daily News: I know you’ve got to go in a second. When was the last time you rode the subway? Are you gonna a campaign in the subway?

Sanders: Actually we rode the subway, Mike, when we were here? About a year ago? But I know how to ride the subways. I’ve been on them once or twice.

Daily News: Do you really? Do you really? How do you ride the subway today?

Sanders: What do you mean, “How do you ride the subway?”

Daily News: How do you get on the subway today?

Sanders: You get a token and you get in.

Daily News: Wrong.

Sanders: You jump over the turnstile.

Clinton seized the opportunity, saying, “I think the [Sanders] interview raised a lot of really serious questions.”

She added, “I’d think he hadn’t done his homework and he has been talking for more than a year about … things that he obviously hadn’t really studied or understood and that does raise a lot of questions and really what it does is for voters to ask themselves, can he deliver what he is talking about, can he really help people.”

The transcript of the full interview is here.

For Sanders’ hardcore supporters, this probably won’t matter. Like his Republican counterpart, Donald Trump, Sanders seems to be able to do and say anything without losing political capital. For those on the fence out which Democratic candidate to support though, Sanders’ shallow knowledge-base might be a wee bit problematic. At least there’s still the candidate who might soon be indicted by the FBI?

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Sanders and Trump will both hire scholars to write policy speeches for them.

I don’t see why it’s wrong for a president to announce goals and then pass the mechanics job to talented professionals in the area, overseeing their plans and progress.

I don’t see the need for a hyperspecific detailed wonk. Plus, giving the targets a year plus heads up to prepare.

Suffice it to say, the president probably does have the authority to break up the banks (charge them criminally for the 2008 crisis is just one means to do this)… And the reporter’s attempt to make sanders choose between Israel and the ICC is dishonest if there are other means to solve the issue.

I’m sure Sanders knows how Subways work, he was an unemployable drifter until he was 40!

    Paul in reply to rotten. | April 6, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Charge them criminally for the 2008 crisis? You mean the one that was caused by the moron politicians pandering to every idiot in the country who can’t balance their checkbook so they could pursue “the American dream of home ownership?” Good grief that is one of the most retarded things I’ve read on this site in a LONG time.

    And you progs wonder why we cling to our guns. This race towards socialism and totalitarianism will eventually end up very poorly for you.

    healthguyfsu in reply to rotten. | April 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    “I don’t see why it’s wrong for a president to announce goals and then pass the mechanics job to talented professionals in the area, overseeing their plans and progress.”

    Tell me you aren’t that dense: that’s as bad as saying we have to pass it to find out what’s in it.

    “I’m sure Sanders knows how Subways work”

    Good Lord.

    It’s “subways.” Lower-case “s”. The one you reference, “Subways,” is where you go to get a shitty sandwich. When it’s hauling your ass around NYC, it’s a “subway.”

    Often mistaken, but never uncertain. Oofah.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Arminius in reply to rotten. | April 7, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Good Lord, man! The guy is, what, something like 74 years old. He’s had 50 years to think about how to implement socialism. And this is far as he’s gotten? How to achieve the worker’s paradise:

    1. Elect me, Bernie Sanders, President.
    2. I will outlaw all but two brands of deodorant (Children are starving because we have too many kinds of deodorant!)
    3. Free college for everyone and universal health care!

    Yeah, I guess it’s a bit much for me to expect him to have fleshed things out more, gotten into a wee bit more detail, in only 50 years.

    bt1 in reply to rotten. | April 7, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Suspect no one was charged because no laws were broken? The politicians wanted to expand home ownership forcing the banks to lower their lending standards. This led to a housing shortage causing prices to rise. People were upgrading, borrowing against their homes or buying homes they couldn’t afford. Everyone was making money hand over fist until people started foreclosing on loans they never should have taken out in the first place. Attempts early on to send up warning flares about where this might lead to were met with charges of racism by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Of course, when the dung hit the fan the very same politicians responsible blamed the banks. Please read the book, Reckless Endangerment, written by two NYT reporters who do an excellent job explaining the whole sordid affair.

Interviewer: Senator Sanders, you come across as a bit out of touch with reality, is there anything you’d like to say to reassure your voters that you’re not?

Sanders: I have a pet unicorn that really loves me.

I think Sanders should have been better prepared to answer some of the questions in that interview, but I also think there’s a major campaign underway (by you-know-who) to milk this for all that it’s worth and more, because of the upcoming face-off in NY. She’s a policy wonk, one of her major strengths is to have facts and numbers at the ready, so this is a good way to attack him. Sanders’ performance may have been weak in the Daily News interview, but HRC supporters want to paint it as absolutely catastrophic, because it is to their advantage to do so. I don’t read it that way, nor did Daily News reporter Juan Gonzalez, who was actually present at the interview. Comparisons to Trump, though useful for the Clinton camp, are utterly absurd.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to sakura. | April 6, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Because Trump is far worse.

    Ragspierre in reply to sakura. | April 6, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Over the past few weeks, Donald Trump has given a series of extended interviews with major news outlets, covering topics ranging from foreign policy to the economy to abortion. Those interviews have been intensely revealing. What they have shown is that Donald Trump has no idea what he is talking about on just about anything of relevance to a presidential candidate.

    More than that, though, we’ve learned that Trump refuses to prepare, and will not learn even the most basic factoids, even when a topic is certain to arise during an interview. Instead, he will respond with deliberate provocations, with refusals to answer questions, by altering his “position” repeatedly, by changing the subject, and by ignoring or denying the facts of the subject at hand. He has demonstrated not only that he is a blithering know-nothing, but that he is determined to stay that way.

    Everyone should read the whole thing.

      Rick in reply to Ragspierre. | April 6, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Gingrich seems to be begging to be retained by Trump to provide the necessary semblance of understanding of the issues.

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to Ragspierre. | April 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Prior to this election I had always seen the ultimate standard for cluelessness in a candidate to be Carol Moseley Braun’s 1992 interview with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune for its endorsement in the US Senate race. On question after question relating to major segments of the Illinois economy, Moseley Braun didn’t know what the questions were even about. Veteran reporters were shocked, especially since Moseley Braun had voted on many bills concerning these industries during her time in the State Senate. The editorial board was then appalled when she tried to mask her ignorance by tearing up and declaring her status as a victim to close the interview.

      A knee jerk liberal dedicated a column on how badly she had wanted to elect the first black woman to the US Senate before sitting in on that interview. The Tribune issued a no endorsement, based upon Moseley Braun’s Republican challenger playing a Donald and getting cute with them about support he was getting from some white supremacists.

    inspectorudy in reply to sakura. | April 6, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    I guess the thing that makes the comparison of Trump to Sanders is that Sanders didn’t use the word “Yuge” one time. But they both live by their poll numbers and talk about their lead blah, blah, blah. Neither one has a clue how to fix anything, only to point out what isn’t working. If someone asked you if it was legal to sell your wife would you be stupid enough to go into that question and actually answer it? Or if you were asked what you would do if someone raped your wife, would you go into a long unemotional answer like Dukakis did? That’s what Trump did on abortion and he looked really stupid doing it. His defenders all say but he was only answering a hypothetical question. To be president you have to be a little sharper than that folks.

    Arminius in reply to sakura. | April 7, 2016 at 11:44 am

    It was catastrophic for Sanders in this sense. If you’re 74 and still a socialist you have never bothered to think things through. You just never figured out how things work. And it shows in this interview. The guy learned socialist rhetoric in his “yute” and that’s as far as it ever went. He’s just been parroting it for the past 50 years.

    That’s why, I believe it was Vodkapundit who put it this way, his one and only claim to fame ever since he got to DC has been yelling at C-SPAN cameras in the small hours of the morning. Yeah Bernie, we got it. You’re mad at capitalism in general and Wall Street in particular. He’s just an angry, clueless fossilized hippie.

    Now I wish they’d give Hillary the same treatment. She’s just as out of touch, unaccomplished, and clueless as Bernie. And her promises are also vaporware. But at least Bernie is sincere and consequently harmless. Hillary is the vilest creature to ever contend for the presidency. And that’s quite and accomplishment with Trump in the race.

The last year of Bush-43’s presidency was a perfect opportunity to let the too big banks fall on their own tail and make good on the then-capped deposit insurance. Instead we choose to change the law to guarantee virtually all accounts, no matter how big. After which, because of the guarantee, we could claim that other forms of aid would be cheaper than cover of the guarantee. Depositors who got checks for guaranteed deposits in unsound/bankrupt banks could then have placed them in other banks.

The shady mortgage backed security bundlers/peddlers would have rightfully suffered a death blow, by letting the capitalist system itself purge the worst ones for their folly. The capitalist system was not allowed to work.

    healthguyfsu in reply to pdxnag. | April 6, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    and no one indicts the role of the Democratic congress in this problem.

    inspectorudy in reply to pdxnag. | April 7, 2016 at 12:03 am

    You are leaving out some of the biggest culprits which are the three credit rating companies, S&P, Morgan Stanley and Fitch. They were up to their eyeballs in the real estate crash. They should have gone to prison for the lousy job they did and the lies they told. Without their complicit criminal acts, none of this could have taken place.

Henry Hawkins | April 6, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Just watched a 1985 vid of then-mayor of Burlington VT Bernie wherein he’s defending communism and declares that bread lines are really a good thing because in some parts of the world there are people who are starving to death. OK. I really, really hope you win the Dem nom, Bernie.

We know Bernie’s numbers don’t work but the things he wants to do are just too important for us to be held back by numbers.

Bernie = Trump = Billy Mays, minus the integrity

Hillary, you were last on a subway…when?

It was a funny interview, assuming you view Sanders as comic relief rather than something more sinister. He’s clearly running more as a populist than as a socialist – in the same interview he said he was going to get rid of all of our free trade deals more or less.

His first answer, though fuzzy and meandering, isn’t so awful. What we can get out of that near-stream-of-consciousness miasma is that he believes that whatever mayhem he’d inflict on the banks should at least be legal. That’s a big improvement over the crimes to which we’ve become accustomed in the Obama era. And the fact that Bernie doesn’t seem to have already figured out all the details isn’t so awful, either. Remember that Obama is the guy who fancies himself a better expert on everything than the experts themselves. Sanders has never claimed to be the Univeral Expert in All Things. (Or has he? I don’t really follow him closely; his brand of wooly-headedness gives me a headache).

An Executive isn’t supposed to do all the detail gruntwork. Those presidents who do are later justly criticized for allowing themselves to be sucked into “micromanagement” for which they are not terribly well suited—think Jimmeh Carter.

Sanders seems to be able to do and say anything without losing political capital.

Of course. Sanders, like most socialists, is a Big Picture guy. It’s one of the few things which separates him from so many of the communists; they tend to have more detailed plans, and extremely unappealing ones at that. Fuzzy thinkers make good socialists, both as candidates and as voters; more detail-oriented types make better communists or fascists.

Give me a break! There”s no edit button here and typing things on an iPhone is tricky. Hit space one too many times and it starts capitalizing words…..

    Milhouse in reply to rotten. | April 7, 2016 at 2:03 am

    The thing is, his answer shows that the last time he rode the subway was not a year or two ago but long enough ago that they still had tokens. He doesn’t know how to ride the subway today. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, he doesn’t live in NYC any more so why should he know this, but he shouldn’t pretend to be more at home in NYC than he is. Of course Clinton’s not ridden a subway in decades either, if ever. She’s also not driven a car in decades. I wonder if Trump has ever been on the subway. I wonder if he owns a Metrocard.

holdingmynose | April 7, 2016 at 6:14 am

I wonder when’s the last time Shrillary rode in public transportation?

DINORightMarie | April 7, 2016 at 7:26 am

……and yet, he won Wisconsin. Handily.

So many young people support him – have they heard this? (Not that they know what Dodd-Frank is, which is a HUGE nightmare-piece-of-you-know-what that NEEDS to be repealed!……)

Lord, help us, if either Hillary or Sanders become our next president…….

buckeyeminuteman | April 7, 2016 at 12:28 pm

The Democrats have had a problem for the past decade of thinking all fiscal problems can be solved if you just jump the turnstile. Look at the consequences…

The only thing I can think of is the comedic gold that would be available from a Trump/Sanders debate. Hopefully that folly stays where it should…on comedy central.