Bernie Sanders raised a few eyebrows on Wednesday night's CNN Climate Town Hall and the campaign sent campaign co-chair Nina Turner to MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson on Thursday in a largely failed attempt to perform some damage control.
Jackson began the segment by asking Turner, "So, Senator Sanders got a lot of attention for something that he acknowledged last night that associated with his climate plan, there will be some pain. How much pain are we talking about here?" Turner dodged the question, "Well, the pain of doing nothing is greater, I mean what price tag can we put on Mother Earth? There is no price tag." That led Jackson to interrupt, "Well, there is a price tag, right? And it's a lot of money."
Jackson didn't mention the exact price tag immediately, but a graphic later in the segment showed that at $16.3 trillion, Sanders' plan is 63 percent more expensive than next highest Democratic proposals from Kamala Harris and Julian Castro. Turner again dodged the question, comparing Bernie's plan to get the nation to rally together fight climate change with the New Deal during the Great Depression and World War II.
Trying a different route, Jackson asked what was wrong with other Democratic plans that do not cost $16.3 trillion. Turner defended Sanders' "most comprehensive and visionary" plan, condemned Republican tax cuts, and said that the cost is worth it because the alternative is the destruction of the planet in 12 years time:
If Mother Earth is not worth saving, none of that matters, we want to talk about employment, businesses, every other thing, Hallie, the bottom line, every other thing we care about and talk about is for naught if we do not change course. The scientists have made it very clear, we have about 12 years left or Mother Earth will sustain damage that we cannot come back from, so no other issue matters unless we save Mother Earth"
With that the segment moved onto the subject of polling data and while Jackson managed to ask some good, but basic questions, she missed an opportunity to ask Turner about Sanders agreeing that abortion could and should be used to control the population in developing countries to fight climate change, countries largely populated with non-white people. In fact, the media as a whole seem content to ignore those comments
Here is a transcript for the September 5 show:
MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson
10:27 AM ET
HALLIE JACKSON: Let me bring in now from the Sanders campaign, national co-chair, former State Senator Nina Turner, thank you so much Senator Turner for being back on the show with us.
NINA TURNER: Good to be with you Hallie.
JACKSON: So, Senator Sanders got a lot of attention for something that he acknowledged last night that associated with his climate plan, there will be some pain. How much pain are we talking about here?
TURNER: Well, the pain of doing nothing is greater, I mean what price tag can we put on Mother Earth? There is no price tag
JACKSON: Well, there is a price tag, right? And it's a lot of money and as the president’s re-election campaign, go ahead
TURNER: My point is that that investment is well worth it not just for ourselves living today but also future generations, so that comment is that it is worth it and what Senator Bernie Sanders is asking for in his Green New Deal, you know creating a decade of focus from immigration to foreign policy, on saving the only planet that we know for us and future generations. It is worth the investment, it is worth it in the similar way we came together as a nation during the Great Depression with the New Deal, it is worth it that way, in the same way we came together as a country during World War II in 1940s and that there’s this global impact, not just United States of America, but you got to have a president and Senator Bernie Sanders will be that president who is willing to work with all leaders across the globe to ensure we save planet Earth.
JACKSON: As you know, Republicans already, in particular the president's re-election campaign that whoever is the Democratic nominee will be up against come next year is already talking about not just the price tag but the idea any of these climate change plans will kill American jobs, 10 million jobs is what the campaign says. You talk about the price tag for the senator’s plan being worth it. It's a lot more than other price tags in Democratic plans we've seen, right? There’s a raise--
TURNER: Because the threat is worth it, in part--
JACKSON: I get that, my question to you, senator, is this. Are these other plans not worth it? Do you think for example Andrew Yang’s plan or Beto O’Rourke’s plan which costs about half as much as the senator's plan won't do enough?
TURNER: I'm here to talk about Senator Bernie Sanders’ plan and his plan is the most comprehensive and visionary one and the point you make about the Republicans, they don't have a leg to stand on. This is a party that gives tax breaks to mult-millionaires and billionaires on the backs and necks of working poor and barely middle class in the country. If Mother Earth is not worth saving, none of that matters, we want to talk about employment, businesses, every other thing, Hallie, the bottom line, every other thing we care about and talk about is for naught if we do not change course. The scientists have made it very clear, we have about 12 years left or Mother Earth will sustain damage that we cannot come back from, so no other issue matters unless we save Mother Earth. So the Republicans have no leg to stand on whatsoever in criticizing any Democrat about our ability and plans to save Mother Earth.