You don’t see that very often. The journalists at CBS This Morning on Thursday grilled socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, hitting the progressive over hypocrisy relating to a possible government shutdown. On the issue of Sanders and Al Franken, the co-hosts called him out on his flip flopping.
Discussing a possible shutdown, Bianna Golodryga chided, “You have said you will not vote for a spending deal without a permanent fix for dreamers. The President said it's going to be the Democrats' fault. Are you willing to take that responsibility?”
But in 2013, the shutdown then, you said, ‘It is wrong for right-wing Republicans to ignore the results of the last election and hold the American people hostage by threatening to shut down the government because they can’t get their way." What makes this different?
Co-host Norah O’Donnell quizzed the socialist on his shifting position on the Minnesota senator accused of harassment and improper touching by six women:
I first want to ask you about your colleague, Senator Franken. I know you called for him to resign yesterday, but last month you said it was up to Minnesota. What made you change your mind?
What prompted all this? Sanders has endured the occasionally tougher question or two since the 2016 election. On November 14, 2016, O’Donnell lectured him about “guilt” and “responsibility” for Hillary Clinton’s loss.
In November of 2017, when Donna Brazile revealed how the presidential campaign was “rigged” for Clinton, CBS initially ignored the story.
A partial transcript is below:
CBS This Morning
8:05:24 to 8:12:12
NORAH O’DONNELL: A new CBS news poll out this morning finds 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the Republican tax plan. A majority of Americans say the bill will benefit large corporations. But only 31 percent think it will help middle class Americans and less than a quarter believe it will help them and their families. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and he joins us from Washington. Good morning, senator.
BERNIE SANDERS: Good morning.
NORAH O’DONNELL: Before we get to the tax plan, I first want to ask you about your colleague, Senator Franken. I know you called for him to resign yesterday, but last month you said it was up to Minnesota. What made you change your mind?
SANDERS: Well, I think the additional evidence that came forward. But I think what we've got to recognize as a nation that this is a problem impacting not only high profile men. What I worry about right now, as we speak, restaurants and in offices all across this country where you have bosses who are not famous, there is harassment of women a women. Women are being intimidated, and we need a cultural revolution in this country. And to my mind, it has to do with a women’s right to control her own body, to have equal pay for equal work, to have access to reproductive rights. We have a lot of work to do to protect women’s equality in this country.
GAYLE KING: We certainly do. Senator Al Franken said that last accusation absolutely was not true. He's admitted to some. He said the last one is not true. I've talked to both Democrats and Republicans who say this: “Senator Franken may likely step down. Senator Moore possibly may be joining the Senate and he has been accused of far worse than what Senator Franken is accused of. What is your take on that? How do you square that?
SANDERS: Let me take it a step further. We have a president of the United States who acknowledged on a tape widely seen all over the country that he's assaulted women, so I would hope maybe the president of the United States might pay attention to what going on and also think about resigning, but if your point is that it's not just Al Franken, you're absolutely right.
O’DONNELL: But your point about it going to this because the corporate tax rate. Because what the Republicans are proposing is it would go from 35 percent to 20 percent to. Be fair, President Obama also proposed a reduction in the corporate tax But to about 28 percent. Are you saying they won't reinvest that money in American businesses and American workers?
SANDERS: Of course that’s what I’m saying! Yes. Of course, that's what I'm saying and I think that’s what they saying. If anybody thinks this is going to result in higher wages and more jobs in America, I don't believe that that's the case. This is trickle-down economic theory. This is a theory that did not work Reagan. Did not work under George W. Bush. Certainly did not work in Kansas.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Senator, another issue at hand is keeping the government open and keeping it funded. It looks like there will be a stop gap plan in place for the next two weeks. But Congress is nowhere near a permanent deal. You have said you will not vote for a spending deal without a permanent fix for dreamers. The President said it’s going to be the Democrats fault. Are you willing to take that responsibility?
SANDERS: No, it’s certainly not going to be the Democrats fault.
GOLODRYGA: But in 2013, the shutdown then, you said, “It is wrong for right-wing Republicans to ignore the results of the last election and hold the American people hostage by threatening to shut down the government because they can’t get their way. What makes this different? Some people may say that’s —
SANDERS: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Why are you assuming we're shutting down the government. Who wants to shut down the government? I don't want to shut down the government. I know anybody who wants to shut down the government!
GOLODRYGA: Mitch McConnell said this isn't a pressing issue. You still have three months until the Dream Act comes up.
SANDERS: Oh, Mitch McConnell said that! Oh, I forgot! Last I heard, Mitch McConnell was the leader of the Republican Party who just passed tax breaks that give, that just passed tax breaks for billionaires and tried to throw two million Americans of health insurance. There will be negotiations. All right? I hope very much these negotiations will be resolved. But we cannot in the midst of tax breaks to people who don’t need it. In the midst of trying to throw millions of people off their health insurance forget about the needs of the working class and the middle class, which is shrinking. You know what politics is about. It's not just about doing what your wealthy campaign donors want you to do. It’s about paying attention to ordinary people.