Eye Roll: The Four Most Gag-Inducing Questions to Bernie Sanders on CNN

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CNN on Thursday hosted another series of town halls with Democratic candidates. Anderson Cooper and the assembled questioners mostly tossed softballs to socialist candidate Bernie Sanders. But four of the eye rolling queries really stood out. Here are the first two: Questioner Robin Clark wondered, “I was wondering, why do you care so fervently about economic inequities?” (Was “How did you get so great” too obvious a question?)

Cooper followed this up by encouraging Sanders to speculate on everything he’d accomplished: “What do you think the young Bernie Sanders in Brooklyn in the 1940s would say if he could see where you are now?” 

 

 

Earlier in the night, the CNN anchor prompted Sanders to declare himself the frontrunner. Here's softball number three: “January was the best fundraising month of your entire campaign. You obviously had a great night in Iowa this week, though results are not yet final. Do you now consider yourself the front-runner of the Democratic Party?” 

Keep in mind: 1990 delegates are needed to win the Democratic nomination. Sanders has 11. 

Finally, questioner Alicia Laminu asked about universal health care, but only in terms of accomplishing it, not whether it will work: 

Hello, Senator Sanders. I'm drawn to your plan for universal health care. But I'm skeptical since I've been hearing about universal health care from every political candidate I voted for. What makes your plan different and able to become a reality? 

To CNN’s credit, there were a few non-leftist queries. Town hall questioner David Gary wondered how, with the socialist planning free college, the country would deal with the surge of college students: 

Is there a plan to increase the number of seats in the public university system to account for all the students that will want to go for college for free? And if there is no plan, will the currently available seats go to the students that have the highest high school achievement, or will it go to those who have the most financial need? 

Here’s a transcript of the questions. Click “expand” to read more: 

Bernie Sanders town hall
2/6/2020

8:01

ANDERSON COOPER: We're going get to audience questions in just a second. I want to quickly ask you a couple of questions. January was the best fundraising month of your entire campaign. You obviously had a great night in Iowa this week, though results are not yet final. Do you now consider yourself the front-runner of the Democratic Party?

... 

COOPER: Given what happened in Iowa, the results are still not in, the DNC has now said they should recanvas. Do you want -- are you going to call on them? 

... 

COOPER: Final question just before we get to the audience. President trump today — 

BERNIE SANDERS: Oh, what did he do today? 

COOPER: Called his impeachment today evil, corrupt, said it was, quote, “dirty cops, liars. The investigation was all BS,” though he used the actual word in the east room of the White House. Some Republicans, Joni Ernst, Lamar Alexander said they think he learned a lesson from impeachment. Based on today, what do you think the lesson is?        

...

COOPER: You think there is anything to stop president trump from calling up Zelensky again right now and say, “Let's launch that investigation?”  

...

ALICIA LAMINU: Hello, Senator Sanders. I'm drawn to your plan for universal health care. But I'm skeptical since I've been hearing about universal health care from every political candidate I voted for. What makes your plan different and able to become a reality? 

...

Let me ask you, the end of her question said how does it become reality. Earlier this week Vice Biden said, and I quote, “The Speaker of the House isn't for it. Most Democrats in Congress are not for it.” Talking about your plan. So how’s it going to pass? How does it get done? 

... 

DAVID GARY: Is there a plan to increase the number of seats in the public university system to account for all the students that will want to go for college for free? And if there is no plan, will the currently available seats go to the students that have the highest high school achievement, or will it go to those who have the most financial need? 

...

COOPER: His question specifically is how do you grow the number of seats available. That possible? 

...

COOPER: And how do you prioritize who gets those seats? 

... 

RON JANOWITZ: Hello, senator. Are you willing to compromise on your position for medicare for all, free college and eliminating student debt in order to pass meaningful legislation? 

... 

COOPER: Let me just ask, though, if there isn't the groundswell of people, the revolution that you have talked about of people insisting on these changes, are there compromises you're willing to make with Republicans to get close to what you want?

...

LOREN SELIG: Thank you for being here. How do you think your Jewish heritage impacts your vision of the world and politics, and do you think it is a help or a hindrance to your role as a candidate? 

... 


COOPER:  President Trump actually spoke about faith today at a national prayer breakfast this morning. He said, quote, “He doesn't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.” He also doesn't like, quote, people who  "I pray for you" when they know that's not so. I wonder when you heard that what went through your mind? 

... 

SAMANTHA RILEY: Lots of nations have been switching out and eliminating single use plastics. China recently announced that it would crack down on its single use plastics by 2025. As president, how would you tackle the single use plastics issue? 

...

COOPER: So how would you direct your EPA chief if you were president of the United States? 

...

COOPER: If you're standing on a debate stage with President Trump, you know what he will say is those are all business-busting regulations, and that's what he's done away with.         

...

THALIA FLORAS: We all agree that we need to commit to supporting the democratic nominee. I was in Durham, New Hampshire the day you threw your support behind Secretary Clinton. It was a really exciting day, but there was division in the room, and I worried that day. I worry now that this race will become more contentious as we head towards the convention. All of the candidates aspire to unite the country, but how will you work with your fellow candidates to unite the party first? 

... 

COOPER: How hard is unifying the party going to be? It's obviously going to get more contentious. 

...

JANINE WOODSWORTH: Thank you, senator Sanders for being here. Will you name a running mate before the convention? And will it be a woman? Because why not? I'm not available, though.

...

COOPER: So can you commit to saying you would have -- you would want to have a woman vice president? 

...

COOPER: . I want to ask you before we go back to the audience about the Coronavirus. This is obviously something if you were president, you would have to be facing, you would have to deal with it. The total number of deaths from the Wuhan virus has now surpassed the SARS outbreak from 2003. There are 12 confirmed cases in the U.S. As president, how would you handle something like that?  

...

PETER CHARALAMBOUS:  Hi, Senator Sanders. If you're the nominee, you're expected to face criticism, such as President Trump stating, quote, “America will never be a socialist country,” end quote. For Americans who hold this concern, whether well founded or not, how would you successfully overcome this labeling to convince them to vote for you? 

...

COOPER: I want to follow-up on Peter's question, because I think it's an important one. On a debate stage, I'm not sure if you —  you've debated a lot of people. I'm not sure any candidate has ever debated somebody like Donald Trump until they have actually done it. There were, what, 16 Republican candidates who were experienced and qualified. One by one, they were eliminated. They all thought they could figure out how to deal with him. They didn't know how to deal with him. When you're on a debate stage, and if he's, you know, saying things which aren't true, going after you, do you know how debate with him in a way that you don't get sucked into it? 

...

PATRICIA MCCRONE: Over the past year we have seen many teachers striking in hopes of receiving higher salaries. How do you plan to support skilled teachers in their role of educating the next generation? 

...

 ROBIN CLARK: I was wondering why do you care so fervently about economic inequities? 


...

COOPER: What do you think the young Bernie Sanders in Brooklyn in the 1940s would say if he could see where you are now? 

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