Full transcript: Sen. Bernie Sanders on "Face the Nation," Feb. 19, 2023

Full interview: Sen. Bernie Sanders on "Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan"

The following is the full transcript of an interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont that aired on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, on "Face the Nation."

MARGARET BRENNAN: We're now joined by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is out with a new book, "It's Okay to Be Angry about Capitalism." Good morning, Senator, good to have you here in person. 


MARGARET BRENNAN: We have a lot to get through, but I want to- I want to talk about one of the things you flesh out in the book. You talk about the alliance you formed with Joe Biden during the campaign to really shape the Democratic platform and incorporate many of your ideas. You said he wasn't as bold as you would have hoped, but he would have been the most progressive president since FDR if he had acted on that agenda. How do you categorize Joe Biden on that progressive scale now? 

SEN. SANDERS: Well, I think the American Rescue Plan that we passed early in his agenda, in the midst of the terrible pandemic, the economic collapse, was, in fact, one of the most significant pieces of legislation for the working class in this country, in the modern history of America. Build Back Bitter - Better -would have been transformational. It would have finally addressed the crises that the working class of this country has faced for decades: revolutionized childcare, revolutionized healthcare, dealt boldly with climate change, raised wages, and it would have done a whole lot.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But the votes weren't there.

SEN. SANDERS: We got zero Republican support, and two Democrats decided not to support it. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So in terms of how you view the President, do you think he is progressive? 

SEN. SANDERS: I think he is a much more progressive President than he was a United States Senator. And I think as a result of the campaign and the task forces we did together, you recall, we had task forces during his campaign and my campaign. I think we came up with an agenda that was progressive. Obviously, we were not able to get everything we wanted to get done. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: In some of the things you were able to get done and signed into law, President Biden points to them as achievements, but you diminish them a little bit in this book. You point out Medicare won't be permitted to negotiate lower drug prices until 2026--


MARGARET BRENNAN: The cap on out of pocket prescription drug costs or seniors doesn't kick in until 2025. 35 dollar cap on insulin prices doesn't help those who aren't on Medicare. Are you saying he hasn't delivered? 

SEN. SANDERS: No. I mean, look, this is the real world that we live in, is that you need 60 votes often in the Senate, and Democrats had a slim majority in the House. But what I am talking about, Margaret, and what the book is about, is taking a hard look at the reality facing working families in this country. And the truth is that today, over 60 percent of our people are living paycheck to paycheck. So the question that I am asking is why, in the richest country in the history of the world, why aren't- why don't we have a health care system that works for all? Where people can walk into the doctor's office, as they do in Canada, without having to take out their wallet? Why do we spend twice as much per capita on health care? Why do we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs? So we have seen some achievements, but given the scope of the problems and where we should be going, nowhere near enough. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: We also have one of the most innovative healthcare systems when it comes to creation of pharmaceutical drugs. 

[Sanders wags his finger.]

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are doing this. 

[Brennan emulates Sanders' finger-wagging.]


MARGARET BRENNAN: So when someone hears you lay out the problems with our pharmaceutical industry, as you do in this book, they say, but the life saving vaccines for example for COVID, they were created by the United States of America, they were created by the pharmaceutical system with taxpayer help.

SEN. SANDERS: They were created by- Sure, of course, the drug companies produce great drugs. But one out of four people in America cannot afford the- the drugs that their doctors prescribe. You tell me why we pay 10 times more for some drugs that are sold in the United States compared to say to Canada or to other countries, while year after year, the pharmaceutical industry makes tens of billions of dollars in profits, pays their CEOs exorbitant salaries. So of course, we want the drug companies to do the research and development. And by the way, taxpayers of this country spent $45 billion a year through the NIH to help with that research and development, including Moderna and the vaccine. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: You're talking about Moderna. Pfizer didn't take that- that money, but Moderna, you're- you're sharply critical. In fact, you're chair of the Senate's Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and next month, you're calling in Moderna's CEO to testify. You're critical of his plan to quadruple the cost of the COVID vaccine--

SEN. SANDERS: Well here's the--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Can you stop them from doing that? 

SEN. SANDERS: Well, here's the story. Taxpayers, the NIH co-authored, worked together to create the vaccine.


SEN. SANDERS: Taxpayers put billions of dollars into the development of the vaccine, guaranteed sales for the vaccine--

MARGARET BRENNAN: As they did with many other companies. 

SEN. SANDERS: Alright, and then what happens after the government stockpile of the vaccine expires? These guys say we're going to quadruple the price of the vaccine. And by the way, in the last two years, the CEO made $5 billion and its other guys made billions of dollars. Is that really what should be happening? Truth is pharmaceutical industry is enormously greedy, charging us outrageously, uncontrollably high prices. We've got to deal with that, as chairman of the relevant committee, I intend to do what I can.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Moderna says it's instituting a patient-assistance plan to give the COVID shot to the uninsured and under-insured Americans free of cost. Is that sufficient for you? 

SEN. SANDERS: And you know, Margaret, amazing coincidence. That happened the same exact day we announced that we were inviting them to testify.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You think your political heat made that difference? 

SEN. SANDERS: Well, maybe was just a wild and crazy coincidence. I don't know. But we also want to take a look at what that patient program is about. We're talking to them about that. But obviously, it's a step in the right direction.

MARGARET BRENNAN: A step in the right direction. How do you lower the cost of prescription drugs in a way that doesn't hurt American innovation? And how do you do it politically, when Republicans control the House? 

SEN. SANDERS: You know- here- here's -  I saw a poll that was done just for Republicans. And you know, what Republicans regarded as the major priority they were concerned with? High cost of prescription drugs, alright? So I think we have the basis for bipartisan work, to tell the pharmaceutical industry that they really have got to stop ripping off the American people. A number of ways you could do it. The Inflation Reduction Act started by having Medicare negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical industry. Doesn't kick in for a few years, I think we should expedite that. Number two of all people, my good friend, Donald Trump, all right, who I disagree with on everything, had the idea that maybe Medicare should not pay prices higher than the average of what countries around the rest of the world are paying. That's a good idea and we want to pursue that as well. And there's the concept of reimportation. That if you-  if Americans can buy drugs in Canada or in Europe, at a fraction of the price, let's have pharmacists and distributors be able to purchase those drugs and sell them at much lower cost in the United States.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This involves state sub- subsidies of some form.  Government subsidies.

SEN. SANDERS: No, that does not involve subsidies. That simply says if you can buy a drug in Canada, same drug but one-tenth of the price, passes FDA specifications, it should be sold in this country at a lower price. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: And you think you can do this with Republicans in control? You think the votes are there?

SEN. SANDERS: I think there's a lot of support for dealing with a high cost of prescription drugs. Yes, I do. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about what's politically possible in that makeup of Congress, right now. Democrats have this narrow 51 seat majority in the Senate. You're an Independent but you caucus with the Democrats. Both the Pennsylvania senators are out of office right now dealing with serious health issues. And so their absence complicates any votes. Do you have any idea when, for example, Senator Fetterman will be out of the hospital and well enough to return? 

SEN. SANDERS: We wish Senator- Senator- Senator Fetterman has gone through a hell of a year with his stroke in the middle of a campaign and dealing with other issues. So I can't answer that. I think Bob Casey, who was dealing with prostate cancer will be back, as I understand it, in early March. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: This is a big what if. I mean, this is a very key state, Pennsylvania, for Democrats. Are you concerned for the party? 

SEN. SANDERS: Well obviously we're concerned about the health of all of our members and we hope that they are all back. Bob, I think will be back, we know that. John, I just don't have that information.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Because Pennsylvania, in so many ways, also is an example of a lot of what you talk about in terms of the working class, mixing with, you know, the concerns you have there. Are you concerned that that state is- if there has to be a special election, for example, or if Casey doesn't run that it goes to Republicans?

SEN. SANDERS: Let's not- Bob will be back in a few weeks. But- so let's -  let's not speculate on it. But you know, like Pennsylvania, like Vermont, like other countries, like other states in our country, the people in those states are hurting. And the question of the book again, is that how come we have so many people who are struggling? We have a dysfunctional healthcare system. Our childcare system is in disarray. We got millions of elderly people that have nothing in the bank as they face retirement, and yet the people on top of doing phenomenally well. And Margaret, what the book is about is saying that we have more income and wealth inequality than we have ever had. We have more concentration of ownership in sector after sector than we have ever had. We have a political system which is increasingly corrupt, because as a result of Citizens United, billionaires can put enormous amounts of money into it to elect their candidates. And we have, you know, eight major media conglomerates, corporate media conglomerates that control about- about what, 90% of the American people see, hear, and read. Those are really issues that we need to discuss. That's what the book does. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you worry when you talk about the corporate media that you are targeting journalists, when you say that?

SEN. SANDERS: No, Donald Trump talks about "fake news" and that's simply to deflect attention from the fact that he's a pathological liar. My experience, one on one with media, they work hard, they- very rarely am I misquoted. But what I am talking about Margaret, is the corporate media limits the kind of debate that we have in this country. You tell me, you know more about it than I do. How often do we talk about income and wealth inequality?

MARGARET BRENNAN: We're talking about right now, Senator.

SEN. SANDERS: Yeah, but how often? Not everybody has Bernie Sanders on your show. How often do you talk about concentration of ownership? How often do you talk about the fact that we are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care and yet we spend twice as much money. How often do you talk about that if somebody has a baby in Finland, they get nine months off, 10 months off paid family leave.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I will talk to you about paid leave for families any day of the week. They also have like a 56% tax rate in Finland, though. It's a very different system. 

SEN. SANDERS: Good, but let's talk about that - what did they get for that? They get free health care, right? Free higher education? That's exactly what I'm talking about. 


SEN. SANDERS: That's the debate I want. And that's the debate we really don't have on the corporate media. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, President Biden talks about finishing the job, and the potential for running for reelection in 2024. You said you won't run, if he runs. Do you believe that President Biden will face any primary challenge from the left, from the progressive wing? 

SEN. SANDERS: I can't speak for other people. I think there's a general consensus right now that President Biden has done, not everything we would like, he has done a good job. And again, I can't speak for anybody else. But what I have said is, if he runs, announces that he is going to run, I will support him.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you see anyone who would challenge him?

SEN. SANDERS: Can't speculate.

MARGARET BRENNAN: As you write in your book, that the essence of the- you're very harsh on Democrats. But you say the essence of the Democrats– 

SEN. SANDERS: But, worse on Republicans though, lets -

MARGARET BRENNAN: You write, "The essence of the Democratic message in recent years has been we're pretty bad. But Republicans are worse, so vote for us." Is there anyone inspirational in Democratic politics? 

SEN. SANDERS: Sure, there's some great people who are working night and day to protect working class people. But the thesis of that particular chapter is that working class people are responding to the Republicans not because they want to cut Social Security and Medicare and give tax breaks to the rich. It's- they have heard Democrats say for years that they are the party of the working class, and then people are saying, 'Really? I can't afford health care, I can't afford prescription drugs, I can't afford to send my kid to college.' 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So who's the next Bernie Sanders? Who is that voice?

SEN. SANDERS: Well, I'll let you discover that, I don't- what I will tell you, and we talked about this in the book- what I am extremely proud of, is that there are more really strong young progressives, often people of color in the house now than probably in any time, certainly, in my lifetime, great people. And that is, you know, if you ask me what my- I'm most proud of, is that so many young people, we won the young vote overwhelmingly, and I think young people are saying 'We don't want to tinker around the edges anymore. Not on climate change, not on racial issues, not on economic issues.' We want transformational change and if my campaigns played a role in changing that consciousness. I'm very proud of that. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are up for reelection to the Senate in 2024. Can you take the wins that you have had in shaping the Democratic platform as you have with the issues that you have raised? And walk away with that win, or do you feel you need to run again? 

SEN. SANDERS: I think look- I- you know- my chapter on the media, what I talk about is media is very interested in elections and elections– 

MARGARET BRENNAN: I know you don't like these questions.  

SEN. SANDERS: I was elected to do a job. And I'm working really hard as chairman of this committee. People back home are not asking me whether we're going to run or not. They're like, 'Bernie, we can't afford health care, can't afford prescription drugs, do something.' Let me focus on that. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you don't feel like you have a ticking clock here for 2024? You don't have to get all this done? 

SEN. SANDERS: No. At the right time, between me and the people of Vermont, and we have plenty of time. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Former ambassador Nikki Haley is running for President, as you know, and she said there should be a mandatory mental competency test for politicians older than 75. You're 81. Do you take offense at that? Do you agree?

SEN. SANDERS: What did she mean? I don't understand what- [laughs]. Yeah, no. I think that's absurd. You know, there's a level– 


SEN. SANDERS: Yeah, you know, we are fighting racism, we're fighting sexism, we're fighting homophobia, I think we should also be fighting ageism. Trust people, look at people and say, you know, this person is competent, this person is not competent. There are a lot of 40 year olds out there who ain't particularly competent. Older people, you know, you look at the individual, I don't think you make a blanket statement. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. So when it comes to the current president or the former president and their age range, it doesn't concern you? 

SEN. SANDERS: Look at what they do, what they believe in. What are they fighting for? What does Donald Trump stand for? Do you believe in that? Well, I certainly don't. What does Joe Biden stand for? What is he doing? Has he accomplished- look at- look at him in that way, not on age. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: You say in the book that Democrats are wrong to suggest that former President Trump supporters are racists, sexist and homophobes, that they're deplorable. You point out these so-called racist, many of them, voted for Barack Obama, but their lives didn't improve. Do you think that the Democratic Party messaging is just entirely wrong headed to frame this as a broader moral issue? 


SEN. SANDERS: Look - are there supporters of Trump who are racist, sexist homophobes? Absolutely. But to paint a broad brush and say, well, that's the reason that they don't vote for the Democrats – that is really wrong. Look, I've been all over this country. I have worked with trade unionists, people on strike, people had the courage to stand up for economic injustice, great people. And I talked to the union leaders, Oh, 70% of our people are Republican. Why is that? Because I think they have lost faith that the Democratic Party is going to stand up and fight for them. And they say, look, Democrats talk they don't accomplish. Oh, I want to vote for Trump. Maybe he'll do something.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah, but you blame Democrats going back to Bill Clinton for signing on to NAFTA. You've blamed Barack Obama. You're critical of Joe Biden as well here.  

SEN. SANDERS: That's right. Alright. In other words, what I have said over and over again. Working class people, in my view, are not responding primarily, there are other reasons, to the Republican message because they want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and give tax breaks to billionaires. That's not why working class people are voting for them. If the Democrats, in my view, had an agenda that says we know that your kid can't afford to go to college, and that's why we're going to make higher education or public colleges, universities, tuition-free. We know you can't afford childcare – outrageously expensive. We're going to work on that. We know we're the only country in the world not to guarantee health care as a right. You pass a Medicare for all single payer program, you expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing, and eyeglasses. Democrats ain't gonna lose an election for a long, long time. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: But which Democrat would take that vote? I mean, you -  you have said "Medicare for all," you can't pass in the current Congress. 

SEN. SANDERS: Yeah. But is it a popular issue? I have to take on the whole bloody insurance industry, the drug industry, and yet we still have tens of millions of people who understand that Medicare for All is right. If we had a united Democratic Party say, "Yeah, we have the guts to take on the powerful special interest." They could win that fight. 


SEN. SANDERS: And be- and look, FDR did it in the 30s. He won four elections, because he had the guts to stand up to powerful special interests and say, "You know what, I'm on the side of the working class."

MARGARET BRENNAN: You look at the map of this country, though Democrats have lost that, you know, other than the coast, there are huge swaths– 


MARGARET BRENNAN: In rural America. What is it about rural America that the Democrats do not understand?

SEN. SANDERS: These are white working class people who do not believe that the Democrats are standing up and fighting for them. All right. And what we need to do is have a movement of Black workers, Latino workers, white workers, gay workers, straight workers, and understand that we're all in this together. I don't care if you're living in rural Iowa, where I spent a lot of time, alright, you can't afford health care, you can't afford to send your kid to college, or you're living in San Francisco. So too often we forget about the economic issues that unite us. The vast majority of the people know the pharmaceutical industry is ripping us off. The vast majority of the people understand that we have to improve our educational system. Let's work on that. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you going to campaign for Joe Biden if he runs for president? Because I mean, you just laid out that what he's done is nice. But it's not sufficient to raise all the issues that you just laid out. 

SEN. SANDERS: It's a little premature to talk about a campaign that isn't– 

MARGARET BRENNAN: We talk about it all the time.

SEN. SANDERS: That hasn't been announced yet. We'll see. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, he says he's deciding and could be deciding soon. 

SEN. SANDERS: Well, and after that, he and I will talk and we'll see what we'll do.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And you want to shape that- the conversation? 

SEN. SANDERS: But, you know, when he was running it to me, it was extraordinarily important that Trump be defeated. And, you know, to his courage, what Biden did after the election, sat down with our people, campaigns came together, he came up with some pretty progressive ideas.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about some issues on foreign policy. CIA Director Bill Burns recently said that the uptick in violence in Israel and Palestinian territories reminds him of the last Intifada – that there could be an explosion of violence. Israel now has the most right wing government it's had in years. Do you think that democracy is in peril in Israel right now? 

SEN. SANDERS: I do. I am very worried about what Netanyahu is doing and some of his allies in government and what may happen to the Palestinian people. And let me tell you something, I mean, I haven't said this publicly. But I think the United States gives billions of dollars in aid to Israel. And I think we've got to put some strings attached to that and say you cannot run a racist government. You cannot turn your back on a two-state solution. You cannot demean the Palestinian people there. You just can't do it and then come to America and ask for money. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Has the administration, have you talked to the administration about it? 


MARGARET BRENNAN: They've been very careful in criticism of the Netanyahu government. 

SEN. SANDERS: Well, I am not careful about it. I'm embarrassed that- that in Israel, you have a government of that nature right now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And are you going to introduce something? 

SEN. SANDERS: We may well, yes. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: To try to attach strings to U.S. aid to Israel? 

SEN. SANDERS: You cannot give- if you have a, you know, whether it's Saudi Arabia or other authoritarian societies, if a government is acting in a racist way, and they want billions of dollars from the taxpayers of the United States, I think you say, "Sorry, but it's not acceptable. You want our money? Fine. This is what you got to do to get it."

MARGARET BRENNAN: The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC used to be bipartisan, but these days, it's got a super PAC that has spent very heavily in Democratic primaries. You said-

SEN. SANDERS: Against progressives.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You said they're doing everything they can to destroy the Progressive movement in this country. Do you think the politics around this issue are constraining the White House going into 2024?

SEN. SANDERS: The way I look at AIPAC now, in terms of their political activities – this is not even just a pro-Israel group. This is a corporate PAC, sometimes getting money from Republicans, sometimes supporting extreme right-wing Republicans. So what really upset me very much is that in many of these primaries, we had great candidates, young people, often people of color, and yet AIPAC and other super PACs spending millions of dollars trying to defeat them. And as you may know, I tried to get the Democratic Party to pass a resolution that in Democratic primaries, super PAC money should not be allowed to be used.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think that this is what's constraining the Biden White House right now, the concerns about the politics around this domestically? 

SEN. SANDERS: Look, bottom line is what constrains any president is we have a corrupt political system in which Big Money plays an enormous role. And right now, you know, if I run for reelection, you know, people want to spend- some billionaire wants to spend millions of dollars against me, perfectly legal to do so. That constrains all politics in America. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: If you run for reelection to the Senate. So you are considering it? 

SEN. SANDERS: Sure I'm considering it, but I haven't made any decision.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are- when you talk about American workers,   you're proposing a new cabinet level agency to focus on the future of work and workers. You talk about taxing robots who might replace humans. Isn't the Labor Department supposed to be doing these things?

SEN. SANDERS: Well, theoretically, but I don't think we're doing enough. Look, this is a huge issue. There is a revolution taking place now with artificial intelligence and robotics. Okay? Millions of workers are going to lose their jobs. Who's making those decisions, Margaret? You hear it debated in Congress? I don't. Alright, so guys who sit at the head, often guys, of large multinational corporations are saying, "Look, we can do this, we can get rid of all these people over here, we can make even more money." So we're talking about a transformational moment throughout the world and the United States. I want working people to be involved. And if we come up with the technology – I'm not anti-technology, if there is a technology that can do- increase worker productivity, who benefits from that? Just the guy who owns the company? Or does the worker benefit? So if we can reduce the workweek, is that a bad thing? It's a good thing. But I don't want to see the people on top simply be the only beneficiaries of this revolution in technology. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you agree with Bill Gates in taxing robots?

SEN. SANDERS: That's one way to do it. Yeah, absolutely. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: He's a billionaire you do like.

SEN. SANDERS: I've talked to Bill on a number of occasions. Yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But, well, I'm interested in that concept and some of the other things you lay out here, including- 

SEN. SANDERS: It's not just taxing the robots. It's this whole question of an economic transformation. Are working class people going to benefit from that or just the billionaire class?

MARGARET BRENNAN:  You also talk about a new deal for journalism and rethinking of the role of public and community media in the United States. You're very harsh on- on the media, as we talked about, including- You mentioned this network. You mentioned Washington Post-



SEN. SANDERS: Didn't I say all kinds of nice things about you?

MARGARET BRENNAN: No, some other journalists here. You did give a shout out to Cara Korte and some other reporters. But- But you say- you take direct aim at the media for not asking the questions that you think need to be asked. How do you – on this New Deal idea – how can you have the U.S. government in any way involved with the media and direct funding when trust in the government is so low in this country and trust in media is low? 

SEN. SANDERS:  Two issues. Two separate issues. Number one, what I say in the book is that look, I've done 1,000 interviews, like I'm doing with you right now. And nobody has ever come up to me, not one reporter – not you, not anybody else – and said, "Bernie, why are we spending twice as much on health care as any other country and yet we have 85 million uninsured or underinsured?" How many programs at CBS, NBC, ABC had on why we have a dysfunctional health care system? Does that have anything to do with who owns the major networks? Bernie, what are you going to do about income and wealth inequality? Do you demand- why are billionaires paying an effective tax rate lower than working class people? No one asked me those questions. Okay. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: No one tells us the questions to ask you. 

SEN. SANDERS: I understand that, but there's a culture in the media. No one tells people who work for me not to vote for Donald Trump. Certainly, I will guarantee you they don't. I never tell them to do it. But then there's another issue and that is we- a totally different issue- we are seeing media deserts in this country, local newspapers are going out of business. So people get no news from their city council, their school board. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's a real issue.

SEN. SANDERS: How do you deal with that? And the reason they're going out of businesses is private sector companies can't make money anymore because of the radical transformation of, of media. What happens? Do people not know what's going on in their city? How do you deal with that? Well, in European countries, what they do is they do it through a nonpartisan public funding of media. I think that's an idea that we should explore. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So I'm told we're running out of time. 

SEN. SANDERS: I'm just getting warmed up, Margaret. We're having fun.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But I have to ask you, you're going on tour to promote this book "It's Okay To Be Angry About Capitalism." And you're here talking about it. I understand, we're not the bad guys you're describing in the book when it comes to media. But tickets for your tour apparently are selling for $95 on Ticketmaster, which is accused of anti-competitive behavior. You know that. Some of your Democrats are criticizing them. Aren't you benefiting yourself from this system that you're trying to dismantle?

SEN. SANDERS: First of all, those decisions are made totally by the publisher and the bookseller. I think there's one case where in one place here in Washington, Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore, charging some tickets, most of them I think, are $40, $50. And you get a book as well. So if you want to come, you're gonna have to pay 40 bucks, I'll throw in the book for free. And we're doing a number of free events, but I don't make a nickel out of these things at all. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: But, you're okay doing business with Ticketmaster? 

SEN. SANDERS: No, not particularly. But that's again, I had nothing to do with that. That is- if you wrote a book, probably be the same process. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you have to operate within the system. 

SEN. SANDERS: I do. Write a book, a major publisher, etc. etc.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Sanders, thank you very much for coming in and answering our questions today. 

SEN. SANDERS: I hope I wasn't too hard on you. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: No, and I asked all the questions I wanted, not necessarily what you wanted, but what I wanted. So thank you very much, Senator Sanders. We'll be right back.


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