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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Senator, great to have you with us tonight.

Is Mitt Romney`s characterization of the 47 percent accurate at all?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: No, it`s not accurate.

And here it is, Ed, coming from a guy born to a millionaire family who went to elite schools, who believes that the middle class starts at $200,000, who doesn`t reveal his taxes because he -- his tax returns because he took so many loopholes.

What really galls me is we`ve got millions of people in this country who come from families like my own, working class families, people who have worked hard their entire lives, working 50, 60 hours a week. Now they`re on Medicare. Now they`re on Social Security, and they`re being lectured by this millionaire guy that they have got to take personal responsibility and care for their lives, being lectured by him.

And to me, Ed, this speaks toward extraordinary arrogance on the part of Romney and his -- if I may use the term ruling class friends who apparently think that the working people of this country who are struggling to support their families today, some of whom will be Medicare and Social Security, are somehow inferior human beings who need guidance, who are not smart enough to take personal responsibility for their lives and care for their lives.

What does this tell about his attitude to the vast majority of people? We`re not smart enough? We don`t have enough dignity to want to work? People in this country work harder than the people in any other industrialized country on earth. They don`t need to be lectured by millionaires and billionaires about the work ethic that they fulfill.

SCHULTZ: Senator, it could be 47 percent, 45 percent, could be any kind of number. Isn`t Mitt Romney speaking to a philosophy that there are moochers, that there are takers that earn benefits don`t count anymore and we have to eliminate them? Isn`t this exactly what the conservative movement really wants in the end game?

SANDERS: Well, I think it is that, Ed, and it`s something. It`s saying, if you listen to Romney`s words that people don`t know how to take responsibility for their own lives and care for their own lives, what we have to show them is we`re going to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education and because you are too dumb or have no sense of responsibility and you`re not prepared to work for your living. We have to teach you how to work and we`re going to punish you. If you don`t work, man, you`ll be in a whole lot of trouble.

But there is no question that what Romney is about is representing a philosophy that says if you`re rich and you`re powerful, you have a right
to rule. You get it all.

But if you`re in the middle class, you`re in the working class, you`re low income, we`re going to teach you a lesson. We`re going to cut and make it harder for your kids to go to college. We`re going to cut your Social Security.

We`re going to cut your Medicaid. We`re going to make it harder for you to get the nutrition that you need.

I think that is an outrageous and arrogant statement, and I hope the American people are listening.

SCHULTZ: Certainly a lot of people in this country, Democrats and on the left, have known this about Mitt Romney, but now it`s some pretty severe confirmation.

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