9 Mar 2016

Clinton on Defensive in Flint Democratic Debate

Clinton on Defensive in Flint Democratic Debate

During the Democratic debate in Flint Michigan, where unemployment is above 9% – twice the percentage of the average of the rest of the country – the two presidential candidates were asked about how they would get jobs back to the city.

Hillary Clinton criticized the corporations that benefited from government assistance, but quickly turned around and moved their manufacturing operations overseas.

“I’m going to claw back those benefits. They’re going to have to pay back if they’re leaving a place that actually invested in them. I’m also going to go after companies like Johnson Controls in Wisconsin. They got part of the bailout … now they want to move some of their headquarters to Europe. They’re going to have to pay an exit fee.”
Bernie Sanders wasn’t about to allow Hillary Clinton “evolve” on this issue without resistance; “I’m very glad, Anderson, that secretary Clinton discovered religion on this issue,” he said. She had also supported “disastrous trade agreements” like Nafta and the TPP.
Clinton fired back that Sanders had voted against the auto industry bailout in 2008… the auto bailout cost the US government 9.26 billion dollars. (Interestingly, the benefit of this bailout isn’t so clear-cut: GM is also the first US firm to import a vehicle made in China to the US. The precedence this creates could end up outweighing the “good” done by this bailout by labeling a Made In China car as American. The model has greatly outsold the only other Chinese import.)

Since the can of worms that is corporate bailouts had been opened, Sanders highlighted Clinton’s support for the banker bailouts.
“I said let the billionaires bail themselves out. And let’s help the middle class,” he said. Sanders also noted that Clinton had not revealed the transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street banks. She was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech, earning her 675,000 dollars in just three speeches to Goldman Sachs.
Insiders who watched her speeches note that she wasn’t particularly critical of the banks’ activities;one such person noted that “It was pretty glowing about us. It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.”
Clinton went on to claim that she would release her transcripts as soon as the relationship of certain other people with Wall Street was disclosed. Sanders pointed out that it would be difficult to disclose a relationship that simply did not exist.
“Here it is!” Sanders said, throwing his hands up in exasperation. “There ain’t nothing! I don’t give speeches on Wall Street!”
According to author Ted Rall, what we are observing with the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump is “a clash between authenticity and establishmentarian politics.” Rall notes that Bernie Sanders’ supporters dislike the mainstream media, Wall Street and establishment politicians. With them, Clinton was never much of an alternative. 

Perhaps this explains why Sanders was unafraid of Trump; he even said that he’d “love” to run against him. He mentioned that several opinion polls had him doing better than Clinton against the controversial Republican.