All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 12/12/2016

Guests: Bernie Sanders

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 12, 2016 Guest: Bernie Sanders


ANNOUNCER: When it was all said and done --

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: We have seen a brand new way of looking at and thinking about this electoral map.

ANNOUNCER: -- what was solid blue for a generation --

KORNACKI: This is a white working class path to the presidency.

ANNOUNCER: -- turned red overnight.

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We won Michigan, Pennsylvania. And we won Wisconsin.

ANNOUNCER: And though Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by more than two and a half million people, in the end, just 80,000 votes across three states was enough for Trump.

Tonight, we return to the state that put the Republican over the top with the candidate who won Wisconsin in the primary looking for answers.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are a lot of people out of desperation, like I`m hurting, I`m in pain, I am worried about my kids. This guy says he`s going to do something for me, I`m going to give him a shot.

ANNOUNCER: This is "ALL IN America: Bernie Sanders in Trump Country".


HAYES: Good evening from the UAW Local 72 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

I`m Chris Hayes. We`re calling it Trump country.

Do you folks think this is Trump country?


HAYES: That may be true in this crowd, but for the first time since 1984, Wisconsin voted for a Republican for president. And in many ways, the story of Wisconsin is the story of 2016, the state flipping to Trump after voting for President Obama twice.

After Election Day, Trump`s Wisconsin margins sit at just 22,617 votes, about a quarter of the capacity of Lambeau Field, where the Packers play.

We`re here in Kenosha County, which in many ways is the story of Wisconsin. This county hasn`t voted for a Republican for president since 1972. But, according to the statewide recount initiated by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, now complete in Kenosha, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton here by just 237 votes. There are more people than that right here in this room.

We`ve got Trump voters in the audience tonight. We`ve got Clinton voters. We`ve got people who didn`t even vote. And we`re here to have a frank and open conversation about what happened in this election, where we are as a country and where we go from here.

Now, Donald Trump is not only candidate who beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin. We also have with us Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, who says we could all stand to do more listening in communities like this.

Please join with me in welcoming Senator Sanders.


SANDERS: Good to see you.

HAYES: Have a seat.


SANDERS: Thank you.

This is awful intimate.

HAYES: Yes, it`s very close. It`s very close.

So look, one of the things I think that`s been interesting after the election, right, this thing was so close, we`re talking 80,000 votes across three states --

SANDERS: That`s right.

HAYES: -- that everybody, plausibly, has an argument for what`s definitive, right, because it was so close.

I want to hear your theory of the case, when you say if you have to give someone the Bernie Sanders theory of the case of why this election turned out the way that it did, what`s your theory of the case?

SANDERS: Well, my theory of the case is there`s a lot of pain in this country, a lot of pain in Wisconsin. For the last 40 years, the middle class of this country has been disappearing. We have massive levels of income and wealth inequality here in Kenosha in Wisconsin and Vermont, companies shut down, moved to China, moved to Mexico, paying people a fraction of the wages they pay in this country.

There are enormous economic problems facing the middle class in this country. And the media doesn`t talk about them. Most politicians don`t talk about them. And that`s why we`re here today, to have a frank discussion, A, of where we are, how we got here, and where we`re going to go in the future.

HAYES: Look, here is my question. When you talk about this, 40 years of this, which is, I think is a -- is a good time frame, right. You start to look at what happens right around the 1970s, a real shift in the economy --


HAYES: -- away from the middle class toward the 1 percent.

If that`s the case, why was it this year, right?

When people talk about factories moving overseas, that`s been going on for years. Barack Obama won a state like this -- he won Kenosha twice. You had Bill Clinton, who was, you know, a real proponent of free trade winning two elections in a row.

If those are the trends that drove this outcome, why did it -- why did it all erupt this year?

SANDERS: Well, I think we`re going to hear from people who know the answer better than I do, the people of Kenosha. They will give us the answer.

But I think ultimately, many people are saying enough is enough. They are wondering why, in the richest country in the history of the world, so many people are struggling economically, where people can`t afford health care or child care.

And, by the way, why we have so much income and wealth inequality. Nobody here, I suspect, thinks it is appropriate that the top one tenth of 1 percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 92 percent.

Anybody think that makes sense?


SANDERS: Anybody think it makes sense that 52 percent of all new income is going to top 1 percent?


SANDERS: I don`t think people do. And they`re sitting there and they`re saying we don`t want more of the same old same old.

Trump comes along and he says I, a multi-billionaire, I don`t pay any taxes, yes, I`ve got companies in Turkey and Mexico and China, but I am going to stand up to the economic establishment. I`m going to stand up to the political establishment, I`m not going to take them all on and I think a lot of people responded, OK, we`ll give this guy a shot.

HAYES: You know, I was talking to some folks who we`re going to bring out in a little bit, folks who live here who voted for Trump. And one of the things they talked about was just how much they liked his -- the way that he communicated.

You know, obviously, he said things that created tremendous controversy, offense, real -- I think, in some cases, real genuine pain for some folks, Muslim-Americans in this country particularly.

But there`s a sense that he was -- he was violating some set of manners that shouldn`t exist.

What do -- what do you make of that?

SANDERS: Well, I think that`s true. I think he said he will not be politically correct. I think he said some outrageous and painful things. But I think people are tired of the same old same old political rector -- rhetoric. And they believe that he was speaking from his heart and willing to take on everybody.

HAYES: What do you think about political correctness? What does that mean to you?

SANDERS: What it means is you have a set of talking points which have been poll-tested and focus group-tested and that`s what you`re saying rather than what`s really going on. And often what you`re not allowed to say are things which offend very, very powerful people.

For years and years, we have been told by Republicans and many Democrats, that our trade policy was a great idea, that it was working for America.

Well, you know what?

The American people don`t believe it. They think there`s something wrong when just with permanent normal trade relations with China and the Mexican free trade agreement, we have lost some four million decent paying jobs.

The American people, I think, want candidates and politicians to have the guts to stand up to the billionaire class and start representing the middle class and working families of this country. I don`t think it`s more complicated than that.

HAYES: Let me ask you this -- and let me ask the audience for a second.

When you hear political correctness, OK, do you think about trade policies? Raise your hand if that`s what you`re thinking about when you hear political correctness?

When you hear political correctness, do you think about the way that you are or are not allowed to talk about certain groups of Americans?


So, it seems to me that that was part of what -- that was part of it, too, right?

I mean he was -- he was going after these shibboleths, like you said, right, these contentious things. But he was also saying things, frankly, when we talk about political correctness, they`re basically just rules about being --

SANDERS: Well, he was --

HAYES: -- not being a jerk.

SANDERS: And I`ll tell you what else he was doing and I`d like some comments on this. He was talking about the media.

Do you people here think that the media reflects the reality of American society?


HAYES: Yes, all right.

SANDERS: Right. So, that`s one on you, Chris.



HAYES: I`m not going to score points. My point here though is --

SANDERS: I understand that.

HAYES: My point, though, is that these things are intertwined, right?

If he was -- if he`s violating taboos that we think are taboos that should be violated, he was violating taboos that a lot of folks -- I`ll put myself in them -- think we should keep, like the taboos about how you talk about women or people of color or people of other religions.

SANDERS: Uh-huh. Yes. I mean I think that`s true. And I think some of that is unfortunate, because I happen to believe one of the arguments as to why Trump won is the belief that most of -- or many of his supporters are sexist or are racist or homophobes. I happen not to believe that`s the case.

I think what he did do is he said, you know what, there is a lot of pain in this country. People are scared and people are worried.

One example. Right now, 50 percent of older workers, 55 to 64, you know how much money they have in the bank, if they have for retirement?

Who wants to guess?


What do you think?

People are scared to death of retirement. So I think the answer is he said --

HAYES: Right.

SANDERS: -- and I think his main success story is all across what I will stand up to the establishment, whether it`s the political establishment, the media establishment, the economic establishment.

Now, I happen to think he won`t do that. But be that as it may, we`ll discuss that tonight.

I think that was his major argument, people are tired of status quo politics. He broke through that.

HAYES: How do you -- you -- how do you square that with the way that you think about, and the way that voters think about Barack Obama`s presidency, which he`s got a 59 percent approval rating right now?

You`ve said -- you`ve said look, there are a lot of things he -- he -- he didn`t do sufficiently, but generally, you think he`s a good president.

One of the great paradoxes, I mean I even think -- how many people in this room feel good about Barack Obama and think he`s a good president?


HAYES: All right, again, I will -- I will note this is not a scientific cross sample of the voters of Kenosha, as much as I love all the people in this room, and thank you for coming. But -- but there is a real -- there`s a real distance between that 59 percent approval rating and what happened in this election.

SANDERS: Well, I think you`ve got two things, all right.

Question, again, unscientifically, are we better off economically today than we were when Obama first came in and Bush left office?


SANDERS: OK. That is -- OK, most people think yes.

HAYES: Right.

SANDERS: But I think --

HAYES: Some think no.

SANDERS: -- the overwhelming evidence is that we are. We were losing 800,000 jobs a month when Obama first came in. We`re better off, I think. Most people would agree.

But on the other hand, despite that, the middle class continues --

HAYES: Right.

SANDERS: -- to decline. So you`ve got yes, we`re better off than we were eight years ago, but millions of people are hurting and they are scared to death that their kids will have a lower standard of living than they do. And that brings off a whole lot of anxiety.

HAYES: And we should note, we are here at the Local 72 of the UAW. It`s an amazing facility. It was built in the 1960s, in some ways, a testament to what Kenosha was in the sort of heyday of auto manufacturing that happened here.

Up next, we`re going to bring in a panel of Trump supporters to talk with the senator.

Don`t go anywhere.


HAYES: The senator said he wanted an argument. What do you think of the idea of free college tuition?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s the moment I stopped listening to anything coming out of your mouth, when you said that, because it is so absurd.




JOHN COLLINS, FORMER KENOSHA COUNTY EXECUTIVE: Kenosha made things. That is the legacy of my generation and the generations prior to mine.

We made things. We made cars. We made mattresses here. We made men`s clothing here.

We had -- we made fire engines here. That was the identity of our community. We made stuff and we were darned proud of it.

HAYES (voice-over): On the shores of Lake Michigan, between Chicago and Milwaukee, Kenosha, Wisconsin -- a city and a region that flourished in the heyday of American industry.

COLLINS: This was a manufacturing community. We made things. This community was built on the hands and backs of working people who came to work in those factories.

HAYES: Back in 1902, Kenosha started making cars, beginning with the Jeffrey Rambler. Nash Motors bought the plant 14 years later, and by the 1920s, it was the biggest employer in Kenosha and the jobs just kept getting better.

COLLINS: Largely due to the efforts of organized labor in the community, jobs that were low-paying factory jobs became good-paying factory jobs. Factory workers suddenly, in the 1950s, got to a position where they could -- they could make a good living. They could enter the middle class.

HAYES: In the 1950s, the company was called American Motors. Workers were making good money and iconic American cars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rambler American is your kind of car.

HAYES: By 1960, American Motors employed 14,000 workers in Kenosha, and accounted for over 43 percent of the city`s total employment.

But in the 1970s, the company started to have problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The company plans to lay off 1,000 employees for one week and will shut down all operations for three more weeks.

HAYES: In 1987, Chrysler bought American Motors. And the very next year, they stopped making cars in Kenosha.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chrysler is leaving town, so are 5,500 jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going to hurt everybody, drive a lot of people out of business, a lot of people just bought new Chrysler cars and they bought new houses, thinking they had jobs for three to five years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The loss of 5,500 jobs to a city the size of Kenosha is equivalent to losing a half million jobs in New York City.

HAYES: Chrysler did keep making car engines in Kenosha, but closed that plant in 2010. It was torn down in 2013.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The plants all gone. There`s a big empty lot and I guess if you look at that big empty lot and say it`s a challenge there.

HAYES: There are still jobs in Kenosha. In fact, the unemployment rate is below the national average. But the jobs today are very different.

COLLINS: Most of the employees of the manufacturing sector were unionized. They had good benefits. They had good solid salaries.

And what`s happened in -- after this transition is the newer jobs, which we`re very grateful for, have -- aren`t paying as well as the manufacturing jobs were. And I think there`s a real political consequence.

If somebody wants to know what happened in the election from a month ago, they need only drive down 52nd Street in Kenosha and look at those 100 plus acres of empty space that represent what was in Kenosha and the hopes and dreams of the future of Kenosha as (INAUDIBLE)


HAYES: All right, we are back here in Kenosha.

And as I said before, you know, Kenosha County went for Donald Trump in the presidential election by 237 votes, less than the amount of people in this room.

We`re going to introduce you now to some folks who voted for Donald Trump.

I want to introduce you to Richard Bizer (ph), who backed Barack Obama in `08, voted for Democrats down ticket.

Jamie Sibanich (ph). She`s a divorced mom of two, she`s holding down multiple jobs. She believes that Trump will bring back jobs. Her son backed Bernie Sanders.

We have with us Gail Sparzo (ph) who`s an electronic technician. Her husband is unemployed due to disability. Didn`t vote in 2012, she felt it was important to come out and vote in this election for Donald Trump.

Matt Augustine is a long-time union man and long-time Republican who voted for Donald Trump.

And -- and Matt, let me start with you a little bit.

You were nodding your head in the center was to -- how -- you know, you`re a union -- you`re a long-time union guy and a long-time Republican, which is not always something that goes together.

How important do you think organized labor is to -- to a strong middle class?

MATT AUGUSTINE, VOTED FOR TRUMP: The grassroots is important. The leadership in the unions has been lacking and the grassroots guys -- unions are important up to a point. And I think the unions have lost their way over the last 20 years. They don`t represent the people like they used to. And that`s what`s changed.

But the people are still important.

HAYES: What does it mean to you when you think about the declining -- I look at this place and I think between the outsourcing that`s happened, the jobs that have left, the decline of unions, it`s hard to imagine being able to build a place like this today.

AUGUSTINE: It was sad to see -- see the -- you know, I worked at Snap-On for 30 years. They closed the plant here and they moved to Milwaukee. And I didn`t go. You know, 30 years is enough.

And it was sad to see the jobs go. You know, I`ve lived in Kenosha my whole life.

HAYES: Richard, you voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary here in Wisconsin. You voted for -- oh, you voted for Donald Trump in the primary but you said you voted down ticket for Democrats on -- on election day.


HAYES: And you`re generally a Democratic voter.


HAYES: But this time, you voted for Trump.

Why did you vote for Donald Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically because he wasn`t Hillary.


HAYES: Have people heard that a lot from people they`ve talked to?


HAYES: Would you have supported Senator Sanders if he was the nominee?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I would have.

HAYES: What do you think of that, Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: Well, I appreciate it.


HAYES: That`s something --


SANDERS: But, you know, Chris, as you know, we won Kenosha pretty handily and we won the state of Wisconsin in the primary. And I think the message that we brought forth is that it is time to create an economy that works for all of us and not just the 1 percent. It`s time to support organized labor and make it easier for workers to get into unions.

It is time -- and I`d like to raise this issue. Maybe we can get into it in a moment. We are the only major country on Earth that doesn`t guarantee health care to all people as a right.

How many people think we should move in that direction?

HAYES: But let me --


HAYES: Let me ask you folks out there, Jamie, is that -- when you think about your voting, the -- Senator Sanders is talking about guaranteed health care.

Is that something -- as a right.

Is that the sort of thing that you`re interested in?

JAMIE SEBENA, VOTED FOR TRUMP: OK, that`s great, but how are we going to pay for that?

And how is it -- right now, if you try to go online and look for insurance, it is a massive disaster. I mean, you could spend two hours on there and you`d have no idea what to look for.


SEBENA: Also, for me, being as what I do for a living, I`m lucky. I`m quite healthy. I`m looking at insurance premiums that were $300, $400 a month and a $10,000 deductible. That`s ridiculous. I -- you know, I -- how can someone afford that?

SANDERS: That`s right.

HAYES: You know, you -- you express frustration with the way things are going. And you`re -- you`re someone who didn`t -- who wasn`t psyched about other candidate in 2012 but felt strongly about coming out this time around.

What changed?

GAIL SPARKS, VOTED FOR TRUMP: It was the fact that it seems as though -- number one, I think the country needs a bit of a change. They have put a lot of Republics, Democratics, professional politicians in that office.

Trump seemed more of him being a businessman, what`s this country full of? Business or talk?

HAYES: What do you think about that, Senator?

You`re -- you`re someone who`s devoted his life to public service.

SANDERS: Well, I don`t -- you know, I think you make a good point. I think what you`re really saying is people are sick and tired of establishment politics, right? And they want somebody who says he`s going to do something and cut through a lot of the crap.

SPARKS: Exactly.

SANDERS: Yes. No, I understand that.

All right, Matt, did you want to jump in?

AUGUSTINE: Yes, I agree. You know, I liked Trump from the beginning because he just -- he was open and up front with everybody and he talked to the people, pretty much like you did, too.

And the people that I know, it`s either -- it was either Donald Trump or you on the other end. Nothing in between, they didn`t like any of the other candidates. That`s from a grassroots point of view.

HAYES: You`re talking about your union?

AUGUSTINE: Well, just everybody.


AUGUSTINE: No matter who you talk to it`s -- it -- they like -- they like Donald Trump and they like Bernie, because they talked to the people. We thought everybody else was just giving us a bunch of hogwash. They were just talking over us.

HAYES: Richard, do you -- do you have -- do you think that -- that when we talk about the kinds of jobs that were in Kenosha, do you see a future in which those come back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No. That -- that day has come and gone. That`s the -- the industry of Kenosha is so diversified now, whereas before, when it was just Chrysler, it was just a one trick pony, you know?

HAYES: Do people feel like things are going to get better in Kenosha?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m optimistic enough to think that they are. I hope that they are. I`m pretty sure that they are.

SANDERS: Let me jump in, if I could, Chris.

HAYES: Yes, please. Go ahead.

SANDERS: Let me ask you, you guys a question. And all of you who voted for Trump.

A question, why has the middle class been in decline for the last 40 years?

What do you think? Does it have something to do with corporate greed?



AUGUSTINE: It`s -- I think it (INAUDIBLE).


AUGUSTINE: I think it has to do with what kind of CEOs are graduating from college and how they care. We had plant managers in Snap-On Tools who were the CEOs that actually cared about people.


AUGUSTINE: Howard Brown from "The Kenosha News" cared about the people. The new ones don`t. That`s a big change that I`ve seen.

SANDERS: That`s a very important point.

AUGUSTINE: And it has nothing to do with corporate greed, it`s just corporate -- greedy individuals.

SANDERS: Well, I think --

AUGUSTINE: And they`re in the wrong positions.

HAYES: You think the couture has changed?

AUGUSTINE: The culture has changed a lot.

SANDERS: That`s a good point. Other reasons? Why has the middle class been declining and why do we have so much income and wealth inequality?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because so many of our jobs are going overseas.


Do all of you believe that our current trade policies, NAFTA, (INAUDIBLE) with China have been a disaster for working --

AUGUSTINE: They`re terrible.



AUGUSTINE: I thought from the beginning -- it all started with GATT. You know that, too. GATT should have never been negotiated. They took 30 years to negotiate that behind closed doors. Nobody had a voice in it.

SANDERS: Is there a general consensus here that our trade policies have failed the American worker?




SANDERS: Well, I just want everybody to know, you`re looking at a guy who voted against every one of these trade agreements.


SANDERS: What was also clear to me is that the guys who wrote these trade agreements wanted very much to have the opportunity to shut down in Kenosha or in Vermont and move to Mexico and move to China, where they could pay people very low wages. You didn`t need a PhD in economics to figure that one out.


SANDERS: All right. So I gather that all of you would be sympathetic to a major rewrite of our current trade policies demanding that corporate America start investing in this country and not just the low wage countries around the world.




SANDERS: Good. Good.

Second question, you`ve got a lot of people, I`m sure, in Kenosha -- I know in my state of Vermont -- who cannot get by on the 10, 11 bucks an hour they`re making.

Should we raise the minimum wage to a living wage?





SANDERS: All right.



HAYES: Wait, there`s some --


SANDERS: OK. Let`s hear it.

Why don`t we go this --

HAYES: Yes. Yes. And I want to hear -- I want you -- if there`s dissent, I want to hear it.


HAYES: There were some nos. What do you think?

SEBENA: OK. I don`t know how you can take someone working at McDonald`s and pay them $15 an hour and not expect everything to go up around. Obviously, food is going to have to go up. If you want to pay workers for bagging groceries up to $12, OK, your groceries are going to have to go up. Everything is going to have to go up.

HAYES: I want you to hold that thought because there`s -- there is dissent on this, although it`s a very --


HAYES: -- popular position, I want to bring in some more voters right after this break.

Stick around. We`ll bring in another panel to respond some of what we just heard).

Don`t go anywhere.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump posed a real threat to our (INAUDIBLE) this country. And I see this as someone who`s born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

SEBENA: I would never want to see (ph) what he thrown just because of their beliefs or their -- I mean, that`s awful, no.



HAYES: All right, we`re here back in Kenosha.

And, you know, Jamie just made a point about the many ways in which you hear a lot -- you hear from voters, you hear from -- from folks at think tanks about if you -- if you raise the minimum wage to, say, $15 an hour, you`re just going to increase costs, right, and -- and someone is going to be paying for that.

I`m curious if any of you folks here -- and you guys are all Democrats and, John, you`re a -- a former union president.

What -- does that -- does that argument stand to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, first of all, one of the things I think people hear about raising the minimum wage, if the minimum wage goes up, everybody`s wage goes up, OK, because the floor is raised. And I think people miss that. They say well, why should people at McDonald`s -- and I hear -- I hear that all the time, McDonald`s.

HAYES: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not just about people that work at McDonald`s. And people making the minimum wage, by and large, those are not just young people, those are people who are raising a family. People that need a higher wage.

HAYES: But if everyone`s wages go -- go up, doesn`t that even make her argument more salient, which is that if everyone`s wages are going up, won`t costs explode?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, because -- I think it goes back to Senator Sanders` argument that income has shifted in this country to the top 1 percent, away from the rest of the people in this country. If you raise the minimum wage, that brings the income back to the people, takes it away from the 1 percent and it gives people purchasing power now that they don`t have. And it will help the economy.


HAYES: You`re shake -- you`re shaking your head. You -- you don`t like this minimum wage argument?


HAYES: Stand up. Stand up.

What`s your name, sir?


Well, the minimum wage, yes, it is good. But the minimum wage at the least was meant to be for people with part-time jobs or going to school, trying to (INAUDIBLE).

Now, when you increase everything just like now, with insurance, for instance, in the last couple of years with the ObamaCare -- well, I pay right now, me and my wife pay 40 percent of our income goes to insurance. That`s what`s bad.

You increase the minimum wage, everybody else is going to have to make more money. I`m retired. My wife is what I call semi-retired. She gets Social Security, but she has to work just to pay for the insurance.

In raising the minimum wage, what`s it going to do to me?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, well, the other thing, maybe that`s going back on something else now, about immigration.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were talking about immigration, illegal immigration. I`m an immigrant myself. So -- but I came in legally.

HAYES: Legally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to wait 10 years in line for me to come in.

HAYES: Well, let me get back to this minimum wage, Senator, because actually we`re running an experiment right now, right?

We actually have states that have done this. We`re going to kind of see how -- how important do you think is the results in a state like California, that has actually raised the minimum wage considerably?

SANDERS: And Vermont has also raised the minimum wage and a number of states have.

Picking up on John`s point, there has been, over the last number of decades, a massive shift of income and wealth to the top 1 percent. And if this country is going to survive economically, we`ve got to shift some of them back to the middle class and working families.

Number two, if you make $7.25 or eight bucks an hour, you ain`t going to go out and buy anything. You`re not going to buy furniture. You`re not going to buy -- you`re not going to take your family out to eat.


HAYES: Right.

SANDERS: And when you don`t have that disposable income, you`re not helping to create other people`s jobs.

And the third point that I`d make, I very often hear that argument about the possibility of prices going up, but I don`t hear that when you have CEOs making 300 times salary of what their workers are making.


HAYES: We`re going to --


HAYES: -- we`re going to take a quick break and be back with much more from Kenosha right after this.



SANDERS: I find it interesting that what three out of four of you are saying is, yes, he talked about that stuff but it will never happen. We don`t believe that it will ever happen. Why do you vote for somebody who in the sense then is lying?




HAYES: All right, we`re back here in Kenosha.

Senator Sanders was talking about free college education here.

Stand up for a second.

Tell me your name.

MARY MAGDALENE MOSHER: Mary Magdalene Mosher (ph).

HAYES: Mary Magdalene, I saw you nodding, shocking your head vigorously in disagreement to both arguments about the minimum wage and free college tuition.

So, maybe, let`s start on the -- the latter, because the senator said he wanted an argument.

What do you think of the idea of free -- free college tuition?

MOSHER: That`s the moment I stop listening to anything coming out of your mouth, when you said that, because it is so absurd.

You -- who is going to pay for it?


MOSHER: Why don`t you address how college tuition has skyrocketed 6,000 percent since the 1980s?

You can`t have an industry where once you pass a seniority level, it is impossible to fire you. That`s ridiculous. No other industry has that type of protection. That needs to go. Tenure needs to go.

SANDERS: OK. Well, no, I don`t think tenure needs to go and I don`t think --


SANDERS: OK. But here is the point, OK, and it hasn`t gone up 6,000 percent. It has gone up a lot, not 6,000 percent. Let`s stick to the facts.

But here is the issue. A very simple issue. In the United States of America, Mary, do you think all people, regardless of their income, all young people, should have an equal right to get a college education or should that only benefit the wealthy or upper middle class?

MOSHER: I believe the way the United States works as it is today, where every single human being in the United States has the opportunity to go to college. I do not believe it is a right and I do not believe that I should be expected to pay for not only --


MOSHER: -- my education and my children`s, but somebody else`s, as well.

SANDERS: But Mary, when we are losing at least $100 billion every single year because large multinational corporations stash their money in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens, that`s not you who`s going to be asked more in taxes.


SANDERS: We have massive levels of income and wealth inequality. Corporation after corporation doesn`t pay a nickel in taxes. Donald Trump, a multi-billionaire, proudly told us he doesn`t pay a nickel in federal taxes.

MOSHER: Then why would (INAUDIBLE) -


MOSHER: -- Barack Obama divides --



HAYES: Say that again.

MOSHER: Then why did Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE, which proud -- who proudly declared he paid zero percent in corporate taxes --


MOSHER: -- why did Barack Obama name him his chief economic adviser?

SANDERS: You are damn right. That was a stupid thing to do.


SANDERS: All right, so I`m not here -- you are right.


SANDERS: And, by the way, Jeffrey Immelt, many, many years ago, got up before a group of people. You know what he said?

He says, and I quote you, "When I look at the future of General Electric, one of the largest corporations in America, I see China, China, China and China," all right?

That was Jeffrey Immelt. And you are quite right, GE, in a given year, pays zero in federal income taxes.

But my point is, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it is wrong to say that we -- we are the wealthiest. It terms --


SANDERS: -- in terms of total wealth, we are.

HAYES: Right.

SANDERS: But the point is, in this country, with our wealth, I think it is grossly unfair that working class kids simply do not have the necessary income to get a college education. And I think we should do what Germany does and many other countries and say that when we talk about public -- public education, we`re not just talking about first grade through 12th grade, we`re talking about college, as well.

HAYES: Yes, I want to -- I want to ask a -- I want to ask a -- talk to you for a second. You -- you`re producer -- my producer spoke to you.

Stand up for a second.

Your name is Reema (ph), right?


HAYES: Tell me your full name.


HAYES: You know, Reema, I`m -- I`m curious, there are a whole bunch of prisms to -- to understand this election, right?

We -- we talked about manufacturing. We talked about the middle class. There are people who feel that -- that, really, the driving force of Donald Trump was bigotry or was all kinds of sort of ways that he was able to scapegoat folks. And I`m -- I`m curious what -- what you think of this sort of analysis?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I mean I think that Trump`s campaign was a campaign of hate. I`m a community organizer.

In the primary, I was running a campaign actually down in Illinois. I was a Bernie supporter, did switch over to Hillary in the general election. And it`s because for me, for the community that I am a part of, the community that I -- I want to be a part of, Trump posed a real threat to our existence in this country.

And I say this as someone who was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I`m a Wisconsinite. I`m a Midwesterner. I`m an American. So, yes.

HAYES: When you say posed a real threat to the existence of the community that you`re part of, what do you mean by that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean folks of color. I mean communities of immigrants. I mean Trump has talked about putting folks that look like me on a national registry. I mean we`re thinking about Japanese internment. And I`m also talking about other immigrant communities, communities that have benefitted from DAPA and DACA.

What are -- what of our -- what are those communities going to do?

Our -- you know, are my friends or my family members going to be deported now, people who called this country home, people who identify as Americans?

Is this what`s going to happen?

This is terrifying. And I say this also as somebody who has family members who voted for Trump. I come from a multi-ethnic, multi-religious family. And this is something we tried not to talk about on Thanksgiving.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it`s -- it`s scary to see, you know, to know that neighbors, family members, you know, may look past the threat that Trump poses to our very livelihood just because they wanted something different.


HAYES: I want you to respond to that.

You`re shaking your head, Matt. What do you -- what do you make of that?

SANDERS: Well, let`s ask everybody up here.


SANDERS: I mean what she is --


SANDERS: -- what Reema is saying -- let me just throw it out there. She is saying that Trump won a whole lot of votes based on bigotry, trying to turn one group of people against the other.

What do you guys think?



SANDERS: OK, well, just tell us.

AUGUSTINE: He -- he stirred a dialogue. There is not one person in this room, Democrat or Republican or Independent that would have allowed anything to happen like that, even our Congress. That would not be acceptable to anybody. And he just started a dialogue and the dialogue has changed and it`s gotten better.

None of that`s ever going to happen. It was not even what --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s proposing legislation --

AUGUSTINE: He`s proposing --


AUGUSTINE: You can pro --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- a national registry. He`s proposing removing DAPA and DACA. These are (INAUDIBLE)

AUGUSTINE: In the first place, you can`t promote that -- that`s anti- religious. It`s against our Constitution.


AUGUSTINE: That`s never going to pass. And even if it went to the Supreme Court, I don`t care, it would be thrown out. He can propose all he wants, it`s going to go through our Congress first. That`s another buffer zone we have.

HAYES: Do -- do other people -- this is something that I encounter a lot when I talk to Trump voters who would -- who would -- who would say very similar things. They would basically say the things that he says that are the worst things, like the Muslim ban, for instance, that like that`s just him talking smack, basically. And it`s not going to happen.

Is that -- I`m curious what you three think about?

Like is that how you thought of it or do you think like I hope he does that or --

SEBENA: No, I hope he does not do that. No. I mean I would never want to see anybody thrown out just because of their beliefs or their reli -- I mean that`s awful. No.

HAYES: Gail?

SPARKS: You know, to some extent, I`m hoping it is, being one that works in a factory, and I have tried to finish my college degree to be in the factory to do the job I`m doing.

But because there are so many illegals in there, I can`t get the pay I should get.

HAYES: So you think -- you think illegals -- undocumented immigrants are - - are threatening your pay and you hope he does get -- he does deport a lot of them?

SPARKS: Well, not including the fact, that`s even been said on radio, that a lot of them that get stopped don`t pay their tickets. They go to Mexico and hide. They get away with it. They don`t pay their taxes. They go to Mexico and hide.

And then come back. I`ve seen this. It`s upsetting.

HAYES: Senator, do you want to respond to that?

SANDERS: Well, do you want to -- Richard, do you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that a lot of what he says is just implementable rhetoric, just to gain attention. And it would never be congressionally approved.

SANDERS: Well, as somebody who is in the Congress, let me not -- I`m not quite so sure that -- that you`re right. But I think that there`s no question to my mind -- and I find it interesting that what three out of four of you are saying is, yes, he talked about that stuff, but it will never happen, we don`t believe that it will ever happen.

Why do you vote for somebody who, in a sense, then, is lying?


AUGUSTINE: He`s starting a dialogue with the American people. And he used the media to get his point across. And he`s changed his view. He wasn`t lying, he started a dialogue. He voiced his opinion and he -- he got feedback and he addressed it as he went along.

He knows as well as anybody in this room, you can`t go after a -- a group of people because of their religious beliefs. It`s never -- and I knew that right off the bat.

SANDERS: Well...

AUGUSTINE: But he was still up front and he talked to the public.

SANDERS: Well, it`s an interesting point. I mean, what you are saying is that you think -- and I think that what he was talking about was unconstitutional.


SANDERS: So you`ve got a candidate for president of the United States talking about grossly unconstitutional things and wins an election.

AUGUSTINE: Well -- well, look what our Congress does.


AUGUSTINE: They pass unconstitutional laws every day.

SPARKS: Can I ask one thing?

HAYES: Yes, please.

SPARKS: You know, I`m starting...


SPARKS: I might make it (INAUDIBLE).

I`m sitting here and I`m listening to all of this and, you know, I think that who`s paying for this, right?

Who`s paying for the Medicaid? Who`s paying for the Social Security? Who`s paying for the Medicare? Who?


SPARKS: Thank you. We are.


SPARKS: Now, have any of you seen down on streets that it seems as though we have become the silent minority and not the majority?

HAYES: What do you mean by that?

SPARKS: How much have we been listened to, really?

HAYES: But who`s -- who`s the we? When you say that -- you mean --

SPARKS: Us people.

HAYES: Who people?

SPARKS: The people who need the Medicare, the people who need the Social Security, who needs to help with the education.

SANDERS: OK, but now here`s -- good, good point. Let`s -- let`s see if we can go forward on this.

I am assuming that you believe -- correct me if I`m wrong -- that we should not cut Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid.

Is that correct or not?



SPARKS: I believe it shouldn`t be cut.

SANDERS: OK. Do you know who is now working very hard to try to do that? Republicans in Congress have a plan --


SANDERS: -- under the guise of saving Medicare and saving Social Security, making devastating cuts. That`s what the Republicans are now trying to do.

The other point that you made, which is a very -- I think you made it or -- both of you have made it, actually, is who`s going to pay for this stuff? And that is a very fair point.

What all of us should know is that over the last 25 years, there has been a massive transfer of wealth in this country from you to the top one tenth of 1 percent. In other words, the middle class has shrunk and trillions of dollars have gone to top one tenth of 1 percent.

Do you think it`s inappropriate to ask those people to start paying their fair share of taxes so we can adequately fund Medicaid and making public colleges and universities tuition-free?

Is that an unfair thing to ask?

SPARKS: I don`t think it`s an unfair thing to ask.


SPARKS: See? The 1 percenters, they`ve gotten rich off of us.

SANDERS: That`s right.

SPARKS: So next time they put back.



SANDERS: All I`m saying.

HAYES: We`re going to take a quick break and we`ll come back with much more from the crowd.

Don`t go anywhere.


SANDERS: It was some rhetoric coming from Mr. Trump, which needless to say disturbs me very, very much. His campaign which was based on bigotry bothers me. This cabinet that he`s appointing, it seems the major qualification is to have to be a billionaire.




HAYES: Welcome back to our town hall with Senator Sanders here in Kenosha.

And, sir, I want to talk to you for a second.

Stand up for me.

Tell me your name.


HAYES: And what do you do here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I am the task master and vice president for the League of United Latin American citizens, or LULAC. And I`ve been quite involved in the get out the vote effort across the country.

HAYES: You know, folks talked about immigration in this country and obviously it was a sort of front of mind issue. Gail talked about it a little bit just -- just a few moments ago.

And, you know, there`s lots of places people do really palpably feel like what`s happening in the economy is that they`re having a harder and harder time, and there`s some set of folks that are -- that are coming in and are not having a hard time or are able to get jobs or those jobs are undercutting their wages.

And, you know, that -- that is -- that was something very near the surface of this election.

How determinative was that, do you think, here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think -- I think there`s a lot of concern, but I also think there was a lot of embellishment and a lot of confusion over what the facts really are here.

You know, I heard the young lady -- and I respect your -- your views and opinions -- talk about the undocumented here.

Truth be told, only a third of the -- I`m sorry, 3 percent of the U.S. population is undocumented. And over half of those came here and overstayed their visas, right? And then a percentage of those are Hispanics.

So I think there`s always been a lot of finger-pointing at who`s to blame and the facts necessarily haven`t been being shared the way they should be.

HAYES: Do you think it`s scapegoating?


HAYES: What do the folks on the panel think about immigration?

How important was immigration for you guys up there?

AUGUSTINE: I think I -- I think legal immigration is not a problem. It`s the illegal immigration we have a problem with. And they have ignored the laws for so many years, it`s gotten out of hand. They`ve got to get it back to the rule of law in this country.

Guess what it is.

HAYES: Let me ask a broader question, because I think this gets to how people might be feeling here in Kenosha.

And, Senator, you could jump in here. But just curious here, really broad level, how many people are optimistic about this country right now?

Raise your hand.



HAYES: How many people are pessimistic about this country right now?


HAYES: How many -- how do you folks up on the -- on the roster there, how do you feel about the first month of -- of this new administration, that -- how Donald Trump has been in this transition?

Do you feel like it`s giving you more or less hope?

AUGUSTINE: I think he`s shaking things up a little bit. And I -- I kind of like it.


AUGUSTINE: Things need to be shook up a little bit. Both parties need to be shook up a little bit.

HAYES: You`re agreeing, Richard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m optimistic.

HAYES: You`re optimistic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I`m usually not optimistic but this -- this time I am.

HAYES: What do you mean you`re usually not optimistic?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, look at the past. Look -- look at what we`ve had for the last few presidencies. It`s just a lot of bogus rhetoric.

HAYES: Did you feel that way about George W. Bush?


HAYES: You didn`t like him?


HAYES: And you voted for Barack Obama?


HAYES: And you feel disappointed?


HAYES: And now you -- you`re -- you`re hopeful about the future?


HAYES: Senator Sanders, are you hopeful or pessimistic about the future of this country?

SANDERS: Well, I`ll tell you something, on a personal note, running around the country as a candidate for president, I became extremely optimistic, because all over this country, we had these very giant rallies and we met with large groups and we met with small groups, people like -- like the people who are here today.

And the decency of the American people and the love of country of the American people and the desire to make this country a better place in which to live and -- and raise families really blew me away. It really did.

So, in that sense, especially among the younger people, I am extremely optimistic about the future of this country.

On the other hand, there is some rhetoric coming from Mr. Trump which, needless to say, disturbs me very, very much. His campaign, which was based on bigotry, bothers me. The cabinet that he`s appointing, it seems the major qualification is to have to be a billionaire.

And I don`t know that that is -- you know, when you talk about taking on the establishment, you`re not really talking about bringing Goldman Sachs into your administration. You`re not talking about bringing the head of ExxonMobil into your administration.


SANDERS: You know, you`re not talking about, you know, attacking a guy named Chuck Jones, who is the head of the local steelworkers in Indianapolis. That`s not taking on the establishment. That`s bringing the establishment right into your administration.

So in that sense, I worry very much.

AUGUSTINE: Yes, I think he`s talking about the do nothing Congress and the bureaucrats we have in Washington, DC that keep ignoring everybody, not that kind of establishment. Those guys know how to get things done. And I -- we`ve got to give them a chance.

HAYES: Everyone --

AUGUSTINE: If they don`t, we`ll get them out. If they don`t, we`ll get them out and put somebody else in in four years, because we`re all still going to be here.

HAYES: That --

AUGUSTINE: We`re not going anywhere.

HAYES: That`s -- see, this is an interesting point, because it`s ultimately, right, where I find most interesting about how this next four years develops is that, right, which is ultimately, it`s the proof in the pudding.

Is it that life is better for folks in Kenosha and Wisconsin and across the great industrial Midwest and the U.S., is that going to be the test, ultimately, of the political success of this person that we`ve just elected president of the United States?

I want to thank our audience, our panels, our participants, and, of course, thank you to Senator Bernie Sanders.


HAYES: That does it for us here in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts next.