Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed Hillary Clinton as naive on Wall Street during the CNN Democratic debate on Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Sanders went on the attack as Hillary Clinton defended her stance on Wall Street regulatory policies during her time as a senator in New York. The former secretary of state stated that she told Wall Street bankers to “cut it out” and that the Glass-Steagall Act, implemented in 1933 and repealed in 1999, would not have prevented the 2008 economic crash.
According to The Washington Post, Hillary Clinton claimed that December of 2007, she warned Wall Street about the big crash.
“I went to Wall Street in December of 2007, before the big crash that we had, and I basically said, ‘cut it out, quit foreclosing on homes! Quit engaging in these kinds of speculative behaviors.'”
Politifact noted that Hillary Clinton did indeed raise concern about the financial system. In fact, as early as March of 2007, Clinton raised concerns about the housing bubble.
Bernie Sanders rebutted Hillary Clinton and gave one of the most memorable quotes of the CNN Democratic debate.
“In my view, Secretary Clinton, you do not, Congress does not regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress. Saying, ‘please, do the right thing’ is kind of naive.”
Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley both agreed that reviving the Glass-Steagall Act is necessary in order to tackle Wall Street institutions. However, Clinton was adamant that the act would not have prevented the big crash. It is worth noting that her husband, President Bill Clinton, signed the Gramm-Leach-Bailey Act in 1999 which repealed some of the Glass-Steagall provisions.
Senator Sanders boasted his anti-Wall Street rhetoric throughout the CNN Democratic debate. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, was pressed by moderator Anderson Cooper on whether it was possible that a socialist could win the presidential election.
Bernie Sanders stated that, “we’re gonna win because first, we’re gonna explain what democratic socialism is”.
In June, Gallup revealed that 50 percent of Americans would not vote for a socialist. The survey found that socialists were the least likely to receive a vote from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. However, it is important to note that Sanders is not a socialist, but a democratic-socialist. After the CNN Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders caused a spike in the search for socialism in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.
— Stephen Persing (@StephenPersing) October 14, 2015
During the Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders stated that allied Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Denmark and Sweden already embraced a democratic-socialist system as early as World War II. Generally, as Merriam-Webster describes socialism as “a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than individual people and companies”. However, that definition does not effectively describes Bernie Sanders’ idea of democratic socialism.
As Bernie Sanders stated during the CNN Democratic debate, “democratic socialism is about is saying that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of 1 percent in this country own almost 90 percent, almost, own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent”.
“Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little by which Wall Street’s greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I don’t.”
Here is a clip of Senator Bernie Sanders on Late Night with Seth Meyers explaining what the term democratic-socialism means to him.
A YouGov poll found that more than one-third of Americans under the age of 30 holds a positive view on socialism.
[Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images]