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Bill Maher and Bernie Sanders spar over teaching Americans not to fear the word ‘Socialist’

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While voicing his support for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) presidential campaign on Friday, Real Time host Bill Maher expressed skepticism that he could win over voters by calling himself a “Democratic Socialist.”

“This is my big thing tonight — to get you to undemonize this word,” Maher said, arguing that while more Americans are willing to elect a gay person or even an atheist, they still show reluctance to supporting a socialist at the polls.

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“They hear ‘Socialist,’ they think, ‘herpes,'” he said.

“Then what we do is, we have to make the movement, if you like, to correlate [with] what we’re talking about,” Sanders responded. “On every one of the major issues I am talking about, the American people agree.”

The senator cited support for free public college tuition, and raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to boost his argument.

However, Maher countered, taxing “people who own a yacht” would not generate enough revenue to cover the cost of Sanders’ policies. The host also pointed out that the candidates’ home state of Vermont was not able to pay for universal medical care for its residents.

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“Then the question is, Bill, you tell me: why is it that every other major country –” Sanders said before Maher jumped in.

“I will tell you why — because they control both ends of it,” he said. “If you’re saying that the government is gonna pick up the tab, but not make the insurance companies, the hospitals, and the doctors not gouge people, then we are gonna break the budget. It has to work both ways.”

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“The United States is the only major country on Earth that allows private insurance companies to make huge profits in the health care system,” Sanders responded. “The function of health care should be to provide quality care to all people, not to make huge profits for the drug companies and insurance companies.”

Watch the interview, as posted online, below.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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2020 Election

‘He believes he’s a king and a dictator’: Ex-GOP congressman backs impeaching ‘unfit conman’ Trump

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President Donald Trump was blasted on MSNBC on Saturday by a former Republican congressman for being an "unfit conman."

Rev. Al Sharpton interviewed former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) about a recent New York Times op-ed he wrote calling for Trump to face a primary challenge from the right.

"There’s a strong case for President Trump to face a Republican primary challenger," Walsh wrote. "I know a thing or two about insurgencies. I entered Congress in 2011 as an insurgent Tea Party Republican."

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2020 Election

Heather Heyer’s mom says things have gotten worse since Charlottesville — but she has a solution

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CNN's Ana Cabrera on Saturday interviewed Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer. Her daughter was murdered by a white nationalist terrorist during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

"When you watch what’s happening in Portland, thankfully everything right now is peaceful, but does it sort of give you that knee-jerk reaction where your hackles kind of go up, just given everything your family has been through?" Cabrera asked.

"My hackles don’t really go down anymore," Bro replied. "I am constantly tracking these things around the country as they happen. Yeah, I think after two years ago, mine will never completely go down again."

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CNN

Trump-loving “hate group” leader struggles to defend chauvinism during CNN interview on Portland chaos

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Portland, Oregon on Saturday was the scene of another far-right mobilization by groups such as the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.

CNN's Sara Sidner interviewed Enrique Tarrio, who succeeded Gavin McInnes as the chairman of the Proud Boys. The group is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Tarrio had traveled from Miami to take part in the far-right rally in Portland and appeared to be wearing body armor.

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