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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  June 30, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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ity delivers the best enhanced network security. click, call or visit a store today to learn more. >> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. >> the democrats debate. >> america does not want to witness a food fight, they want to know how we're going to put food on their table. >> breakout moments. shots at the president. >> trump is a phony. >> that's what we call at home, all foam and no beer. >> the biggest threat to the security of the united states is donald trump. >> and the frontrunner. >> it was hurtful. >> i ran because of civil rights. >> it's time to pass the torch. >> i'm still holding on to that torch. >> the debate revealed a wide-open race. raised new questions about who's best to beat trump and how much the party shift to the left puts winning back the white house at risk. candidates bernie sanders and julian castro join us,
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handshake. >> this is my honor. this has been in particular a great friendship. >> president trump meets with come jong-un on north korean soil. as he defends his warm ties to dictators. >> i get along with everybody. >> like the saudi crown prince. >> i get along with mohammad. >> and jokes with putin. in their first meeting since the mueller report. insight and analysis from our powerhouse roundtable. we'll break down the politics, smoke out the spin. the facts that matter this week. >> announcer: from abc news, it's "this week." here now, chief anchor george stephanopoulos. good morning. we want to get right to that breaking news. a bit of history made just hours ago. president trump, the first sitting president to set foot in north korea. there you see him at the dmz, that dangerous dividing line for more than 60 years, shaking hands first with kim jong-un and then together, they cross over into north korea. history right there.
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and after that, a 40-minute private meeting in freedom house. with the south korean president. eygreed to restart the nuclear talks that collapsed in hanoi earlier this year. president trump clearly thrilled with the result. >> historic moment. i think the relationship that we developed has -- has meant so much to so many people. and it's just an honor to be with you and it was an honor you asked me to step over that line. i thought you might do that. i wasn't sure, but i was ready to do it. i want to thank you. it's been great. >> our chief white house correspondent jon karl on soil in seoul. the president wasn't sure it would happen but he's pleased that it did. >> reporter: in terms of sheer performance, george, this may be the biggest moment of the trump presidency so far. the president took a big gamble by issuing the last-minute invitation and that he let the cliffhanger play out as nobody knew whether or not kim jong-un would accept. after all, north korean dictators aren't known for impromptu meetings.
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it's the hermit kingdom. but 32 hours after he issued that invitation over twitter, there he was, shaking hands with kim jong-un and taking those steps -- those historic steps into north korea. there wasn't much substance behind all the symbolism. but the president did announce that they would begin lower-level talks again aimed at getting that elusive nuclear deal. as you know, george, those talks had really completely broken down after the hanoi summit back in february. >> yeah, that was the hanoi summit back in february and the singapore summit last year. when the president said the nuclear threat from north korea is over. but in fact, the nuclear program in north korea is intact as ever. >> reporter: it sure is, in fact, intelligence estimates say it's growing. that said, there have been no more nuclear tests. and the sense here on the korean peninsula, clearly, is the tensions have lowered significantly.
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in fact, the president of south korea today said that donald trump is, quote, the peacemaker of the korean peninsula. perhaps, quite a bit premature, but that's clearly where they think things are going here. they think they're going in the right direction. >> was this meeting really impromptu? >> well, certainly preparations and a possibility of a meeting. in fact, i met with a very senior u.s. official involved in these talks a week ago who told me that it was possible that this could happen, but he thought it was a very low likelihood and in fact put the odds at about 5%. it wasn't completely out of the blue but certainly came together at the last minute and in that sense it was very much an impromptu meeting. >> okay, jon karl, thanks very much from seoul. a response from the democrats. julian castro joins us now. thank you for joining us this morning. let's start out with the
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first president to stand on the north korea soil. would president castro have made the same move? >> look, i'm all for speaking with our adversaries, but what's happened here is that this president has raised the profile of a dictator like kim jong-un, and now three times visited with him unsuccessfully, because he's doing it backward. usually what happens, as you know george, that there's an intense amount of staff work that goes into negotiating how one of these talks will go. so you hopefully can get something out of it. we haven't gotten anything out of it. after they had the first summit, the singapore summit, he told the american people that north korea was no longer a threat. then after that, they continued to test their nuclear weapons. and they haven't even abided by one of the commitments that they made originally which was to given a inventory of their
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nuclear stockpile. so, you know, it's worrisome that this president erratically sets up a meeting without the staff work being done, it seems like it's all for show, it's not substantive, as jonathan said in his report. we're left to believe, what progress are we making? at the same time the cost to the united states and his allies is that he's raising a profile, growing the strength of a dictator. >> so you think he gave a gift to kim jong-un? >> i think that he should put the work in beforehand and hold him accountable to the commitment that he made in the singapore summit. i don't think it's fitting for the united states to continue to erratically meet with a dictator when they haven't abided by the first terms. a year ago. >> okay, let's talk about the debate wednesday night. you had a breakthrough performance. you talked about wanting to decriminalize of immigrants coming into the united states. right now, make it a civil
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penalty. you're drawing a lot of heat for that also for the plans that all democrats they wanted to give access to health care to undocumented immigrants. president trump had a tweet while he was overseas, all democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited health care. how about that taking care of american citizens first? that's the end of that race. followed by "the new york post"next morning. who wants to lose the election? as all democrats raised their hands. did you given a opening to republicans? >> not at all. what i'd like all american taxpayers to know, right now, number one, undocumented immigrants already pay a lot of taxes. secondly, we already pay for the health care of undocumented immigrants. it's called the emergency room. people show up in the emergency room and they get care as they should and then third, it's the right thing to do. we're not going to let people living in this country die
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because they can't see a doctor. that's not who we are as americans. >> the question is, at what cost? when you add up all the proposals you're calling for crossing the border, no deportation, absent other crimes, the offer of health care benefits, a possible path to citizenship, isn't that effectively open borders not limiting immigration in any real way? >> i would challenge you there, george, on a couple of things. number one, there's no way we can call that open boarders. we have fencing. because we have thousands of personnel at the border, we have planes, we have helicopters, boats, security cameras, guns, that's by no stretch of the imagination open borders, and secondly, there's still a civil court process.
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there are still people who are being deported, there are people applying for asylum who don't receive or not granted asylum, so open borders is just a right-wing talking point. it always has been. and i'll say, it doesn't matter what democrats do on this issue. president trump and the republicans are always going to say democrats are for open borders. i have a completely different vision -- a better, stronger vision of how we can be more effective, more humane and smarter on border security and immigration. you know, this president has wasted 2 1/2 years, he knew that we had a flow of people that were coming from central america when he became president in january 2017. he should have done what i called for, 21st century martial plan, with those northern triangle plans so they can find safety and opportunity at home.
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>> what is your limiting principal on allowing people in and giving them asylum. there are wide swaths of the world mired in poverty, mired in areas where there's high crime, anyone who's facing that kind of poverty, that kind of crime should get asylum? >> no, and that's not the system we have now. we have a system to consider asylum claims, based on certain criteria. i agree with people who say look, in theory can we take everyone who would like to be in the united states? nobody has called for that. i do believe, however, and i have put forward an immigration plan that would accept more people. i'll give you an example of that. my statute for the late '70s, early '80s we can take in 110,000 refugees annually. right now, we're only taking in between 30,000 and 40,000 refugees. i'd like to see that go up to
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the statutory limit. so nobody has called for unlimited number of people coming to this country. but i do believe that we should expand that significantly and we're big enough to do that. there have been times in our history in this country where we have taken in a lot more people and we have become a stronger nation. what is underlying this is the fear and paranoia the president is stoking. i refuse to believe, because it's not true, the people are coming because they're desperate, lot of the women and children represent some sort of national security threat or cultural threat to this country. that's bull. >> let's talk for medicare for all. something that's dividing democrats right now and whether or not private insurance should be eliminated. you weren't on the stage on thursday night with bernie sanders. you've been against eliminating private insurance. why is bernie sanders wrong?
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>> well, i think that bernie's right in the sense of that everyone who wants medicare who should have it. i believe if you want medicare in this country, we should strengthen medicare for the people on it. and then make it available for all who want it. i also believe that someone who has a private health insurance plan and they want to hold on to it, they should be allowed to hold on to that. i think we can accomplish both of those things. i also agree with bernie sanders when he says that, you know, there's a lot of profit that goes into these insurance companies and big pharma. we need to put more of those resources into actually providing care for americans. so, you know, we agree on a lot of it. i think that people i think that people can hold on to some sort of private, supplemental plan if they want. there's no reason we shouldn't allow them to do that. >> julian, thanks very much. >> thank you. bernie sanders is up next. next.
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health care could be the hottest issue heading into 2020. as we saw in the debates, for democrats the focus is on medicare for all. from our next guest bernie sanders, his call to abolish private insurance. we asked nate silver, do you buy that >> medicare for all that label that brand polls really well. when the kaiser family foundation asked people if they support medical for all? 56% say yes. but if medicare for all meant taking away private insurance, support was at 37%. long history of people opposing, obama care, for most of his time in office, most people disliked obamacare but once president trump took office,
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the repeal of the aca became a real possibility, it became quite popular with democrats and independents. meanwhile, he'll care was the top issue in the 2018 midterms. 80% of voters said it was very important. so, that should give any party pause in offering health care too much. more modest proposals having medicare option or public option. polled relatively llg ong reans. president trump, when his approval ratings fell after he tried to pass his own health care legislation. could the democrats hurt themselves in 2020 by going too left on health care? i buy that. it could squander what could have been one of their top issues against president trump. >> bernie sanders is standing by. we'll be right back. be right back.
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crazy and wild and extreme. and now, it turns out all of the other candidates are saying what we said four years ago. >> bernie sanders campaigning in new hampshire on saturday. he joins us live from new hampshire this morning. senator sanders, thanks for joining us this morning. let's dive into one of those ideas right away. you just heard julian castro and nate silver on this idea of medicare for all. they say it's a popular program. but want to pick up on that kaiser family poll, when you talk about eliminating private insurance, support flips. it gets even worse when you tell americans they'll have to pay more taxes, which you conceded. it flips. it appears you're pushing something people say they don't want? >> no, we're taking on the pharmaceutical industry, which charges us the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs while they make tens of billions of dollars in profit. we're going to lower prescription drug costs in this
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country by 50%. we're taking on the insurance company, also making massive profits. now, if you tell the american people what medicare for all really is, and that is for the elderly, we're going to expand benefits to include dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses. and most importantly, when you tell the american people, and small businesses, that they are no longer going to have to pay any premiums, any deductibles, any co-payments and for the overwhelming majority of people, health care will be much less expensive under medicare-for-all. by the way, medicare today is the most popular health insurance program in the country. private health insurance isn't particularly popular. and when you tell people all of that, then your numbers go up. bottom line here is, the united states must end the international embarrassment of being the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people as a right.
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we have some 80 million people in the country who are uninsured or underinsured. can't afford to go to doctor without did stress. >> and as you know for a lot of democrats, the question is, how you get there, and it's true. you tell people you're going to raise their taxes, support goes down. that's led to some of your opponents to say, how about medicare for everyone who wants it, and if it works, this public option works, then the private health insurance is going to wither away anyway. >> well, two things. again, it's not a question of paying more taxes or not. it's a question of not paying any premiums. if i said to you, george, let's say, you're self-employed and you're spending $15,000 out of pocket expenses. i said, george, you're going to pay $7,000, $8,000 more in taxes but you won't have to pay your premiums. you're probably going to say,
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where can i sign up? people are going to spend less. >> i'll tell you what i might say, senator, those taxes are going to be certain. those taxes are coming no matter what with the hope that your program is going to work? >> well, you don't have the taxes unless you have the program. so, the bottom line here is, we have a dysfunctional health care system. the overwhelming majority of the american people are sick and tired of getting ripped off by the pharmaceutical industry. let me say it again, we're going to take on the drug companies. and every american, whether you're rich or poor, is entitled to health care as a human right. look, at the end of the day, life expectancy in the united states today is in huge decline. you have county after county where people don't even have a doctor. we need broad changes in our health care system. you talked about a public option, many people won't be able to afford a public option. what the american people got to decide is one simple question,
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george -- do we create a health care system guaranteeing health care to all people without insurance companies and drug companies making huge profits and distorting health care in america? that's the issue and i think american people will stand with me on that issue. >> debate will continue over the course of this campaign. i want you to get to weigh in on president trump walking into north korea. in the past weeks, you have praised his engagement with kim jong-un. we just heard julian castro say, what he's actually doing is growing the strength of a dictator. >> well, the concern here is his incredible inconsistencies. i have no problem with him sitting down with kim jong-un in north korea or any place else. but i don't want it to be a simply photo opportunity. the whole world's media was atrakted there. what's going to happen tomorrow and the next day? he has weakened the state department. if we're going to bring peace to this world we need a strong
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state department. we need to move forward diplomatically not just do photo opportunities. right now, while he's meeting with kim jong-un, he's still provocative in terms of almost moving toward a war with iran. he vetoed legislation that i supported and that we won in the senate and the house which would get the united states out of the horrific war in yemen, which is led by the brutal dictator mohammad bin salman of saudi arabia. i don't have a problem with him sitting down and negotiating with our adversaries. we need real diplomacy. >> so you don't buy the argument, growing kim jong-un's legitimizing the nuclear weapons -- >> i think sitting down with our adversaries is not a bad idea. i wish he would do that in the middle east as well and in the persian gulf. i wish he would sit down with the dictatorship in saudi arabia and bring iran into the discussion.
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tell those people we are sick and tired of spending trillions of dollars because they keep goin bring them to a table, let's work out some lasting peace in the region. i don't have a problem with that. on the other hand, we also know you have a president who seems to love authoritarian people. whether it's mohammad bin salman in saudi arabia, or north korea, you should sit down and negotiate with them. in the case of north korea, if we can get rid of nuclear weapons there that's a threat to europe and the united states, that would be a very good thing. >> i want to bring up something in the debate between kamala harris and joe biden, raising his opposition to busing back in the 1970s. i want to bring the debate forward. you're concerned about the idea of resegregation of our schools. does that mean busing should be on the table today? >> well, i think --
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resegregation is a very, very serious problem. the federal government has failed in fighting for fair housing legislation. we need basically in this country, well-funded public schools. we need to honor our teachers, respect teachers, make sure they're earning a living wage. we need to take care of those schools who have a lot of kids who are in some cases actually hungry coming from troubled families. we need to build public education in this country. we need to make sure that kids go to community schools, which are integrated and that means, we have to focus on fair housing legislation and enforcement. >> but does that almost mean busing? your website comes out you're repealing the ban on funding for busing? >> no, busing is certainly an option that's necessarily in certain cases. it's not the optimal. does anyone think the idea to put a kid on the bus, travel an
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hour to another school, to another neighborhood that she doesn't know? that's the optimal. the optimal is to have great community schools that are integrated. >> senator bernie sanders, thanks for your time this morning. >> thank you. roundtable is up next. we'll be right back. roundtable is up next. we'll be right back. a. ♪ good, better emma. and soutenu. ♪ i'm gonna be president. and the winner for president: emma williamson. i'm gonna start a juice bar. emma, the numbers are looking really good. you're gonna start a juice bar. at u.s. bank, we believe hard work works. and for everyone working toward a goal, we're here to help. ♪
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think they want open borders, i guess. >> i'm sure you saw the exchange between joe biden and kamala harris. >> i think she was given too much credit for what she did. it wasn't that outstanding. i think he was probably hit harder than he should have been hit, joe biden. >> thousands of miles away, the president had his eyes on the democratic debates. want to talk about that with chris christie, now a fox news contributor and former dnc chair donna brazile, yvette simpson. and editor of the national review, rich lowry. first, chris, you got to talk about the president walking into north korea this morning. this north korea policy clearly driven by the president himself personally. he's the one that wanted this to happen. >> absolutely, and this is the way he does diplomacy. now, we're going to see if it works or doesn't work. this is the way the president does diplomacy. i think you've got to give him
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credit for trying. the bottom line is, everything we tried, the republican and democrat presidents over the last 30 years hasn't worked in north korea, isolating and more sanctions, hasn't worked. he's trying to make it a personal thing. >> so far it hasn't worked. >> that's right. maybe nothing will work with north korea. we don't know. they're a dictatorship, they're a backwards society that we presses their own people. but this is donald trump who he is. the essence of who he is, is he believes he get into a room, he can convince anyone of anything. we'll find out if he's right. >> bernie sanders said no harm in trying. >> there's no harm in trying, but look, he's been trying for a year. meanwhile, kim jong-un is still processing uranium and plutonium. >> what do you want him to do? >> he's still making -- >> what do you want him to do? i understand. >> i'm not against talking. i'm not against talking. big moment, big progress. that's what the president said as he crossed over into north korea.
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but big moment, big progress means that we need to get progress on denuclearizing that area. >> which is the same thing that barack obama said and george w. bush said. >> again, i'm not against talking. >> it sounds like you are. >> there's an argument against talking. the argument against talking is that you don't raise up kim jong-un and you not allow him to have that moment on stage when he continues to build nuclear weapons. >> it's a propaganda coup for him and his regime. he's not going to talk kim out of his nuclear weapons program. because it's not a personal commitment of kim but it's a central pillar of that regime. perhaps, they have already gotten the information they need from the nuclear and other big missile test. >> all we need is strategy. we're talking about foreign policy. he tweets a dictator, i'm coming over, i mean, this is our
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foreign policy. when he goes in that room he's advocating for real change that'soi tmake us safer.e aph j. >> it's been a failure for 30 years. but i don't hear anyone around this table telling me what the alternative is. >> i think he was on the right track with the maximum pressure campaign that number one, we'll have to deter this threat. but we should everything possible to do everything diplomatically. this is a coup for kim. the only thing that kim wants is another fake deal where he promises to give up his nukes in exchange -- >> the president can't do something differently under pressure than he's done already until he comes to a deal with china on trade. china's not in the mood to do any favors for donald trump when they're arguing with trade. when a trade deal comes, which i think will, then he can start
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asking china to put more pressure -- >> it was sort of a myth we had already done all we could to tighten sanctions on north korea. >> you may have hit on the biggest point of all, is there anything to get north korea to do away with nuclear weapons? >> no. >> you're kaudling up to our dictators, you're annihilating our allies. what we need to shore-up our alliances. we're all speaking with the same tone. and not looking like we're making friends with someone who could destroy us. i think it's bad strategy. >> let's move on. let's talk about the debates. donna brazile, as a former campaign chair, former dnc chair as well, what's your big ta takeaway from the two night and we wanted action and we got a
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lot of action. we wanted to see how these candidates could really come across. to introduce themselves to the american people and we got a chance to see some incredible candidates. you had one on -- well, you had both on this morning. i have to be careful. stop it. okay. >> come on, donna. flip a coin -- >> you're going to make me go to church. >> you're going anyway, my dear. >> i know, i know. all right, but look, julian castro, he had a great breakout moment. he was able to not just articulate his vision on immigration, but he was on the stage with some heavyweights and i thought he did a fabulous job. and of course, everyone's still talking about senator kamala harris. the blow that was felt not just in the biden camp, but the blow that was felt across america as she prosecuted -- is that the right way? she prosecuted her case. >> you bet. >> the biden campaign, i was somewhat shocked that they didn't anticipate this was going to go down. >> that's the big surprise.
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>> yeah. i said this earlier, on an earlier program, his major issue which he hasn't figured out, own up to your mistakes and say i'm sorry. he had to known this issue was going to follow him. he didn't do it on the crime bill, the sexual harassment allegations. and it was a great moment for him to say i was wrong and i'll do better in the future. he refuses to do it and the aftermath was worse. >> i think a lot of people would find some problems, landmines in the answer you just gave. rich. >> if he starts down that path of apologizing to everything that's the path of destruction for him. he should have been better prepared. but he also should have said, busing was largely a failure. it ended up being unpoplar for everybody. this debate is a policy that no one is going to seriously argue for a widespread busing again. >> george, first off, he doesn't
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believe it. okay, he doesn't believe he was wrong. he's not going to apologize for something that he doesn't believe he was wrong on. okay, secondly, now, he to me looked like ronald reagan in 1984 in his first debate, george w. bush in his first debate and barack obama in 2012 in his first debate. people who think they understand this, they have been around for a long time. they don't need to prepare or be ready. all three of those folks learned -- here's the key for biden, reagan, bush and obama, all came back in the second debate, they were ready. they went back. they went after the people on the other side of the stage. to me, the biden thing could be a blip if he comes back in the second debate -- >> it might have changed the conversation about electability. because up to this point, it's biden, biden, he's a moderate. he can appeal to progressives. now, i think the american people, especially democrats ar
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range of options we have. and see if there's someone else who can beat trump. and be a better -- >> structural problems with his candidacy, one, when has the old ccde american estoration presidential politics? also, this model he's running tightly controlled, this established candidate, sometimes that doesn't work. sometimes those candidates win. but they have to abandon that at some point and saying i'm off-script, i'm going all-in, at some point we're going to hear the camp say they're going to let biden be biden. on immigration, health care for immigrants. health care for immigrants. bernie sanders and elizabeth warren, not kamala calling for doing away with private insurance.
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>> most americans as we talk about support these issues. what are the republicans offering as an alternative? absolutely nothing. separating families at the border, children dieing in our custody. we talked about health care. the gofundme for treating cancer is the go-to alternative for republicans. if they have a better set of alternatives, yes. people are ready. >> let's go. >> they're ready for real change on these issues. because they're living and dying with that every day. >> we're ready to have that debate. if what they want to do is stand up on that stage, keeping raising their hands on decriminalize on crossing the border, and if they want to keep making that point, medicare for all, you saw it in the poll, medicare for all sounds great until you realize that medicare for all means your private insurance is gone. listen, yvette -- >> they love their doctor and they keep -- >> they are. >> let's have this fight. >> it is early. we got 16 months or so to make this case.
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and i think -- >> bernie sanders and elizabeth warren making this argument is a winner, i'll take it. >> can this divide be healed? >> first of all, i love this. because, we had a great debate when nobody traded insults, no attacks. but on the issue of decriminalizing the border, i don't believe that's what he said, he said it won't be a criminal violation but civil violation -- >> donna, don't change the words. that's decriminalizing. >> hold on, one at a time. >> a policy that will keep children and their parents together and to reduce the backlog, all we're seeing, i think, is a process that will get us out of this mayhem that we're in. >> i believe on his own website, if i'm not mistaken, i'm decriminalizing the border. no longer be a criminal offense to illegally across, you're not going to deport anyone to commit another crime. a huge step towards open
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borders. if you think the american public is in favor of that -- >> why would we criminalize and detain people who did not committed a crime? i think this country is over the moon -- >> what are happening to the people who are waiting in line legally? >> if they're fleeing tra sesties where they are and they are seeking asylum -- >> they're coming here for economic reasons. >> the policy on immigration -- >> then you have to change the law, change the asylum laws. >> that's exactly what we have to do. but look, here's what we have to think about. the democratic party and the candidates are going to have a very vigorous discussion on many of these complex issues. it's not going to reduced by sound bites and show of hands. it's going to with be who can provide the best alternatives to what we see now?
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>> donna, it does appear from the outside like all the energy is driving the democrats to a place that in the past at least hasn't worked for them in general elections. >> this is the beginning, george. everybody got a full tank. by the time we get to the debate that abc will host, and you know the party as well as any of us, there's going to be a shakeup within the party. we're going to get down to seven or eight viable candidates and at that point we'll come up with really strong solutions. and again, the alternative to what we see now in white house. >> absolutely. that's what you saw. you saw real passion, real energy around issues that frankly people care about, and on the other side, you got donald trump tweeting and shaking hands. i think the reality is, people want, most democrats want someone who's going to fight for the things that matter. that's why trump base loves him so much. i think he's fighting for all the wrong things. i want folks who are fighting for the right things.
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it's going to fire up the base. the rest of the democratic party will support -- >> i think there's a lot of room for more populous-oriented economics. but the democrats have to give at least a little on cultural issues to win back obama to trump voters. those working class white voters who aren't racist. they voted for barack obama but feel alienated from the democratic party. >> you talk culture. what do we have give up? >> not in favor of open borders. >> we are not. >> maybe abortion. the party is lurching to a radical party. >> as i'm a woman i'm not giving up my right to anything -- donald trump is not above water. so he should be -- he should be fighting for more. he should be -- >> if democrats go out and affirmatively lose it -- >> the reality is, and i heard you say this, too, donna, we're not fighting for trump voters,
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we're fighting to expand our electorate. so voters who traditionally show up we can win -- >> hold on, one at a time. donna, go ahead. >> i care about those voters. i care about those voters as those who feel left behind. they're on the outskirt of hope. democrats have to provide them a circle of opportunity. that's how we win in the future. right now, to give up something especially when on these cultural issues is false argument. we should not give up on basic constitutional rights. >> abortion in any circumstance is going to make it much, much harder. >> hold on. >> donna, you understand the politics of this. >> of course. >> okay, 77,000 voters in michigan, right, in pennsylvania, and in wisconsin, made the difference in that election. those are mostly white working class voters.
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now i know that yvette is going to have obamalike turnout -- for whoever's going to be the nominee. >> milwaukee, philadelphia and detroit, democrats win. >> but if you do, george, that's a huge if. barack obama -- hold on, barack obama was a historic figure. >> yes, he was. >> the first african-american presidential nominee and presidential nominee and then ultimately president. >> correct. >> we'll have to see whether these people on this stage over the course of the next 12 months or so, can make that kind of difference. >> yeah. >> and we'll see. but right now, if you're going to throw those 77,000 folks away. if they listen to what yvette is talking about, you won't get one of those folks. >> we can get the so-called white working class voters and the young people who did not vote, the minorities that were turned off and the millions of americans who might have been -- >> this was hillary clinton's theory. this was hillary clinton's theory. it's just the coalition of the
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ascendent. >> i'm not going to lit got -- >> there's so much to that election than that. >> i think one thing we have absolutely seen for sure is that the democratic debates unleashed an awful lot of energy not only on that stage but also right here this morning. >> all we need is love. >> marianne williamson gets the last word. the crisis in rural health care. we'll be right back. ack.
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back now with our "critical care" series. this week, a closer look at the crisis in rural health care. as so many hospitals forced to close their doors especially in states that chose not to expand
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medicaid under obamacare. tennessee is one of those states and abc's steve osunsami traveled there to see how rural communities are coping. ♪ >> reporter: they're calling on their lord this sunday morning to come help them in this county in tennessee. what's happening to the good people of this mountain community is out of their control. and happening all across rural america. the county's only hospital, the jamestown regional medical center, is in deep financial trouble. >> we put our faith in god that god's going to open the door. we can't lose hope. >> reporter: they tell us it's deadly important they keep their hospital. >> if something happened to our children, we live on a farm and farm machinery and snakes, whatever, i've always just known that hospital is there if we need it. >> reporter: but on the other side of town from the church, the hospital is no longer
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admitting patients and last month came a painful blow, the federal government stopped sending the hospital reimbursements for treating patients on medicare and medicaid. the closest hospitals are outside the county, about 45 minutes to an hour away. michelle worked at the jamestown medical center for 46 years, she came to church on sunday after being laid off on friday. >> they just called us up to get our checks and said they were having a cutback. >> this woman retired long ago. she had a heart attack and worries about another one and that one-hour drive. do you worry people wouldn't make it? >> oh, absolutely. i said before, i think that a loft people are going to lose their life over this. >> reporter: across tennessee alone, a dozen rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and according to an analysis by the tennesseean newspapers, more
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than a dozen others are at risk of going under. a recent study finds that 21% of those left are in danger of closing, too. the list of reasons for the failure of these hospitals is as far and long as this countryside. aging communities, poor health, expensive treatments, gaps in insurance, and few doctors. not far down the highway, past countless red barns and a fork in the river, we went to meet families in salina, tennessee, we're heading to this town, where the hospital closed some time ago. and people are having to deal with driving long, long distances to get medical care. cumberland river hospital, the last in the county closed in march. we met the county mayor and a handful of longtime residents at doris' diner. the bacon and eggs are good. the biscuits are even better. >> going through the same thing
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right now. >> reporter: they know what's next for their neighbors in jamestown. talk to me about the day that when you first heard that the hospital was closing, what it did for you guys? >> it was sad. it was the saddest day i've had since i've lived here. and you know what, if you weren't crying you weren't human. >> reporter: natalie boone runs the ambulances in town and says her four trucks are now the new e.r. >> we have become their first line of health care and don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things that we can do in the back of these ambulances but we're not an e.r. >> reporter: salina does have a hero and it's this man, this doctor who came back home from medical school and never left. >> being a doctor's office in area with no hospital and no e.r., you do the best you can. >> does it feel sometimes like
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this maybe more an uphill battle? >> oh, yes, absolutely. it's a fight every day to get the patients what they need. >> reporter: he says that decreasing medicare reimbursements are hurting him, too. >> right now in this entire county, you can't get an x-ray of your ankle if you twist it, and now it's an hour drive to go over and back to the nearest hospital just to get an x-ray. >> reporter: tears filled his eyes as he talked about the old medical center. >> it was really tough the first week or two coming back with the barricades up and it closed. still tough. but, i mean, you go on. >> it breaks your heart? >> oh, yeah. absolutely. it's tough. >> reporter: back in jamestown, mayor lyndon baines told us it's not looking good for their hospital. >> we went to the governor. there's nothing we can do
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until they sell the building. >> reporter: just days after our building, the hospital posted this notice on the building. temporarily closed. new ceo was called to fix things. a few days after that, the rest of michelle's co-workers lost their jobs. the state labor department is now investigating claims the hospital was keeping money from their paychecks and not sending it to the state or irs. the jamestown medical center's new ceo tells us in a statement, despite allegations of mismanagement, we're doing everything we can do to try and stay open. here in the country, most of their patients are on medicare or medicaid. not to mention those who walk in with no insurance at all. last month, the federal government said it was considering new rules that might help, possibly giving rural areas higher reimbursements with government insurance. but none of this will come soon enough for the good people of this county. your biggest concern is about emergency care? >> yes.
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you know, like tornadoes or something like happens here, and we do get them here, it could happen at any time. then, what are we going to do? >> reporter: for "this week," steve osunsami, abc news, in northern tennessee. >> thanks to steve. that's all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight" and "gma" tomorrow. and "gma" tomorrow.
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