BAIER: Welcome to a special edition of SPECIAL REPORT, I'm Bret Baier, coming to you from the Gem Theater in downtown Detroit. In just a moment, the first of two Democratic candidates will take the stage at this town hall.
BAIER: Now, let's welcome our first candidate on stage -- Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
BAIER: Senator, thank you very much.
Have a seat here.
SANDERS: Thank you, thank you.
BAIER: I don't know, they're feeling the ``bern'' here I think.
BAIER: Senator, thank you for being here.
SANDERS: My pleasure.
BAIER: I want to get first your reaction to the news that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided not to run as an independent just an hour ago.
SANDERS: You know, that's his decision. What does concern me, Bret, on a broader scale is Mr. Bloomberg is a billionaire. And I think it's a bad idea for American Democracy that the only people who feel in many ways that they can run for president are people who have so much money.
One of the things we believe in, in this campaign is to overturn this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decisions so all people can run for office, not just people who have a whole lot of money.
SANDERS: But you know, what the political ramifications of that are, I don't know.
BAIER: Last night you had the debate in Flint, and you said something that caused a bit of a stir on social media, and among the political analysts who cover this race. You said this -- quote -- ``When you are white, you don't know what it's like to be poor.'' Different communities interpreted that different ways. What did you mean by that?
SANDERS: No, what I meant -- look, there is no candidate in this race who has talked more about poverty than I have. And one of the things that's disturbing, media doesn't often cover that. We have 47 million people in this country living in poverty. That's a higher than any other country in the industrialized world. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth. I talk about poverty all of the time.
What I meant by that in African-American communities you have people who are living in desperation, often being abused by white police officers. That is a bad thing. And that has got to change. And that's why I'm fighting to reform a broken criminal justice system.
But I know about white poverty. It exists in my state. It all over this country. In the richest country in the history of the world, we have more income and wealth inequality than any other major country. We have too many people living in poverty. We have got to change our national priorities. We have got to deal with that issue.
BAIER: Senator, you also seemed in the debate taken aback a bit by Secretary Clinton's attack on the auto bail out loan. There was fact checks done on this today. And they sided with you on those votes. Is this part of the problem running for president from the U.S. Senate trying to explain cloture votes and complex...
SANDERS: That's a very good point, Bret. You know, as you know, votes are complicated, and sometimes within large pieces of legislation are good things, bad things.
In this case, there was one vote to support the automotive industry. And I believe -- and, of course, I knew at the time, that if that industry went down, millions of jobs, not only in Michigan and Ohio, but all over this country would be impacted.
Of course I voted in the one Senate vote that I had the opportunity to vote to support the automobile industry.
What I did not vote for was the bail out of Wall Street.
And that is essentially what Senator Clinton was talking about. She did vote for that.
What I proposed, and I lost by what they call a voice vote, is to ask the wealthiest people in this country to pay a surtax. They are the people, by and large, who benefited from the illegal behavior of Wall Street. And I thought that rather than have the middle class and working families of this country bail out Wall Street, I wanted the 1 percent to bail out Wall Street.
BAIER: Senator, there is widespread bipartisan agreement that programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid are the main drivers of our rapidly increasing national debt, now approaching $20 trillion, as you know.
Without reforms of these programs, they say that we're heading for a debt crisis. You have the Congressional Budget Office, among others, projecting last year that spending on these programs, and interest on the debt, could consume all annual tax revenue by 2031, meaning we wouldn't have money for national defense and poverty programs and education and the like.
You have a big tax increase planned. But you also plan to spend some $18 trillion on programs. So how do you prevent a debt crisis?
SANDERS: Okay. Number one, of that 18 trillion, much of it is being spent to have the United States join the rest of the industrialized world in guaranteeing health care to all people.
And what that means is that in fact the average middle-class family -- see, but that 18 trillion supposedly does not include is the fact that that middle-class family in the middle of the economy would save about $5,000 a year on their health care costs. That's part of our ``Medicare for All'' program.
I happen to believe -- and I know not everybody agrees with me -- I believe that health care is a right of all people. I believe that there's something wrong when we are spending...
BAIER: Excuse me, where does that right come from, in your mind?
SANDERS: Being a human being. Being a human being.
And what I believe, Bret -- and you may disagree with me -- I believe that if she is poor and you are rich, she is entitled to the same quality health care you have, because she's a human being.
But in any case, when we talk about our health care system -- this is important to know. It's not just that we have 29 million people without health insurance, we have many more who are underinsured, and we are getting ripped off big time by the pharmaceutical industry, who are charging us the highest prices in the world.
But that we end up spending -- and you can explain it to people, maybe (ph) -- Why do we spend three times more than the British do per person for health care? Why do we spend 50 percent more than French? And why do we pay the highest prices in the world for drugs?
BAIER: But, Senator, you're talking about health care there. But my question was about the federal debt.
BAIER: Currently we're at 19.1 trillion. The latest CBO baseline shows gross federal debt projected to rise by (inaudible) by 2016 and the end of (inaudible) 29.3 trillion at the end of 2026.
SANDERS: But, Bret, I raise the issue, because of that 19 that you were talking about, 15 was for health care. And what -- if you exclude that, then let's talk about the others.
I happen to believe that in the year 2016, when we talk about public education, it means to me that a college degree today in many respects is what a high school degree was 50 years ago. So when we talk about public education I believe that we've got to make public colleges and universities tuition free. I believe that we have to substantially lower student debt, because young people should not be forced to pay off their debts for 50 years.
Now how do you pay for that? That's your question. You know, when the illegal behavior on Wall Street caused this country to collapse into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the United States Congress, against my vote, Hillary Clinton and I disagree, she voted for it, I voted against it. But in any case Congress passed a bail out. Well, you know what I think -- I think right now we should impose a tax on Wall Street speculation. I think it's wall street's turn to help the middle-class of this country pay for it.
SANDERS: (Inaudible) pay for it.
My point is, we pay for that.
BAIER: Let me just -- we'll finish up here and get to our questioners. One of the most interesting trends to emerge from the exit and entrance polls this year so far, is which of you is honest and trustworthy.
BAIER: In state after state, for voters who value honest and trustworthy as the top priority, there's a massive gulf between you and Senator Clinton -- Nevada, 82-12; New Hampshire, 92-6; Iowa, 83- 10. In five of the Super Tuesday state you had an advantage on this question. So, do you have any concerns of your supporters that Secretary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy?
SANDERS: I will let the people of the United States make that decision, but this is what I will say, which makes me very, very proud.
As you know on Super Tuesday, my own state of Vermont voted. And, essentially, the people who know you the best are your own neighbors. I represented Vermont in Congress now for 25 years. I am very proud that I received 86 percent of the vote in my home state.
BAIER: Let's go to our first questioner, Senator. This is Clark Dawod, he's a Foreign Occupation Development Officer for Henry Ford Systems. Clark?
QUESTION: Thank you. My question has to with -- I'm a first generation Chaldean (ph) American, and I watch what happens in the Middle East. I'm personally, as well as just as a person, horrified because that's where my father is from. Left unchecked, ISIS is going to perpetuate genocide on a number of religious minorities in that area, and I'm wondering how you in your foreign or your military policy will address that crisis.
SANDERS: Thank you very much for that important questions. All of us, I think, can agree that ISIS is a barbaric organization that has to be destroyed. The question is, how do we do it most effectively?
One of the differences between Secretary Clinton and myself is I voted against the war in Iraq. She voted for the war in Iraq.
In many ways a lot of the turmoil and the instability that we're seeing right now resulted from that disastrous decision. The lesson that I have learned from the war in Iraq is that the United States cannot and should not do it alone. We have got to work in a coalition.
King Abdullah of Jordan, I think, made a very profound statement a couple of months ago. He said, what's going on there right now is a war for the soul of Islam, and the people who have got the most effectively deal issue are the Muslim nations themselves.
They are the ones on the ground who are going to have to destroy ISIS, and I agree with that. I will do everything that I can to keep American troops out of perpetual warfare in the Middle East. But I do believe that along with a coalition of the major countries on Earth, U.K., France, Russia, I believe we should support the Muslim troops on the ground with air attacks, with military equipment, and with all of the help that we can provide.
But, it should not be our troops on the ground for many, many reasons.
BAIER: Senator, if I could follow up. Do you think what's happening to Christians in the Middle East should be classified as genocide?
SANDERS: Look, what's happening to Christians in the Middle East in that area is horrific. What is happening to Muslims is horrific.
It is disgusting. You know -- I don't know that we have to put a word on it, but when you have a group, I mean, what can we say about these people. They are killing children because they are going to school. Girls who are going to school, they're putting girls in sexual slavery. This is barbarism and we have to destroy ISIS.
BAIER: Senator, George Jackson is self-employed.
QUESTION: Hi, Senator Sanders. I'll speak for the American public, you're much more honest than Hillary. I'm also a Trump supporter.
My question to you is, you talk about the rich, and by taxing the rich to help our economy wouldn't that hurt those rich business owners that help create jobs?
SANDERS: Well, George, good question. I disagree with you in this sense, we got to put into context what's happened in the last 30 years, and what's happened in the last 30 years as you may know. You can tell me if you disagree with me, but the facts are there has been a massive transfer of wealth from the working class and the middle class to the top one-tenth of one percent.
Right now we have seen a doubling of wealth of the top one-tenth of one percent. One-tenth of one percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. You talk about corporations and job creation, almost all of the major corporations in this country, you know what they've been doing in the last 30 years? You think they've been creating jobs in America? No, they've been creating jobs in China and Mexico.
And, one of the strong differences of opinion that secretary Clinton. And, one of the strong differences of opinion that Secretary Clinton and I have, I have helped lead the opposition against every one of these terrible trade programs.
NAFTA, and permanent normal trade relations with China. I don't believe American workers should be forced to compete against desperate people around the world who are making pennies an hour.
If elected president, George, I am going to change those trade policies. Corporations are going to invest in America, not in China.
But, to answer your question, I do not believe in trickledown economics.
I do not believe that if you give tax breaks to the rich and large corporations, suddenly it's going to come down and help working families. What I do believe in is we got to put more money into the hands of working families.
How do you do that? You raise the minimum wage to a living wage.
You know, I was in Flint, Michigan, obviously, last night, and several other locations. Our infrastructure -- and it's not just, George, it's not just Flint where kids are drinking poisoned water. It is all of this country. Our roads, and our bridges, and our airports. Why is it that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world our infrastructure is collapsing?
So, I believe we should do away with tax loopholes. You could argue with me. I don't think it's appropriate that you have major corporations making billions of dollars a year, stashing their profits in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. You know what they end up paying in a given year?
They don't pay a nickel in federal taxes. I think they should pay taxes. I think we use that money to rebuild our infrastructure, we create 15 million jobs over the next 10 years.
So, I think you and I have a difference.
BAIER: Alright, Senator. Next questioner Dr. Swati Dutta. She joins us, doctor?
QUESTION: Hi, I wanted to ask you to articulate the benefits of your healthcare plan to the American people, and then explain the transition from the current system to what you envision.
SANDERS: OK. I have believed my entire adult life, as I just said to Bret, that healthcare is a right of all people. And, I know Secretary Clinton is suggesting that if we go from the Affordable Care Act where we are today, I'm going to dismantle the entire healthcare system, children will lose their CHIP program, elderly people will lose Medicare. That is absolutely, of course, total nonsense.
This is what I believe. Every other country on Earth, as you may know, has a national healthcare program of one kind or of another. Right now in America, we have 20 million people who have no health insurance at all.
What I believe in is we have a program called Medicare which needs improvement, but it is a popular and important program for senior citizens. What I believe, simply stated, is that program should be expanded to all Americans.
And, when we do that we make our healthcare system much more cost effective because we end a whole lot of administration.
If you are a physician, my guess is you spend half your life arguing with the insurance companies, is that right?
And, you got people out there filling out forms. Every person in the room has private insurance, filling out forms. The reason that we are so much more expensive than other countries is that we have huge bureaucracy in the healthcare system, and we pay much, much too much for prescription drugs.
To answer your question, I believe that we move in a Medicare -- to a Medicare for all health care system. More cost effective, covers everybody.
BAIER: Well, doctor, let me just ask you, are you worried? Are you worried about the transition? Is that the genesis of your question?
SANDERS: Well, what would be your concern.
QUESTION: Well, I've heard a number of other candidates just say we're going to repeal Obamacare, we're going to change this, we're going to do this. But, we've got a current system, and I just don't see how you make the leap from where we are to where somebody else wants to be.
SANDERS: Well, you make -- I mean, that's what Secretary Clinton is trying to frighten people about. As somebody who has spent my entire life fighting for universal healthcare to cover everybody, I assure you that we're not going to leave anybody out. The point is to cover more people.
One of the problems, doctor, and you can disagree with me or not, you know? We talk about 90 percent of Americans having insurance. That's a good thing. We've made progress on the Affordable Care Act, I'm on the committee that helped write the Affordable Care Act. We have made some good progress.
But, as you well know, we got millions of people in this country who may have health insurance, but they are under-insured with high deductibles and high payments. Now, let me make a guess that there are people that walk into your office who are much sicker than they should have been because they didn't go into your office because their either have a high deductible, or no insurance at all.
That's pretty crazy stuff. I want every American to be able to walk into the doctor's office when they should. And, I do now want to continue to see one out of every five Americans not being able to afford the prescription drugs their doctors prescribe. I don't want to see elderly people cut their pills in half, and I don't want to see at the same time the three major drug companies in this country make $45 billion dollars in profits while so many people cannot afford their medicine. So, that's what we're talking about.
BAIER: Thank you, doctor.
BAIER: Another health care type question, Senator. Can you name a single circumstance at any point in a pregnancy in which you would be OK with abortion being illegal?
SANDERS: It's not a question of me being okay. This will - thank you for the question, but I happen to believe -- and let me be very clear about it. I know not everybody here will agree with me. I happen to believe that it is wrong for the government to be telling a woman what to do with her own body.
SANDERS: I think, I believe, and I understand there are honest people. I mean, I have a lot of friends, some supporters, some disagree. They hold a different point of view, and I respect that. But that is my view.
And I'll tell you something which I don't like in this debate. There are a whole lot of people out there who tell me the government is terrible, government is awful, get government off our backs. My Republican friends want to cut Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare - Medicaid, education. But somehow on this issue, they want to tell every woman in America what she should do with her body.
BAIER: I guess the genesis of the question is that there are some Democrats who say after five months, with the exception of the life of the mother or the health of the baby, that perhaps that's something to look at. You're saying no.
SANDERS: I Am very strongly pro-choice. that is a decision to be made by the woman, her physician and her family. That's my view.
BAIER: Next questioner is Daniel Baum. He is a college student. Daniel?
SANDERS: Hey, Daniel.
DANIEL BAUM, AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. How do you plan on enacting all of the legislative goals you propose without immense congressional involvement and support? In other words, are you solely relying on executive actions to push your legislative agenda?
SANDERS: No. I couldn't be doing that. That's -- I mean, that's unconstitutional and it can't happen.
This is what I do believe. I believe for example -- and I look at you as a young man -- that I want to see public colleges and universities tuition-free. I want to create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. I want to guarantee health care to all people. I want to make sure that women have pay equity on the job. And I want to do a lot of other things.
So, I will answer your question in two ways. First of all, I have worked with Republicans where there has been common ground for many, many years. A couple of years ago, I was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Working with people like John McCain, Jeff Miller over in the House - he was chairman in the House Republican. We put together the most comprehensive veterans' health care bill in the modern history of America, okay? So number one, I can work with Republicans.
But here is the second point. And I'm the only candidate who will tell you this. That at the end of the day, you have a Congress today where too many men -- members are worried about securing large campaign contributions from very, very wealthy people. In fact, one of the differences between Secretary Clinton and I, she has a super PAC, collected a whole lot of money from Wall Street. I've got five million individual contributions averaging $27 a piece.
Now I say that, not to brag.
SANDERS: Well, I'm bragging --
SANDERS: -- but that what goes on in Washington now is Congress is not listening to you, Congress is not listening to the people in this room and the needs of ordinary people. Congress is listening to Wall Street, to multinational corporations, to large campaign contributors.
And what I have said throughout this campaign, and I repeat tonight, no president, not Bernie Sanders or anybody else, can do it alone. So to fundamentally answer your question, what we need are millions of people, many of whom have given up on the political process in disgust, many young people who have not been involved in the political process, we need them to come together and demand that we have a government in this country that represents all of us and not just wealthy campaign contributors.
BAIER: Thank you, Daniel. To follow-up on Daniel, I mean, you have some bold prescriptions for the country.
BAIER: And you're dealing with, right now, a Republican Congress. So how do you convince that Republican Congress to do exactly opposite of what they believe?
SANDERS: In two ways. For a start, if I become president, it will mean that there will be a massive voter turnout. And that's what we're seeing just the other day in Maine, where I got 64 percent of the vote in the caucus, broke their caucus record for turnout. In Kansas, broke their caucus record.
If I win, it will mean that young people and working class people are coming out in large sums. If that happens, the Republicans will not continue to control the United States Senate. They'll have a lot less seat in the House.
SANDERS: But here is the point. If the American people begin to stand up and fight for their rights - for example, there's overwhelming support in this country, Bret, to raise the minimum wage. 18:25:18 Republicans don't want to do it. But if Republicans look out and millions of people are engaged and say, you know what? You are going to raise the minimum wage, or you're going to learn what unemployment is, you know what will happen?
SANDERS: Minimum wage will go up.
If women become mobilized and say, sorry, we are tired of working for 79 cents on the dollar compared to men, you'd better vote for pay equity, it will change. So my point is, change in this country, whether it is civil rights movement, the women's movement, the gay movement, whatever it is - workers' rights movement -- always comes from the bottom on up. And that's what this campaign is about. Mobilizing millions of people to demand that Congress listen to them. Change happens --
BAIER: Who's your favorite Republican?
SANDERS: I'll tell you something funny. I won't tell you. I have favorite Republicans, people I work with. If I tell you, that person -- it will be a disservice to that person.
BAIER: I want to keep this answer a little tight because we're running up against time. This is retired college professor Richard Scott.
RICHARD SCOTT, RETIRED COLLEGE PROFESSOR: Senator Sanders, welcome to Detroit.
SANDERS: Thank you.
SCOTT: I wonder if you can elaborate for us, the policies you support to help to rebuild and improve the infrastructures in cities like Detroit and Flint?
SANDERS: Absolutely. Look. In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we should not be having a Flint, Michigan. That is beyond disgraceful. In my state of Vermont, we have bridges which are in desperate need of repair. Roads all over this country are falling apart. We have a rail system which at one point used to be the best in the world; no longer is. We have got to, in my view, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy so we can effectively combat climate change.
What I have proposed is to expend a trillion dollars -- a trillion dollars over a five-year period to make sure that states and cities throughout this country have the resources that they need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. By the way, a trillion may seem like a lot of money, but the American Society of Civil Engineers tells us we need even more. But it would be a good start.
And you know what happens when we invest a trillion dollars in rebuilding our roads and bridges and water systems? And our educational systems? All of our kids get an education? We're going to create 13 million jobs over a five-year period. That is what we have got to do, in my view.
BAIER: Thank you very much. Last thing very quickly, your senior aide said you might be offered if you weren't the nominee, the VP slot. would you take it?
SANDERS: We are -- we're talking about running this campaign to win to become president of the United States.
SANDERS: Not talking about vice president.
BAIER: Senator Sanders, thank you very much.
SANDERS: Thank you, Bret. Thank you all.
BAIER: Thank you, gentlemen. Senator Bernie Sanders.
When we come back, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joins us here as our special edition of SPECIAL REPORT continues live from Detroit.
BAIER: Welcome back to this special edition of SPECIAL REPORT, a Democratic town hall live from Detroit. Please join me in welcoming former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
CLINTON: Bret, how are you?
BAIER: Madame Secretary, how are you? Good to see you.
CLINTON: Good, great to see you.
BAIER: Great to have you here.
CLINTON: Hi, mayor.
Hi, Derrick (ph).
BAIER: Thank you for joining us.
CLINTON: Thank you for having us.
BAIER: So I want to start out with the breaking news about Michael Bloomberg deciding not to make an independent run this year. Your thoughts on that.
CLINTON: Well, I have the greatest respect for Mike Bloomberg we worked together during the eight years I was in the Senate. He has elected, as you know, shortly after I joined, and he has to make his own decisions. But I look forward to continuing to work with him, and finding ways that he can show leadership, which he has done so well over the years.
BAIER: I want to ask you questions that haven't come up in townhalls or debates. One of them is about Libya. You were the leading voice in the Obama administration for the intervention. An intervention that obviously toppled Ghadafi's dictatorship, using what you called ``smart power.'' And it's important to point out there were no U.S. casualties, minimal resources expended.
CLINTON: Right, right.
BAIER: However Libya now is in total chaos. The U.N. representative just last week said this, that ISIS had, quote, ``taken advantage of the political and security vacuum and is expanding to the west, east, and to the south, while Libya's financial resources are dwindling.'' The criminal networks, including human smuggling, are booming.``
If the intervention of Libya was one of your great foreign policy successes, is the post-intervention transition one of your greatest failures?
CLINTON: Well, Bret, let's talk about it in context, and let's remember what was going on at the time. It was during the so-called Arab Spring. People in Libya who had been living under the dictatorship of Gadhafi for 42 years were rising up. And he, as we all can remember, was a ruthless dictator with American blood on his hands.
Ronald Reagan, as you recall, tried to take him out because of the danger he posed. And once it became clear to him that the people of Libya were trying to get more freedom and hopefully a better future, he basically said he was going to hunt them down like cockroaches.
The Europeans who had a lot more of a connection with Libya, going back many decades, were absolutely intent upon working with us with NATO. For the first time, Arab countries stepped up and said, we will work with NATO, because this man has paid for efforts to undermine us, assassinate our leaders, all around bad character.
So we did join with our European and Arab partners. He was overthrown.
And let's also remember that the Libyan people have voted twice in free and fair elections for moderate leaders, trying to get themselves to a better future. Now what has happened is deeply regrettable. There have been forces coming from the outside, internal squabbles that have led to the instability that has given terrorist groups, including ISIS, a foothold in some parts of Libya.
I think it's fair to say, however, if there had not been that intervention to go after Gadhafi, we would be looking at something much more resembling Syria now, than what we faced in Libya.
BAIER: Sure. But there are people who say Libya is now a failed state, and they are concerned about ISIS getting power. Would you put U.S. troops on the ground in Libya?
CLINTON: No. no.
BAIER: To prevent ISIS from gain a foothold?
CLINTON: Not U.S. combat troops. We already are, as you know, from the headlines and the stories, using special forces, using air strikes to go after ISIS leaders.
But I want to just stress the point I was making -- leaving a dictator in place, like the Iranians and Russians have done with Assad, where we have at least 250,000 people killed, Libya, the numbers are minuscule in comparison, about 1,500 last year. There is a concerted effort. The U.N. and others are really working hard to try to unify the different elements within the country.
So it's been a couple of years. They haven't been as successful as their neighbor Tunisia, but they are attempting to move forward.
We ought to be supporting them, not only with special forces and air strikes against terrorists, but helping them secure their borders and deal with some of the internal challenges they face.
BAIER: I want to ask you about a question I asked Senator Sanders. Do you think a child should have any legal rights or protections before its born? Or do you think there should not be any restrictions on any abortions at any stage in a pregnancy?
CLINTON: Well, again, let me put this in context, because it's an important question. Right now the Supreme Court is considering a decision that would shut down a lot of the options for women in Texas, and there have been other legislatures that have taken similar steps to try to restrict a woman's right to obtain an abortion.
Under Roe v. Wade, which is rooted in the Constitution, women have this right to make this highly personal decision with their family in accordance with their faith, with their doctor.
It's not much of a right if it is totally limited and constrained.
So I think we have to continue to stand up for a woman's right to make these decisions, and to defend Planned Parenthood, which does an enormous amount of good work across our country.
BAIER: Just to be clear, there's no -- without any exceptions?
CLINTON: No -- I have been on record in favor of a late pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother.
I object to the recent effort in Congress to pass a law saying after 20 weeks, you know, no such exceptions, because although these are rare, Bret, they sometimes arise in the most complex, difficult medical situation.
BAIER: Fetal malformities and...
CLINTON: And threats to the woman's health.
CLINTON: And so I think it is -- under Roe v. Wade, it is appropriate to say, in these circumstances, so long as there's an exception for the life and health of the mother.
Secretary Clinton, I know you have said you're not worried at all about what you call the ''security review`` of your private server and the personal e-mails during your time as secretary.
But the FBI investigation is hanging over your campaign. And there are Democrats who are worried about another shoe dropping, potentially with the worry that there's immunity for your former IT staffer Bryan Pagliano.
BAIER: You were asked a question about it at the debate last night. You chose not to answer the e-mail part, so I'd like to ask you just a few quick questions on this before we take audience questions on this specific policy.
I've heard Others say that neither you nor your lawyers had been apprised that you are a target of the investigation. Is that true?
CLINTON: Absolutely true.
BAIER: Have you or your lawyers been apprised that any members of your current or former staff are targets of the investigation?
CLINTON: Absolutely not.
BAIER: At the time you and your staff deleted nearly 32,000 emails, about half of the total volume, were you aware that the server was going to be sought as evidence by federal authorities?
CLINTON: No, but let me clarify this, because, you know, there's much misinformation going on around here. And let me just start with the basic facts. I have said it wasn't the best choice to use a personal email. It was a mistake. However, I am not alone in that. Many people in the government, past and current, have on occasion or as a practice done the same.
Nothing I sent was marked classified or that I received was marked classified. And specifically, with respect to your question, every government official, and this is a legal theory -- not just a theory, it's a legal rule, gets to choose what is personal and what is it official. What we turned over were more than 30,000 emails that I assumed were already in the government system, Bret, because they were sent to state.gov addresses.
BAIER: Sure, but there were some that were just recently discovered and turned over...
CLINTON: No, that was in the State Department, not in me. I've turned over everything.
BAIER: Let me just clarify, the State Department has redacted and declared 2,101 of your work emails classified, at least at the confidential level, 44 classified as secret, 22 classified as top secret. So you said at a March press conference in 2015: ``I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.'' So can we say definitively that that statement is not accurate?
CLINTON: No, you can't. Here's what happened, the State Department has a process for determining what is or isn't classified. If they determine it is, they mark it as classified.
BAIER: Well, who decides...
CLINTON: The State Department decides.
BAIER: But what about you when you're typing an email?
CLINTON: No, the State Department decides what is -- and let me go a step further here, I will reiterate, because it's a fact, nothing I sent or received was marked classified. Now, what happens when you ask or when you are asked to make information public is that it's reviewed and different agencies come in with their opinions.
As you know, just recently, Colin Powell's emails were retroactively classified from more than 10 years ago. As he said, that was an absurdity. I could not agree more.
BAIER: So your contention now is the 2,101 emails contained information that shouldn't be classified at any time, they should be -- now or then, you're just saying it shouldn't have been classified?
CLINTON: Well, what I'm saying is, it wasn't at the time. Now if you -- let's take Mary Smith who has some information in the government. And she is FOIAed, Freedom of Information Act, give us your information, your memos, your emails, whatever it might have been. That then goes through a process. So even though the agency she works in has none of this is classified, others start to have a chance to weigh-in.
So others might say, you know, that wasn't at the time, but now with circumstances, we don't want to release it, so, therefore, we have to classify it.
I've asked, and I echo Colin Powell in this, release it, and once the American people see it, they will know how absurd this is. So Colin Powell and I are exactly on the same page.
BAIER: We want to get to audience questions, we have got a couple more things there. Let's turn Douglas Ferrick. He's the vice president of donor relations for the United Way locally.
CLINTON: Oh, I love the United Way. Hi.
QUESTION: Hi. Welcome to Detroit, Secretary Clinton.
CLINTON: Thank you.
QUESTION: We're really glad you're here. My question surrounds how do you anticipate getting anything done in Washington when compromise is a bad word?
CLINTON: You know, this is one of the most important questions for everybody in Washington, not just the next president. I will tell you what I have done and what I intend to do.
When I was first lady, senator, secretary of state, I worked closely with Republicans, some of the most partisan Republicans. You know, after we failed to get health care done back in '93-'94, I turned around and started working with Democrats and Republicans to pass the Children's Health Insurance Plan, which has 8 million kids insured. I also worked, because I care deeply about foster care and adoption, with one of the most partisan Republicans then in the Congress, Tom DeLay.
But he cared about foster kids, I knew that. I called him up. I said, Congressman, would you work with me to reform the adoption and foster care system? He said, what do you want to do? I said, come to the White House, let's have a meeting. We were able to find common ground on that issue.
When I got to the Senate, I started working with people who had been some of the biggest critics and opponents of my husband's presidency. And we found common ground. I worked with, I think, nearly all, if not all, of the Republicans that I served with. And when I became secretary of state, I did the same.
Now, I'm not saying this is easy, but as my good friend Debbie Dingell knows, you have to work at it every single day. You have to get up. You have to try to find the relationships. You have to build on it. You have to find common ground. And that is what I will do.
Now, the other thing I will say, which is a little bit kind of funny, is when I'm not running for something, the Republicans say really nice things about me.
CLINTON: And I have like a whole archive of those comments because I did work with them, and I will work with them. I'll go anywhere to meet with anyone, any time, to find common ground. I will also stand my ground, because I will disagree with some of the things that they want to do.
But I think your point is so important. Our founders created a where they made clear no human being has all the answers. You have to work together. They had some really intense disagreements, but they kept working until they could come to some compromise. Compromise is not a dirty word. It is the way democracy has to work. And that's what I will do.
BAIER: Thank you, Douglas, for the question.
I ask this, Secretary Clinton, to Senator Sanders, who is your favorite Republican?
CLINTON: You know, I've worked with so many of them. And the women in the Senate became good friends, both Democrats and Republicans. And we worked a lot of issues, Susan Collins from Maine, for example. But I also worked with John McCain. He and I joined together to raise money for the rehabilitation hospital in San Antonio, for returning veterans.
And we also joined with others to work on some important issues. So I have good relations with a lot of Republicans. I hesitate to mention any more names, it will probably hurt them and I do want to work with them.
BAIER: That's what Senator Sanders said.
CLINTON: Yes, that's true, though.
BAIER Let's go to Alton James. He is a recruiter for Wayne State University.
CLINTON: Hi, how are you, Mr. James?
QUESTION: Good evening, Secretary Clinton. And thank you for fielding my question.
Being in education policy, Ph.D. Candidate, I really worry about the confluence of poverty and education and what that can yield in terms of crime. I know that in 1994 you supported the crime bill. And I would like to know what were your reasons for supporting, and if hypothetically that bill were on the table today, would you still in support?
CLINTON: Well, I think that, you know, as we said last night, both Senator Sanders and I supported it. I didn't have a vote, but I did support it. He voted for it. Why did we do that? Because there was a very serious crime challenge, even an epidemic in a lot of communities in our country at that time.
So there were some positive things that were in the crime bill to try to deal with the threat of crime that really had so many serious consequences for people across our country. But as my husband said last summer at the NAACP, there were problems that were solved but there were mistakes made in that bill.
And one of them was, although it was just about the federal system, it set off a chain reaction where more and more people ended up being incarcerated who, in my opinion, should not have been: low- level offenders, non-violent offenders. We have to rip away the school-to-prison pipeline and replace it with a cradle-to-college pipeline. And in order to do that...
CLINTON: We need a comprehensive approach. So, yes, we have to improve the criminal justice system, we have to divert people from jail and prison. But we also have to provide educational opportunities, particularly for disadvantaged kids from the earliest ages, which is why I support quality early childhood education, universal pre-kindergarten education.
We have to work to reverse terrible situations like what you have right now in the Detroit public school. And I know this is something the mayor cares deeply about. You've got little children in classrooms infested with mold and rodents. That is unacceptable. It is indefensible. I'm calling on the governor to return control of the Detroit public schools to the people of Detroit.
CLINTON: So I want to finish with just one additional comment, because you alluded to it.
It is absolutely imperative that we make college affordable. I have a plan to do that, debt-free tuition, more help for non-tuition costs so more young people can actually start college and complete college.
CLINTON: OK. I'd be glad to tell you, absolutely, because it's different Senator Sanders. So let me give you -- if I've got time. Do I have time? Brett? OK. This is exciting, good. Alright, here's what it is.
I call it the New College Compact because everybody is going to have to do their part. I want debt-free tuition. You will never have to borrow money to attend a public college or university. The money that you will need will be provided if you cannot afford to go to college. And, right now, given the costs, that covers most people except wealthy people.
What I am saying is that we will fund debt-free tuition. You won't have to borrow money. It's different from Senator Sanders in this regard, I think the costs are too high in college and university.
Tuition has gone up 42 percent over the last 10 years. I don't understand how that can be justified. So, when Senator Sanders says ``free college'' with no pressure on the universities and college and the universities to lower their costs, I think that will only make it more expensive. So, I'm requiring that colleges and universities take a hard look at what they're charging, and if it's not related to a young person getting a degree that will lead to a job, don't charge the student. You will not be able to do that.
Secondly, I expect states to start reinvesting in higher education. We have enough prisons, they don't need to be building more prisons, they need to be investing in colleges and universities. So, they will do their part.
And, I have the funding worked out so that we're able to do this. Senator Sander relies, in order to get what he called free education, on Republican as well as Democratic governors putting in $23 billion dollars a year. Frankly I'm skeptical of that.
So, I think we can get to where we need to get to, plus, reduce student debt.
Not only have you refinance your student debt, but also make it possible for you to pay it back as a percentage of your income, which is what I got to do because I borrowed money to go to law school.
CLINTON: And, I wasn't stuck with the high interest rates that too many people have today.
BAIER: Thank you, Secretary. We do want to take some of the questions here. But, by the way, the question I asked Senator Sanders was, you know, the concern about the national debt, and how you pay for everything.
CLINTON: Yes, well my numbers add up, and my numbers are connected to sources of funding that we can count on, and people have looked at my plans and Senator Sanders'. Mine costs about $100 billion dollars a year, and that is all paid for because I think it would be a mistake to run up the national debt, to run up the size government by 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent without knowing how we are going to pay for it.
BAIER: Let me bring in automotive lab technician, Frank Rauth. Frank?
QUESTION: I have a single adult son who earned $29,000 dollars last year in purchased insurance through the healthcare.gov website. His policy cost approximately $240, and when he filed federal taxes this year, he owed the federal government $141 dollars because the tax break he got from the website was overestimated.
What will you do to make health insurance more affordable for someone like him?
CLINTON: Well, first of all, we have to go at the mistakes that you just referenced that your son has experienced. I've heard about those. I'm a big supporter and defender of the Affordable Care Act because I think it has given us the chance to do what I have worked for, what Senator Sanders believes in, to get to universal coverage. We're at 90 percent coverage, we have 10 percent to go.
So, I'm going to get the costs down. We are going to get out of pocket costs down, we're going to get deductibles down. We are going to require more free services within the benefit package, and we are going to right after prescription drug costs.
So, all of that should help your son and everybody else.
Here's something else I want to do. We need more competition in the healthcare marketplace. One of the ideas under the Affordable Care Act was to encourage nonprofits to get into providing health insurance. You know, Blue Shield, Blue Cross, used to be nonprofits. And, they made a perfectly good -- don't call it a profit because they were a nonprofit, but they made enough money to keep going, and to pay their executives and everybody else who worked there.
Then, they all became for-profit. We need to get more companies, more nonprofits, to fill this space. The ones that knew what they were doing have provided good services, but a lot of them have failed because they didn't have the right support. So, I want more competition and I want competition from nonprofits so that we can really give the insurance companies a lot of pressure to get the costs down.
BAIER: OK, Secretary Clinton, you are not winning in these states with millennials, and some also with young women. Why is Senator Sanders doing better?
CLINTON: Well, look, I think it's great that both of us are bringing a lot of people into the process. And, I applaud Senator Sanders for really getting a very big turnout among young people.
I love to see that, and I'm going to continue to attract young people. I'm proud of those who are supporting me. And, I tell young people all the time, you may not be for me now, but I'm for you regardless, and I'm going to keep working to try to help young people because, after all, this election is about their future.
Final thing I would say about this is I think a lot of young people -- we heard an allusion, the father talking about his son, you know, a lot of young people are saying that is going, you know?
They get out of the Great Recession and into the job market and there are no jobs. They are burdened with student debt, the ones that got student debt. They're feeling the economy doesn't work for them, the government doesn't work for them. I don't blame them for being really disturbed by what's going on in our country. That's why I'm not overpromising.
I'm telling you what I can do, and how I think I can actually deliver results because I want to rebuild people's confidence in our country and where we are headed in the future.
BAIER: Secretary Clinton, here is our youngest questioned. Samuel is 13 years old and he is in middle school.
CLINTON: Thank you.
BAIER: And he is covering and following this election very closely. Samuel.
CLINTON: Hi, Samuel.
QUESTION: Thank you. Secretary Clinton, when you think of Senator Sanders, do you consider him an enemy, or an ally.
CLINTON: Oh, an ally for sure. And here's how I think about it, Samuel. We have differences, and we are passionate about our positions, and our differences.
And, you know, like we saw in the debate last night, we air those differences about issues. Compare that to the Republicans and how they behave.
You know, I am very proud of the campaign that Senator Sanders and I are running. And, I have said publicly, I will repeat that tonight. I hope to win the nomination. If I am so fortunate, I hope to work with him, the issues he has raised, the passion he has demonstrated, the people he has attracted, are going to be very important in the general election, but equally following the election to try to get things done.
So, I certainly consider him an ally.
BAIER: Would you tap him to be your V.P. choice?
CLINTON: Oh, let's not get ahead of ourselves, you know?
CLINTON: My gosh, you know? I don't want to think any further ahead than tomorrow, and the Michigan primary. I can't do that.
CLINTON: But, I do want to tell Samuel an experience that kind of illustrates what I'm talking about.
You know, then Senator Obama and I ran a really tough campaign against each other to the very end. He won, I lost. So, when I dropped out, I said I would support him, and I began to do that. I nominated him at the convention in Denver. I worked really hard to get him elected. And, it wasn't easy to convince a lot of my supporters to immediately move to supporting the Senator Obama, but I made the case. I made the case in public, I made the case in private, and the vast majority did what I thought was the right thing, to support him to be president.
So, when you get through a primary, despite the emotions that are engineered in your supporters, you have to take stock of where you are and who is running on the other side.
And, what that person represents, and I think if any of the remaining candidates on the Republican side is nominated, then I think my supporters, Senator Sanders' supporters, we are going to find a lot of common cause to prevent that person from ever being president of the United States.
BAIER: Secretary Clinton, thank you for your time.
CLINTON: Oh my gosh, it went by so fast, Bret.
BAIER: It did go by fast.
CLINTON: Thank you.
BAIER: Thank you very much for being here.
CLINTON: Thank you.
BAIER: We look forward to having you back on Fox.
CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you all.
BAIER: Thank you all. That wraps up our special edition of ``Special Report''. We'll have all the coverage tomorrow from the Michigan primary from New York, good night from Detroit.