This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 14, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight. Just about everybody believes Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.
But there are some on her left that may give a challenge. One of those may be Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont who joins us now from Washington.
So, senator, I'm not going to debate you tonight. I mean, I just want to get your positions on the record. I might give you a little jazz but, primarily, I just want to know what you think.
So, let's start with number one. You are a socialist. What does that mean.
BERNIE SANDERS, SENATOR, VERMONT (I): What it means is that we have a lot to learn from Democratic socialist governments that have existed in countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, where all people have healthcare as a right, where higher education is free, where they have a strong childcare program, where they don't have the massive type of income and wealth inequality that we have in the United States of America.
O'REILLY: All right, so cradle-to-grave entitlements then. In order to raise the money to do that in a nation of 320 million -- because Sweden has 9 million, all right -- you have to tax. So, me, I make a lot of money. Did you know that, senator.
SANDERS: I kind of guessed that, Bill.
O'REILLY: Yes, I make a lot. So, what is my income tax rate. Under your administration, what would it be.
SANDERS: It will be more than it is right now.
O'REILLY: No, give me a number. Give me a --
SANDERS: You know, I'm not going to give you a number. It's something that we have to look at and study, Bill. I don't make --
O'REILLY: Seventy, 80 percent?
SANDERS: Well, we used to have, as you know, under Dwight D. Eisenhower, I think the nominal tax rates were over 90 percent.
O'REILLY: Yes, but you know that was a ruse.
SANDERS: The point is, look, Bill, you have massive income and wealth inequality. You know, one out of four corporations in this country paying nothing in taxes. G.E. has not paid federal income taxes --
O'REILLY: But you've to give me, as a voter, an idea of what kind of pain you're going to inflict on me.
SANDERS: Well, you're not going to get it right now. That's a policy question --
O'REILLY: All right, all right. So, you're going to punt on that one.
SANDERS: Not punting on it. You're going to pay more. How much more, I can't tell you.
O'REILLY: But if you want to run for president, you have to tell me. OK, now, Putin --
SANDERS: But I've got a little time on that.
O'REILLY: -- Putin, OK. So, Putin is going to seize Crimea. What do you do to Putin.
SANDERS: Well, I think, first of all, the lesson that we learned is that we don't repeat what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan where the United States virtually did it alone. We are a tight, global community.
The entire world has got to stand up to Putin. We've got to deal with sanctions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
And we have to deal with freezing assets. But the entire world has got to take action --
O'REILLY: OK, so you're President Sanders and you bring in Merkel and you bring in -- everybody else to Europe and you go, "This is what I want to do to Putin." What do you want to do, senator. What do you want to do to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Well, you totally isolate him politically. You totally isolate him economically. They have assets all over the --
O'REILLY: Give me one example of an economic sanction you would like to see.
SANDERS: Well, you freeze assets that the Russian government has all over the world.
O'REILLY: You freeze them. You say, "Hey, any Russian money in U.S. banks, English banks you can't get it."
SANDERS: You tell international --
O'REILLY: That's pretty harsh. You know Putin is not going to sit for that. You know that.
SANDERS: Well, international corporations have huge investments in Russia. You could threaten pulling them out.
There are a number of things that you could do. But this is what you don't do.
O'REILLY: All right.
SANDERS: You don't go to war. You don't sacrifice lives of young people in this country as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan.
O'REILLY: All right, so if Putin invades Poland, you go to war for that. So, you'd do that?
SANDERS: That's a hypothetical --
O'REILLY: It is a hypothetical but I want to know if you're a pacifist completely.
SANDERS: No, I'm not a pacifist completely by any means.
O'REILLY: OK, so if Putin pushed it and started to really roll, you might have to take military action.
SANDERS: Well, the issue, again, is, right now, the United States alone spends almost as much money, Bill, on defense as the rest of the world.
O'REILLY: Yes, because we are the -- we're the ones that protect freedom. The others don't really --
SANDERS: Yes, but we also don't have enough -- yes, I know, that's fine. But we don't have enough money to take care of our veterans.
Our infrastructure is crumbling. Kids can't afford to go to college. So, what we have got to do is work with the entire global economy and all the countries around the world.
O'REILLY: OK. But President Obama has tried to do that and he has not gotten very far.
Now, your state is awash in heroin, Vermont, tremendous epidemic of heroin. So, hard drugs, you punish people who sell hard drugs? Yes, no?
SANDERS: I mean, there's nothing worse than heroin dealings --
O'REILLY: All right. So, you're not soft on -- you're not soft on hard drugs, you're not a drug legalizer.
SANDERS: What I do believe is that the war on drugs, in its entirety, has been a loser. We've got a whole lot of people in jail who should not be in jail.
O'REILLY: Who shouldn't be in jail, somebody who sells heroin, somebody who sells crack?
SANDERS: No, somebody who sells heroin should be in jail.
O'REILLY: OK, good.
SANDERS: Somebody who's smoking a little marijuana should not be in jail.
O'REILLY: But there's not too many of them in jail, very, very few. And you see there's a plead downs from major weight. OK, so you're not soft on drugs.
Last one. Under President Obama, median income in this country has fallen $7,000 on average, which is a disaster. And that's what the economy is all about -- workers aren't making enough money. How do you turn that around.
SANDERS: Good question. And that's ultimately the most important question, Bill. Because the middle class of America is collapsing, has been collapsing for 30 years.
And so you don't just blame this on Obama. Middle class is collapsing, poverty is up and the rich are doing phenomenally well.
What do you do. What you do is say that, in America, we are going to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. And, by doing that, we're going to create millions of jobs --
O'REILLY: All right. So, you go on a massive public work like FDR, massive public works, put everybody to work and the government pays for people to just rebuild the country.
SANDERS: Bill, our infrastructure is collapsing.
O'REILLY: I'm not arguing with you, senator. I'm trying to clarify. I'm not arguing with it.
SANDERS: Yes, you invest in your infrastructure. And that's the fastest way to create decent-paying jobs.
O'REILLY: OK, so it's like the Tennessee guy authority, Sanders Valley authority. And we're going to get a big -- everybody is going to get a job working for the government to rebuild the infrastructure.
SANDERS: No, it's not just working for the government. You've got the private sector jobs as well.
But the point is, when real unemployment today is close to 13 percent, youth unemployment is at 20 percent, it is absolutely important that our highest priority is to put people back to work.
O'REILLY: All right. But they've got to want to work and you've got to give them an incentive to work.
Hey, senator, we'll continue the conversation. What are the odds that you'll run for president, 10 to one, 50 to one. What is it.
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