We all knew it, and there are absolutely zero shocks in the facts of what Senator Bernie Sanders said, the absolute astonishment comes purely from the fact that he actually said it. And to be honest, the quirky and off-color Democratic Presidential candidate has said a lot. This, however, takes the cake.
When the Vermont Senator told his supporters to great applause, that he would create a program to afford Americans free education, nobody really bought that, right? Sure, many pro-Bernie’s thought that he could make it more affordable, but free?
When he stood at the podium and pledged a program that would not only reform but delivered free healthcare, the audience roared. Again, none of us honestly believed it, although the most ardent Sanders backers certainly thought he meant that he would lower the skyrocketing costs of healthcare. But free?
At least his promise to pay off student loans was at least remotely plausible, even if it seemed a bit unrealistic, at least it could be deemed as possible. And therein lies the humor of Senator Sanders, his lack of grasp on the possible and on reality.
Many Democratic candidates, past and present, have made outlandish promises and pledges along their campaign trails. It has become a common practice, in fact, the say-anything-to-get-elected script. The difference with Bernie though is that he will literally say anything! And it doesn’t seem to matter how possible or realistic it is (or in Sanders’ case how unrealistic or impossible it is).
One story covering a recent Sanders interview is evidence of the Senator’s script, but then something else happened too. During that interview, the host asked Sanders the question that everyone wanted to know. It has also been the one flaw in all of the Senator’s wonderful plans for free-everything, the question of who was going to pay for it and where was that money coming from?
As our story reported, Norah O’Donnell of CBS simply asked Senator Sanders, “Your agenda has promised free healthcare for everybody, free college tuition, and to pay off people’s college loans… the price tag for that is estimated to be 60 trillion dollars over 10 years, correct?”
To that question, the Senator stumbled and stammered, and gave a listless and vague answer like, “Well, look, we have political opponents who come up…” (yeah, we have no idea where he was headed with that either!).
At this point, as our story continued, O’Donnell then hit Sanders square in the jaw with the most straightforward question possible, “You don’t know how much your plan costs?” Yes, she said it, and it was more of a statement than a question.
To this point, there isn’t anything new happening during this discourse, just another case of a politician playing dodgeball. So what followed that question is still too hard to believe. Yes, Bernie had an answer, but it wasn’t one you would have expected, or that anyone would have guessed.
So what was Senator Bernie Sander’s response? He simply said, “You don’t know, nobody knows, this is impossible… .” No, that isn’t a misquote or a typo, that is what the Senator said.
Look, we all knew his plans and promises weren’t realistic, like most of the political promises we hear every election year. Even his supporters knew, but for a politician to say it?
Of course, the Senator doesn’t know, of course, “nobody knows” because as the Senator said himself, “this is impossible,” because it is. For any typical politician, that would have been the end of the interview, but Sanders is a master spinner. In a political stroke of answering the question without answering the question, Sanders then followed that admission with quips about how much worse costs like healthcare will be “… in the next 10 years if we do nothing… .”
So instead of doing nothing, we are going to make false promises and make pledges we can’t keep, can’t pay for, and that are unrealistic? No, Bernie, it is too late now. We all knew that there was no real plan, we just never expected you to say it.