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Sanders rips Biden for backing 'crooks on Wall Street' in 2008 bailout

Thomas Barrabi

Sen. Bernie Sanders ripped fellow Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden during a Fox News town hall on Monday for backing a Wall Street bailout package during the 2008 financial crisis.

Sanders was critical of his rival after Fox News Channel anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, asked the independent U.S. senator from Vermont whether he would support bailout measures for the U.S. economy in the event of a sustained downturn due to the coronavirus outbreak and other economic pressures. In response, Sanders pointed out that Biden once voted in favor of a $700 billion Wall Street bailout package.

“Joe bailed out the crooks on Wall Street that nearly destroyed our economy 12 years ago,” Sanders said. “These guys, after destroying the economy, they came to Congress…and said “bail us out.’ ”

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 2,000 points, its largest single-day decline on record, on Monday. The decline occurred amid ongoing fears related to the spread of coronavirus, with nearly 110,000 individual cases confirmed globally, and an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. However, stock futures were on the rise Monday evening.

Sanders said he would “take a look at the economy” to avoid a recession if elected president and reiterated his plan to impose taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for his policies, such as free Medicare for All.

"I will not become president until January, and the economic situation will be different then," Sanders noted, adding that his administration could “invest in working-class people in good-paying jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure — roads, bridges.”

The senator added that “at least 60 billionaires” support Biden’s campaign. Sanders has vowed to crack down on wealth inequality if elected president.

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Sanders also ripped the Trump administration over its response to the coronavirus outbreak. The senator was especially critical of Trump’s decision to appoint Vice President Mike Pence as head of the White House’s coronavirus response task force.

"Sadly, we have an administration in Washington that has shown the world that it does not believe in science," Sanders said. "When you appoint Vice President Pence, an individual who also doesn't much believe in science, what you're telling the whole world is that you're politicizing this issue."

Sanders argued coronavirus is a health care issue for many Americans, with some unable to afford medical testing and treatment. He added that his administration would support an expansion of paid family and medical leave.

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He was critical of Trump’s recent claim that he has a “natural ability” to lead response efforts.

“You listen to the scientists," Sanders said of Trump's response. "You don’t say stupid things.”

Biden leads Sanders in amassed delegates heading into the March 10 primaries.

Six states — Michigan, Washington, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho and North Dakota — will cast votes on Tuesday, putting 352 delegates at stake.

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