Watch: Matthews Presses Sanders Supporter on Paying for Free College, Supporter Says I Don’t Need To Know ‘At This Moment’

MSNBC host Chris Matthews pressed former Wisconsin Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton (D), who is supporting Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on how Sanders will pay for his free college tuition program, which prompted Lawton to say that she didn’t have to know where the money would come from “right at this moment” during Tuesday’s coverage of the Wisconsin primary on MSNBC.

Matthews asked, “He’s talking about free tuition at the University of Wisconsin, wherever the campus is. Free for everybody, free at University of Michigan, free Berkeley, free Penn State, free for every state university, and I keep asking myself, where is all that enormous amount of money coming from? And do you think he has a way of getting that money?”

Lawton responded, “Of course he does.” After Matthews asked how Sanders would get this money, Lawton answered, “Well, start with there’s the vision that in — that our public education system, which grew from, what? One, to four, to one to six, to K to 12 eventually. Now, it’s the price of admission to this 21st century economy is post-high school education. So we as a nation have to address that question, and unless you put out a bold vision, you’re going to start –.”

Matthews then cut in, “You say ‘we,’ but who is going to pay for it, who?” Lawten said, “The people of Wisconsin. He’s put out a — the people of the United States. And he’s put out a plan –.”

Matthews cut in, “[T]he parents who help the kids with college, they can’t help them all the way, young people coming out of college who owe a lot of money. Tell them where the money’s coming from.”

Lawton stated, “When everyone is paying their fair share of taxes, and when we set the priorities as a nation for what–.”

Matthews interrupted, “So you don’t know where it’s coming from?” Lawton responded, “I don’t have to right at this moment.”

After Matthews again where the money is coming from, Lawton answered, “It will come from the government budget, where we have money –.”

Matthews then cut in, “What’s the deficit right now? It’s coming the same government that’s got this huge deficit? You think it’s — where is it going to come from? It’s a reasonable question.”

Lawton answered, “Well, Bernie Sanders has talked about taking it from the financial industry.”

Matthews then said, “Oh, so, I get it. So, if you invest in the stock market with your retirement, your 401(k), or your mutual fund, you’re going to pay taxes so the kids go to college. That’s what’s going to happen.”

Lawton responded that that “You’re in trouble” with regards to Social Security without “young earners coming into this market.”

Matthews countered, “There ‘s no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody pays. And I think we ought to know who it is, okay?”

Lawton responded, “Yes, but it’s a matter of setting priorities and a budget. And that is what has drawn people to Bernie Sanders.”

(h/t The Right Scoop)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.