- Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Ted Cruz debated over the GOP’s tax plan in a CNN town hall debate.
- The polarising topic has been at the center of Capitol Hill.
- In several instances, the debate went off the rails and the audiences erupted in laughter.
Sen. Bernie Sanders went head-to-head with Sen. Ted Cruz in a CNN town hall debate on the Republican Party’s tax plan on Wednesday night.
The polarising topic has been at the center of Capitol Hill, as lawmakers have attempted to reform the tax code. Republicans, in an effort to pass the tax code, have explored trying to pass tax reform without Democratic support; while Democrats have complained that they have been left out of a crucial, bipartisan process in governing.
Included in the GOP tax plan is a 20% corporate tax rate, the elimination of the estate tax, and the implementation of three tax brackets.
Cruz defended the plan, saying on CNN, “Republicans want to lower the taxes for each and every person watching this debate,” and said that lowering the corporate tax rate would allow businesses to create more jobs.
Sanders, however, said the GOP’s tax plan is about giving “tax breaks to people who don’t need it.” The senator said he supports “a tax cut for the middle class and working families.”
Throughout the evening, the two senators threw several verbal jabs at each other’s expense.
“You said if we had this conversation, the American people will be ready to do that,” Cruz said to Sanders at one point during the debate. “I know that is a verbatim quote.”
Sanders quipped: “No, what I said was …”
“Bernie, I didn’t interrupt you,” Cruz said.
“Yes you did,” Sanders said, as the audience erupted in laughter.
“Well, I stopped when you pointed it out,” Cruz said.
“Don’t interrupt me when I’m interrupting you,” Sanders shouted.
At another point, Cruz claimed that his 2016 presidential campaign tried to strengthen social security and said politicians in Washington were “recklessly letting it careen towards insolvency.”
“There are no changes at all,” Cruz said. “Every dollar, every penny of benefit is protected, but for young people, people my age …”
“You’re not so young anymore,” Sanders replied.
“You’d be surprised,” Cruz said.
Cruz also joked about the impersonation that comedian Larry David, star of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” did of Sanders on an episode of “Saturday Night Live.”
“I’m not interrupting you,” Sanders said, waving his hand as a sign for Cruz to hurry. “Come on, come on.”
“You know, as some might say, curb your enthusiasm,” Cruz quipped. “By the way, the impression that Larry David does of you is spectacular and uncanny.”
Sanders responded with a joke of his own:
“Some day, you may also have somebody who does that of you,” Sanders said. “You got to work on it Ted.”
Watch a clip of the debate here:
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