Day Before Iowa: Sanders, Clinton in Virtual Tie, as Bernie Touts Campaign's Momentum
'We have got to take on the drug companies who are ripping us off,' Sanders tells NBC.
With the Iowa caucuses a day away and a new poll showing Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in a statistical tie, the Vermont senator is railing against the "drug companies who are ripping us off" and touting his campaign's power to win the Democratic nomination.
The Des Moines Register-Bloomberg poll, released late Saturday while Sanders spoke to an "eye-popping crowd," shows Clinton leading her rival 45 percent to 42 percent. But the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, making it a virtual tie.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, said of the results: "The momentum is with us."
"I think we really do have a path toward victory because people want to see this country boldly move in a new direction so that not all wealth and income is going to the top 1 percent," Sanders told host Chuck Todd, adding that while a success on Monday in Iowa wasn't essential, it could be "a springboard to other states."
Todd also played a clip of Clinton speaking in which she suggested that the kind of healthcare system Sanders has proposed, a Medicare-for-all system, "will never, ever come to pass." Todd also mentioned House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) statement that Democrats aren't "running on any platform of raising taxes."
Sanders said that "we are spending three times more per person on healthcare than [...] people in other countries," and that "we pay the highest costs for prescription drugs."
"Most people tell me, yes, they'd be happy to spend $1,000 more on taxes if they're paying $5,000 less on premiums."
"We have got to take on the drug companies who are ripping us off and the private insurance companies," he added.
Sanders also spoke to two main themes of his campaign, inequality and a rigged campaign finance system.
"The reason that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is big money controls what goes on in Congress. The antidote to that is a political revolution involving people in the political process."
He also stressed that turnout is key for his win, because "Democrats win when turnout is good." And "If Democrats want to win," he said, "I'm the candidate," pointing to the "excitement" his campaign is generating.
Asked to respond to potential electability issues Clinton faces in light of the email controversy, Sanders said he's "chosen to focus on issues affecting the middle class," like "why the middle class continues to disappear and we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, and why we have a corrupt campaign finance system which allows billionaires to buy elections."
Watch the Meet the Press video below: