Bernie Sanders has hit back at a Trump-backing businessman who complained about regulations and tax under Barack Obama, by reminding him that a large proportion of income goes to the richest few and saying he had "no concern" for his income.
During an event at CNN town hall, Mr Sanders was asked by a member of the audience why business owners didn’t get more support from the state under the current administration.
The man, identified as Jim Jacobs from Pennsylvania, said: “My question is this: I’m a business owner and we keep getting kicked in the teeth by this administration,” Jacobs asserted.
“It’s regulation after regulation and tax after tax. What Donald Trump does understand is the complexities of business and to reward the person who takes the risk.
“My question is: this country was founded on entrepreneurship. Why is this administration so against the business owner? Please tell me.”
Mr Sanders responded by saying: “I don’t think this administration, the Obama Administration you’re referring to, is so against the business owner.
When Mr Jacobs retorted sarcastically: “Oh, really?” Mr Sanders shot back: “I don’t know your income, and I’m not concerned about your income.
“Obama did raise taxes on the top one per cent or two per cent, and I would have gone further. Five per cent of all new income generated today goes to the top one per cent, so you and I may have a difference.
“But yeah, I do believe that billionaires and multi-millionaires should be paying more in taxes.”
Mr Jacobs responded by saying: “I’m business owner, I’m not a multi-billionaire, I’m not a millionaire. You haven’t lived until you’ve put a payroll on your credit card. This is the reality of the backbone of this country.”
Mr Sanders then fired back: “Well, the backbone of this country, I think we should support entrepreneurship. We should support small business.
“But I am not supportive of large multi-national corporations that make millions and don’t pay a nickel in taxes, nor am I supportive of those corporations who throw American workers out on the street and move to China or Mexico.”
Mr Sanders has openly criticised Mr Trump and his supporters a number of times since the election, branding the President-elect a “pathological liar”.
Last week, the Vermont senator took a giant print-out of one of Donald Trump's tweets to a debate the Affordable Care Act in the Senate, to make it clear that if Mr Trump did away with the act he would be reneging on a promise made to voters.
In December, Mr Sanders urged Congress to stop Donald Trump launching a Cold War-style nuclear arms race, tweeting: “It's a miracle a nuclear weapon hasn't been used in war since 1945. Congress can't allow the Tweeter in Chief to start a nuclear arms race.”
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