Bernie Sanders and long shot candidate John Hickenlooper had a comical interaction Tuesday night when Hickenlooper imitated the Vermont senator’s signature hand motions.
Sanders is known for talking with his hands and showing his exasperation by throwing his hands in the air.
While Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, was explaining during the Democratic primary debates in Detroit, Michigan Tuesday night that some of Sanders’ more progressive ideas are unrealistic, the independent senator became physical agitated.
‘I think if we’re going to force Americans to make these radical changes, they’re not going to go along–’ Hickenlooper cut himself off when Sanders, who was annoyed, said ‘alright’ and threw his hands up.
‘Throw your hands up,’ Hickenlooper said.
Long shot 2020 candidate John Hickenlooper mocked Bernie Sanders’ trademark gesture where he throws his hands up in the air , especially when exasperated
The Vermont Senator threw his hands up in the air when Hickenlooper said his policies, especially related to Medicare For All, was too radical to be implemented in such a short period of time
‘Woah ho, I can do it!’ Hickenlooper (far right) said and threw his hands up.
‘Alright!’ Sanders said, and did it again.
This prompted laughter from the live audience at Ford theater, and Hickenlooper to imitate the candidate.
‘Woah ho, I can do it!’ Hickenlooper said with his hands up.
Ironically, CNN said they would not be asking the candidates any raise-your-hand questions, which was used during the first two nights of debates in Miami, Florida last month – but that didn’t stop Sanders from raising his arms.
The campaign’s advertisement for President Doanld Trump, which ran on the night of the debate, focused on these style questions, where candidates had to take a distinctive stance on one side of an issue – often splitting the party or forcing some candidates to agree with more radical ideas.
Hickenlooper then went on to the main point he was trying to make in the exchange: that mayors and governors are left to pick up the mess after lawmakers pass legislation that isn’t fully thought through. He was referencing Sanders’ radical Medicare For All plan.
Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, said Sanders could pass these bills in Congress, but didn’t realize the plights of governors and mayors when implementing them
Sanders defended himself by reminding Hickenlooper that was a mayor in Vermont before becoming a U.S. senator
‘You haven’t implemented the plans. Us governors and mayors are the ones that we have to pick up all the pieces when suddenly the government is supposed to take over all these responsibilities. And there’s no preparation, the details don’t work, you can’t just spring a plan on the world and expect it to succeed,’ he said, distinguishing between the work he did as a governor compared to what Sanders is able to do in Congress.
Jake Tapper, one of the three moderators of the debate, which was hosted by CNN, gave the Vermont lawmaker who is making his second consecutive run for the White House the chance to respond.
‘John, I was a Mayor, and I helped transform my city,’ Sanders, who was mayor of Burlington, Vermont from 1981 to 1989, before he was elected to the Senate.
‘That’s right,’ Hickenlooper admitted his faux pas in forgetting about the 77-year-old senator’s tenure as a mayor.
‘So I have some practical experience,’ Sanders continued.
Sanders and Hickenlooper were two of the 10 candidates that appeared onstage for the first night of the second round of Democratic primary debates in Detroit, Michigan Tuesday night
He then explained, through an antecdote, why it wasn’t fair to say that these radical ideas wouldn’t be passed and implemented in a four-year presidential term.
‘Second of all – interestingly enough – today is the anniversary of Medicare,’ Sanders said. ‘Fifty-four years ago, under Lyndon Johnson and a Democratic Congress, they started a new program. After one year, 19 million elderly people in it. Please don’t tell me that in a four year period we cannot go to 65 down to 55 to 45 to 35. This is not radical, this is what virtually every other country on Earth does. We are the odd guy out.’
Sanders took the stage Tuesday night for the first day of the two-night event in Michigan. This was the second round of primary debates.
On stage he was jointed by Hickenlooper and eight other candidates, including fellow progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, among others.