Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face off again on the issue of money in politics, in Thursday night's MSNBC debate.
MADDOW: Senator Sanders, you have been a critic of Secretary Clinton taking those speaking fees and having donations from Wall Street. What about her defense of her record?
SANDERS: Let me just say this. Wall Street is perhaps the most powerful economic and political force in this country. You have companies like Goldman Sachs, who just recently paid a settlement fine with the federal government for $5 billion for defrauding investors.
Goldman Sachs was one of those companies whose illegal activity helped destroy our economy and ruin the lives of millions of Americans. But this is what a rigged economy and a corrupt campaign finance system and a broken criminal justice is about. These guys are so powerful that not one of the executives on Wall Street has been charged with anything after paying, in this case of Goldman Sachs, a $5 billion fine.
Kid gets caught with marijuana, that kid has a police record. A Wall Street executive destroys the economy, $5 billion settlement with the government, no criminal record. That is what power is about. That is what corruption is about. And that is what has to change in the United States of America.
CLINTON: If I could, let me just say that of course it has to change. It has to change. And that's why I have put forward a plan to do just that. And it's been judged to be the toughest, most effective and comprehensive one.
I have great respect for Senator Sanders's commitment to try to restore Glass-Steagall. But I do not believe that that is enough. And in fact, I don't believe it really addresses a lot of the biggest issues we have.
You know, we now have power under the Dodd-Frank legislation to break up banks. And I've said I will use that power if they pose a systemic risk. But I want to go further, because it was investment banks, it was insurance companies, it was mortgage companies, all of which contributed.
So let's not just be narrowly focused on one part of the problem. We have a lot of issues with corporate power that have to be addressed. My plan takes us further and it would do the job.
SANDERS: I would say that -- that folks who have looked at this issue for a long time, whether it's Elizabeth Warren or many other economists, will tell you that right now, yes, we do need a 21st century Glass-Steagall legislation. And I would tell you also that when you have three out of the four largest banks in America today, bigger than they were -- significantly bigger than when we bailed them out because they were too big to fail, I think if Teddy Roosevelt were alive today, a good Republican by the way, what he would say is: Break them up; they are too powerful economically; they are too powerful politically.
And that is what I believe and many economists believe. Time to break them up.
CLINTON: Look we have a law -- look, you know, I -- I appreciate the senator's advocacy. We have a law. It was passed. It was signed by President Obama. It lays out a process that you go through to determine whether a systemic risk is posed.
And by the way, President Obama signed that, pushed it through, even though he took donations from Wall Street, because he's a responsible president. So we have a law in place. If the circumstances warrant it, I will certainly use it. And from what you say, I know you will as well.
But that is not enough. And I keep going back to this because part of the reason the Wall Street guys are trying so hard to stop me -- the hedge fund guys, the shadow banking guys -- is because I've got their number on all of that. And my plan goes so much further to try to prevent the problems of the future.
You know, we can't just fight the last war. We've got to be prepared to stop these guys if they ever try to use their economic power once again, to hurt the economy, and to hurt so many Americans. And my plan, Paul Krugman, Barney Frank, a lot of experts who understand what the new challenges might be, have said I am exactly on point, and the Wall Street guys actually know that.