Bernie from Brooklyn: A Conversation with Mark Ruffalo

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(dramatic piano music) – Here we are, Bernie in Brooklyn. – Sounds good. – Do you recognize this place? Brooklyn College. – Well, of course I do. You know, I grew up in Brooklyn. I graduated James Madison High School a few miles away from here. – What did you do as a kid? – Our life centered around playing ball. We played basketball. James Madison had one of
the best teams in the city. We played football, we played softball. And I’ll tell you something. This is interesting, Mark. In those days, and I
think it was a good thing, kids played it without adult supervision. So we made up our own games and we worked these things out ourselves. I learned a lot about democracy in the schoolyards of Brooklyn, New York, and it was a great experience. I spent the year here before I went to the University of Chicago. – How much did it cost
you to go to school here? Much cheaper than it is today? – I would say that is an understatement. (laughing) Ya, I mean, what people forget is Brooklyn College, or the
city colleges of New York, these were good schools. – [Mark] Yes. – [Bernie] These are good schools. – [Mark] So, so many famous people graduated from around here: Colin Powell, Ruby Dee, Ira Gershwin, Henry Miller. Jonas Salk went to City College, and he discovered the vaccine for polio! How much did they pay to go to college? – In those days, public colleges and universities were virtually free. – So that’s not a radical idea. – That’s the point. It is not a radical idea. You have countries all
over the world today who provide free college because they want to invest in the future of their nation. They don’t want kids to be going bankrupt when they get outta
school $50,000 in debt. And it used to be the case in
the United States of America. So no, what I’m proposing is not a radical idea, that’s for sure. – You grew up in this neighborhood. Was it a immigrant neighborhood? – Largely, it was. Many of us were the sons or grandchildren of immigrants, and the main shopping
area was King’s Highway. And if you went shopping there, you would see people
who had serial numbers on their hands, on their arms, which was from Hitler’s
concentration camps. – Yes. So, you have this beautiful
pluralism in your world view. Would you say that that was informed by– – Absolutely. – Your experience here? ‘Cause there’s no more densely
populated area in America that has so many different
kinds of people, right? – Yes. The strength of this country is the fact that we have so much diversity. And I think we do better
when we are a people who appreciate, love, respect people from all over the world who bring their own values and traditions and become part of the
American experience. – [Mark] Your father, what
did you learn from him, those key things that you
carried into your life? – [Bernie] He was aware
that coming to America and making enough money to live in a better standard of living
than where he came from, what for other people may
have seemed not to be much. But from where he came from,
it was a significant step up. – And what about your mom? – My mom died young, she
was 46 when she died, and spent a lot of her love
and energy on her two sons. And I think because the family
did not have a lot of money, never kind of… Did some of the things
that she dreamed of doing. – What would she think if she saw you now? – Oh, God. – Would she be proud of you? – Well, more than proud. I think it would have
been an unbelievable, something that they would
have never conceived. Ya know, when you come from
a rent controlled apartment, you don’t talk about the kids becoming President of the United States. That’s not a good discussion! – That’s a beautiful discussion. (laughs) – [Voiceover] Speak to
the power of this nation. – [Mark] And so, from
here you went to Chicago. You were there during the
Civil Rights Movement. You were deeply involved in the anti-segregation movement there. – [Bernie] Right. – [Mark] How does this white kid decide that he’s gonna stand
with his black brothers and sisters and put
his body in harm’s way? Because you were arrested, weren’t you? – [Bernie] Yes, I was. When I wanna go overly dramatic about it. At the same time, the
people gettin’ their heads busted in in the South,
that wasn’t our case, but it was a sense of justice. – You were so effective when you became the mayor of Burlington. Against all odds, you stopped
these real estate tycoons from displacing hundreds
of working families from their homes, and you built
this progressive coalition. And because of your legacy,
Burlington is now the first American city to run
100% on renewable energy. People just don’t know this. And how is it in the 90s, when the Republicans controlled the house, somehow you formed these partnerships and passed all of these
amendments on corporate crime? IRS accountability, child
labor, green energy, supporting the troops and their kids, and auditing funds given out by the Fed? I mean, nobody ever audited the Fed since it was established. You got so many amendments passed they dubbed you the Amendment
King, for crying out loud. Do you know what you make me feel? That all of my ideals as a young person can actually grow up with me. When I look at you, I
say all of the ideals of him as a young person grew up with him. He didn’t have to give that up growing up. Is that true? – Well, here’s what I think. Don’t give me too much credit– – Well, no, I’m just
relating to you that way. – Alright, but here’s what it is. – Vote for Bernie! – [Bernie] One of the beautiful
parts of this campaign is your dreams and my
dreams, you may have thought that were very few of us. Turns out we’re the majority
of the people in this country. (chanting) And people now, through
this campaign, I think, are sensing that they’re not
alone, and that’s a big deal. (whoosh)


  1. Who in their right mind, wouldn't vote for Bernie, choosing to vote for another status quo, "nothing really changes" candidate? We need a leader like him in the white house, ASAP.

  2. BERNIE 2020!!!!!! Let's not merely imagine it, let's make it happen! And….I've loved Mark Ruffalo for years and I love him even more now. He is one of the most beautifully sculpted men on the planet!! He conducted an excellent interview. He knew what to ask, what to say, and shared his empathetic compassionate admiration. Man oh man oh man!!!

  3. Bernie, you are a nice bloke, I have to say that, even though I do not agree with your world vision. I wish you the best in this uphill battle in the snake pit called "politics".

  4. I’m crying 😭 this was AMAZING!!!! Share this video with EVERYONE! Whatsapp it …. post it on Facebook and social media!!!! Tag everyone you know! BERNIE IS ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY! LET’s MAKE THIS HAPPEN PPL! #Bernie2020 ♥️

  5. Mark “$30-Million Dollar” Ruffalo talking to Bernie “$2.5-Million” Sanders about redistribution of wealth is the apex of hypocrisy. Bernie will get my vote when he gives away $1.5-million and Ruffalo writes a $29-million check to the IRS. Soooo, I’ll apparently never be voting for Bernie because he and Ruffalo are hypocrites extraordinaire.

  6. Would love to see Bernie & Tulsi together as a team, working for the good of the USA.
    Two principled human beings who seem genuinely interested in actually serving the needs of the people.

  7. How can anyone not vote for this Great Man, what a Great, Honest and Honorable Man… a True, Humanitarian! Like Corbyn here!
    He would be soo Great for America, for the whole world, for that matter!

  8. I haven't done any statistical analysis or anything like that, but I feel like you're doing much better of staying away from the interpersonal drama and gossip that you had been and I commend you for that. This was a really decent video.

  9. To all.BERNIE BOTS: you all have apparently failed US history, to understand that everything bernie wants, is what we fought to create our republic. Every single idea he has, has been tried and failed. He wants open borders, no gold standard, no voter ID, and gun removal. He will.not succeed in destroying our constitution, as he clearly despises it, this country, and should not even be allowed to run
    He is an enemy of the state.

  10. I thought you progressive communist liberal nut lickers hated old white men ?? Isnt bernie the epitome of everyrhing you hate ? Old, white, supposedly male, millionaire. You guys need to write down your agenda on your manifesto once and for all, now you twats are progressing away from your own ideologies, let alone the constitution.
    Ever seen an american flag at a.bernie rally ? Neither has anyone else.

  11. One thing that I love about Bernie is how humble he is. I can relate to him – as someone who sucks at taking a compliment – because it's never been about Bernie grasping power; it's been about Bernie giving power to the people. This is why he is probably the greatest American – at least in terms of politicians – currently alive.

  12. Funny but realistic drama to see the Secret Service agents in the background. But note that this was form 2016 campaign, not 2020 campaign.

  13. White People shouldn’t vote for Bernie.Warren is a better choice for White Values. Slummy Brooklyn
    is a disgrace.No commies , no socialists, no anti Whites.

  14. Every bit as relevant this time around. If not more so. Ignoring this man, and favoring the establishment's 'inevitable darling', brought us four years of misery. Let's not make the same mistake again, America. It's time to move to the actual Left.

  15. Bernie one Big walking DICK, All the things bernie bear is talking about like good the old day was destroyed by LIBERALISM ):): WAKE UP AMERICA

  16. When he was talking about his mom being more than proud of him today, I legitimately started tearing up. It's honestly beautiful.

  17. No matter how you think about Bernie's views, this man undeniably has a heart that none of the other candidates seem to possess.
    Can you even begin to compare Trump, Hilary, Bush, Biden? You can't, if you have a shred of honesty and dignity in you. I truly hope Europe can look forward to Bernie as president. It would be a breath of fresh air.

  18. Colin Powell is a killer for profit. Too bad he was mentioned at all, not in context either. And what about that rat Chuck Schumer????

  19. NOW is the time for the Bernie revolution! Bernie announced he was re-entering the race on my birthday, Feb 19… I could not have received a better gift!

  20. I like Mark Ruffalo, he came and visited us at Standing Rock, the morning of Black Swans attack on the 1851 Treaty Land. I vote with my boots, I take the ground and Bernie Sanders is the only REAL Candidate for President. This video reminds me of the Beauty of the People of NYC…. I stayed in Greenpointe Brooklyn during Occupy Wall Street… New Yorkers gave Occupy STYLE! #Bernie2020

  21. I'm nearly as old as Bernie, but unlike so many others of my age, the progressive fire still runs bright in me. How I wish Bernie will win the primary! (The general election will take care of itself).

  22. I'm literally getting emotional. I've never felt so strongly about a political candidate before. Bernie is the first politician I'm actually excited to support and the first one I've ever considered donating to. We better elect him in 2020 damn it.

  23. Here in January 2020, revisiting this great video. We're gonna win. We've been given a second chance, and we're gonna win.

  24. WOW!! What a difference! On one hand you have a guy with genuine CLASS in Bernie Sanders as opposed to a guy with NO CLASS in Donald Trump

  25. I forgot this was from 2016 and thought it was from now. If he doesn’t become our next president then we are really losing out. What other candidate has this much compassion for people. For every day people. What other person has given their life to serving us.

  26. The republican party wants everyone to think that Bernies ideas are radical. We need to get the message out that they are very achievable and what humanity desperately needs right now!

  27. 5:17 this is to cuter than any old man should ever be, but i guess that's what a genuinely good personalty does to you.

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