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Kamala Harris Asked on CNN if America Can Afford Expensive Green New Deal: ‘It’s Not About Cost’

On Sunday’s edition of CNN’s Inside Politics, host John King aired portions of his interviews with Democratic 2020 hopefuls in Iowa, including both perennial candidate Bernie Sanders and Sen. Kamala Harris of California. In the discussion of the “Green New Deal” and other big agenda items, the answers from Harris weren’t exactly clear.

“You cast yourself on the campaign trail as a truth teller, you say we need to tell truths,” King began on the topic. “What do you say, or tell me if you think this is fair, but as you talk to democratic voters they’re hungry, and they want ideas. So you’ll hear things like the green new deal. You’ll hear things like Medicare for all, you’ll hear things like, whether it’s taxes, you’ll hear things — at what point do you say, that’s our north star but we have to be realists?”

“There’s no question we have to be practical,” said Harris. “But being practical also recognizes that climate change is an existential threat to us as human beings. Being practical recognizes that greenhouse gas emissions are threatening our air and threatening the planet and that it is well within our capacity as human beings to change our behaviors in a way that we can reduce its effects.”

“That’s practical,” she said.

“Can we afford it?” King asked.

“Of course we can afford it,” said Harris.

“Two and a half, three trillion dollars a year for Medicare for all, by some studies,” said King. “Depending on which portions of the green new deal you choose to do first–That’s money. You know what the Republicans are going to say, tax and spend liberals, pie in the sky…”

Harris replied by saying that an idea she respects is ROI. “What’s the return on the investment,” she said, stating that the “private sector” understands the concept.

Rather than directly answering how America can afford the price tag, Harris said “It’s not about a cost.”

“The question should be, is it worth the cost in terms of the investment potential?” she said. “Are we going to get back more than we put in?”

King asked whether fellow Democratic hopefuls like Mike Bloomberg or Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota are wrong when they say the green new deal and other big plans on the liberal agenda are too expensive or too ambitious.

“I look forward to that debate on the debate stage,” Harris replied. “I look forward to it very much.”

[Featured image via screengrab]

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