Bernie Sanders speaks with CBS 17 during Durham visit

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders sat down with CBS 17’s Michael Hyland one-on-one Friday ahead of his speech in Durham.

The Vermont senator is spending the day campaigning in North Carolina just a day after Michael Bloomberg held rallies across the state.

Sanders discussed Medicare for all, taking on pharmaceutical companies, and his appeal to the rest of the Democratic party.

“No matter who wins the Democratic nomination – and obviously I hope it’s me – that all of us are going to rally around the winner. Because we understand how dangerous Donald Trump is,” Sanders said.

CBS 17 asked about Medicare for All, as Sanders has faced criticism for not providing more details about how he would pay for the plan.

“So, in terms of health care, the cost of health care for the average American is going to go way, way down,” Sanders said.

Hyland asked, “But in terms of, overall, in a Bernie Sanders presidency, should I expect to pay higher taxes if I’m in the middle class?”

He said, “You’ll have less cost. Again, in terms of health care, your costs are going to go substantially down. So, you’re not paying any more premiums. Now, you can call a premium whatever you call it. I would call it a tax to the insurance companies. That’s gone. So, you’ll pay more in federal income tax, but you’re gonna pay no premiums, no co-payments, no out-of-pocket expenses. You will be better off.”

Tom Steyer, another Democratic candidate for president, released a statement Thursday calling on Sanders to give more specifics.

“His refusal to tell us how he will pay for his plan adds unnecessary financial risk to achieving health care as a right for every person. I’m calling on Bernie today to finally disclose the actual price tag, and tell the American people exactly how he will pay for it,” Steyer said.

When asked about the long-term costs of Medicare for All and his specific plans to pay for it, Sanders said, “We have laid out a number of options as to how you pay for Medicare for All. But no question, for the average middle class and working class person, the cost of health care will go way, way down.”

Sanders also addressed concerns among some Democratic primary voters about whether he’s too far to the left to win in a general election. Sanders is a self-described Democratic socialist.

Real Clear Politics has tracked hypothetical matchups between the various Democrats and Trump. In polls between mid-January and early February, Sanders beats Trump by 4.3 percentage points on average in nationwide polls.

Sanders said, “So, I think we’re going to win all of the solid Democrats. But, I think the real trick to this campaign is, who can create the largest voter turnout? Because to defeat Trump, we’re gonna need the largest voter turnout in history. I think our message appeals to working people. It appeals to young people.”

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