Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has been a longtime supporter of Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and they are once again getting into the political arena to support Bernie with a new flavor of ice cream called Bernie’s Back. The Vermont ice cream company is putting politics on the menu, and co-founder Ben Cohen talks with Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins about the inspiration for this new Bernie-inspired flavor.
Sign up to win a pint of Bernie’s Back ice cream at justiceinallitsflavors.com
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Farron Cousins: Several years ago, we spoke with Ben Cohen here on Ring of Fire. Ben, as you probably know, is the cofounder of Ben and Jerry’s. And at the time we were talking about a new flavor called Bernie’s yearning. Well, Ben Cohen is back with us again today as Bernie Sanders campaign is absolutely taking off. And Ben has a new flavor of Bernie Sanders inspired ice cream that he’s going to share with us here today. Ben, welcome back to Ring of Fire. It’s great having you on here.
Ben Cohen: Great to be back in the ring.
Farron Cousins: So tell us, the new flavor is called Bernie’s Back. Tell us what you’ve got here.
Ben Cohen: Well, you know, Bernie is back and he also has a really stiff backbone. This guy ain’t gonna get pushed around. So, it’s a little bit of a double entendre because there is actually a butter toffee backbone that I personally molded with these hands into the shape of a spine. And, so the top of this ice cream is kind of that same huge chocolate disc that represents all the wealth that’s been going up to the top 1% over the past 10 years. The backbone represents Bernie’s steadfast consistency, his determination over the last 40 years of his political career. And the base ice cream is a hot cinnamon, which is, it’s, you know, it symbolizes the political, his political revolution holding politician’s feet to the fire. But the amazing thing about the hot cinnamon flavor is that you take a spoonful of it and you’re back in your childhood sucking on an atomic fireball. I mean, you did use to suck on atomic fireballs I trust.
Farron Cousins: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. In fact, for a while here, I actually had a drawer full of them at my desk. They’re, they’re great and I’m excited about this.
Ben Cohen: Uh-huh, because your the Ring of Fire. I understand, you, you should have atomic fireballs. Well, you know, I mean, so we stopped having those in general. I mean kids have them, but adults don’t, because you know, the flavor doesn’t have a whole lot of depth, shall we say, but you put that flavoring into creamy ice cream and it is really, really good. I was surprised. I mean, I just came up with it conceptually and sometimes the flavors work and sometimes they don’t. But, and you know, I think, you know, Bernie is on fire lately. And, I think, you know, I’m thinking of getting like a, an email signature, a, a gif of me saying I’m all in for Bernie. And it shows Bernie as an atomic fireball.
Farron Cousins: You know, we, we’ve seen obviously, you know, throughout this primary so far during the debates, Bernie’s absolutely out there just nailing it at every possible opportunity. He’s doing phenomenal drawing these massive crowds, you know, to, to speeches, meeting with people. And, and I gotta say one of the things that I’ve found to just be one of the most inspirational things I’ve seen from him so far was, you know, week and a half ago, whatever it was when he went to Canada, you know, with the caravan of people to buy the insulin. It wasn’t just about let’s go get cheap medicine. It was sitting on the bus with them, listening to their stories and understanding, understanding that’s the key. Because that’s something we’re not seeing a lot, among a lot of candidates just in general in politics is oh, they, they, they hear the problems, they hear the problems. They don’t quite understand it the way that I think Bernie Sanders does.
Ben Cohen: Yeah. I think the interesting thing about Bernie is that really he leads with his heart. It’s, it’s his caring that generates all these bold policy initiatives, like the issue of getting prescription drugs at a, at a decent price. And, you know, the guy has been just incredibly consistent. I mean, he took another bus load of women with breast cancer over the border to Canada to get their prescription drugs at decent prices when he first got elected to become my congressman. So, you know, he’s been working on these issues and solid, you know, for 30, 40 years.
Farron Cousins: And what we’re seeing so far right now, obviously a lot more momentum behind him then we had in 2016. People know who he is now. They know what he’s about now. They’d been paying attention for the last four years and they like what they see. I mean, when you look at the comments actually of the people who commented on the Joe Rogan video that I guess just came up yesterday, people said, wow. You know, I, I had thought he was radical, but listening to him, this actually is perfect. This makes sense. These are not crazy ideas and crazy plans. Thank you for introducing me to this. And I think part of the reason people thought it was crazy and radical is because even this, you know, left leaning corporate media is out there saying, well, we can’t do these things. These are, these are crazy ideas. We can’t do what everybody else in the world has done, so don’t even bother. But people when they hear it, they realize, yeah, this is the real deal and this is where we have to go as a country.
Ben Cohen: Yeah. I mean, Bernie’s vision consistently from the beginning has been, what would our country look like if it was run for the benefit of regular everyday people instead of corporations and the ultra wealthy? Instead, instead of the people who generally finance politicians campaigns. I mean, you know, because of the absurd campaign finance system that we have in the country that, you know, Bernie was the first guy to essentially go up against and say, hey, I’m not going to take any of that. But because of that absurd, you know, finance system, the politicians, they don’t represent their constituents. They represent the money. They represent the people who finance them. I mean, you know, there’s been this joke about, you know, we should, we should force all of our politicians to wear NASCAR jumpsuits with the logos of the corporations that are sponsoring them. Because that’s the reality.
Farron Cousins: Well, and the thing I love too is we also, earlier this week, we got the report, you know, all the billionaires out there funding some of these Democrats that have given money. Bernie standing there with a whopping zero billionaires supporting his campaign. And I love that. I love to see that because we don’t need anymore bought and paid for politicians. We don’t need people who go out and do a closed door fundraiser that costs $10,000 a plate. We need somebody like the maps from the New York Times that showed, look how many small donors he has. Especially, I was shocked that my area right here, one of the reddest parts of the state of Florida, it was a pretty big Bernie donor area and I know it wasn’t all from me.
So we’re, we’re doing pretty well. We, we like him even in these red areas and that’s something I think gets overlooked. And I think it’s something people aren’t taking seriously enough because if you want to get, you know, enough people from the the right to come over and vote for you, he’s got the issues. They like these things and they, they’ll give him money, they’re supporting him and it could be absolutely transformational.
Ben Cohen: Yeah. I mean, I think there is a significant overlap between Trump voters and Bernie voters. You know, there’s, I think it’s about 10% the people who wanted not politics as usual. That’s, you know, that’s why they voted for him in 2016. I think a lot of those people are kind of disillusioned because, you know, Don the con, you know, I mean, he conned them. Yeah. So I think, well, you know, the one thing I wanted to say was that, you know, the media always reports on how much money did the candidates raise. You know, who, who’s on top, who’s in second, who’s in third in terms of the amount of money they raise., What the media should be reporting on is who they raised it from. I think that’s what’s more critical. You know, who is financing these campaigns? Who are these politicians beholden to?
Farron Cousins: Right. It makes a lot more sense than, you know, to focus on maybe getting 50,000 donations across the country versus, you know, 10 donations from a room full of millionaires. You know, one of those is a heck of a lot more powerful. And to bring it full circle, that’s a lot what Bernie’s Back is about. That’s, that’s the atomic fireball part of it. You know, that’s, that’s everything else in this country. People burning for change and that’s why we need Bernie. So real quick here, tell us where we can get this ice cream, because as far as I know, it’s not going to be in stores, right? This is going to be a special product.
Ben Cohen: Right. You get it on through a raffle and you sign up at justiceinallitsflavors.com. You know, that’s kind of like a, you know, I tell people that before Bernie, I used to be the most famous guy from Vermont and you know, now it’s Bernie. I say ice cream is good, but a president of the United States who truly believes in justice in all its flavors, that’s euphoric!
Farron Cousins: Absolutely.
Ben Cohen: Justiceinallitsflavors.com.
Farron Cousins: Absolutely, justice in all…
Ben Cohen: Go sign up, all hand numbered, hand signed, you know, a collector’s item. Put it, sock it away in your freezer for 10 or 20 years and sell it on Ebay and retire in the Caribbean.
Farron Cousins: Well, hopefully everybody who wins this ice cream in this raffle, hopefully it’s something they sit down to and eat during the inauguration. That, that’s the goal here.
Ben Cohen: Yeah. I like that, I like that. All right, I’ll make up a batch for everybody for the inauguration.
Farron Cousins: Sounds wonderful. Ben Cohen, cofounder of Ben and Jerry’s. The new flavor is Bernie’s Back, justiceinallitsflavors.com. Ben, always a pleasure talking to you. Thank you very much.
Ben Cohen: All right, good talking to you too. Enjoy your time in the ring.
Farron Cousins: Thank you.
Ben Cohen: Bye Bye.