Democratic Debate Live Blog


Debate out. Thanks for following along! Leave me a comment or tweet at me and let me know what you thought of tonight’s debate.


Final questions begin. Is there anything you’ve wanted to address tonight that you wanted to?

O’Malley: immigration system; Puerto Rico debt crisis; potential of nation-state failure in Central America due to drug trafficking.

Clinton: water crisis in Flint

Sanders: water crisis in Flint (both he and Hillz want the Michigan governor to resign); the “corrupt campaign finance system”-which he talked about a lot but what the heck-including demolishing Super PACs and Citizens United


Sanders asked about comments on Bill Clinton’s infidelity–says he finds it abhorrent but he’s not going to discuss it because he wants to have a debate on the issues not candidates personal lives. But it was terrible. But he doesn’t want to talk about it.


Clinton asked what role husband and former president Bill Clinton will play in administration. Says it will start at the dinner table and they’ll see from there–says she’ll assemble the best team of advisors available.


Clinton given 30 seconds after the break to talk about lone wolfs. Says she is pleased with Obama administration attempt to work with Silicone Valley. Condemns republican condemnations of Muslims.

O’Malley jumps in, compares homeland security to the human immune system. Condemns Donald Trump’s “fascist” attempt to register Muslims.

Sanders jumps in now to talk about military budget. Says “unfortunately” most of that budget goes to fighting “old Cold War” with Russia, not ISIS and U.S. needs to evaluate defense priorities. *Note: most high ranking military officials include the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff believe Russia is the greatest threat to American national security.


Sanders gets question about lone wolf terrorism…decides to talk about privacy and security instead. “Public policy had not caught up with technology.” Says partnerships with Silicone Valley can be used to monitor terrorist activity online without violating the Constitution.


Video from YouTube about encryption back-door and privacy vs. security:

O’Malley–no matter what, the government should have to get a warrant. People should never have to give up their expectation of privacy. Needs to develop body of law to protect American privacy in the digital age.


Clinton asked if she would “reset” relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. She says “it depends on what we got for it.” Says her relationship with Putin is “interesting” but one of respect. Says Putin is someone you have to continually stand up to (like any bully) and U.S. needs to empower European allies to stand up to Putin.


O’Malley we don’t have the intelligence to make some of these decisions right now–need to train a new generation of foreign service/intelligence officers.


Sanders says priority number 1) getting rid of ISIS with a coalition. Priority number 2) replacing Iran with input from Russia and Iran.


Question to Clinton–should Obama have held firmer to his chemical weapons “red line” in Syria?

Clinton says he made the right decision not going into Syria. Involving the Russians to get weapons out was a better idea.

Clinton says the turmoil in the region can be blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.


Did vacuum in Iraq lead to rise of ISIS?

Sanders says no. Obama has been making good decisions and Arab allies in the region need to step up.


Syria–Clinton asked if she supports boots on the ground. She says she has a 3-point plan that does not include U.S. ground troops.

Sanders also says he does not support ground troops. Says U.S. need to follow lead of King Abdullah of Jordan.

O’Malley says acting in a coalition is the best way to work–why U.S. was successful in WWII. Reminds candidates to think of American soldiers as human beings, not as a pair of boots.


Question to all three–is it time to restore diplomatic relations with Iran?

Sanders: He says we need to move to try and normalize relations, knowing that we still have huge differences (like the whole funding terrorism thing). He said he sees the nuclear deal as a positive sign of continual forward progress.

Clinton: very proud of nuclear deal, but need to watch them carefully. Make sure they fully implement the deal then confront other “bad behavior,” (like the terrorism thing).

O’Malley not allowed to answer.


Sanders: “the debate is over, climate change is real…if we do not act boldly and decisively a bad situation will become much worse.” Says GOP is owned by fossil fuel lobby and are too afraid to acknowledge the science.

O’Malley: “we actually believe in science.” Invites fellow debaters to join him in proposing a comprehensive 2050 renewable energy plan.

No Clinton–straight to commercial break. O’Malley has historically been the strongest of the three on climate change.


O’Malley jumps in (almost forgot he was there).


Sanders says his tax plan does raise tax rates, but families will save so much under his healthcare plan that their net income will increase.


Clinton says she is the only one not proposing a middle-class tax raise. She wants to tax those with higher incomes to pay for child care and more.


Sanders says he wants to fund projects like infrastructure and tuition-free public universities by closing corporate tax loopholes and taxing securities trading.


Sanders points out that Clinton has received over $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in just one year.

Clinton fires back saying Sanders voted to take power away from the SEC–closes by saying at least the Democrats are debating this issue, Republicans want to repeal Dodd-Frank.


Hillary says many have supported her plan and she believes Dodd-Frank gives ample power, including the authority to break up big banks.


Clinton says her financial plan is tougher on Wall Street than Sanders’ or O’Malley’s.

O’Malley and Sanders both say that is untrue. O’Malley says he supports reinstating a form of Glass-Steagall and wants to go after shadow banking.


Sanders–can you really reform Wall Street when they donate almost unlimited money in various forms?


Clinton rebuttal–says Sanders has been harsh on Obama. Says she supports Obama and Dodd-Frank.


Question to Sanders–what’s the difference between what you and Clinton would do with Wall Street? Takes shot at Clinton saying he doesn’t get speaking fees from banks. Says banks have to be broken up and Glass-Steagall has to be reinstated.


Commercial break input from the husband: Clinton doing well but does better when she keeps answer brief, O’Malley deserves more talking time, questions–especially from Holt–are good, struck by lack of divisiveness between candidates, confused by Charlie Sheen HIV commercial.


Question from YouTube–Sanders is big with the youth demographic, how will the other candidates look to engage millennials more?

Clinton–making community college free, decreasing cost of public universities; protecting against GOP “attacks on our rights” women’s rights, minority rights voting rights, she says.

Moderators don’t ask O’Malley to answer. Go to commercial.


O’Malley interrupts Sanders (which is fair, because he probably wouldn’t have gotten asked), quotes Frederick Douglas saying “we are all one” we cannot alienate anyone, be they Muslims or Wall Street billionaires.


Question to Sanders–“How will you win a major election calling yourself a Democratic Socialist?” Sanders says the democratic party needs a makeover…party needs to expand its horizons.


Sanders takes a shot at the question, and goes back to the stump speech again, saying Congress is owned by lobbyist and won’t do what the American people want them to do.


Question to Clinton–if President Obama couldn’t bring the country together how can you? “I will go anywhere at any time to meet with anyone to find common ground.” Cites examples of bipartisan legislation she worked on in the Senate.


Sanders goes back to his stump speech, saying the reason nothing is working is because of a corrupt campaign finance system and Wall Street.


O’Malley jumps in, says healthcare is working in Maryland–Clinton interrupts and says that model can be used nationally. Says the U.S. cannot drag itself backwards into a new healthcare debate and risk losing the ACA as it stands.


Sanders says he’s not tearing up the ACA, he just wants to add in a supplemental Medicare-for-all system to increase coverage for all Americans.


Sanders (who just released a new healthcare proposal 2 hours before the debate) says he wants to get private insurers out of the healthcare system and lower healthcare rates by middle class families by $5000.


Clinton says Sanders has flip-flopped on healthcare as well. Says we should improve on the ACA, not scrap it and start with a new program or let the republicans tear it apart. “The democratic party worked since Harry Truman” for the ACA. “I don’t want to see it repealed.”


Back from the break. Onto healthcare. Some BIG differences between the candidates here.


Clinton asked about heroin. Says police and firefighters must be equipped with meds to counteract overdoses. Move more people into drug courts, treatments and recovery. Drug addiction needs to be treated as a public health issue.

Sanders jumps in, says he agrees with everything Clinton says. Says blame also lies with big pharmaceutical companies.


In response to YouTube question about police violence, Sanders calls for U.S. Attorney’s investigation any time someone is killed in police custody. Says police departments need to be diversified and held accountable for actions. Calls for police de-militarization and more community policing.


O’Malley asked about his reputation in the “black lives matter” movement. Touted his record as Maryland governor and some dubious statistics that call for fact checking.


Sanders asked if he can be the nominee when minorities support Clinton (polls show). Sanders responds by saying that polls are basically meaningless and when people learn more about him, they’ll like him.


Sanders says criminal justice system is broken–U.S. should invest in education and job training rather than prisons.


Clinton says there “needs to be a concerted effort” to combat racial profiling, racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Says black men are often arrested, convicted and sentenced for offenses that carry much less harsh penalties for white men.


O’Malley says both Clinton and Sanders have been inconsistent on gun control–says he is the only one who has been consistent and passed substantial gun control legislation. “I’ve never met a self-respecting deer hunter that needed an AR-15 to down a deer.”


Clinton responds with a laundry list of all the votes Sanders has made in support of gun rights/NRA. Says he is please Sanders reversed position on immunity. “No industry in America given the total pass that gun makers and dealers were.”


Bernie asked about flip-flopping on gun control. Talks around it–says he “will re-look at it” and make new opinions.


First question: top three priorities in first 100 days in office

Sanders–healthcare for all; raising the minimum wage to $15/hour; creating new jobs, particularly through infrastructure

Clinton–present Congress with plans for equal pay and raising minimum wage; expansions of Obamacare; bring the country together on major issues

O’Malley–equal pay for equal work, immigration reform, raising minimum wage; plan to go 100 percent clean electric energy grid by 2050; new agenda for American cities


Opening statements:

Hillary Clinton–tipped her hat to MLK, said she understands how difficult the job is and said she is uniquely prepared

Bernie Sanders–tipped his had to MLK, said we need to continue the sentiment of what he started, cites “corrupt” economy and campaign finance system, says his campaign is about political revolution

Martin O’Malley–starts with introduction (because you might not know who he is),  praises President Obama, invokes MLK


Shoutout to Lester Holt…Mizzou grads doing big things.


Ready to get presidential again? The democratic candidates have taken the stage and the debate is about to begin. Follow along.

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