Going into the first debate that will see a two person race on the democratic side it’s been a jam-packed week for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. First there was the heart-stopping Iowa caucus that saw Clinton come out victorious by the skin of her teeth 0.3 percent. Then what ensued was a Twitter beef between the Sanders and Clinton camp which of course carried on to the Democratic Town Hall. Here’s how that friction played out at the second democratic debate of 2016.
One of the first questions was where the Twitter beef stemmed from, whether Clinton is a progressive. Clinton asked to respond to this label said, “A progressive is someone who makes progress and that’s what I intend to do.” She repeated what she said at last night’s town hall to say his questioning of her being a progressive saying, “It’s caused me to wonder who’s left in the democratic wing” by saying Barack Obama wouldn’t fall under “progressive” under his definition. Asked whether he thinks Obama is a progressive Sanders said yes.
Clinton calls for an end to this “progressive” talk, which Sanders explained started when last year she called herself a “moderate.” Sanders has since said she can’t be both a “progressive” and a “moderate.” But Clinton disagreed and shot back saying, “You began it yesterday with your comments!”
Sanders who has refused to talk negatively about Clinton went on the offensive to say “Let’s not just talk the talk, let’s walk the walk.” He repeated that he’s the only candidate there with a super PAC and how his average donor, of which he has millions, supplies $27.
After Clinton lists how she has the support of many government officials Sanders responds, “She has the entire establishment or almost the entire establishment behind her. Clinton shoots back how she doesn’t understand how Sanders could find “a woman running for president as exemplifying the establishment.” Pulling no punches tonight Clinton borrows a line from Sanders campaign and says “Enough is enough!” calling out his “attacks of insinuation.”
Clinton was asked about the hot topic of being paid $675,000 by Goldman Sachs in speaking fees for three speeches. She is asked if she would release the transcripts of those speeches. “I will look into it,” she says. At the town hall last night when faced with the question she said, "I don't know. That's what they offered," she said. "Every secretary of state that I know has done that."
When the topic of foreign policy comes up Sanders points, as he has before, that Clinton voted in favor of the Iraq war while he did not. Clinton attacks: “a vote in 2002 is not a plan to defeat ISIS.” Asked about her plans for America’s involvement overseas Clinton said, “We will not send American combat troops to Syria or Iraq.” She did express support for forces to “take out ISIS.”
Clinton calls out Sanders for supporting normalizing relations with Iran. Sanders clarifies his statement saying it’s not something he would plan to do soon should he become president, but something he would work towards eventually. He cited the repaired relations with Cuba as an example. Sanders quoted how the ideology used to be, “We shouldn't normalize relations with Cuba- they're communists, our enemies…” He took a moment to take a jab at Clinton questioning Obama’s proposition to repair relations when she was running against him in 2008 saying, “You thought him naive to talk to our enemies.”
The results of the “too-close-to-call” Iowa caucus are brought up. Sanders says he’s not concerned about the results, “This is not a winner take all thing.” He points out how Clinton has 22 delegates to his 20 delegates but that they need 2,500 delegates to win. Clinton said she would gladly agree to participate in an audit should it be necessary.
Clinton is asked about the current FBI investigation she’s in after using a private email account to handle government tasks and is asked how she thinks the investigation will turn out. Clinton says, “I am 100 percent confident that nothing will come of FBI investigation.”
On their thoughts about the death penalty:
Sanders talks about how he opposes the death penalty because it has affected innocent people including “minorities.” He then added, “In a world of so much violence and killing I don’t believe the government itself should be part of killing.”
On the Flint water crisis:
Clinton calls for action on Flint, MI. saying it’s an “emergency.” Sanders echoes the urgency in resolving the crisis by repeating what Clinton had previously said that it would’ve been solved had it been a “wealthy suburb.”
Would Clinton take Sanders as her vice president should she become president? Clinton says no, but that he’d be the “first person to call” to discuss what should be done to move forward. Sanders agrees with Clinton saying they “shouldn’t get ahead of themselves.”