The First Democratic debate for the 2016 Elections held on Tuesday at 8:30 PM on CNN turned to be a clash between frontrunner Hillary Clinton and main rival Bernie Sanders on issues such as gun control, Wall Street and income inequality.
Clinton and Sanders were under the spotlight of the debate and started it off with a handshake during a discussion about Clinton’s private email use while being at the State Department.
According to Reuters, Sanders defended Clinton and said there are more pressing issues that need to be discussed. He stated “Let me say something that may not be great politics, but I think the Secretary is right. The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails”, to which Clinton replied “Thank you. Me too, me too” and shook hands with rival Sanders.
After that moment they started getting more aggressive in contrasting their stances on issues such as gun control, Wall Street, capitalism and Syria.
Speaking about the economic system and capitalism Sanders said that the United States should try and emulate the economic model of some European countries like Denmark, Norway and Sweden. According to Reuters, Clinton jumped in to criticize the self-proclaimed democratic socialist and stated “I think what Senator Sanders is saying certainly makes sense in the terms of the inequality that we have. But we are not Denmark.
Sanders also took an aggressive stance against capitalism and Wall Street and took a dig at Bill Clinton for deregulating Wall Street. He stated “Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalism process by which so few have so much and so many so little, by which Wall Street’s greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I don’t.” He also added “Congress does not regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress.” Clinton in return said that the U.S. has bigger and more important issues than big banks. She stated “We have work to do. You’ll get no argument from me. But I know if we don’t come in with a very tough and comprehensive approach, like the plan I’m recommending, we’re going to be behind instead of ahead.”
She also took one more dig at Sanders for voting against a provision to free gun manufacturers from legal accountability and said that she was in the Senate at the same time and that she voted against it because the subject was not complicated for her. She vowed to stand up and say enough of guns. Sanders defended his gun control position by stating that he is for an extensive policy on background checks.
Clinton also took charge on income inequality, more liberal family leave policy, reiterated her support on the Patriot Act and criticized the Obama administration and Joe Biden for not taking a stronger leadership position with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the Syrian civil war and emphasized her vote for the authorization of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a raid that was opposed by Biden. Sanders on the other hand, was very soft on foreign policy and gun control.
The Democratic debates clear winner was the former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, who had a very strong performance and commanded the debate very easily being a master debater. Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley are the clear losers of the debate with very little speaking time at the debate and missing their chances to make a more memorable moment.
Another loser of the debate can be considered Vice President Joe Biden who has been waiting for the debates to see whether Clinton would tumble down and lose the Democrat support. However, Hillary’s momentum at the debates makes his run for the White House virtually impossible.
Hillary Clinton has managed to clear all suspicion in her supporter’s heads of whether she could win the Democratic nomination and the general elections and once again solidified her frontrunner position for both the Democratic nomination and the 2016 elections.