Clinton and Sanders become spotlight of debate

By Gabrielle Beacken
Nation & World Editor

The first Democratic Presidential debate, hosted by CNN and Facebook and moderated by Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in Las Vegas, Nev., allowed the five candidates to express their viewpoints.

Debate participants wereformer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

Clinton, who has been seen as the Democratic frontrunner, hadn’t been on a national debate stage in seven years, yet she seemed far from out of practice, according to CNN. Clinton appeared confident, spoke clearly of her stance on the issues and used her debate expertise mostly against Sanders, the other in-the-spotlight candidate.

“No. Not at all,” Clinton replied when asked if Sanders was tough on gun control, CNN reported. Also, when Sanders stated that he does not support U.S. troops in Syria, Clinton interrupted, “Well, nobody does. Nobody does, Senator Sanders,” CNN reported.

Clinton also utilized her time to defend Planned Parenthood and reprimand the Republicans for their attacks on the organization.

Sanders comes to Clinton’s aid in email dispute. AP Photo.
Sanders comes to Clinton’s aid in email dispute. AP Photo.

Sanders’ checkered history with gun control was a point of discussion among the candidates.

“All the shouting in the world is not going to do what all of us want and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns,” Sanders said when Clinton and O’Malley criticized him for voting against a legislation implementing background checks for gun purchases, Time reported.

Sanders claims that gun control in rural states and urban settings is different, which is why he supported a law that offers gun manufacturers legal immunity if their guns were used in crimes in 2005, according to Time. Sanders’ in-between stance on gun control sharply contrasts to the stances of the other Democratic candidates.

A moment of amicability was demonstrated when Sanders commented on Clinton’s use of a private email address as Secretary of State, saying that the American people, “are sick and tired of your damn e-mails,” CNN reported.

Chafee, O’Malley and Webb failed to make a lasting and significant impression as Clinton and Sanders, according to CNN.

On four separate occasions, Webb remarked to Cooper that he didn’t receive enough time to answer the questions and that he had to wait too long to speak. To this, Cooper responded, “You agreed to these rules and you’re wasting time. So if you would finish your answer, we’ll move on,” CNN reported.

Chafee was penalized for voting to repeal a law that prohibited commercial banks from participating in investment banking. To defend himself, he said, “I think you’re being a little rough. I’d just arrived at the United States Senate,” CNN reported.

The next Democratic debate will take place on Saturday, Nov. 14, in Iowa, while the next Republican debate with occur on Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Colorado.

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