Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dominated the first democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night according to most political observers.
Sanders brought the audience to its feet with his comments on Clinton’s email scandal.
“Enough of the emails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America,” Sanders said as the audience roared with applause. Clinton even shook his hand in agreement.
He said he has talked with “a whole lot of people” around the country with greater concerns like a collapsing middle class, people living in poverty and massive wealth and income inequality.
“Right now, billionaires pay the same amount of money into Social Security as someone who makes $118,500 a year,” Sanders said and wants to change that.
Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said he has experience in reducing unemployment.
“Unemployment? Not on my watch. As Governor, Rhode Island saw the biggest drop in unemployment, second only to Nevada,” he explained.
Clinton was challenged about flip-flopping on many issues and targeting her identity to who her audience is – including whether or not she’d label herself a progressive.
“I’m a progressive, but I’m a progressive who likes to get things done. And I know how to find common ground, and I know how to stand my ground, and I have proved that in every position I have had,” she responded.
One issue she hasn’t flip-flopped on is a abortion. In regard to conservative, pro-life calls to defund Planned Parenthood she said, “Republicans don’t mind having big government interfere with a woman’s right to choose.”
The candidates were also asked about and talked about climate change in many of their answers.
“Climate change is real, and threatens us all. We need to act,” Clinton said.
Governor O’Malley said in Maryland, under his leadership, the state grew new solar and wind industries.
On the topic of challenges for new mothers and families, he said under his administration, the Maryland Parental Leave Act was passed expanding family leave for thousands in the state.
“Equal pay, paid leave, childcare: These aren’t just ‘women’s issues,’ they’re family issues and economic growth issues,” Clinton stated in her response to a question about extending family leave.
When it comes to national security, Webb said that cyber security is one of the biggest day to day threats to the nation but also spoke his concern about instability in the Middle East, it’s threat to the U.S. and it’s greatest ally there – Israel.
He also pointed to his years of service and ability to work with others as part of his draw. “I have a record of working across the political aisle,” he said.
One Webb supporter tweeted, “@JimWebbUSA is the only candidate I’ll vote for, out of either party. He is truly a veteran’s candidate.”
Chafee talked on more than one occassion about his character, including during his closing comments. “I’ve served in government in many levels,” Chaffee said. “What I’m most proud of is that in 30 years, I have had no scandals.”
Webb talked about how he’s been willing to take on complicated and unpopular issues and see them through to conclusion. “I know how to lead, I did it in Vietnam, I did it in the Pentagon,” Webb said. “I am ready to do that for you in the White House.”
O’Malley praised the Democratic party in general. “I truly believe that we are standing on the threshold of a new era of American progress,” he said.
“This is a great country, but we have many serious problems,” Sanders said, discussing poverty, health care reform and the wage gap reform.
Clinton stated her focus in presidency would be to address salary increases for the middle class. “Please come and make it clear that America’s best days are ahead,” she said.
Report via CBN News
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