22 Funny, Biting and WTF Moments From the Democratic Debate - Rolling Stone
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22 Funny, Biting and WTF Moments From the Democratic Debate

From healthcare to Putin to YouTube stars, these were the top moments from the debate few people watched

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The Democratic candidates faced off in Charleston, South Carolina, Sunday evening.

This week’s Democratic debate was no doubt light on viewers — it was, controversially, held on a Sunday evening, the night before MLK Day. That’s all the more unfortunate because it was actually substantive, full of back-and-forth about critical policy issues, and more Americans should have seen it, especially since it was the last Democratic debate before both Iowa and New Hampshire primary voters head to the polls.

Here were some of the top moments from the NBC News/YouTube Democratic debate few people saw.

1. “I was born the year Dr. King gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.” —Martin O’Malley, making sure everyone knows he’s the young one

2. “I think Secretary Clinton knows that what she says is very disingenuous.” —Bernie Sanders, responding to Clinton’s criticism of his voting record on guns

3. “I am pleased to hear that Sen. Sanders has reversed his position on immunity…” —Hillary Clinton, sparring with Sanders over his shifting position on guns

4. “I’ve listened to Secretary Clinton and Sen. Sanders go back and forth about which of them has the most inconsistent record on gun safety legislation, and I would have to agree with both of them: They’ve both been inconsistent on this issue.” —O’Malley

5. “One out of three African-American men may very well end up going to prison. That’s the statistic. I want people here to really think about what we would be doing if it was one out of three white men.” —Clinton

6. “We have a criminal justice system that is broken. Who in America is satisfied… that millions of people have police records for possessing marijuana, when the CEOs of Wall Street companies who destroyed our economy have no police records?” —Sanders

7. “When the African-American community becomes familiar with my congressional record and with our agenda… just as the general population has become more supportive, so will the African-American community, so will the Latino community.” —Sanders, on the fight for black voters

8. “Just 10 seconds… Just 10 seconds…” —O’Malley, trying to get a word in edgewise

9. “You even called him weak, disappointing.” —Clinton, on Sanders criticizing Obama in the past, prompting Sanders to make this face

10. We finally have a path to universal healthcare…. I do not want to see us start over again with a contentious debate. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it.” —Clinton, hitting Sanders on his healthcare plan

11. “We’re not going to tear up the Affordable Care Act. I helped write it. But we are going to move on top of that, to a Medicare for All [model].” —Sanders

12. “I’m not sure whether we’re talking about the plan you introduced tonight, or the plan you introduced nine times in Congress.” —Clinton

13. “Congratulations on five million viewers on YouTube!” — Clinton, in response to a question about securing the youth vote from YouTube star Connor Franta

14. “You know, governor, you have raised money on Wall Street….” —Clinton, to O’Malley, after he criticized her Wall Street connections

15. “Yeah but I haven’t gotten a penny this year.” —O’Malley, firing back to Clinton

16. “It’s a pretty good deal.” —Sanders, on his tax deal

17. “It is beyond my comprehension how we can elect as president of the United States someone like Trump, who thinks climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.” —Sanders

18. “It’s… interesting.” —Clinton, on her relationship with Vladimir Putin

19. “Can I get 30 seconds too?” —O’Malley, still trying to get a word in, making this face

20. “It’ll start at the kitchen table. We’ll see how it goes from there.” —Clinton, asked if Bill would have only a “kitchen-table” advisory role as first man

21. “That question annoys me…. I cannot walk down the street without being told how much I have to attack Secretary Clinton…. Yes, his behavior was deplorable. Have I ever once said a word about that issue? No I have not. I’m going to debate Secretary Clinton and Gov. O’Malley on the issues facing the American people, not on Bill Clinton’s personal behavior.” —Sanders, asked about having said in the past that Bill Clinton’s infidelities were “disgraceful”

22. “I’ll tell you what: If the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water, and being bathed in it, there would’ve been action.” —Clinton, on the Flint water crisis


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