26 Explosive Moments From the One-on-One Democratic Debate
When the Democratic National Committee released its debate schedule last August, Thursday night’s matchup in New Hampshire wasn’t on it. There was almost a month, and multiple primary contests, between a January debate in South Carolina and the next, scheduled for late February, in Milwaukee.
In a dramatic twist, MSNBC and New Hampshire’s Union Leader newspaper went rogue, forcing the issue and finalizing plans for an “unsanctioned” debate with less than a week to spare.
So, less than a week after Hillary Clinton eked out a narrow victory over Bernie Sanders in Iowa, the pair ended up on the debate stage at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Absent for the first time since the debates began was Martin O’Malley, who suspended his campaign after Iowa. (Goodbye sweet, guitar-strumming prince. If we don’t see you at an open mic night soon, at least we’ll always have The View).
Moderators Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd asked the candidates to “draw out the differences” between themselves, and Clinton and Sanders obliged, contrasting their positions on issues like financial reform, the Iraq War and the death penalty. They also debated, heatedly, whether Clinton can or should be called a progressive or an establishment candidate.
But, since this was a Democratic debate, it ended up with both candidates shaking hands and exhorting voters: Please, just don’t pick a Republican.
Here were the evening’s top moments.
1. “I believe in raising the minimum wage and equal pay for work, but the numbers just don’t add up, from what Sen. Sanders has been proposing…. It is just not achievable.” -Clinton
2. “I’m not making promises that I cannot keep.” -Clinton
3. “Well, I haven’t quite run for president before.” -Sanders on why he hasn’t achieved his proposals already
4. “The middle class bailed out Wall Street in their time of need. Now, it is Wall Street’s time to help the middle class.” -Sanders
5. “Who’s left in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party? Under his definition, President Obama is not progressive because he took donations from Wall Street, Vice President Biden is not progressive because she supported Keystone…” -Clinton on Sanders’ definition of “progressive”
6. “If we’re going to get into labels, I don’t think it was particularly progressive to vote against the Brady Bill five times.” -Clinton
7. “I’m a progressive who gets things done. Cherry-picking a quote here or there doesn’t change my record of having fought for racial justice, having fought for kids’ rights, having fought the kind of inequities that fueled my interest in service in the first place.” -Clinton
8. “Before it was called Obamacare, it was called Hillarycare.” -Clinton