32 Important Moments From the Flint Democratic Debate - Rolling Stone
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32 Important Moments From the Flint Democratic Debate

“We are going to invest a lot in mental health, and when you watch these Republican debates, you know why,” said Sanders

During the Republican debate in Detroit last week, Ted Cruz earned booming applause from the hometown audience for his quip that the city had been “utterly decimated by 60 years of failed left-wing policy.”

The Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan, Sunday was in many ways a defiant reproof of that idea. Two days before the Michigan primary, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders took questions from the state’s residents and CNN moderators about the policies they would institute as president to address everything from the Flint water crisis to controlling gun access, in light of the Kalamazoo shooting.

Here were some of the debate’s top moments, highlighting the candidates’ disagreements as well as their shared positions.

On Flint
1. “The governor of this state should understand that his dereliction of duty was irresponsible. He should resign.” -Bernie Sanders

2. “The governor should resign or be recalled, and we should support the efforts of citizens attempting to achieve that.” -Hillary Clinton

3. “I know the state of Michigan has a rainy-day fund for emergencies…. It is raining lead in Flint and the state is derelict in not coming forward with the money that is required.” -Hillary Clinton

4. “If local government does not have the resources, if state government for whatever reason refuses to act, children in America should not be poisoned — federal government comes in,  federal government acts.” -Bernie Sanders

5. “How did we have so much money available to go to war in Iraq and spent trillions of dollars but somehow not have enough money just for Flint.” – Bernie Sanders

6. “You are paying three times more for poisoned water in Flint than I am in Burlington, Vermont, for clean water.” – Bernie Sanders

7. “Maybe we should let Wall Street come in and run the city of Flint because we know their honesty and integrity has done so much for the American people.” -Bernie Sanders, responding to a question about whether the expansion of government was to blame for the Flint crisis

8. “President Sanders would fire anybody who knew about what was happening and did not act appropriately.” -Bernie Sanders

9. Hillary Clinton: “I voted to save the auto industry; he voted against the money that ended up saving the auto industry.”
Bernie Sanders: “If you are talking about the Wall Street bail-out, where some of your friends destroyed this economy…. Excuse me, I’m talking.”
Hillary Clinton: “If you’re going to talk, tell the whole story, Sen. Sanders.”
Bernie Sanders: “Let me tell my story, you tell yours.”

10. “Secretary Clinton says I’m a one-issue candidate. I guess so. My one issue is trying to rebuild a disappearing middle class. That’s my one issue.” -Bernie Sanders

11. “Secretary Clinton supported virtually every one of these disastrous trade agreements written by corporate America.” -Bernie Sanders

12. “You didn’t need a PhD in economics to understand that American workers should not be forced to compete with people in Mexico making 25 cents an hour.” -Bernie Sanders

13. “I am very glad, Anderson, that Secretary Clinton discovered religion on this issue, but it’s a little bit too late. Secretary Clinton supported virtually every one of the disastrous trade agreements written by corporate America” -Bernie Sanders on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

14. “Isn’t it tragic that the large multinational corporations making billions of dollars a year, shutting down in America, going to China, going to Mexico?” -Bernie Sanders, heavy on the sarcasm

15. “There ain’t nothing. I don’t give speeches to Wall Street for hundreds of thousands of dollars.” -Bernie Sanders, mocking the fact that Hillary Clinton refuses to release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Wall Street banks

16. “If you are a kid caught with marijuana in Michigan, you get a police record. If you are an executive on Wall Street that destroys the American economy, you pay a $5 billion fine, no police record.” -Bernie Sanders

17. “I don’t want to break the bad news…. Democrats are not always right.” -Bernie Sanders

18. “Giving immunity to gun-makers and sellers was a terrible mistake.” -Hillary Clinton

19. “You talk about corporate greed: The gun manufacturers sell guns to make as much money as they can make.” -Hillary Clinton

20. “You’re not the only person whose heart was broken.” -Bernie Sanders on the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut 

21. “Sen. Sanders voted for it as well. Are you going to ask him the same question?” -Hillary Clinton, after she was asked why should black people trust her in light of the 1994 Crime Bill

22. “Most candidates for president don’t put this on their resume, but I was arrested by the Chicago police for trying to desegregate the Chicago school system.” -Bernie Sanders

23. “Any lunatic tomorrow, any person can walk into a theater and do something horrific. And you know what? For us to tell you that that absolutely will not happen would be untrue.” -Bernie Sanders

24. “When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor. You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car.” -Bernie Sanders

25. “If we’re going to argue about the Nineties, let’s get the facts right… let’s talk about 23 million new jobs, incomes went up for everybody. The median African American income went up 33 percent.” -Hillary Clinton

26. “Right now you have child care workers making McDonald’s wages. That is crazy.” -Bernie Sanders

27. “I don’t support [fracking] when any locality or any state is against it, number one. I don’t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don’t support it, number three, unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using. So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place. And I think that’s the best approach, because right now, there places where fracking is going on that are not sufficiently regulated.” -Hillary Clinton

28. “My answer is a lot shorter: No, I do not support fracking.” -Bernie Sanders

29. “We are going to invest a lot in mental health, and when you watch these Republican debates, you know why.” -Bernie Sanders

30. “My father’s family was wiped out by the Holocaust. I know about what crazy and radical and extremist politics mean. I learned that lesson as a tiny, tiny child. ” -Bernie Sanders when asked why he doesn’t talk more about his Jewish heritage

31. “I am a praying person, and if I hadn’t been during my time in the White House, I would have become one.” -Hillary Clinton

32. “I do not intend to get in the gutter with whoever they nominate.” -Hillary Clinton


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