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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Democratic debate: five takeaways

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met on the debate stage once again Thursday night in New York City. Assistant news editor Tyler Allen offers five takeaways from the night.

Coming home to New York

Clinton is no stranger to New York, having served as the state’s senator for eight years. Sanders, on the other hand, grew up in Brooklyn and his thick accent ensures that is never questioned. Both capitalized on this and marketed themselves to New Yorkers. Sanders talked about the economic opportunities his immigrant family was given by the state and Clinton recalled her experiences working during crises such as 9/11. This debate was an interesting one because it was never quite clear which candidate had the home field advantage.

A question of judgement

The debate opened with a discussion about an earlier remark by Sanders that questioned whether Clinton is qualified to be president or not. Sanders corrected his statement by saying he doesn’t think Clinton doesn’t have the right “judgment” for the job, citing her support of the Iraq war and support from special interest Super PACs. Clinton fired back saying Sanders didn’t have the judgement to develop realistic policies.

Strict vs. stricter gun policy

Clinton attacked Sanders for his policy on guns, which is more lax than hers in some areas. Citing acts of violence in recent years, Clinton demanded a stronger stance on gun control in U.S. legislation and denounced Sanders for an alleged relationship with the NRA in which he made and kept promises to them. Sanders responded by defending his gun policies and reminding Clinton that the NRA had given him a “D minus” for his voting record, although this was one of his weaker portions of the debate. 

Opposing views on Israel
Foreign policy was a large topic of discussion and with that came a lengthy talk about the Israeli—Palestinian conflict. Clinton once again used experience to her advantage, saying she was the one who helped negotiate a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. Sanders took a different approach to the issue, saying the Israeli response to Hamas was warranted but “disproportionate” and that the United States should play a more even-handed role in bringing peace to the region. Sanders said Clinton’s policies for peace wouldn’t work because they involve too much U.S. intervention for the governments to agree.
Feisty debating

The debate was hostile to say the least. Both candidates attacked one another with everything they had. Sarcastic remarks were common and shouting matches warranted moderator intervention several times. Moderator Wolf Blitzer called them both out for screaming at each other and said viewers couldn’t hear anything being said. High stakes were the likely factor in this — the upcoming primary may be one of Sanders’ last chances to shift the momentum in his favor, while it gives Clinton a chance to cement herself as the clear frontrunner for nominee.

 

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