Monday, March 14, 2016

How Clinton's Third 'Inevitability' is Another Illusion

Sanders
(Robert Turtil / Dept.
of Veterans' Affairs)
Now that ex-governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD) has terminated his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, the only contenders for it are ex-senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).  Statistics show, between them, Sanders still has the best chance to win the general election.

Fourteen weeks after a poll found Sanders behind Clinton by 41 percentage points in Iowa, he virtually tied her in its caucuses despite shady practices that likely disadvantaged his candidacy there.  Less than a year after a survey showed the former representative in second place by 56 points in New Hampshire, he won its primary by 22, which is the largest margin of victory ever in a seriously contested Democratic presidential primary in that state.

Corporate media portrayed the outcome in IA as a setback for Sanders and portrayed his victory in NH as one that was always universally expected.  However, those portrayals are disproved not only by data above but by behavior of Clinton's campaign.

Part of how corporate media tried, like they did early in the cycle of 2008, to convince us Clinton is the "inevitable" nominee was to claim she had such a firm lock on the nonwhite vote, Sanders's campaign would be unable to credibly advance beyond the second pair of states on the road to the nomination: Nevada and South Carolina, whose contests are held so early because they have large populations of Latinos and blacks, respectively.  But Sanders won the nonwhite vote in NH and garnered 42%, 41%, 40%, 34%, 34%, 25% and 24% of the nonwhite vote in the Nevadan caucuses, the Massachusettsan primary, the Oklahoman primary, IA, the Michiganian primary, the Texan primary and the Virginian primary, respectively.  Nevertheless, corporate media continue to pretend Sanders has no significant support from nonwhites.

That Sanders won the Latino vote in NV was given substantial attention by corporate media but mostly to assist the former first lady and her staff in an attempt to discredit the methodology by which Latinos were surveyed in the entrance poll.  However, it was conducted by Edison Research, which, as the firm writes, "has been the sole provider of election exit poll information to ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press" since 2003.  (Entrance polls, rather than exit polls, are conducted for caucuses.)  Moreover, an analysis by the William C. Velasquez Institute found "no statistical basis to question the Latino vote breakdown" in the poll.

O'Malley
("Democracy Now!")
The first survey in NV that was commissioned by a media outlet in this cycle found Sanders behind by 16 points overall.  He finished 5 points behind in the caucuses there.  A recent survey commissioned by NBC showed that Clinton's lead over Sanders among Latinos nationwide had shrunk to 3 points.

Sanders won the caucuses in Kansas by 35 points, in Maine by 28, in Minnesota by 23, in Colorado by 19, and in Nebraska by 14.  But no entrance poll was conducted for any of those five contests.  At least the media could not hide that his candidacy is favored by many prominent nonwhites, including those on this [updated] list.
Ellison
("Democracy Now!")
*First Hindu, & one of first two female veterans of combat, in Congress
^First Muslim in Congress
#Democratic nominee for US Senate, 2014
Democratic nominee for secy. of state of Ohio, 2014
Candidate in runoff election for mayor of Chicago, 2015
§Attorney who represented the family of the late Walter Scott
Chairperson of the Black Caucus of the State Legislature
First black winner of an Emmy; Close confidant of MLK Jr.

In SC's primary, despite a landslide for Clinton in sum, Sanders prevailed by seven points among people who identify with neither major party, 20 points among people aged 17-24, and 26 points among people who had not voted in any previous Democratic presidential primary.  In the general election, the ability of the nominee to garner votes from independents, youths and new voters might be critical.

Lately, corporate media sought a new excuse to insist Clinton will capture the nomination.  Every such explanation they had already used was disproved.  In the vast majority of races for any office, whichever campaign has fundraised most successfully is regarded by the corporate media as the most "viable."  But in January, Sanders's campaign raised $20 million and Clinton's raised $15M; in February, his raised $43M and hers raised $30M; and his is likely to remain at a financial advantage.  Hence, the corporate media has discarded that standard in this case.  Because Sanders has repeatedly exceeded expectations, the said media, aware of possible outcomes of future primaries/caucuses, have largely declared Clinton to have an insurmountable lead over him.  But she does not.

The nominee will formally be chosen at the Democratic National Convention by a vote of 4,763 delegates.  They will consist of 4,051 "pledged delegates," who will have been elected via the primaries/caucuses, and 712 "super delegates," who, simply because they are elites of the party, will each be allowed to vote for the candidate of his choice.  The concept of super delegates was created only so that if the primaries/caucuses were to, by a modest margin, favor a candidate disliked by the party's elites, they could hand the nomination to someone else.  However, no candidate with a majority or plurality of pledged delegates has ever been denied nomination.

The estimated allocation of pledged delegates from states whose primaries/caucuses have been held puts Clinton at 1,139 and Sanders at 825.  [Updated March 16]

Grijalva
("Democracy Now!")
The depiction of Clinton's lead as insurmountable is based on the vast proportion of super delegates who have expressed preference for her.  But this nation cannot endure the status-quo for much longer.  Accordingly, a passion that is exceptional in both strength and reach is the main source of fuel for Sanders's campaign.  Because Clinton is devoted to an unsustainable system, little if any of the said passion is fuel for her campaign.  Especially given these circumstances, if Sanders were to win the majority of pledged delegates and they were to be overridden by super delegates, the Democratic Party would probably suffer its worst split in 48 years.

(In 1968, tension over the Vietnam War ran so high, many policemen committed brutal, widespread, indiscriminate and well-publicized violence against pro-peace demonstrators -- as well as against journalists, medics, bystanders and passersby -- outside the Democratic Nat'l Conv., which, after heated debate on the issue, adopted a platform supportive of continuation of the war and nominated, for president and vice president, men who supported that policy at that time and would lose to the Republican ticket, which was headed by former vice president Richard Nixon.)

Clinton's campaign retains additional glaring vulnerabilities even aside from the federal criminal investigation (not, as she calls it, a "security review") into use of her private e-mail server.  Clinton's campaign has no discernible message or purpose, and lacks any decent case against the popular, inspirational, exciting and necessary mission of the movement Sanders leads.  As a result, the former secretary of State and her surrogates, when they sense a major loss of ground, malign the ex-mayor of Burlington with what his campaign spokesman Michael Briggs dubs "panic attacks."

That brings us to Clinton's ultimate vulnerability, which is distrust of her.  Among voters who, in choosing their candidate, valued honesty above all other given traits, Sanders defeated Clinton in Vermont, NH, MA, IA, NV, MI, VA, OK, Tennessee, TX, Arkansas and Georgia by 96, 86, 82, 73, 70, 61, 57, 51, 27, 18, 16 and 8 points, respectively.  Although Clinton has blamed that distrust on the unsubstantiated allegations Republicans have made against her, she and her surrogates continually provide legitimate reasons for the public to doubt she is honest.

As if examples of that are not numerous enough in the above text and in previous entries, such examples are plentiful in the following analysis of substantive parts of three of the four latest Democratic presidential debates.  So are examples of media's bias against Sanders.  (Clinton, despite her "inevitability," reversed her refusal to agree to more than six debates.  The most recent one included little new content and is therefore omitted.)  Quoted wording is edited for clarity and concision.  Selectivity is to avoid repetition, including of content in the reviews of the previous debates.  Boldface is added.


Debate V | Thu., Feb. 4 | Durham, NH | MSNBC

Gabbard joins Cookie Monster to help the United Services
Organization (Tyrone Marshall Jr. / Dept. of Defense)
Co-moderator SchmChuck Todd:  "Secy. Clinton, ...you said that to see how any of Sen. Sanders's proposals are achievable is very hard.  Why...?"

After she talked for almost 90 seconds in which she did not answer the question but said in reference to Sanders's proposal of Medicare-for-All, "I don't want to rip away security that people finally have," Clinton claimed that his "numbers don't add up."  She added that "all editorial boards and independent experts who vetted both of us concluded his agenda is unachievable..."

Why did she not name any such board or "expert"?

Sanders:  "...To say I would dismantle health care while we wait to pass Medicare-for-All is just not accurate..."

Clinton's false attacks on Sanders's plan -- and on him -- with regard to this issue contradict the response she delivered on 23 Feb. 2008, to criticism by then-Sen. Obama about her proposal on health insurance.  That response included:
"It is destructive, particularly for a Democrat, to wage a false campaign in order to discredit universal health care...  This... is the worst kind of politics...  Sen. Obama knows it is not true...  [I]t undermines core Democratic principles.  Since when do Democrats attack one another on universal health care?  ...[That] Sen. Obama chose not to present a plan for universal health care does not give him the right to attack me because I did...  [E]very Democrat should be outraged because this kind of attack... gives aid and comfort to... special interests and their allies in the Republican Party...  So shame on you, Barack Obama."
Co-moderator Rachel Maddow PhD to Clinton: "Sen. Sanders... said because you voted for the Iraq War, favor the death penalty, wobbled on the Keystone Pipeline and the TPP, and said single-payer health care can never happen,"

The last remark Maddow referenced contradicts one Clinton made as first lady:
"[I]f there is not health care reform this year, ...I believe, by the year 2000, we will have a single-payer system.  I don't even think it's a close call, politically.  I think the momentum for a single-payer system will sweep the country...  [The proposal,] even if it is not successful the first time, will eventually [succeed]."
Public support for the idea is at 58%.  Yet, Clinton now argues it is not even worth a try.

Turner
("Democracy Now!")
Maddow continued, "you're too far to the right to be the party's standard-bearer.  Given those positions, why should liberal Democrats support you over Sen. Sanders?"

Clinton:  "...Sen. Sanders's comments... caused me to wonder who's left in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.  By his definition, Pres. Obama is not progressive..., Vice Pres. Biden is not progressive..., Sen. Shaheen is not progressive..."

They're not.

"Because the late, great Sen. Paul Wellstone voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, he would not fit this definition..."

That is false.  Sanders did not say people who hold even one conservative stance are not progressive.  Rather, he cited the many conservative positions Clinton holds.  That she holds them may be a reason why MoveOn, which was founded in defense of Clinton's husband, gave its endorsement to Sanders by a vote of 79% to 15%.

Clinton added, "I am laying out a specific agenda that would... get us to universal pre-kindergarten..."

Maddow to Sanders:  "[Y]ou... have a long history of running against Democrats...  In 1988, your candidacy... arguably cost the Democrats a congressional seat that a Republican won.  How can you lead the Democratic Party when you have not been a member of it until very recently?"

Sanders replied, "That's inaccurate.  In 1988, ...I placed second...  In that race, the Democrat was the spoiler," drawing laughter and applause.  "I am the longest-serving independent ever in Congress... [b]ut have [always] caucused with the Democrats [there]...  They elected me to chair the Veterans' Affairs Committee three years ago... and to now be the ranking member on the Budget Committee...  I hope to bring forth a major change in national priorities and see major change in the Democratic Party.  I want to see workers and young people come into the party in a way that doesn't exist now.  I want to see a 50-state strategy so the party is not just that of 25 states."

Clinton:  "A 50-state strategy was first proposed by former governor Howard Dean...  I... am supported by many elected Vermonters...: two former governors,"

Dean
("Democracy Now!")
One of those two is Dean, who, along with former speaker of the House of Representatives Newton Gingrich (R-GA) and ex-rep. Ira "Bill" McCollum Jr. (R-FL), works for the branch of Dentons that lobbies on behalf of pharmaceutical corporations.  That may be related to Dean's flip from praise for the idea of Medicare-for-All to reinforcement of Clinton's false attacks on it.  But Democracy for America, which Dean founded in 2004 to inherit the torch of the presidential campaign he had just waged, gave its first-ever endorsement of a presidential primary candidate to Sanders over Clinton by a vote of 88% to 10%.

Clinton continued, "the current governor, the current other senator..."

That pattern was halted when the sole Vermonter in the House, namely Peter Welch (D), endorsed Sanders.  Other people who have served in Congress with Sanders and endorse him include ex-sen. Donald Riegle Jr. (D-MI), ex-sen. Paul Kirk (D-MA), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).

Maddow to Sanders:  "Secy. Clinton implies her endorsements from Democrats in your state says something about the people who know you best."

The people of VT know Sanders best.  They elected him to the House eight consecutive times, elected him to the Senate with 65% of the vote and re-elected him with 71%.  Last year, they gave him an approval rating of 83%, which made him more popular among his constituents than any other senator was among his/her own.  In VT's primary, Sanders won so overwhelmingly (86.1% to 13.6%) that out of these two candidates, Clinton is the only one who has garnered zero pledged delegates from a given state.

Sanders:  "I don't see it quite like that.  Secy. Clinton is supported by... almost the entire establishment [of the party...  M]y campaign is of, by and for the people...  Americans... are not enamored with the establishment..."

Clinton:  "I think Sen. Sanders is the only person who would characterize me -- a candidate to be the first female president -- as an exemplification of the establishment..."

She's wrong.  I, too, characterize her as part of the establishment.

"I will not talk about big ideas like single-payer and then not level with people about how much it would cost."

Welch (Congressional
Pictorial Directory)
She will not talk about big ideas at all, except to trash them.

"A respected health economist said these plans would cost
$1 trillion more a year."

Who?  More than what?

"I will not say I will raise your incomes and not your taxes, and not mean it...  [To] raise taxes on the middle class... would make getting and staying ahead more difficult for many Americans."

How could anyone be worse off because he is taxed $500 in exchange for savings of $5,000 due to coverage from Medicare?

Sanders:  "To be part of the establishment is... to... raise a lot of money from... special interests...  [I]f we do not get a handle on the degree to which big money controls the political process, nobody will make the changes needed for working families."

Clinton:  "[T]o ask what's behind that comment is fair.  Sen. Sanders said he wants to run a positive campaign...  But by innuendo and insinuation, he repeatedly puts forth this attack, which comes down to: anyone who took donations from or speaking-fees from any interest group is bought."

Special interest group.  A given person can be influenced by money without being bought.  And the amount of money in question is crucial to this discussion.

"I absolutely reject that, Senator.  I don't think this attack is worthy of you.  Enough is enough.  If you have something to say, say it directly.  But you will not find I ever changed a view or vote because of any donation I received..."

The role of money in politics was expanded by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC.  The premise of the decision in each is that private funds for the campaign of any candidate -- and for "independent expenditures" in support of or opposition to any candidate -- has a corruptive influence only when it entails an explicit quid-pro-quo.  Clinton's apparent agreement with said premise is part of why Sanders is endorsed by congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout (D-NY).  Prof. Teachout is a scholar of corruption.  An article she wrote about it was cited in the dissent in Citizens United.  She bolted from obscurity to score 34% of the vote against incumbent Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in the Empire State.

Cuomo
(K.C. Wilsey / FEMA)
Clinton then called on Sanders "to end the very artful smear you and your campaign have carried out..."

Sanders:  "Oh, come on."

Clinton, who was then booed by much of the audience, said, "Let's talk about the issues that divide us.  We agree with campaign finance reform.  I worked hard for McCain-Feingold.  I want to reverse Citizens United."

Sanders:  "Let's talk about issues.  Was deregulation of Wall St. in the 1990s related to the billions of dollars Wall St. spent on lobbying and on campaign contributions?  Well, some people might think that had some influence."

After a few in the audience chuckled in agreement, Sanders added, "[P]rices... of prescription drugs... could be doubled tomorrow.  The government would be unable to do anything about it.  Do you think that is related to the huge amounts of campaign donations from... the pharmaceutical industry?  The Republican presidential candidates do not... recognize that climate change is real and that we must transform our energy system.  Do you think that is related to the money the Koch brothers and Exxon-Mobil pour into politics?..."

Here are examples of actual smears.

Two and a half weeks after Sanders, in the first debate, said "views on gun control in rural states are different than in urban states," Clinton said the following to the Charleston, SC, branch of the NAACP on Oct. 20.
"There are some who say [gun violence] is an urban problem.  Sometimes, what they mean by that is: it's a black problem."
So by Clinton's own logic, she made a racist remark in this exchange on 16 April 2008.
Charles Gibson of ABC:  "[D]o you still favor licensing of and registration of handguns?"
Clinton:  "I favor what works in New York.  We have a set of rules in New York City and have a totally different set of rules in the rest of the state.  What might work in New York City will certainly not work in Montana.  So for the federal government to have any blanket rules... doesn't make sense..."
Sen. McCain, R-AZ
(Glenn Fawcett / DoD)
The Congressional Black Caucus PAC endorsed Clinton by a vote of its board, which includes merely eight of 46 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and includes 11 lobbyists.  The PAC raises money from lobbyists for special interests.  At the news conference at which the endorsement was announced, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) falsely implied 1) Sanders was not in the Civil Rights Movement and 2) Clinton was.  The reverse is true.
Reporter:  "What do you say about [Sanders's] previous work on civil rights and--"
Lewis:  "To be very frank -- I don't want to cut you off, but I never saw him.  I never met him.  I chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee... from 1963-1966.  I was involved in the sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington [and] the march from Selma to Montgomery, and directed the Voter Education Project for six years.  But I met Hillary Clinton."
Such prevarication was to be expected because Dolores Huerta, who was a surrogate for Clinton in 2008 and is one now, made a similar insinuation on Democracy Now! as Clinton ran against Obama, who had resided in Chicago for several years in the 1980s and permanently since 1991.
"I have been a civil-rights activist... all my life and been to Chicago many times for many campaigns [in which] the Latino community was [active].  I have [yet] to meet Mr. Obama.  I have never encountered him..."
During the same appearance, Huerta alleged the NV caucuses that year were tainted by "huge intimidation on the part of the Obama supporters [toward] the Latino casino-workers..."  Huerta did not elaborate.  But she recycled that attack by falsely stating in reference to the NV caucus she attended this year, "I offered to translate and Bernie supporters chanted, 'English only!'"

Clinton:  "Senator, I don't think... anyone in political life today... has been subjected to more attacks with more money spent against her by special interests... than I...  When I took on the drug companies and insurance companies for universal health care coverage, they went after me with a vengeance.  Hedge-fund billionaires aligned with Karl Rove are running ads against me to try to persuade Democrats to vote for you..."

Ex-senator Russell
Feingold, D-WI (CPD)
So because Rove, who is a Republican political consultant, thinks Clinton would be the most difficult for his party to beat and because his strategy implies she would somehow be tougher on special interests than Sanders would, that must be true?  As a panelist on Fox News on Election Night 2012, Rove adamantly disputed the network's own projection of Obama's victory.  The producers at Fox were consequently required to obtain permission from a particular superior in order to schedule Rove to appear on the air.  Clinton asks us to believe an assessment by someone who failed to meet the standard of credibility set for him at the most infamously discreditable news channel in the US.

Maddow to Clinton:  "[W]hen our reporters... find voters who lean toward Sen. Sanders, ...the most frequent area of concern they [cite] is the issue of Wall St. and whether you are too close to it.  Last night, when you were asked about the amount of speaking fees you received from Goldman Sachs, you said, 'That's what they offered.'  Have you been too dismissive of voters' concerns about this issue...?"

Clinton:  "[A]fter I left... office, I did go on the speaking circuit as do many former officials, military leaders, journalists and others..."

How many of them have run for office after accepting millions of dollars for such speeches?  Why should whatever the answer to that question is alleviate concern about whether Clinton would give special treatment to interests from which she received such enormous personal benefit?

"[F]irms on Wall Street... wanted for me to talk about the world and what my experience had been as secretary of State...  I called for an end to the carried-interest loophole enjoyed by managers of hedge funds.  I proposed changes in compensation for CEOs.  I called for a consumer financial protection bureau before it was created."

Then why does she refuse to call for the release of the transcripts of those speeches?

"I think the best evidence of the Wall St. people's knowledge of where I have always stood is their attempt to beat me in this primary..."

Some on Wall St. are, perhaps due to Rove-style miscalculations.  But why do far more robber barons invest in Clinton's candidacy if they are without sound reasons to expect a return on investment?

Lewis (CPD)
"I understand pretty well how to stop them... and will prevent them from wrecking the economy again."

Maddow:  "Sen. Sanders, you criticized Secy. Clinton for those speaking fees from and those campaign donations from Wall Street.  What do you think of her defense?"

Sanders:  "...Goldman Sachs was recently... fined $5 billion by the federal government for fraud against investors...  [T]his is what a rigged economy, a corrupt campaign-finance system and a broken criminal-justice system are about...  No executive has been indicted after payment of... that fine...  Many economists, including Elizabeth Warren, who have studied this issue for a long time say we need a 21st-Century version of Glass-Steagall..."

Although Warren has not endorsed in this race, she has strongly implied who her preferred candidate is.

Todd to Clinton:  "Our next question comes through New England Cable News...  [T]he questioner writes...: 'I am concerned about the abuses Wall St. has committed with taxpayers' money,' and she asks whether you will release the transcripts of your speeches to Goldman Sachs.  She adds, 'Don't you think the voters have a right to know what was said?'  ...Are you willing to release the transcripts of all your paid speeches?...  [T]here were transcription services for all of them."

Clinton:  "I will look into it.  I don't know the status..."

Of what?  At least she answered with words.  Days earlier, she responded to that question with mere laughter.  That was reminiscent of this exchange from April 20.
Cecilia Vega of ABC:  "Did foreign entities receive any special treatment [by you as secretary of State] in exchange for... any... donations to the [Clinton] Foundation or [speaking fees to] your husband?"

Clinton:  "Well, we're back into the political season and, therefore, we will be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks, and I'm ready for that.  I know that comes, unfortunately, with the territory.  Of note, I think, is that the Republicans seem to talk only about me.  I don't know what they'd talk about if I were not in the race.  But I am in the race and, hopefully, we'll get on to the issues, and I look forward to that."
Huerta (Dept. of State)
I took that as a "Yes."

Clinton:  "Look at my... proposals...  We both want to reign in the excesses of Wall Street.  I also want to reign in the excesses of companies like Johnson Controls, which we bailed out..., and now it wants to avoid taxes.  I want to go after pharmaceutical companies... [that] increase prices with no regard for people's health.  If all we discuss is one part of our economy, and indeed one street in it, we miss the... big energy companies and the big picture.  I have a record of trying to go at the problems that actually exist.  I will continue that."

Sanders:  "...Wall St. is not just one street.  It is an entity of unbelievable economic and political power...  I believe corruption is rampant.  That major banks have reached multi-billion dollar settlements with the federal government amid a weak regulatory system tells me if we don't break up those banks, we'll have to bail them out again..."

Maddow to Sanders:  "...You... have railed against big-name American corporations like Boeing, General Electric, and Walmart.  But some big businesses in the US have helped advance progressive goals like the nationwide initiative to expand employment opportunities for veterans.  That was all about cooperation between the Obama administration and some big businesses."

That initiative was an insult to veterans, their families, and the entire public.

"Some of the thorniest problems in the Affordable Care Act were worked out in cooperation with big businesses."

That act is a thorny problem.

"Could you work with them or have you made enemies of them...?"

Sen. Warren, D-MA
(US Senate)
Sanders:  "Of course I could...  There are good corporations that perform... cutting-edge research and development.  We should be proud of them.  But many corporations have turned their back on American workers... by... going to China and shutting down in the US...  I will do my best to transform our trade policy and take on corporations who want to invest in low-income countries... rather than the US."

Maddow to Clinton:  "...Over 4,000 US troops are in Iraq to help fight ISIS.  US military families have borne a disproportionately large burden for 15 straight years of wars and multiple deployments.  Is Pres. Obama right to escalate the number of US troops fighting ISIS?"

Clinton:  "I think the president understands we must support the Arab and Kurdish fighters on the ground...  I agree with the president.  I will not send US combat troops to Syria or back to Iraq...  But we have special forces, we have trainers, we have military personnel who help with the airstrikes the US leads so we can try to take out the infrastructure of and leadership of ISIS.  Given the threat ISIS poses to the region and beyond, as we have sadly seen in our country, I think [an important task is]... to work with the Sunni tribes in Anbar Province and elsewhere so their fighters can also be deployed...  We must give more support to people on the ground in Syria and Iraq who must physically take the territory back."

Maddow:  "...If the strategic goal you describe requires... an ever-increasing number of Americans in Iraq and maybe in Syria, are you okay with the numbers increasing?"

Clinton:  "No.  I mean, that's a theoretical question and we don't know what the purpose of or size of the increase would be...  I think we're making some progress.  I want to intensify it..."

Todd:  "[Y]ou both voted to authorize the use of force in Afghanistan.  When Pres. Obama leaves office, there might be more than 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan.  For how long would those troops be there under President Sanders?"

Sanders:  "[O]ur job is to provide the equipment and air-support they need, and special forces when appropriate...  We can't simply withdraw tomorrow.  To do so would allow the Taliban or some other group to reclaim that country..."

Nixon (Oliver Atkins/
White House)
Clinton:  "...I would make an evaluation based on the circumstances at the time...  We see not just the Taliban but outposts of fighters who claim to be affiliated with ISIS...  We must build coalitions... to defeat those terrorist networks."

Todd to Sanders:  "...You have not proactively laid out a doctrine on foreign policy.  Why?"

Sanders:  "That's inaccurate.  I gave a speech at Georgetown about democratic-socialism and foreign-policy..."

Clinton:  "A group of experts on national security and on military intelligence issued a very concerning statement about Sen. Sanders's views on foreign policy..., pointing out comments he made, such as to invite Iranian troops to Syria to try to resolve the conflict there, putting them at the doorstep of Israel, and a request for cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  They can't stand each other and are engaged in a proxy battle..."

Half of those "experts" profit from the military-industrial complex.

Sanders:  "...Of course Iran and Saudi Arabia hate each other.  But [Secy. of State] John Kerry... has tried to persuade them to at least meet because ISIS threatens both."

Maddow:  "Secy. Clinton, ...Sen. Sanders called for the most aggressive possible move to normalize relations with Iran.  Your campaign criticized him for that...  [W]hy...?"

Clinton:  "...We must figure out how to deal with Iran as the principal state sponsor of terrorism.  Iran is destabilizing governments in the region.  Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon against Israel...  To normalize relations now would remove one of the biggest pieces of leverage we have for influence on Iranian behavior...  I believe we must take this step-by-step to try to reign in Iranian aggression..."

Sanders:  "I never said we should normalize relations with Iran now...  We must address its sponsorship of international terrorism.  But several years ago, people said, 'Normal relations with Cuba?  What a bad and silly idea...  They're our enemy.'  Well, change has come...  I... supported the agreement that prevents Iran from acquirement of a nuclear weapon."

Kerry (Dept. of State)
James Carter Jr., who was the last president to keep the US at peace for his entire tenure and has, in and out of office, made peace around the world, supports the idea of restoration of diplomatic relations between the US and Iran.  While those facts do not prove the idea to be best, he is an expert on peace.  In contrast, no number of people who attack on behalf of Clinton can undo her dreadful record on military policy.

Speaking of Carter:  As he sought the presidency, he accurately told the public, "I will never lie to you."  When Clinton was recently asked to make the same vow, she declined.

Todd to Sanders:  "...How would you rank North Korea, Iran and Russia in order of their threat to America's security now...?"

Sanders:  "...N. Korea is very strange because it is an isolated country that is run by a seemingly somewhat paranoid handful of dictators, or maybe just one, and has nuclear weapons.  I would put as much pressure as possible on China, which is one of the few major countries that significantly supports N. Korea...  [W]e must work closely with China to resolve the... problem...  And I worry about [Russian president Vladimir] Putin's military adventurism in Crimea and Ukraine."

Clinton:  "...We must worry about N. Korea, which... is working very hard on its ballistic missile capability.  Some of those plans could lead to a missile that might reach Hawaii if not the West Coast.  We must try to persuade the countries in the region to work with us to do all we can to confine and constrain N. Korea...  Russia [constantly pressures] our European allies, ...tries to move boundaries of post-WWII Europe, ...tries to set European countries against one another, seized territory, holds it in Crimea, and has begun to explore the possibility to make inroads in the Baltics.  Russia deeply supports [Syrian president Bashar al-]Assad because it wants a place in the Mideast, has a naval base in and an air base in Syria, and wants to keep them...  We must persuade the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to work for the common defense again.  We must do more to support our partners in NATO and send a clear message to Putin: there will be a response to that kind of belligerence...  The best way to do that is to put in more armor and put in more money from the Europeans so they contribute more to their defense."

Pres. Anwar Sadat of Egypt joins Carter and Prime Minister
Menachem Begin of Israel in signing the Framework for
Peace.  Carter brokered that agreement, which is
also known as the "Camp David Accords."  (WH)
Maddow to Clinton:  "[The] Republican nominee likely will want to privatize, or abolish, big parts of the Department of Veterans' Affairs...  How will you win the argument on that issue given the problems that have been exposed at the V.A. in the last few years?..."

Clinton:  "I'm absolutely against privatization of the V.A. and will do all I can to build on the reforms Sen. Sanders and others in Congress have passed to try to fix what's wrong with the V.A."

The said reform that Sanders spearheaded was one of the very few -- and was certainly the most significant -- of the bills the US government enacted in 2014.  In fact, from 1995-2005, throughout which the Republicans were the majority in the House, Sanders introduced more amendments that were passed by a roll-call vote than did any other member of that chamber.  Yet, Clinton continually claims she is the candidate who can "get things done."  The importance of which things get done cannot be overstated.

"There are a lot of issues about wait-times and services that must be fixed..."

Then why, other than to undercut appreciation for what Sanders accomplished, did she say dysfunction at the V.A. has "not been as widespread as it has been made out to be"?

Maddow to Sanders:  "[A]s a congressional leader on veterans' issues..., you've worked in a very bipartisan way..."

Sanders:  "...I worked with the American Legion, the VFW, the DAV, the Vietnam Vets, and virtually every other veterans' organization to craft the most comprehensive veterans' legislation in modern history.  On the floor of the Senate, every Democrat and only two Republicans voted for it.  We ended up with 56 votes but needed 60.  That is pathetic.  The legislation was supported by all the veterans' organizations and addressed many serious problems veterans face in health care and in delivery of benefits to them.  So, Republicans talk a good game about veterans but were not there to put money on the line to protect them.  I had to compromise.  John McCain, Jeff Miller and I put together what is probably the most comprehensive V.A. health care bill in modern history...  I had a hearing at which I asked representatives of all the veterans' groups what the quality of care at the V.A. is despite wait-times and other problems.  They all said 'Good,' 'Very good' or 'Excellent.'  We must strengthen the V.A., not privatize it."

The late Sen. Goldwater,
R-AZ (US Senate
Historical Office)
Maddow to Sanders:  "...The Republican presidential nominee in 1964 was Barry Goldwater, who was a hero of the conservative movement but far to the right of most in his party.  The Democratic presidential nominee in 1972 was George McGovern, who was a hero of liberals... but to the left of his party's mainstream.  Both of those nominees... were destroyed in the general election.  Even Democrats who love you worry about your potential fate in the general election.  I know that you have good poll-numbers against Republican front-runners.  But do you have a general-election strategy that is different from the way you seek the nomination?"

Goldwater and McGovern each ran against an incumbent president who had not been challenged seriously in the primaries of the given year.  Ever since presidential primaries began to exist, no president who avoided such a challenge has been denied a second term.  Obviously, Sanders would not have a task to unseat an incumbent.  The first polls by Gallup with regard to the general elections of 1964 and 1972 found Goldwater behind by 59 points and McGovern behind by 19, respectively.

Merely 16 states held Republican presidential primaries in 1964.  (Before 1972, the presidential nominations of the major parties were determined with little input from average voters.  Even many of the primaries that were held then were nonbinding.)  In the combined popular vote from them, Goldwater placed first but with a plurality of just 38%.  Because the current Democratic presidential contest is between two candidates, neither could be nominated with so small a share of its primary electorate.

Arguably, the landslide by which McGovern lost was attributable mainly to the following additional factors rather than to his liberalism.
  • McGovern asked the Democratic Nat'l Conv. to nominate the late Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D-MO) for the vice presidency.  A major-party presumptive presidential nominee's choice of a running mate is usually nominated with ease.  However, that convention entertained dozens of other candidacies for vice president.  As a result, McGovern's speech to accept his nomination was delayed until 2:48AM Eastern time.  Within two weeks, Eagleton's history of electroconvulsive therapy was made public.  McGovern stated support for Eagleton to stay on the ticket, then reversed himself.  Eagleton relinquished his nomination less than three weeks after he accepted it.
  • McGovern's Republican opponent -- Pres. Nixon -- refused to debate him.  But that was the last year in which the major-party presidential nominees did not debate each other.
  • Twelve days before the election, Nixon's national security advisor -- Henry Kissinger -- declared in reference to Vietnam, "We believe that peace is at hand."  That comment essentially negated the core of McGovern's platform.  That core was a plan to immediately withdraw all US forces from Indochina.  But nothing can deprive Sanders's campaign of its paramount argument.

The late Sen. McGovern,
D-SD (US Senate
Historical Office)
Sanders:  "A general election is different than a primary/caucus process.  But... the last poll I saw... of NH... had me ahead of Donald Trump by 19 and the secretary ahead of him by one.  There were also pretty large margins in IA and Wisconsin..."

The same NBC/WSJ/Marist poll Sanders cited with regard to NH showed him ahead of Trump in IA by 13 but Clinton ahead of Trump there by only eight.  Sanders was also referring to a survey by Marquette University that found him ahead of Trump by 18 in WI but Clinton ahead of Trump there by only nine.

Maddow:  "Secy. Clinton, your campaign, your surrogates, and people who endorse you have suggested or said if Sen. Sanders were the nominee, Democrats would suffer nationwide and the chance of Democratic retention of the White House would drop...  [Do] you believe he would win the general election?"

Clinton:  "...I'm concerned about... the views of many Democrats who know their states, who know the difficulty to win a general election, which will put the nominee into the spotlight.  I've been vetted.  There's hardly anything you don't know about me..."

That's debatable.  Nonetheless, while Biden grieved the death of his son, the super-PAC with which Clinton's campaign directly coordinates searched vigorously for ammunition to use against Biden if he entered this race.  Therefore, if there were any material that could be of use to significantly damage Sanders's candidacy, Clinton's team would probably have found and used such information by now. 

Clinton continued, "I think... whoever is in that position... will face the most withering onslaught.  So, I think I am the person who can do all aspects of the job and is best prepared to take the case to the Republicans..."

What case?  On health-care, trade, military policy, and campaign finance, Trump could easily attack Clinton from her left.  And even though she is less likely to defeat the Republican nominee than Sanders is, she was not asked if she has a strategy for the general election.

Maddow to Clinton:  "[Y]ou said that capital punishment has a place in a very few federal cases but that you 'would breathe a sigh of relief' if the Supreme Court were to abolish the death penalty nationwide."

Eagleton (US Senate
Historical Office)
Once again, Clinton had tried to take two sides of an issue.

Maddow continued, "Do you still support capital punishment...?"

Clinton:  "Yes.  I hope the Supreme Court will rule that any state, to continue capital punishment, must meet the highest standards of evidentiary proof and effective assistance of counsel...  I have much more confidence in the federal system than in the state systems and would reserve the federal death penalty for particularly heinous crimes, like terrorism..."

Execution of terrorists makes them into martyrs.

"I deeply disagree with the way in which too many states implement the death penalty.  If the Supreme Court were to separate the federal system from the state systems, I think that would be appropriate."

Sanders:  "[P]eople, including African-Americans, have been executed when they were not guilty...  [I]n a world of so much violence, I don't believe government should be part of the killing.  People who commit these terrible crimes should be imprisoned for life..."

Maddow:  "...MI caused the lead-poison... and... has not fixed it.  In Flint, there is no door-to-door delivery of clean water and no replacement of lead pipes.  Secy. Clinton, would you order a federal response that would get it right regardless of the wishes of the state?"

Clinton:  "Absolutely...  This is an emergency...  [W]hat is being done is insufficient...  [W]hat should be done... includes repair of the pipes [and] includes... health care and educational embellishments people there may need...  If MI won't do it, there must be ways for the federal government to act, bill the state for it, and hold the state accountable."

Maddow:  "Sen. Sanders, are there things that Pres. Obama could order to be done now in Flint but that are not being done and that you would order to be done?"

Sanders:  "Absolutely.  I think the secretary described the situation appropriately...  One wonders what kind of response there would have been if Flint were a white suburb..."

Sawant
("Democracy Now!")
Todd to Clinton:  "...You supported NAFTA in the '90s, then opposed it when you ran for president in 2008.  As secretary of State, you supported the TPP...  But you now oppose it."

That mention of the TPP was a surprise.

"Should Democrats expect for you to support those trade agreements again if elected?"

Yes.

Clinton:  "...I voted against... the Central American Free Trade Agreement because I did not believe it was in the best interest of the workers of America...  After I saw the outcome [of the negotiation of the TPP], I opposed it...  [T]rade must be reciprocal...  But we have failed to provide the safety net American workers need in order to win in the global economy.  So I'm not interested only in what's in the trade agreement.  I helped renegotiate the trade agreement we inherited from Pres. Bush with South Korea.  We got the UAW on board because of changes we made.  So there are possible changes I believe would make a difference.  But I do not support the TPP as it is written."

Todd:  "Sen. Sanders, ...you have never supported any trade deal while in Congress.  If you were to continue that pattern as president, how would you prevent China, which will make deals around the world, from essentially setting the rules of global trade?"

Sanders:  "I believe in trade but not in unfettered free trade.  I believe in fair trade that works for the working families of this country..."

Was Clinton listening?  Anyway, that's part of why the Working Families Party gave its first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate to Sanders over Clinton by a vote of 87.4% to 11.5%.

"I opposed NAFTA and was on the picket line against it...  [T]he trade agreements over the last 30 years were written by and for corporate America.  Those agreements resulted in the loss of 60K factories in America since 2001, resulted in the loss of millions of decent-paying jobs, and resulted in a downward spiral in wages..."


West
("Democracy Now!")
Debate VI | Thu., Feb. 11 | Milwaukee, WI | PBS

Co-moderator Judy Woodruff to Sanders:  "[H]ow big of a role do you foresee for the federal government?  It already spends 21% of the economy.  How much larger would government be in the lives of Americans under a Sanders presidency?  ...Would there be any limit on the size and role of government?"

Sanders:  "Of course.  But given the massive inequality of income and wealth, ...the government has a moral responsibility to play a vital role in making sure all our people have a decent standard of living."

Clinton:  "I think the best analysis I've seen of Sen. Sanders's plan concludes it would probably increase the size of the federal government by about 40%..."

So?  Also, why did she not specify who conducted that "analysis"?

"For us to explain our proposals is important...  We should level with the people about what we can do to make sure they receive quality, affordable health care."

Sanders:  "Let's level with the people.  Secy. Clinton has said I want to dismantle the ACA...  I have fought for my entire life to make health care a right for all people...  One in five Americans can't afford the drugs their doctors prescribe for them...  I don't know which economists Secy. Clinton talks to."

Perhaps she doesn't, either.

"However, the family in the middle of the economy would pay $500 more in taxes but $5K less for health care."

Clinton:  "We both have the goal of universal health care coverage.  'Obamacare' was originally called 'Hillarycare.'"

That is false.  The ACA is essentially what the Republicans offered as an alternative to the proposal that was designed under Clinton's charge in 1993.

"...I staunchly support... the ACA because I know how hard it was to get done..."

Jackson
("Democracy Now!")
How is difficulty of achievement directly correlated to value?

"I think the public deserves to know specifically how this would work.  Medicare-for-All would end the ACA, which is based on... exchanges and on a subsidy system...  So, if you propose Medicare-for-All, level with people about what they would have at the end of the process..."

Despite the mysterious name of the initiative, I figured out that people would end up with Medicare.  You read it here first.

"[M]any people would be worse off than they are now."

Who?  I mean, other than executives of health insurance corporations and of pharmaceutical corporations, who are subsidized by the ACA.

Sanders:  "That's absolutely inaccurate...  If we in this country have the courage to take on the drug companies, insurance companies, and medical equipment suppliers, we can guarantee health care to all people in a much more cost-effective way."

Clinton:  "[W]e are not England.  We are not France."

That's true.

"We inherited a system that was set up during WWII."

So don't think the system is outdated.

"One hundred seventy million Americans get health insurance through their employers..."

So?  Why continue to burden employers with the responsibility to provide health insurance to their employees?

"[W]hat Pres. Obama succeeded in doing was to build on our health care system so 90% of Americans are now covered."

LaDuke
("Democracy Now!")
He built on an irreparably defective foundation.

"We must cover the other 10%.  I far prefer that and the chance of that succeeding..."

So do the donors who have made her presidential campaign the one with the most money from the insurance industry, the health-services & HMO industry, the pharmaceutical & health-product industry, and the medical supply industry.

Co-moderator Gwendolyn Ifill to Clinton:  "...When exit pollsters this week asked Democrats in NH how they feel about the federal government, 61% said 'angry' or at least 'dissatisfied.'  Given that you and Sen. Sanders propose expansion of government in almost every area of our lives, should Americans who fear government fear you?"

Each question by that point was based on the unjustifiable argument used by libertarians -- and selectively by conservatives -- according to which government is inherently bad.  Also, Ifill baselessly implied that Democrats who are dissatisfied with the federal government are that way because they think government is too big.  "Fear government" for what reason?

Clinton:  "No...  I am very specific about where I would raise the money for my agenda, how much it would cost, and how I would advance it...  [P]romises we can't keep would further prevent Americans from understanding we, together, can change people's lives."

Clinton voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq even though the Bush-Cheney administration provided no estimate of how much that invasion, the subsequent occupation, and the care for the veterans of it would cost.  That amount is $2T so far.

Sanders has governed as a chief executive who not only delivered but did so in a way that inspired a rise in the number of his constituents who engaged in the political process and who did so in support of his leadership.  From his election as mayor to his re-election at the end of his first term, voter turnout increased by 42% and his share of the vote increased from 43% to 52%.  During Sanders's fourth term, US News & World Report named him one of the 20 best mayors in this country.

Ifill:  "I haven't heard either of you put a price tag on--"

Clinton:  "My price tag is about $100B a year...  I will not throw us further into debt.  I believe I can get the needed money via taxes on the wealthy [and] via closure of loopholes..."

Perkins (nysenate.gov)
Sanders:  "[E]ach of my proposals includes how to pay for it..."

Clinton:  "I think we both have the goal to try to make college affordable for all young Americans...  However, ...Sen. Sanders's plan rests on making sure that governors like Scott Walker contribute $23B on the first day to make college free."

Sanders:  "No."

Clinton:  "I'm skeptical your governor cares enough... to make a commitment like that."

Woodruff to Clinton:  "[Y]ou and your campaign have made a clear appeal to women...  But in the Democratic primary in NH, 55% of women voted for Sen. Sanders...  Former secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who strongly supports you, said on Saturday that 'there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other.'  Do you agree with her?"

Clinton:  "I think she has said that for... about 25 years...  [A]s to whether we'll have... some opportunity for women to go as far as their work and talent take them, I think we still have some barriers to knock down..."

I'll take that as a "Yes," especially because Clinton reacted enthusiastically to Albright's remark, which she made while she specifically chided female voters who did not intend to cast their ballots for Clinton.  In the same speech, Albright accused those voters of ignorance about the status of women in the US.  Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is a surrogate for Clinton, did the same on MSNBC on Dec. 16.
Andrea Mitchell:  "[I]n the polls, ...older women... support... Clinton; younger women, less so.  What do you think is her problem in attracting millennials?"

McCaskill:  "I think part of it is that, ...[to them, Clinton's candidacy] does not feel as... historic as it does to some of us who understand what having a woman as president would mean..."
A similar comment was made by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who, as chairperson of the Democratic Nat'l Committee, is not allowed to endorse any primary candidate but has abused her power in order to aid her own candidacy and Clinton's.
Ana Marie Cox of The NY Times: "Do you notice a generational divide between women in their excitement about Hillary Clinton?"
Schultz:  "I see a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided."
Albright (WH)
Neither moderator asked Clinton about the remark by feminist icon Gloria Steinem, who is a surrogate for Clinton, according to which young women who support Sanders do so mainly to seduce men.  It was especially odd because Sanders's record on women's rights is so good that Steinem named him "an honorary woman" in a speech she delivered in support of his congressional re-election bid against a woman in 1996.  In what proved to be an ironic part of that address, Steinem shared the following observation about the presidential campaign of 1960.
"Nixon said, 'Sen. Kennedy and I... have the same goals.  We just have minor differences about how to reach them...'  Now, in history, those two guys have turned out to be pretty different [from each other.  But Nixon's] tactic to mask the difference was so successful, ...he almost was elected then..."
Sanders:  "...I... have... a lifetime 100% pro-choice voting record.  I... have been supported by very significant majorities of women in my state over the years..."

Clinton:  "...I do not ask people to support me because I'm a woman..."

That is false.

Clinton:  "...I... am... endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund because I've been a leader on these issues."

Or maybe because the daughter of the president of Planned Parenthood has been on Clinton's campaign staff for the past year.  Or maybe because Medicare-for-All would diminish business for Planned Parenthood.  That speculation of mine is because Sanders is more favorable to reproductive choice than is Clinton, who favors some restrictions on it, refuses to specify which, and cosponsored a "religious freedom" bill introduced by then-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) that would have created a plausible defense for some efforts to frustrate reproductive choice.

"Time and time again, I have taken on the vested interests who would keep women's health care decisions the province of the government...  NARAL endorsed me because we need... someone who votes right but, much more than that, leads the efforts to protect the hard-fought gains women have made..."

Viewer's question:  "WI is number one in incarceration of black males, according to a study by the Univ. of WI, which found that WI's incarceration rate for black men is 13% -- nearly double the national rate.  What can we do across the nation to address this?"

McCaskill (US Senate
Historical Office)
Sanders:  "...We must end over-policing in black neighborhoods.  Blacks and whites use marijuana at about equal rates.  Four times as many blacks are arrested for it.  Far more blacks are stopped for traffic violations than whites are.  Sentencing for blacks is higher than for whites...  I hope we all are sick of seeing videos of unarmed people, often black, shot by police officers..."

Clinton:  "I completely agree with Sen. Sanders...  We must go after sentencing, which is a problem here in WI because much of what happens in the criminal justice system is not on the federal level.  Systemic racism also exists in this state and in others in education, in employment, in factors that too often result from young people -- particularly men -- being pushed out of school early and denied opportunities for employment..."

Sanders:  "I agree with Secy. Clinton...  We... are failing abysmally... in the very high rate of recidivism.  People are released from jail without the education, job training, and resources they need in order to get their lives together.   And then... they end up in jail again...  At the end of my first term as president, we will no longer have more people in jail than any other country does..."

Woodruff:  "Secy. Clinton, I recently talked with a 23-year-old black woman who voted for Pres. Obama because she thought race relations would improve under his leadership.  Hardly anyone believes they have improved.  Why do you think race relations would be better under a Clinton presidency?  What would you do that the first black president has been unable to do?"

Clinton:  "I am not sure I agree completely with that assessment...  Blacks, more than any other group, were helped by the ACA to obtain insurance.  But we also know a lot more than we did.  There is much more social media.  Everyone has a cellphone.  So, we see the dark side of the remnants of systemic racism we must root out...  We have much more information about what must be done to fix our criminal justice system..."

What information about systemic racism did Clinton lack prior to widespread ownership of cell phones with cameras in them?

"So my responsibility will be to make sure we move forward to solve these problems that are now in the open and undeniable, to use the Dept. of Justice as it was used when it said it will sue Ferguson, Missouri, which entered into a consent agreement and then tried to back out of it.  So we'll enforce the law..."

Schultz
(Maryjane Porter/
Dept. of the Army)
Sanders:  "[T]he disastrous and illegal behavior on Wall St. hurt millions of lives.  People lost their jobs, homes, and life savings.  The black and Latino communities were hit especially hard.  The black community lost half its wealth due to the collapse on Wall Street.  Black childhood poverty is at 35%...  [T]he unbelievable rate of incarceration... leaves children without a father or even a mother...  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  Sadly, a lot of those poor people are black."

Woodruff:  "So, race relations would improve under a Sanders presidency?"

Sanders:  "Absolutely, because... millions of jobs would be created for... young adults so they won't hang out on street corners.  We'll make sure that kids stay in school or can get a college education...  [W]hen low-income youths of any color have the opportunity to get their lives together, they end up in the productive economy, not in jail..."

Ifill:  "...By the middle of the century, the US will be majority nonwhite.  Our public schools already are.  Do working-class whites, who are about to be outnumbered, are underemployed in many cases, and, as one study found, die sooner than they did, have a reason to be resentful?"

Clinton:  "[I]n... white communities, there is increasing... addiction...  I've proposed... a plan to revitalize coal country.  Coal field communities have been hard hit by changes in the economy...  I particularly appreciate the 10-20-30 proposal by Rep. Jim Clyburn to try to spend more federal dollars in communities with persistent generational poverty..., whose jobs no longer provide for them or no longer exist there..."

Ifill:  "Senator, I want for you to respond to that but also tell me if I am wrong to describe this as a matter of race."

Sanders:  "[W]e can talk about it as a racial issue and as a general economic issue.  The wages for high-school graduates, regardless of race, are significantly down because of disastrous trade policies [such as] NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with China...  [T]hose policies enable corporations to shut down in the US and throw millions of people onto the street.  To work in a factory is not the greatest job but can provide a middle-class wage, decent benefits and a pension.  Many decent jobs that whites and blacks had in manufacturing are gone...  That is why there is massive despair all over this country.  People who have worked for their entire lives make two-thirds or half of what they used to make.  Their kids have a hard time in their search for work..."

Steinem (WH)
Woodruff:  "...Pres. Obama has issued executive actions to permit some 5M undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows without fear of deportation and obtain work permits.  Would you go further than that?  If so, specifically how?  Should an undocumented family watching this debate... rest easy and not fear further deportations under a Sanders presidency?"

Sanders:  "Yes...  [W]e must pass comprehensive immigration reform... [that creates] a path to citizenship.  I agree with Pres. Obama's executive orders to protect families because the House refused to act.  I would go further...  The guiding light for me on this issue is to unite families...  I disagree with Pres. Obama's recent deportation policies..."

Clinton:  "I support the president's executive actions and hope the Supreme Court will uphold them.  I think there is legal authority for them.  I oppose the raids and inhumane treatment of families in... the night...  We should deport criminals, not hard-working immigrant families, who... often keep economies going in many places in the US.  I was an original sponsor of the DREAM Act and voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007.  Sen. Sanders voted against it then...  [W]e need... a path to citizenship..."

Sanders:  "[W]hen children had fled horrendously violent areas of Central America..., I thought we should allow those children to stay in the US.  The secretary disagreed.  I voted against the immigration bill in 2007 because the Southern Poverty Law Center... said the guest-worker program in the bill was akin to slavery.  The program would have let guest workers be abused, exploited and, if they were to defend their rights, deported.  The League of United Latin American Citizens..., the AFL-CIO, and some of the most progressive members of Congress opposed the bill for that reason..."

Clinton:  "[W]e... had to send a message to families and communities in Central America not to send their children on that dangerous journey in the hands of smugglers.  I've called for the end of family detention..."

Sanders:  "[C]hildren... are fleeing because their lives are at stake.  I don't think we should use them to send a message.  We should welcome them and do our best to help them get their lives together."

Clinton:  "[M]any of them were treated terribly while they tried to reach our border."

Yes, as opposed to perhaps being treated lethally where they originated.

"I've called for counsel for every child so no child must face any process without having an advocate..."

Viewer's question:  "My father gets just $16 monthly from Medicaid's... food-assistance... for low-income seniors.  How would you work to ensure that the basic needs of low-income seniors are met?"

Pres. John Kennedy
during the speech in
which he successfully
challenged the US to,
within the 1960s, send
a mission to the moon.
(Robert Knudsen / WH)
Sanders:  "A nation should be judged... by how it treats its most vulnerable... people.  By that standard, we're not particularly doing well.  We have a higher rate of childhood poverty than--"

Woodruff:  "What?"

Sanders:  "--almost any other major country has."

Woodruff:  "That has nothing to do with it."

Sanders:  "There are millions of seniors--"

Woodruff:  "I can't even."

Sanders:  "...trying to get by on less than $13K a year from Social Security...  Secy. Clinton and I differ on this issue.  I have long supported the proposal to lift the cap on taxable income that comes into the Social Security trust fund, starting at $250K.  If we were to do that, ...we... could expand Social Security by $1,300 a year for people who now receive less than $16K...  The top 1.5% would pay more in taxes.  But a great nation like ours should not be one where elderly people cut their pills in half, lack decent nutrition, and can't heat their homes.  I would do all I can to expand Social Security benefits for seniors and for disabled veterans."

Clinton:  "...We both believe more money must go into the Social Security system.  I'm looking at a couple of different ways."

What happened to the obligation to be "very specific"?

"One, which you mentioned, Senator, but also trying to expand the current tax on passive income of wealthy people...  I have a... different approach to what to do with that initially.  First, rather than expand benefits for everyone, I want to take care of low-income seniors who had low-wage jobs.  I want to take care of women.  When Social Security was started, not very many women worked.  Women have been disadvantaged ever since.  They do not get credit for caretaking.  Widows are often hardest hit.  When their spouse dies, they can lose up to half of their Social Security monthly payment..."

Sanders:  "...My proposal is essentially the one on which Barack Obama campaigned in 2008.  You opposed it then.  I hope you will come on board... asking the top 1.5% to pay a bit more, including on their passive income, so the elderly and the disabled veterans can live with security and dignity..."

Belafonte
("Democracy Now!")
Clinton:  "...I have not seen the proposal you describe..."

Sanders:  "That's my bill..."

Clinton:  "...I'm interested in making sure we get the maximum revenue from those who can well afford to provide it..."

Woodruff:  "Secy. Clinton, your campaign recently criticized Sen. Sanders for having attended Democratic Party fundraisers from which you say he benefited..."

As part of that criticism, Clinton falsely claimed that "Sen. Sanders took about $200K from Wall St. firms... through the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee."

Sanders:  "...Secy. Clinton's super-PAC... received $25M in the last reporting period, including $15M from Wall Street..."

That super-PAC also raised $3.5M from the miscellaneous finance industry, $750K from the pharmaceutical & health-products industry, and $400K from the real-estate industry.

Clinton:  "...Then-Sen. Obama... was the recipient of the largest number of Wall St. donations of anyone who ran on the Democratic side ever...  [H]e took on Wall Street..."

He did so only minimally, as Sanders indicates below.

Clinton continued, "So, let's not imply that Pres. Obama or I would not take on any vested interest... to do what's best for the American people."

Sanders:  "Let's not insult the intelligence of the American people.  Why do Wall St., the pharmaceutical industry and the fossil fuel industry make huge campaign-donations?  Just for the fun of it?  They want to just throw money around?  Does it have any connection to the US having the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs...?  I voted for Dodd-Frank and got an important amendment into it...  [But]... that law doesn't go anywhere near far enough.  Wall St. and major banks have paid $200B in fines since the meltdown.  Meanwhile, none of their executives have been prosecuted."

Clinton:  "[B]ecause of Dodd-Frank, we have a process that the president, the Federal Reserve and others can use if any bank poses a systemic risk...  We can use Dodd-Frank to break up the banks if that's appropriate..."

Glover
("Democracy Now!")
How does she define "appropriate" in this matter?

Viewer's question:  "Are there any areas of government you'd like to reduce?"

Oh, that again?

Sanders:  "Many...  [T]here is enormous waste, inefficiency and bureaucracy throughout government..."

Clinton:  "Absolutely.  There are programs that I think are duplicative, are redundant, and do not produce the results the people deserve.  I think many training programs and education programs can be streamlined and put into a much better format so if we continue them, they can be more useful...  I intend look hard at every part of the federal government and do an analysis..."

Sanders:  "[T]he Dept. of Defense... is the major federal agency that has been unable to be audited.  I believe there are many cost overruns as well as wasteful and duplicative activities there."

Ifill:  "...Americans are increasingly worried that attacks abroad are coming home, that they are already here...  More than two-thirds of Democrats who voted in the NH primary are worried their children might be sent to fight in wars we can't win.  Those voters fret that the next attack is just around the corner and we are not ready.  Are we?"

Clinton:  "I think we are readier than we used to be.  But we must undertake a constant effort to be as ready as we need to be.  We have made many improvements in our domestic security since 9/11.  We have been able to foil and prevent attacks, yet we see the terrible attack in San Bernardino and know we haven't done enough...  We must go after terrorist networks, predominantly ISIS...  We must continue to work with the Iraqi Army so it will be better prepared to advance on some of the other strongholds in Iraq... when able to do so.  We must cut off the flow of foreign funds...  At home, we must improve coordination between federal, state and local law enforcement.  We need the best possible intelligence from our own sources and from sources overseas.  That can be a real-time fusion effort to get information where it's needed...  After 9/11, we in NY told the public to report anything suspicious they see or hear.  We must do that nationwide...  [W]e must form a coalition of Muslim nations.  I know how to do that.  I put together the coalition that imposed the sanctions on Iran that got us to the negotiation table...  So, this must be looked at overall and we must go at it from every possible angle..."

Rep. Jefferson
Miller, R-FL (CPD)
Sanders:  "...Secy. Clinton... has enormous experience in foreign affairs after being secretary of State for four years...  But judgment matters as well..."

Clinton:  "[T]he most important counterterrorism judgment of the first four years of the Obama administration was... the very difficult decision of whether to advise the president to go after Bin Laden...  I got the briefings and recommended that the president go forward.  Not all of his top national security advisers agreed with that..."

Sanders:  "[I]n her book and in the last debate, Secy. Clinton noted she received... mentorship from Henry Kissinger...  Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of State in... modern history...  I am proud to say he is not my friend.  I will not take advice from him.  Kissinger's actions with regard to Cambodia -- when the US bombed that country and overthrew Prince Sihanouk -- created the instability that allowed for the rise of Pol Pot and of the Khmer Rouge, who then butchered some 3M innocent people in what was one of the worst genocides in history."

Clinton:  "Journalists asked you who advises you on foreign policy.  We still don't know."

Sanders:  "It ain't Henry Kissinger."

Clinton:  "That's fine.  I listen to a wide variety of people who have expertise in various areas.  Whatever your complaints about him are, I think his having opened China, with which we have one of our most challenging relationships, and his ongoing relationships with Chinese leaders are incredibly useful for the US...  [P]eople with whom we may disagree on certain things may have some insights and relationships that are important for the president to understand..."

Kissinger does not blend into that "wide variety."  He is a war criminal who was a central figure in the second-most corrupt federal administration in US history.  Kissinger had a major role in the unjust killing of many millions of people -- across not only Cambodia but Vietnam, Laos, East Timor, and Chile.  In Vietnam, tens of thousands of Americans died in the war he helped prolong for years.  Clinton does not merely hear Kissinger out when an issue about which he might have unique knowledge arises.  She regularly spends vacations with him in the Dominican Republic. 

Kissinger, Clinton (Dept. of State)
Sanders:  "...Kissinger, during the Vietnam era--"

Woodruff:  "Oh, God."

Sanders:  "--talked about... the 'great threat' of China.  Then, after the war, he opened relations with China and pushed trade agreements that resulted in loss of American jobs as corporations moved to China...  He urged American companies to... move to China..."

Woodruff to Sanders:  "...Tonight, Secy. Kerry announced an apparent agreement with Russia that could lead to the first ceasefire in the Syrian civil war in five years...  In the last few weeks, Russia has bombed in a way that benefits Assad and does not attack ISIS.  When dealing with Russia, how hard are you prepared to be?  Are you prepared to institute further economic sanctions?  Would you be prepared to move militarily if Russia were to move on Eastern Europe?..."

Sanders:  "...I congratulate Secy. Kerry and the president on their work on that agreement...  What is happening in Syria is a horror: hundreds of thousands of people have been killed... and people are forced to flee their country.  I think we must do our best to develop positive relations with Russia.  But Russia's aggression in Crimea and in Ukraine created a situation in which Pres. Obama and NATO correctly... say we must send more of our troops to that part of the world so Putin will know... he will not get away with aggression...  We must put more money into, and work with, NATO to protect Eastern Europe against any Russian aggression."

Clinton:  "With respect to Syria, ...[t]he agreement on humanitarian relief must now be implemented because there are... starved people throughout Syria.  The agreement on a ceasefire, though, must be implemented more quickly than by the schedule to which the Russians agreed.  Russia wanted to buy time...  Secy. Kerry is... trying to move that ceasefire up as quickly as possible.  But the Security Council of the United Nations finally adopted a resolution.  At its core is an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva.  That agreement set forth a ceasefire"

Kirk (US Senate
Historical Office)
That is false.

"and attempted to bring the parties at stake in Syria together for a political resolution...  Iran is a big player.  In addition to Russia, there are Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others who believe they have very important interests in this matter.  This is an area in which I disagree with Sen. Sanders, who called for Iranian troops"

Sanders:  "No."

Clinton:  "to help try to end the civil war in Syria.  To put Iranian troops next to Israel would be a grave mistake."

How?

"His suggestion to try to persuade Iran and Saudi Arabia to work together is equally a nonstarter."

Why?

"So, let's support what Secy. Kerry and the president are doing."

Kerry is trying to persuade Iran and Saudi Arabia to work together, as Sanders noted in the previous debate.

"But let's hope for an accelerated ceasefire because I fear that Russia will continue to bomb and try to do all it can to destroy what's left of the opposition.  Russia has not fought ISIS or any other terrorist group.  So, as we get a ceasefire and maybe some humanitarian corridors, terrorist groups will remain on the doorstep of others in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, etc.  So, ...let's try to implement the agreement with Russia."

Sanders:  "[W]e must do all we can to someday achieve decent relations with Iran, as we achieved them... with Cuba -- I hope we will end the trade embargo with Cuba as well -- and maybe pressure Iran into ending its support for international terrorism.  I believe the best way to make peace is to be aggressive and principled, to have the goal of improved relations, to work with people, and to make demands of them..."

Grayson (Collection of
the US House of Reps.)
Clinton:  "I respectfully disagree.  I think we have achieved a great deal with the agreement to put a lid on the Iranian nuclear weapons program..."

That is false.  There is no evidence to prove that Iran had a nuclear weapons program at any time since 2003.

"Iran must leave Syria... and quit attempts to ship rockets into Gaza that can be used against Israel.  We have a lot of work to do with Iran before we move toward normal relations with it."

Ifill:  "You both mentioned the humanitarian tragedies that have been an outgrowth in part from what has happened in Syria and Libya.  More than 1M refugees entered Europe in 2015.  Another 76K did last month.  Nearly 400 people have been lost at sea this year as they crossed the Mediterranean.  Reportedly, 10K children are missing...  What should the US do, Secy. Clinton?"

Clinton:  "I am pleased NATO... will patrol the Mediterranean, in the Aegean, to try to interdict the smugglers and prevent the kind of tragedies we have seen... [and] to prevent entry of more refugees into the European Union.  Of special significance is cooperation with both Turkey and Greece to do this...  We should back up the recent donor's conference to make sure we have made our contribution to try to deal with the enormous cost these refugees pose to Turkey and to members of the EU in particular...  So, the US must stand with our friends and allies in Europe.  We must provide financial support to them, we must provide the NATO support to back up the mission that is ongoing, and we must take properly-vetted refugees."

Sanders:  "[W]e should [not] turn our backs on women and children who left their homes with nothing...  [S]ome very wealthy countries in that part of the world -- Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- have a responsibility as well.  I think the world must unite to deal with this horrific crisis..."

Clinton:  "[T]oday, Sen. Sanders said Pres. Obama failed at presidential leadership..."

Joe Biden (Teddy Wade/
Dept. of the Army)
Not exactly, but what Sanders did say is true.

"That was not the first time Sen. Sanders criticized him."

Off with Bernie's head!

"Sen. Sanders wrote a foreword"

That is false.  She was referring to a blurb, not a foreword.

"for a book that... argues voters should have buyer's remorse about Pres. Obama..."

That is false.  The book is about why voters do have buyer's remorse about Pres. Obama.  The blurb is as follows.  Brace yourself.
"Bill Press makes the case why, long after taking the oath of office, the next president of the United States must continue to rally the people who elected him or her on behalf of progressive causes.  That is the only way real change will happen.  Read this book."
Clinton continued, "I couldn't disagree more with those comments."

In other words, her presidency would be business-as-usual because she would not make a significant effort to bring public pressure on Congress for the "things" she says she would like to get "done."  That is unsurprising, given that she has already demonstrated willingness to let Republicans frame the discourse.

"Maybe that's because I understand that Pres. Obama inherited the... financial crisis and the antipathy of the Republicans in Congress...  The criticism from Sen. Sanders about our president is something I expect from Republicans, not from a candidate for the Democratic nomination to succeed him."

She expects that Republicans will constructively critique Obama from his left?

Sanders:  "Madam Secretary, that is a low blow.  I have worked with Pres. Obama for the last seven years.  When he became president, we were losing 800K jobs a month, the deficit was $1.4T, and the global financial system was near collapse.  Due to his efforts... against unprecedented -- I was there in the Senate -- Republican obstructionism, we have made enormous progress.  But we live in a democratic society.  A senator has the right to disagree with the president...  So I have voiced criticism.  Maybe you haven't."

Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH
(US Senate
Historical Office)
She has.  For instance, on foreign policy, she has criticized Obama from his right.  However, although she used to frequently say, "I'm not running for Pres. Obama's third term," she deems feigned adoration of him to be expedient now.

Sanders continued, "But the blurb you mentioned says the next president... must aggressively bring people into the political process...  [T]o suggest I have not been supportive of the president is unfair...  Have you ever disagreed with a president?  I suspect you have."

Clinton:  "Senator, I am not concerned about disagreement on issues...  [T]hose personal--"

Sanders:  "Ugh."

Clinton:  "--assessments and charges are ones I find particularly troubling."

She finds they provide a particularly easy way for her to pander.

Sanders:  "One of us ran against Barack Obama.  I did not."

Clinton said in her closing statement, "We agree we must remove unaccountable money in politics...  But I am not a single-issue candidate...  [W]e must overcome... the barriers that hold... back... any... American who feels put down... by racism, by sexism, or by discrimination against the LGBT community..."

For Clinton to imply that Sanders is a single-issue candidate is false, obviously, but is just one way in which she attempts to distract the public from the problem that must indeed be solved in order for the government to effectively address other major problems.  She employs the classic tactic through which the ruling class inflames divisions of identity (color, ethnicity, national origin, region, religion, sex, sexual orientation, etc.) so the workers might lack the unity necessary to end the oppression of the working class.

Clinton has played on racial sentiment from different angles.  She pretends to be offended by what she alleges is Republican-style disrespect from Sanders toward Obama.  But in the cycle of 2008, Clinton and her campaign race-baited against him.

Wellstone, D-MN (US
Senate Historical Office)
In this cycle, she has falsely cast herself as a victim of sexism.  Surrogates of hers have painted her the same way.  An example came after Jeffrey Weaver, who manages Sanders's campaign and was evidently tired of the narrative of "inevitability," joked to a reporter that after Sanders vanquishes Clinton, he will consider her for vice president.  Various people -- such as, ironically, leaders of the officially sexist group EMILY's List -- decried the comment as sexist.  But by their logic, Clinton made a racist remark when she, while losing to Obama, said she was considering him as a choice to be her running mate.

Also on the subject of sexism:  Clinton chose David Brock to head the super-PAC with which her campaign directly coordinates.  Brock is a political hitman whose best-known work was a book he wrote on behalf of conservatives to libel Prof. Anita Hill because, when the Senate considered its confirmation of then-Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, she testified about his sexual harassment of her.  The most infamous line from that book described Hill as "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty."

Clinton casts herself as a champion of the gay population even though
  • her record on LGBT rights pales in contrast to that of Sanders
  • her excuse for her prior support for "DOMA" is unsubstantiated
  • her husband said she complained of, in his words, "a general discomfort" from nearness to gays whom she deemed to be "acting out or pushing her to the limit."  Her "conservative religious temperament," he suggested, is what caused her to be "a little put off by some" issues of gay rights
  • a singer whose endorsement Clinton enthusiastically accepted and who has performed at official events of Clinton's campaign is Katy Perry, whose work includes homophobic lyrics.

Clinton continued, "The big financial interests along with drug, insurance and oil companies have too much influence.  But if we were to stop that tomorrow, ...[t]here would still be governors like Walker trying to rip out the heart of the middle class by preventing the ability to organize for better wages and working conditions..."

Clinton previously said the middle class was built by capitalism, not labor unions.  Concentration of wealth is clearly connected to suppression of unions.  During her six years on the board of Walmart, she did not oppose its notoriously anti-worker policies.  That may be part of why Sanders is endorsed by the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Communications Workers of America and the American Postal Workers Union.

Santorum (US Senate
Historical Office)

Debate VII | Sun., March 6 | Flint, MI | CNN

Sanders:  "...I met with residents of Flint..., and what I heard and saw shattered me...  [W]hat is happening in Flint is, to a lesser degree, happening nationwide.  In recent years, there has been a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires and an increase in inequality of income and wealth as municipalities struggle to provide basic services and as middle-class families struggle..."

Clinton:  "[T]he governor should resign or be recalled, and we should support the efforts to achieve that...  I fully support the efforts by your members of Congress to get the federal money to begin the necessary work to fix the infrastructure...  MI has a fund for emergencies... [and] is derelict by not sending the money required to help Flint..."

Mikki Wade, undecided voter:  "...The constant driving to pick up water just so my children can wash their hair, to wash our fruits and vegetables, and to brush our teeth, is incredibly difficult.  Once the pipes are replaced, I'm unsure I will ever be comfortable with drinking the water.  How would you restore my trust in the government?"

Clinton:  "[Y]our government at all levels has let... the people of Flint down...  Mayor [Karen] Weaver announced a program we support to begin to help train people in Flint to do some of the repairs...  Everything done must be triple-checked...  I would work with elected officials I trust, like your mayor and your members of Congress, so we can assure you that after the water system is fixed, you can trust it..."

Moderator Anderson Cooper:  "Secy. Clinton, people here still can't bathe in or drink the water in their homes.  They are desperate for accountability and specifics.  If you were now president, what specifically would you do to make life easier for people here?"

Clinton:  "I support what Pres. Obama is doing.  He got accountability from officials at the Environmental Protection Agency who should have done more to make sure the state did its job.  He expanded Medicaid to begin the process to help kids...  He ordered a Head Start program.  We support a program the mayor announced today through Flint Waterworks to pay residents of Flint, not outsiders, to deliver the water while the pipes are being fixed.  I would do even more of that.  What we have put together is a start.  I would concentrate resources on Flint for economic development and more jobs as we fix the pipes and provide the health, education and interventions children need."

Walker, R-WI
(Michel Sauret/
Dept. of the Army)
Sanders:  "...If local government lacks the resources -- and if state government, for whatever reason, refuses -- to protect children from poison, the federal government should intervene...  [The residents of Flint] pay three times more for poisoned water than I pay in Burlington for clean water.  The first thing to do is refuse to pay for poisoned water.  That refusal should be retroactive...  [T]he CDC should examine the amount of lead-poison in everyone in this community..."

Cooper to Sanders:  "This crisis in Flint... was created by government.  Your policies would expand it.  Why should the people... trust that more government is the answer?"

Sanders:  "...I suppose they can trust the corporations that destroyed Flint via a disastrous trade policy that allowed those corporations to shut down plants in Flint and move to China or Mexico.  Or maybe we should let Wall St. run Flint...  Look, we live in a democracy.  I don't deny that government is failing in many respects.  But... I trust the people to create a government that works for them, rather than for corporations."

Cooper:  "Secy. Clinton, both of you have now called for the governor to resign.  [Previously, only Sen. Sanders had.]  To blame Republican governor Rick Snyder is easy.  But the federal government also dropped the ball here.  Section 1414 of the Safe Drinking Water Act requires the EPA to step in and act when a state is informed about water problems and, for 30 days, has done nothing, as in this case.  The EPA knew for months and months but never warned the people of Flint not to drink the water.  Would you fire the administrator of the EPA?"

Clinton:  "I think the people in this region who knew about this and failed to do what the law required have been eliminated from the EPA."

Cooper:  "One such person has resigned."

Clinton:  "...I was told that some higher-ups pushed for changes that were not happening.  So I would have a full investigation to determine who knew what, when.  I don't know how far up the negligence went.  But as far up as it went, people should be fired because they failed this city.  But this is not the only place where this kind of action is needed.  In many communities, the level of toxins in the water is way above what anyone should tolerate.  Cleveland has a higher rate of tested lead in people than Flint does.  So I'm not satisfied with just doing all we must do for Flint.  I want to tackle this problem across the board.  If people in government at any level know about the problem but do not act on it, they should be forced to resign."

Snyder (David Eichaker/
Air Nat'l Guard)
Sanders:  "I would fire anyone who knew of the problem but did not act appropriately...  How did we have trillions of dollars to go to war in Iraq but not enough money for infrastructure and education in... communities nationwide?..."

Cooper:  "Lee-Anne Walters is undecided.  She was one of the first people to report problems with the water in Flint.  One of her sons stopped growing.  Her daughter lost her hair."

Walters:  "[W]ill you now promise that in your first 100 days as president, you would require that all lead service lines be removed from all public water systems in the US, and that the citizens who have the said service lines be notified?"

Sanders:  "I promise that the EPA,... will make sure that every water system in the US is tested, that the people of those communities know the quality of the water they drink, and that we have a plan to rebuild water systems that are now unsafe..."

Cooper:  "There are 10M lead service pipes that deliver water to people nationwide."

Clinton:  "I agree but want to go further...  [L]ead... is in soil.  It's in paint that is mostly in older homes.  That's why 500K children have lead in their bodies.  So, I want to do exactly what you said.  We will commit to a priority to change the water systems and... remove lead from everywhere within five years..."
"That Hillary Clinton said it would take five years actually made me vomit in my mouth."
Walters, after the debate
Clinton continued, "I later worked with then-Sen. Obama to allocate more money and support to do more to remove lead.  That has unfortunately been moved to a lower priority in many ways.  I will elevate it..."

Don Lemon of CNN:  "[R]esidents of this city... want to see criminal prosecution of the people responsible for the poisoning.  Should people go to jail for it?"

Clinton:  "That will be up to the legal system.  I don't have all the facts.  But there must be absolute accountability, whether by resignation, recall of elected officials, civil penalties, or prosecution.  I will support the outcome of the investigations."

Gingrich
(Jason Couillard/
Dept. of the Air Force)
Sanders:  "I agree.  I can't judge whether someone committed a crime.  But if an investigation finds that people committed crimes..., they must be held accountable."

Bryn Mickle of The Flint Journal to Clinton:  "...Why should the people... believe that you are not using this crisis to score political points?"

Clinton:  "...This problem is particularly outrageous and painful.  So, when I heard about it, I immediately sent people here to find out what was happening...  We have this problem in other places.  But in other places, unlike in this case, it wasn't caused by decisions by public officials of authority.  I asked the mayor how I could help.  I came here and met with some of the mothers, heard their stories and met their children.  I'm determined to do whatever I can.  So, I have put together resources from the private and philanthropic communities to help provide a bridge because you must get the federal and state money.  I will be with Flint all the way through this crisis.  If I become president, it will always be a priority for action from me."

Mickle:  "Sen. Sanders, your first visit to Flint as a presidential candidate was just over a week ago.  That was almost five months after the people here were told to stop drinking the water.  What took you so long?"

Sanders:  "That's inaccurate.  Long before that, I quietly met in Detroit with people impacted by this disaster.  I then held a town meeting, which was as nonpolitical as I could make it, for hundreds of people to tell me -- and, through the media, tell the world -- exactly what was happening in Flint.  I think the legitimate fear of the people of Flint is that... the TV cameras will disappear and then the people of Flint will be left struggling in order to live in a safe and healthy community.  I have a long record of having stood with those who are hurt and those who have no money, and I have taken on virtually every powerful special interest in the US..."

Cooper:  "...Seventy-five percent of Flint's jobs in manufacturing were lost since 1991.  In about the same period, MI lost 230K jobs in manufacturing.  Te'Nesha Martin grew up in Flint.  She works in Detroit at the Shinola watch factory, which is often held up as the blueprint for how to save American industry jobs.  She leans toward Secy. Clinton."

Martin:  "Many people in my family worked in the auto industry in Flint.  That's ultimately what I wanted to do...  [U]nfortunately, I was unable to...  What would you do to convince corporations to keep factories in the US?"

McCollum (CPD)
Clinton:  "...When companies decide to leave... after they receive tax benefits from any city or state to stay there, I would claw back those benefits...  Those companies would have to pay an exit fee.  We would stop this kind of exportation of jobs and start to import jobs and grow them again."

Sanders:  "I am glad Secy. Clinton discovered religion on this issue.  But she is a bit too late after her support for virtually all the disastrous trade agreements...  American workers should not have had to compete against workers in Mexico who were paid 25 cents an hour.  I was one of the first, not one of the last, to oppose the TPP.  That is because American workers should not have to compete against workers in Vietnam who are paid... 65 cents an hour.  We must tell corporations they cannot continue to shut down in the US...  If I become president, they will have to invest in the US..."

Clinton:  "Sen. Sanders opposed the bailout of the auto industry.  In January 2009, President-elect Obama asked Congress to pass the bailout... in order to save the auto industry and 4M jobs...  I voted to save the auto industry..."

Sanders:  "If you are talking about the bailout for some of your friends on Wall St. who destroyed this economy..."

She was.

Clinton:  "[T]he Bush administration negotiated the deal.  There were things in it I didn't like.  But it included the $350B needed to begin to restructure the auto industry..."

Sanders:  "...I would have been damned if I was going to vote to require that workers bail out the crooks on Wall Street.  An amendment that I proposed but that was defeated by a voice vote... would have required that the bailout be paid for by the people who benefited from the greed on Wall Street.  Of course the auto bailout made sense.  I... supported Pres. Obama's stimulus package..."

Clinton:  "Given the terrible pressures that were on the auto industry and on the Midwestern middle class..., you were either for or against a rescue of the auto industry..."

That is false.  Sanders voted for a bill that would have bailed out only the auto industry.

Obama, Bush (Peter Souza / WH)
Sanders:  "While we're discussing Wall St.:  ...One of us has given speeches there for hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.  If someone is paid that much for a speech, I think it must be a great speech.  I think we should show the transcripts to the public."

Clinton:  "...I will... if all the Democratic and Republican candidates release theirs..."

Sanders:  "...Well, ...I don't give paid speeches to Wall Street..."

Clinton:  "...I said no bank is too big to fail [and] no executive is too powerful to jail..., which is because there must be accountability..."

Sanders: "...In 1960, Detroit was one of the wealthiest cities in America.  Flint was prosperous.  But then corporations did not want to pay a living wage in MI when they could pay slave wages [abroad].  So corporations exported jobs and brought their products back into the US.  Those trade policies, as much as any other policies, resulted in the shrinkage of the middle class...  [I]n some cases, jobs in manufacturing pay half of what they paid 20 years ago..."

Clinton:  "[A]fter... my husband's presidency, unemployment in MI was at 4.4%.  There had been a net increase of 54K jobs in manufacturing and of 653K jobs overall."

What happened to her assurance, "I'm not running for my husband's third term"?

"A way in which jobs were brought to -- and grown in -- MI was through the Export-Import Bank, which helped many businesses, particularly small ones, be able to export...  Sen. Sanders opposes that.  I think we're in a race for exports.  I think... every other country supports their businesses.  In recent years in MI, $11B have been used to support exports.  I favor that.  I want to do all I can for us to win in the global economy."

Cooper:  "...The Export-Import Bank is a federal agency that gives loans to companies that export American products...  The vast majority of its customers are small businesses...  What do you say to small-business owners who rely on that bank to make their companies profitable?"

Coates
("Democracy Now!")
Sanders:  "...Boeing receives 40% of the funds discharged by the Export-Import Bank.  Seventy-five percent of funds from it go to large, profitable corporations, many of which have shut down in the US to exploit poor people abroad...  [On] the Financial Services Committee, I worked... successfully to make sure at least 20% of the bank's money went to small businesses..."

Clinton:  "...Without the Export-Import Bank's support for businesses of all sizes, I believe more jobs would be lost in and exported from the US...  [I]f we will win in the global economy, we can't take a hands-off approach when every other country supports its companies."

Ahh, socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest of us.

Cooper:  "...Most of the money from that bank does go to Boeing and companies like Caterpillar.  Do they need that money?"

Clinton:  "...I concluded they do.  Here's why.  There are two big plane-manufacturers in the world: Airbus and Boeing.  Airbus does all it can to get contracts to sell planes throughout the world.  Outreach from our government is not as aggressive.  I did go to many places around the world to sell American products because the alternatives were usually European and Asian -- primarily Chinese..."

Sanders:  "[L]arge multinational corporations that make billions of dollars a year... need a handout from the middle class?  I don't think so..."

Cooper:  "[T]wo weeks ago, an Uber driver in Kalamazoo went on a shooting rampage on which he killed six people and injured two.  One of the injured is 14-year-old Abigail Kopf...  Her father Gene Kopf...  leans toward Sen. Sanders."

Kopf:  "In recent years, the US has had a rash of mass shootings -- 42 of them this year alone.  The man who shot my daughter had no mental health issues recorded and had a clear background.  What would you do to address this serious epidemic?..."

Clinton:  "[O]n average, 90 people a day are killed by gun violence in the US.  I think we must try everything that works to try to limit the number of and kinds of people who have access to firearms...  [W]e must continue to try to work on... comprehensive background checks... and to close 'the Charleston loophole,' which allows people to get a gun at the end of three days even if the background check is incomplete...  I believe... the grant of immunity to gun-makers and gun-sellers was a terrible mistake because it... disrupted a very promising legal theory to try to pressure gun-makers to do more to make guns safer... and to try to hold sellers more accountable for improper sale of guns.  Sen. Sanders and I differ on that.  I voted against that immunity...  I think we must have a public discussion because we have created a culture in which people grab for guns all the time."

J. García
("Democracy Now!")
Let's start that discussion by asking Clinton to square her statement with this one she made on 12 April 2008.
"I disagree with Sen. Obama's assertion that stated that people in our country cling to guns... simply out of frustration...  [M]y dad... taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl...  [S]ome people continue to teach their children and grandchildren how to shoot.  It's part of culture.  It's part of a way of life.  People enjoy... shooting because it's an important part of who they are..."
Sanders:  "...We must expand and improve the instant background check.  The bottom line is that people who should not have guns should not be able to buy them."

Cooper:  "Sen. Sanders, ...would you work to close 'the Charleston loophole'?"

Sanders:  "Absolutely..."

Lemon:  "A black male born in the US today has a one-in-three chance of ending up in prison in his life.  Secy. Clinton, you call for an end to mass incarceration.  But many blacks blame the 1994 crime bill, which you supported, for the incarceration of a generation of black men.  Given what has happened since 1994, why should blacks trust you to be right about this issue this time?"

Clinton:  "Sen. Sanders and I supported that bill because of an outcry from people of all communities about the rising crime rate...  [That law] solved some problems but created others...  One of those was a move to expand the reasons why people could be incarcerated, not just at the federal level...  [T]oo many families were broken up.  Too many communities were adversely affected.  So, we must require cameras on police officers, end profiling, do all we can to make sure there's respect between the community and the police, limit mandatory minimum sentences, [and] end disparities in treatment that leads to incarceration."

Lemon:  "...Do you think that law was a mistake?"

Clinton:  "...The Violence Against Women provisions have worked well, for example.  But other aspects of it were mistakes.  That's why I... have a comprehensive approach toward going after systemic racism that stalks the criminal justice system... [and] ending incarceration of low-level offenders..."

Sarsour
("Democracy Now!")
Lemon to Sanders:  "[I]n 1994, you warned, 'We are dooming tens of millions of young people to a future of bitterness, misery, hopelessness, drugs, crime and violence.'  But you voted for the bill anyway.  Was your vote a mistake?"

Sanders:  "[T]hat bill had some good provisions...  The Violence Against Women Act, which has protected millions of women, was in it.  The ban on assault weapons... was in that bill...  I tried to remove the death-penalty aspects in it...  I was then, and am, opposed to the death penalty...  [I] was torn... [o]n that bill.  There [we]re bad things... [in] it..."

David McGhee, undecided voter:  "...What experiences have helped you to deeply understand the mindsets of and values of other cultures?"

Clinton:  "...As a law student, I met the visionary Marian Wright Edelman, who had worked with Dr. King and was the first black woman to pass the Mississippi bar.  I asked her for a job.  She didn't have any money...  I got a grant from the Law Students Civil Rights Research Council...  She sent me to SC to investigate incarceration of juveniles in adult jails.  She then sent me to Alabama to investigate segregated academies..."

Lemon to Clinton:  "[I]n 1996, you used the term 'super-predators' to describe some kids....  Was it racial code and were you wrong to use that term?"

Clinton:  "I was speaking about... criminal activity that deeply concerned folks nationwide.  I used a poor choice of words, used it once, and would not use it again..."

I'll take her answer as a "Yes" to the first part of the question.

"...I support early-childhood education...  In Flint, we must do more to mitigate the effects of lead because too many kids are... falling back in school and having headaches because of... exposure.  So we'll have to do even more here than we would in most other counties."

Sanders:  "[In] 1996, so-called 'welfare reform' scapegoated the poorest people in the US.  I... opposed that legislation.  Secy. Clinton had a different position.  Republicans wrote that legislation, which increased extreme poverty."

M. Edelman
("Democracy Now!")
Clinton:  "[T]hat law had many provisions that unfortunately were stripped out by George W. Bush and Republican governors.  I disagreed with how it was applied and have a clear set of ideas about what should be done to try to... cut poverty in half in the next 10 years."

Speaking in favor of that law, the title of which is the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996," as first lady and as a senator, Clinton described recipients of welfare as "deadbeats" who had "decided" to "sit around the house, doing nothing."  Before the enactment of PRWORA, which ended Aid to Families with Dependent Children, several officials in the administration of her husband, such as then-secretary of Labor Robert Reich (who endorses Sanders), warned of what the consequences of PRWORA would be.  To protest the signing of it, Edelman's husband Peter resigned as an assistant secretary of Health & Human Services.  Thus, Clinton is dishonest to imply that 'welfare reform' hurt the poor only after Republicans changed it.

"But if we will talk about the '90s, let's talk about 23M new jobs.  Incomes rose for everyone, the median African-American income rose by 33% at the end of the '90s, and we lifted more people out of poverty than at any other time in recent history...  Along came Bush and trickle-down economics, which brought the Great Recession..."

On Democracy Now! on 24 July 2007, Mrs. Edelman was asked about Clinton.
Amy Goodman, host:  "Hillary Clinton... headed the board of the Children's Defense Fund, which you founded.  But you were extremely critical of the Clintons when Pres. Clinton signed so-called 'welfare reform.'  You said, 'His signature on this pernicious bill makes a mockery of his pledge not to hurt children.'  What are your... thoughts about Hillary Clinton?"
Edelman:  "Hillary Clinton is an old friend.  But the Clintons are not my friends in politics...  I support welfare reform but we need... a livable minimum wage, health care, transportation, and investment in all our children to prevent them from ever needing welfare...  [A]s many people pronounce welfare reform a great success, we have... more children in extreme poverty...  The real test of welfare reform is what happens to the poor when an economy is down...  The poor are suffering."
Reich
("Democracy Now!")
Sanders:  "...In the 1990s, we created many jobs and I supported many of your husband's initiatives, but there was deregulation that allowed Wall St. to destroy our economy, and there was enactment of NAFTA and other disastrous trade agreements...  I voted against that deregulation and those agreements."

Cooper:  "...The public schools in Detroit are a national symbol of neglect and failure.  That school system is $3.5B in debt.  Officials say they could run out of money by April.  Shoniqua Kemp's... daughter... is a student there.  Shoniqua is one of 10 parents who are suing for improved conditions in Detroit public schools.  She leans toward Sen. Sanders."

Kemp:  "[I]n Detroit, schools open and close with no accountability to, or transparency to, the communities they serve...  [O]ur schools... have... rats, mold, non-certified teachers..., [and] a lack of accountability in transportation and in special education...  Who will instate the policies and procedures that will... bring forth a successful future for our students?  My daughter cannot wait eight more years for success..."

Sanders:  "Thank you very much for your fight against that horrendous situation...  We must wage that fight nationwide... We should... make sure that schools have programs after school and in the summer, [and that] we... provide -- as other countries do -- quality childcare and pre-kindergarten..."

Clinton:  "...I would reinstate a program... through which the federal government provided funds to repair and modernize public schools because many communities can't afford to do that on their own.  I would use every legal means at my disposal to try to force MI to return the schools in Detroit to the people of Detroit -- end the emergency management...  [T]he situation has worsened under the emergency managers, who have put the system further in debt...  When Detroit gets its schools back, it should have all the help it can get to be able to hire teachers and find spaces to use while schools are under repair..."

Cooper:  "Secy. Clinton, you've been endorsed by two of the biggest teachers' unions..."

That is debatable.

P. Edelman
("Democracy Now!")
"Do you think unions protect bad teachers?"

Clinton:  "...I've had a very good relationship with both of those unions and with their leadership.  We've had candid conversations...  Many... people... scapegoat teachers rather than put enough money into the schools that deserve the support that comes when the government does its job."

I'll take that as a "Yes."

Cooper:  "So you don't believe unions protect bad teachers?"

Clinton:  "I have told my friends at the top of both unions, 'We must look at this because it is one of the most common criticisms.  We must eliminate it...  So I want for them to look at anything that could be changed.  I would... do whatever I can to support the teachers of our country."

Yup, that's a "Yes."

Lemon to Clinton:  "...Trillions of dollars would be needed in order to fix our nation's crumbling infrastructure...  To do so, Sen. Sanders proposes $1T but you propose only a quarter of that.  Is your plan big enough...?"

Clinton:  "...Congress finally passed the highway transportation bill...  I want to add $250B to that.  That would get us to $500B.  I want to start a national infrastructure bank and capitalize it with $25B that I believe will leverage 10 times as much.  That would be another $250B.  So I'd try to do this in a way that would gain support and be affordable...  I think my plan is a... way to begin to put millions of people to work."

Lemon:  "Sen. Sanders, critics of your proposal say it's... costly and will never pass through Congress...  The best deal... Pres. Obama could negotiate with Republicans is $305B for highways.  If he couldn't do more, how could you?"

Sanders:  "[P]rofitable corporations stash their money in... tax havens...  By elimination of that outrageous loophole, I would raise $1T to rebuild our infrastructure and to thereby create 13M decent-paying jobs over five years."

James Clyburn, D-SC
(FCC)
Cooper:  "[F]racking... is a process of oil and gas drilling that... raises serious environmental concerns."

Sarah Bellaire, undecided voter:  "Fracking can lead to... pollution that includes, but is not limited to, contamination of a water supply.  Do you support fracking?"

Clinton:  "I don't support it when the locality or state in question opposes it.  I don't support fracking that releases methane or contaminates water.  I don't support fracking with undisclosed chemicals.  So... [under] my conditions, I doubt there would be many places where fracking would occur...  Fracking is insufficiently regulated in many places...  [W]e must regulate all fracking that is underway and prevent further fracking unless conditions like the ones I mentioned are met."

Sanders:  "My answer is a lot shorter: No...  I introduced the most comprehensive climate-change legislation in the history of the Senate.  That legislation calls for... massive investments... in efficient...and... sustainable energy..."

Cooper:  "Sen. Sanders, ...many Democratic governors say fracking can be safe and helps their economies.  Are they wrong?"

Sanders:  "Yes...  [I]f we don't get our act together, Earth could be 5-10 degrees warmer by 2100 -- cataclysmic problems for this planet...  We must be bold now..."

Clinton:  "I think I have the most comprehensive plan to combat climate change...: deployment of 500M additional solar panels in my first term..., and enough clean energy to power every home by the end of my second term...  [A]s secretary of State, I worked with Pres. Obama to begin to put pressure on China, India and other countries to join us in a global agreement, which we finally got in Paris."

That agreement is terribly inadequate.

"So I am committed to that transition.  I've already said I would end the subsidies for oil and gas...  I would set goals and push everyone as hard as I can to achieve them.  We would... create millions of jobs through clean, renewable energy."

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