The first college football bowl games are being played tonight. The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets will play in this season’s first NFL “Saturday Night Football” game tonight. That means it’s time for Democrats to debate in New Hampshire, with the party’s leadership assured that average voters will be less likely to tune in and see their poor field of candidates, lack of diversity, and an uninspiring frontrunner (Hillary Clinton) who has been engulfed by one scandal after another.
During the first Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Sanders blunted all the momentum his campaign had when he let Clinton off the hook on her email scandal, emphatically saying, the “American people are sick and tired about hearing about your damn emails.” Sanders’s campaign has largely been an afterthought since that moment. But his campaign may have gotten some life back this week after the Democratic National Committee shut the Sanders campaign out from accessing its own data after the Sanders campaign accessed the Clinton campaign’s proprietary voter data in the hours after a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer glitch. The Sanders campaign sued the DNC on Friday evening before the two parties settled the matter regarding the data on Saturday, hours before the debate, and the Sanders campaign got its access back to its data.
Progressive activists think the DNC is in the tank for Clinton, and Sanders can possibly use this opportunity to reenergize his campaign by pitting himself against the reviled party establishment that he can say is after him and his supporters. It will also be interesting to see if Clinton will return the favor and give Sanders a pass on the issue during the debate. All signs, though, indicate that Clinton will not, as her campaign surrogates assailed the Sanders campaign on Friday evening. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook even said that “there may be some damage here than cannot be undone.”
ABC’s David Muir and Martha Raddatz will moderate the debate in New Hampshire. The Granite State gave Hillary Clinton and her husband momentum in previous campaigns. But it could be a roadblock for Clinton this year as Sanders, who hails from neighboring Vermont, is leading in the state.
And as always, it will be interesting to see how the mainstream media frame their questions for their beloved Democrats. On immigration and Syrian refugees, for instance, the media will ask questions to make Republicans seem like villains and Democrats seem compassionate. If the mainstream media were fair, Democrats would be asked questions on immigration that make them seem like they put political correctness and the rights of illegal immigrants above national security and the interests of American workers since Republicans are always asked questions on immigration in ways that make them seem intolerant.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will also be a participant in the debate.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates throughout the evening.
10: 48: Closing statements:
Sanders: He applauds his colleagues because they have a lot more to offer Americans on their worst day than the “right-wing extremists.” He says his father came from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket. He says that sparked his passion for immigration reform (Sanders opposed the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill the last decade because it would hurt American workers. But he didn’t need the Latino vote then). He says he knows a lot about economic anxiety and living in a family without sufficient income… and that is why he will bring about a “political revolution” if he is president where millions will stand up and say the government belongs to us and not just a handful of millionaires
O’Malley: He says the individual matters in New Hampshire and there is nothing he would do to give his kids a future that is healthier and safer and have more opportunities than our parents/grandparents gave to us. He sounds robotic and canned, though. He says the GOP debate had a lot of fear and anger but “anger and fear never built America.” He says America was built by adopting wage and labor policies including “comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for all.” He says we create a better future for our kids when we square our shoulders to the challenges of our time — whether it’s the terror trying to undermine our value or the Republican presidential candidates trying to get us to surrender our freedoms and our values in the face of this threat.
He says climate change is the “other big challenge we face.” He says it is the “greatest business opportunity to come to America in a hundred years” (interesting choice of words here since it is a great business opportunity for the select few) and “we need to embrace this.”
Clinton: She says that on January 20, 2017, the next president of the United States will walk into the White House and “if heaven forbid, that President is a Republican, we will know what will happen. A lot of the rights that have been won over years from women’s rights to voter rights to gay rights to worker rights will be at risk. Social Security, which Republicans call a Ponzi scheme, may face privatization. Our vets may see the VA hospital which needs to be improved and made better for them (Clinton brushed off the VA scandal though ) turned over to privatization. Planned Parenthood will be defunded. The list goes on because the difference are so stark.”
Clinton says that this is a “watershed election” because she knows how important it is that a Democrat succeed Obama in the White House. She says she has thought a lot about her granddaughter’s future and if she is elected president she will spend more time thinking about the futures of all the kids and the grandchildren in this country because “I want to make sure every single child has a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.” She ends with “Thank you, Goodnight, and May the Force be with you.”
10: 40: Raddatz asks Clinton whether it’s time to change the role of a president’s spouse. It’s a warm and fuzzy question to make Americans think positively about Bill Clinton as the first spouse. No mention, though, of the litany of sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton and what kind of example he would send as the country’s first gentleman… The debate is also occurring in the state in which a voter asked Hillary Clinton, “You say that all rape victims should be believed, but you say that about Juanita Broderick, Kathleen Wiley, and/or Paula Jones? Should we believe them, as well?”
But asking those types of questions would only make voters think twice about putting Bill Clinton back in the White House, and the media don’t want voters to think twice about getting “two for the price of one.”
10:35: Sanders says this is a “terribly complicated issue” and “there are no simple solutions.” Sanders said if you look at the history of regime changes going back to Iran, Chile, Iraq, it is easy for powerful nations like America to overthrow a dictator but it is hard to predict the instability that follows after you overthrow the dictator. Sanders says he is not the fan of regime change that Clinton is.
Clinton again points out that Sanders voted for a resolution calling for an end of the Qaddafi regime.
O’Malley says “we probably let our lust for regime toppling get ahead of the practical considerations for stability in that region.” Sounding like Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) after 9/11, O’Malley again says that America does not have enough “human intelligence” in the region.
10: 32: Clinton, when asked how much responsibility she has the chaos that ensued after Qaddafi’s ouster, dodges the question. When Raddatz asks her again, she says America got rid of chemical weapons and offered the Libyans a lot of help. She says there “wasn’t a lot of responsiveness at first” and the Libyans who were forced out by Qaddafi were no match for the militants. When asked if mistakes were made after she says she is not giving up on Libya, she says “there’s always a retrospective to say what mistakes were made, but I know we offered a lot of help and it was difficult for the Libyans to accept help.”
10:25: Muir talks about the heroin epidemic and the candidates are asked what specifically the candidates would do to address the crisis.
Sanders says “this is a tragedy all over this country.” He says we have to tell the medical profession that they “have to start getting their act together” and we can’t have this “huge number of opiates out there where young people are taking them, getting hooked, and going to heroin.” He says we need to understand that addiction is a “disease and not a criminal activity,” which means radically changing the way we deal with mental health and addiction issues.
Clinton touts her five-point plan on the issue. She wants the federal government to put up $10 billion over ten years to deal with the heroin epidemic. She says there are too many opiates being prescribed and that is leading directly to heroin addiction. She says every law enforcement agent should carry the antidote to heroin overdose so they can save lives.
10: 18: The debate turns to race. Muir asks Clinton about the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the so-called “Ferguson effect,” where police are now holding back. She is asked about how she would bridge the two. Clinton says “we have systemic racism and injustices and inequities in our country and in particular in our justice system that must be addressed and must be ended.” She “feels very strongly that we must reform our criminal justice system” and find ways to bring law enforcement together with communities they are sworn to protect. She also says that police officers are acting “heroically” (Democrats and the media are having a tougher time demonizing police after the terror attacks) and then says “we need to hear the voices of those men and women and boys and girls who feel like strangers in their own country.” Interesting word choice given that any working-class Americans feel like strangers in their own country because of left-wing policies like amnesty for illegal immigrants and an insistence on multiculturalism/political correctness above national security.
O’Malley speaks about “policing the police.” But O’Malley is going nowhere in the race because black voters, who are the heart and soul of his party’s coalition, do not take him seriously on the issue because his government arrested so many black residents.
Sanders says we have more people in jail than in any country in America, etc. when talking about criminal justice reform and institutional racism. Like O’Malley, Sanders seems like he is talking in a foreign language when talking about “race issues.” Clinton does too. But absent a candidate like Obama or Booker or Castro who can speak fluently on these issues, the minority vote goes to Clinton by default. It’s really as simple as that and not rocket science. And that’s why she has the firewall that she has in the states that come after Iowa and New Hampshire.
10: 03: The debate turns to the cost of college education. The candidates are asked about student debt and the increasing cost of private/public education.
Sanders is asked how free tuition would lower the costs instead of just shifting the cost to taxpayers. Sanders, like the Socialist that he is, does not answer the question and says colleges should spend money on well-paid faculty members (loony liberals who are resentful because they think they are so smart but as rich as they want to be) instead of fancy dorm rooms and football stadiums. He talks about “substantial” taxes on Wall Street to pay for his plan. “We should look at college today the way high school was looked at 60 years ago,” he says.
O’Malley says this falls under the category of “I have actually done this.” He says Maryland’s colleges went four years without raising tuition and his plan goes even further than Sanders. He talks bout a block grant program for the states. He proposes an income-based repayment plan for all students. He calls for a tax on high-volume trades. He also says Clinton borrowed so many of his proposals for her education plan.
Clinton is asked how her plan differentiates herself from her opponents. She touts her “New College Compact” because everybody has to have “skin in this game.” She says states have put money into prisons and highways instead of higher education. She says she doesn’t believe in “free tuition” for everybody and would focus on middle-class and poor kids. So her plan is for a “debt-free” education. Clinton praises Sanders’s commitment to changing the “systems” re: healthcare and education. She says she has looked at Sanders’s proposal for healthcare and points out that it has the states run it and she promises that she will explain how she will pay for all of her programs. Clinton insists “no middle-class tax raises” and Sanders says “now this is getting fun.” Clinton “pledges” not to raise taxes on those making below $250,000 but the politician in her seems hesitant about calling it a “promise” though she finally answers “yes” when Muir asks if that is a “promise.”
Sanders again talks about the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top 1%. Sanders says Clinton is disagreeing with FDR on Social Security and LBJ on Medicare when she pledges not to raise taxes on the middle class. He says middle-class families should pay $1.61 a week for things like paid family leave, etc.
Democrats talked about more gun control after the terror attacks in the early part of the debate. Now they are talking about raising taxes for all of their pet programs. This is not appealing, to say the least, to regular voters. But most aren’t watching the debate, just like DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz planned.
10:00: Sanders wants a single-payer healthcare system. But doesn’t answer how much people would be expected to pay in more taxes for it.
9:57: Clinton is asked what is broken in Obamacare and how she would fix it. She uncomfortably claims that Obamacare is succeeding. But she says out-of-pocket costs/deductibles have gone up and prescription drug prices have gone through the roof as well (hmm… not what Americans were promised when Obama and Hillary pushed Obamacare). She says “we don’t have enough competition” and “we don’t have enough oversight” re” insurance companies. Clinton insists these are just “glitches.” And she wants to build on Obamacare’s success and fix the “glitches.” Clinton blames the increase in prescription drug prices on governors in some states that did not extend Medicaid.
9:54: Clinton cackles after O’Malley accuses of her being cozy with the big banks that were responsible for the Great Recession. She says two hedge-fund billionaires are running ads against her because they fear she will go after them (how convenient). She says she has more donations from students and teachers than from people associated with Wall Street. She says that when O’Malley was heading the Democratic Governors Association, he had no problems going to Wall Street asking for money.
Sanders interjects and says he doesn’t have a Super PAC and doesn’t get any money from Wall Street. He says go to his website to learn that in the 1990s, he helped lead the effort against Alan Greenspan, Bill Clinton, the Republican leadership who all thought it would be a great idea to merge large investor banks, commercial banks, and insurance companies.
9:50: “Nope, I think they won’t. Hillary and I have a difference. CEOs of large multinationals–they like Hillary. They ain’t gonna like me,” Sanders says when asks if CEOs will love a President Sanders. Sanders says Wall Street will like him “even less” than corporate America.
9: 48: Clinton, the poster child of cronyism and the candidate the left-wing base distrusts because of her close ties to Wall Street, says she has been talking to a lot of these families and “this is such an outrage.” She says if people feel that “the game is rigged,” then “that has consequences.” Clinton claims that Republicans do not care about increasing incomes and talks about raising the minimum wage and incentivize profit sharing. She speaks about “equal pay for equal work” even though her female employees in her Senate office and the State Department did not get paid as much as men.
Clinton says that “everybody should” love her when Muir asks if Corporate America should love Clinton (pointing out that in 2008 Fortune Magazine put Clinton on the cover with the “Business Loves Hillary” headline.”
Muir never points out that Clinton is the preferred candidate of millionaires. That would undermine the narrative the media want to push about Democrats being on the side of working-class Americans against the billionaires.
9: 44: O’Malley, when asked the same question about how he would give the middle class a raise, says he passed a living-wage while he was Maryland’s governor. He touts his state’s high median income level, etc. without noting that a lot of that has to do with the crony capitalism in D.C.’s permanent political that has created enormous wealth in the D.C./Virginia/Maryland region. O’Malley touts his plan for America’s cities, etc.
9:41: Clinton again walks on stage late again, minutes after Muir started to ask Sanders a question about the economy.
Muir, now pronouncing “Sanders” correctly, tees up a question so Sanders can talk about raising the minimum wage, CEOs paying their fair share of taxes, pay equity for women, etc. Sanders speaks about the real unemployment rate and the terrible youth unemployment rate but does not mention immigration’s impact on those numbers even though he has explicitly stated so in previous interviews. He calls for a Wall Street tac on “speculation” and wants public colleges and universities to be free.
9:38: Sanders, whom Muir refers to as Senator “Saunders” (like ESPN’s John Saunders and not BH 90210’s Steve Sanders), says that America is not the world’s policemen and should not engage in perpetual warfare in the Middle East.
9:35: O’Malley points out that during the Cold War, we got into a bad habit of always looking to see who was wearing the jersey of the communists and who was wearing the U.S. jersey. He says we created big bureaucracies to undermine regimes that were not friendly to the United States, like in Iran, and we are still paying for it. He says “we need to leave the Cold War behind us” and create new alliances. He says Clinton was “gleeful” when Qaddafi was deposed but she did not know what would happen the day after. He implies that Clinton’s “antiquated” way of thinking has to go. O’Malley says America’s primary focus must be on destroying ISIL but “we shouldn’t be the ones declaring that ‘Assad must go.'” He says America has a role to play but it is not to travel the world looking for new monsters to get rid of. Clinton says since O’Malley has been making “all kinds of comments,” she wants to note that ISIS has the territory that it has today because of Assad.
9:27: Sanders worries that Clinton is “too much into regime change and a little bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences might be.” He points out that getting rid of Saddam Hussein has destabilized the region and getting rid of Libya’s Qaddafi created a vacuum for ISIS. He also says that getting rid of Assad will create another vacuum for ISIS. Sanders says Clinton needs to think what will happen “the day after” so there aren’t political vacuums created that terrorists will fill.
Clinton points out that Sanders voted for regime change in Libya. She also says it would be a mistake to ask for more Iranian troops in Syria because it would be like asking an arsonist to “pour more gas on the fire.”
9:24: O’Malley says there needs to be more invested in human intelligence on the ground (covert and diplomatic). Clinton adds that she has advocated for a no-fly zone and when asked if she would shoot down Syrian/Russian aircraft, Clinton says, “I do not think it would come to that.” Raddatz asks, “Isn’t that a decision you should be making now?” Clinton annoyingly responds, “no, I don’t think so.” She says a no-fly zone would help us protect Syrians and give us leverage in our conversations with Russia.
9:19: When asked if she is fooling people by saying there are no combat troops in Iraq/Syria, Clinton says ISIS wants American troops/soldiers back in the Middle East and on the ground fighting them to give them more targets and recruiting opportunities. She says that is why it is the wrong policy to put American troops on the ground to fight ISIS.
She brings Donald Trump back into it and says you can’t alienate the people and countries you want in the coalition to fight ISIS.
Raddatz, though, says that Clinton supports sending special operations forces to Iraq/Syria and says that Vietnam teaches us that that can lead to thousands of more troops, etc. She asks if she is willing to give up on some of her goals to destroy ISIS if a larger ground presence is needed. Clinton says Raddatz is asking her a question with a false choice. Clinton talks about getting back to talking to tribal sheiks in the region in addition to talking to the Turks, etc.
9:16: Sanders says he led the effort against the war in Iraq and the First Gulf War. He says that America cannot succeed or be thought of as the “policemen of the world.”
9:10: Hillary Doesn’t Want to ‘Halt’ Syrian Refugee Program; O’Malley Want to Accept More.
Muir points out that New Hampshire’s governor, a Democrat and a supporter of yours, wants to halt the admittance of Syrian refugees.
“I don’t think a halt is necessary,” Clinton says. Clinton says we have to put all of our resources and have an increased vetting and screening.
Clinton says the “process should move forward” while we are taking on ISIS. She says “we have a history and tradition that is a part of our values system and we don’t want to sacrifice our values… and make it seem like we are turning into a nation of fear instead of a nation of resolve.”
Clinton says she would prioritize widows and orphans.
O’Malley says he was the first to call for the acceptance of 65,00 refugees and goes a step further.
“We should accept more,” he says.
Muir doesn’t note that it is nearly impossible to vet refugees. The moderators do not mention that ISIS has vowed to use the refugee program to sneak terrorists into he United States. The moderators don’t remind viewers that at least one of the Paris terrorists entered France as a “refugee.” I’m sure it was just an oversight.
9:05: Raddatz asks Clinton about encryption tools terrorists are using and whether she would force tech companies to give law enforcement the tools to access the encrypted messages. She says she “would not want to go to that point” and calls for a “Manhattan-like project” that would “bring the government and the tech communities together to see that they are not adversaries.” She says though she doesn’t know enough about technology, “maybe the back door is the wrong door.” She says we have to rely on the neighbor or a teacher at the mosque (how likely is it that someone like that would report suspicious activity?) if we do not know attacks that are being planned.
O’Malley says we should never give up our privacy/freedoms for the promise of security. He says the federal government should have to get warrants and the people creating the tech products have an obligation to come together with law enforcement to “figure these things out” in ways that are “consistent with our values and principles.”
9:03: When Sanders is asked if profiling is ever a good idea (Muir points out that a neighbor of the San Bernardino terrorist did not call authorities because he did not want to be accused of racially profiling his neighbors.” Sanders punts, just saying that if you see people acting suspiciously you should report it. Sanders strangely then pivots to the economy and slams Trump for blaming Muslims and Mexicans for the country’s problems.
9:00: Muir tells Clinton that a third of Americans agree with Trump’s temporary ban on Muslims. He asks Clinton if they are wrong? Clinton says they are acting out of fear after what they saw in Paris/San Bernardino.
He says Trump has a great capacity of “bluster” and “bigotry” to “inflame people” and “make them think there are easy answers to very complex questions.” She says we need to be united against the threats and “everybody focused on watching what happens” and reporting it if it is suspicious. She then says Muslim-Americans should not be “marginalized” or “left out” when we need their help in combating terror. She says we also need to make sure that the “really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don’t fall on receptive ears.”
“He has becoming ISIS’s best recruiter,” Clinton, who is responsible for ISIS’s rise, says.
8: 58: Clinton says she agrees with O’Malley for “commonsense gun measures” and says she was for the Brady Bill and other gun control measures. She says “we need to move this agenda forward and deal with the gun lobby and the intimidation that they present.”
Democrats talking about so much gun control after terrorist attacks won’t help the party any. Fortunately for them, most Americans are watching football and tuning this debate out.
8:56: Sanders yells at O’Malley for insinuating that he has not shown “courage” by standing up to “gun people” and pushing for some gun control when he comes from a state with nearly no regulations. He notes that he lost an election because he wasn’t as against gun control as the “gun people” wanted him to be.
8:54: When Sanders is asked whether he would discourage people from buying guns, he says it is the “right of the people” to buy guns to protect themselves. He then pivots to call for strengthening background checks and eliminating the gun-show loophole. This is a tough argument for Democrats to make as Americans feel more insecure.
O’Malley, now doing his best to become as annoying as Carly Fiorina re: constantly interrupting, jumps in to pat himself on the back for his record on more gun control. He says we “need more principles” and not “more polls” and pushes for comprehensive gun-safety regulations.
When Raddatz asks O’Malley if he would make it illegal to own “assault weapons,” O’Malley doesn’t answer the question. Raddatz presses him on the question and he says “no I would not” confiscate the guns that people already own. O’Malley keeps saying ISIL training videos are telling lone wolves that the easiest way to buy assault weapons is at gun shows.
8:50: Clinton, when presented with poll numbers that clearly indicate Americans would rather be armed than support more gun control after terrorist attacks, does her best to avoid answering the question.
She insists that guns “will not make Americans safer.” “Arming more people to do what is not the proper response to terrorism,” she says. Clinton talks about building “coalitions” and says the “first line of defense” against radicalization is within the Muslim-American community. She says Trump’s rhetoric is sending a message around the world that there is a clash of civilizations and the west is plotting a war against Islam, which only increases radicalization.
8:48: Sanders talks about recognizing Jordan’s King Abdullah for welcoming in refugees and calling on Muslims to lead the effort on the ground against terror
8:45: Clinton drones on about her “plan” to defeat ISIS when asked about whether Americans should feel safe during the holidays. Clinton says there are three things we have to get right at home–she mentions sharing intelligence, working more closely with tech companies to monitor ISIS, and working with Muslim-Americans to combat Islamic jihad. She says we should not “demonize” Muslims like Republicans are doing.
O’Malley talks about increasing the “battle tempo”–maybe he has been watching too many college basketball games today and has been frustrated with some of KenPom’s tempo rankings.
8: 43: Sanders says the American people want to discuss middle-class economics, etc. and fails to use the DNC’s reaction to to the data breach to pit him and his supporters against the establishment. He’s not a very good politician, to say the least.
8:39: Muir asks Sanders about the DNC’s data breach and Sanders argues that on two occasions his staffers found information about the Clinton campaign on its computers and went to the DNC/Clinton campaign behind the scenes to let them know. He said during the latest data breach, his campaign accessed the data and acted inappropriately. Regarding the DNC’s locking out his campaign from accessing his data, Sanders said it was an “egregious act” by the DNC. He also wants an independent investigation because he is not sure his campaign’s data is not on the Clinton campaign’s computers. Sanders said it bothers him that the DNC/Clinton campaign blew up the scandal.
Sanders apologizes to the Clinton campaign, saying “I apologize.” He says he wants to apologize to his supporters as well.
Clinton says she very much appreciates Bernie’s “comment.” She says “we were distressed when we learned of it” because “we want to reach as many voters as possible” and have a lot of volunteers entering data to help them do so. Mimicking Sanders (Las Vegas debate), Clinton says the “American people aren’t that interested in this.”
O’Malley, trying his best to pull a Chris Christie and not become even more irrelevant, says the Clinton/Sanders spat is not the politics of “higher purpose.”
8: 37: Sanders says he is running for president because it is “too late for establishment politics and establishment economics.” He wants to create an economy that works for “working families and not just billionaires.” He speaks up his campaign themes (campaign finance reform against “billionaires” and taking on climate change.” Sanders, who has been criticized for not being a reassuring figure after terror attacks, talks up his foreign policy platform where he will seek coalition partners that will support Muslim boots on the ground in the war against ISIS.
8: 35: O’Malley, whose only purpose at this point in time seems to be to eat up minutes during the debate to shield Clinton and help her run out the clock, talks about having visited a Virginia mosque on Friday. O’Malley warns of a “different sort of political danger” where “unscrupulous leaders try to turn us against each other.” O’Malley says we must not surrender American values to terrorists, racists and “fascist pleas from billionaires with big mouths.”
8:30 PM EST: In her opening statement, Clinton says the job of the president is to keep the country safe and grow the economy. Clinton, who was responsible for ISIS’s rise, says she has a plan now to defeat it. Clinton says Democrats have to prevent Republicans from “rolling back the progress we have made,” and she cites Obamacare, which is unpopular with Americans.
8:00 PM EST: Not surprisingly, ABC opens its broadcast with clips of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton blasting GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, including Clinton slamming Trump’s “bluster and bigotry.”