Debate highlights experience and first-term proposals.
By Christina Elias
ELON, N.C. – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) faced off in the latest Democratic presidential debate Sunday night in Flint, Michigan, focusing largely on policy differences.
The debate was policy-heavy with each candidate eager to point out their own record on specific pieces of legislation while attacking their rival’s record. Sanders was quick to emphasize Clinton’s connections to Wall Street.
“I stood up to corporate America time and time again,” Sanders said. “I led the fight … That is one of the major differences that we have.”
Clinton raised a concern that Sanders is too focused on economic issues and lacks experience in other political areas.
“When I talk about Senator Sanders being a one-issue candidate, I mean very clearly that you have to make hard choices when you’re in positions of responsibility,” Clinton said.
Sanders did not deny this in his response and agreed the main topic of his campaign is to uplift middle-class U.S. residents.
“One of the major issues Secretary Clinton says I’m a one-issue person, well, I guess so,” Sanders said. “My one issue is trying to rebuild a disappearing middle class. That’s my one issue.”
One area Sanders and Clinton agreed on was that their experiences being white in America were vastly different than the experiences of those who are African-Americans.
“Being a white person in the United States of America, I know that I have never had the experience that so many people, [including] the people in this audience, have had,” Clinton said.
Sanders echoed Clinton’s sentiments, adding that no white person in America has the same roadblocks as many black Americans do.
“As a nation in the year 2016, we must be firm in making it clear we will end institutional racism and reform a broken criminal justice system,” Sanders said.
Toward the end of the debate, both candidates explained why they would be the best nominee for the Democratic Party. Sanders pointed out that in polls between him and Republican front-runner Donald Trump, he consistently comes out on top.
Clinton, who many predict to be the Democratic nominee, said she would knock down people like Trump who would prevent the United States from reaching its full potential.
“I’m asking for your support in the primary here in Michigan on Tuesday,” Clinton said. “I will do whatever I can as the Democratic nominee to run a campaign you will be proud of.”