By: Regina Wright ~Staff Writer~
The first Democratic Presidential debate kicked off on Oct. 13, in Las Vegas. Five candidates — former Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee — tried to impress the national audience while also distinguishing themselves and their platforms.
Free public college, higher taxes for the wealthy, paid family leave, the Black Lives Matter Movement and climate change were some of the many topics discussed by the candidates. Several of the questions surrounded Hillary Clinton and her time as Secretary of State.
Clinton’s use of a private email server, with the possibility of the emails containing top-secret information, has lead to an investigation. When asked about her emails, Clinton defended herself and argued that the American people care more about issues facing the country than her emails.
Sanders jumped to her defense, saying, “Let me say something that may not be great politics, but I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”
“Enough of the emails, let’s talk about the real issues facing America,” Sanders continued after accepting a hearty handshake from Clinton. After the 2012 Benghazi attack, the attacks were immediately investigated, and the U.S. State Department was criticized for denying additional security at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. As Secretary of State, Clinton took responsibility.
Today, she faces a congressional investigation committee regarding the state’s response to Benghazi. When asked about the investigation, Clinton said, “This committee is basically an arm of the Republican National Committee. It is a partisan vehicle as admitted by the House Republican Majority Leader, Mr. McCarthy, to drive down my poll numbers.”
When confronted with her changing positions on the Keystone Pipeline, Trans Pacific Partnership and same-sex marriage, Clinton argued that she changes her views when she believes it is the best for the country. “I’m a progressive, but I’m a progressive who likes to get things done,” Clinton said. Later, the candidates discussed their plans for gun control and the regulation of Wall Street and its big banks, as well as their stances on recreational marijuana. Bernie Sanders said he would vote yes on a bill for recreational marijuana and believes that the repealed sections of the 1933 Glass- Steagall Act should be reinstated to regulate Wall Street and big banks.
The next Democratic Presidential Debate will be hosted by CBS and The Des Moines Register in Iowa on Nov. 14.