Democratic debate
March 30, 2016

On Monday, Hillary Clinton's campaign announced their candidate would only debate Democratic rival Bernie Sanders again if he would go "back to the [less negative] tone he said he was going to set early on."

Now, they've backtracked. The former secretary of state is "perfectly willing" to spar with Sanders again, Clinton's press secretary Brian Fallon said during an interview with Bloomberg Television's With All Due Respect on Tuesday. "If they can find a mutually agreeable date in the next couple of weeks before New York, I think it could happen," Fallon said.

For his part, Sanders has scoffed at the idea that he is running a particularly negative campaign. "I have tried my best to run a positive, issue-oriented campaign never making personal attacks against Hillary Clinton," he said in February in response to a charge similar to the one the Clinton camp alleged this week. "Talk about me running a negative campaign, that’s just absurd." Bonnie Kristian

January 17, 2016

At Sunday's Democratic debate, NBC News asked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) about his recent criticism of former President Bill Clinton's affair with an intern. Sanders said that he is constantly urged to attack Hillary Clinton to get press, but he is trying to run an issues-oriented campaign. He made his Bill Clinton comments, Sanders said, because a reporter asked him about it. So regarding Bill Clinton, "yes, his behavior was deplorable," Sanders said, but he will continue to run an issues-oriented campaign against Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley.

Sanders has been very consistent on this point. Here he is, as a House member, in December 1998, saying on the House floor that President Clinton "acted deplorably in his personal behavior," but impeaching him is an idiotic distraction because the American people wanted Congress to "get on with the business of the American people" Peter Weber

January 17, 2016

NBC News asked the Democratic candidates in Sunday night's debate whether they would commit ground troops in Syria to combat the Islamic State, and all three candidates were opposed to the idea. Hillary Clinton said she had a three-point plan that definitely did not include U.S. ground troops. Bernie Sanders was more adamant. President Obama has gotten a lot of grief over his handing of the ISIS fight, Sanders said, but "I think he is doing the right thing." He added that "the nightmare scenario, which is what so many of my Republicans seem to want," is getting bogged down in a "quagmire" in Syria, like in Vietnam.

Martin O'Malley also said it would be a mistake to send in U.S. troops, reminding viewers that troops are somebody's children, and Republicans are insulting troops by calling them "boots on the ground."

January 17, 2016

In Sunday's Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sparred over ObamaCare. NBC's Andrea Mitchell asked Clinton about her campaign's charge that Sanders wants to kill the Affordable Care Act, and Clinton said that Sanders' new plan for a Medicare-for-all health care is another "contentious debate" that the U.S. can't afford. ObamaCare was a hard fight and a big victory for President Obama, Clinton said, and she wants to "defend and build on the Affordable Care Act, and improve it."

Sanders shot back that Clinton hadn't answered the question and said her charge is nonsense. "We are not going to tear up the Affordable Care Act — I helped write it," he said, arguing that FDR and Truman envisioned health care as a right, and it's time to enact that vision, expanding coverage and cutting costs. Clinton responded that Medicare-for-all would mean having to "to start over again, with a whole new debate," and noting that when the Democrats were passing the Affordable Care Act, and they controlled Congress, they couldn't even get the votes for the public option.

Sanders said that the real problem was America's corrupt campaign finance system, the pharmaceutical industry, and health insurance industry. You can watch the back-and-forth below. Peter Weber

January 17, 2016

The three Democrats running for president, Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and former Gov. Martin O'Malley (Md.) are debating in South Carolina Sunday night, after three days of increased attacks between the two frontrunners, Clinton and Sanders. Hours before the debate, Sanders released his plan to instituted a government-run, Medicare-for-all health plan, and Sanders has also recently reversed his support for giving gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits. O'Malley, polling in the single digits, is trying to prove he's a viable candidate. Peter Weber

December 19, 2015

At Saturday night's Democratic debate, ABC's David Muir asked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) if after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, there is ever a case where racial profiling is okay. Sanders said that if people see something suspicious, like boxes of guns and ammunition delivered to a neighbor's door, they should report it, calling that a "no brainer." Lots of Americans are scared of terrorism, the Vermont socialist said, but they are also scared about their economic security, watching the top 1 percent getting wealthy while they are getting poorer.

Then Sanders turned to Donald Trump and his supporters, arguing that Trump has taken the American middle class' economic anxieties and said the solution is scapegoating Mexicans and Muslims. Sanders then made a plea that perhaps the people who go to Trump rallies should support him instead. Sanders, who has made the fight against income inequality the central message of his campaign, said Trump "thinks the low minimum wage is a good idea," and that low wages are a good idea in general. You can watch below. Peter Weber

December 19, 2015

The first question in the Democratic presidential debate Saturday night was about the apparent pilfering of Hillary Clinton's data from a Democratic National Committee network by Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) campaign. Sanders said the newest breach was not the first opportunity his campaign had to access Clinton's data, and that in earlier instances, his team had quietly approached the DNC to inform them and shut the door to Clinton's data. This time, however, "our staff did the wrong thing," Sanders said, noting that he had fired one staffer and had opened an independent investigation into the breach.

However, he said, he also wants an independent investigation into all data breaches since the campaign began because he is "not convinced" that the Clinton campaign hasn't taken information from his campaign.

"Does Secretary Clinton deserve an apology?" asked ABC News' David Muir. "Yes, I apologize," Sanders said quickly. "I also want to apologize to my supporters."

Muir asked Clinton if she accepted his apology, and she said yes, and then sort of repaid Sanders for his shrugging off Clinton's private email problem at an earlier debate. "I think we should move on, because I don't think the American people are very interested in all this," she said. Peter Weber

October 13, 2015

In the first Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton went after Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on the issue of gun control. When asked if Sanders, a moderate on gun control, was tough enough on the issue, Clinton quickly responded, "No, not at all," adding, "I think we have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day to gun violence." The crowd responded with a strong round of applause.

Attacking Sanders from the left came on the heels of Clinton defending her progressive credentials, in which she said, "I'm a progressive, but I'm a progressive who gets things done." Ryu Spaeth

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