What a difference between the Democrat and Republican debates! The Democrat debate was all about what “we” are going to do for America. The Republican debate was about which candidate could do the most harm to the other candidate!
Hillary’s most used word during this debate was “I”, “I”,”I”! Bernie’s most used word was “we”, “we”, “we”.
Hillary did as expected. She accused Bernie of his “past’ gun voting record by saying he voted to “have guns on Amtrak” and he voted to ‘have guns in public parks” which was totally untrue and ridiculous! In 1988 Bernie voted against military type guns. Bernie voted for instant background checks. Bernie is with President Obama on his executive action on gun control. Still, Hillary keeps “harping” away! Hillary said “I” had a lot to do with gun control, yada, yada, yada! Bernie informed the audience on gun control measures he voted for. The NRA gave Bernie a “D” rating!
Hillary also did as expected when she talked about the ACA (“Obama Care”). Hillary said “I” know a lot about health care, yada, yada, yada. Hillary accused Bernie of wanting to “tear up” President Obama’s health care plan and “start all over”, which, again, is untrue! Bernie worked on that plan with President Obama and wants to add to it to make health care available for everyone! When moderator, Andrea Mitchell asked Bernie how he would pay for it, he explained how it would save a middle income family about $5,000 yearly because they would no longer be paying ANY health insurance premiums!
On the topic of Iran, Hillary said “I” helped with the nuclear agreement with Iran, yada, yada, yada. She was even so bold as to say she “convinced” President Obama to do this. The truth is Hillary was against the nuclear agreement before she was for it! When she saw “the wind blowing” in favor of the agreement, then, she was for it!
When asked what he would do his first 100 days as president, Sanders said he would (1) Bring health care to all. (2) Bring the minimum wage up to $15.00 an hour and (3) More jobs for the middle class. When Hillary was asked the same question she said (1) “I” would build on the ACA. She didn’t explain how she would “build on it” and neither moderator asked her. (2) Hillary did not say how much she would raise the minimum wage. However, in a previous statement Hillary said she would bring the “federal employees” wages up to $12.00 an hour. Of course, she added “equal pay for women”, which Bernie is also for. She also said she would make ‘loans easier” for college students. She is against free college for everyone in contrast with what Bernie wants to do (free college for everyone). Hillary also implied she could get along better with Republicans! Bernie gave an example of how he had worked with Republicans! He went on to say it wasn’t that Republicans and Democrats hated each other. The problem was that congress was owned by big money and refuses to do what the American people want them to do!
The statements on Wall Street were swift and contentious. Bernie wants to break up the big banks. Hillary wants to make changes but does not say what changes she would make. Bernie repeated everything that is wrong with big money and Wall Street. Without naming anyone, he did not shirk from saying how big money is funding politicians and giving these politicians big speaking fees to do their bidding.
When it came to making our country safe, Bernie’s number one priority was taking out ISIS. He talked about how the Middle East countries have to “put some skin in the game” and put their troops on the ground with our advisors to help them. He also said some Middle East countries are very wealthy and could finance their own wars. Unlike the Iraq war! Hillary said she would do what President Obama is doing now. President Obama is trying to get more Middle East countries involved. When asked about Syria, Hillary said she would not “put boots on the ground”. That statement is in direct conflict with what she pushed President Obama to do in Libya and tried pushing him to do in Syria.
What was most interesting is how Hillary kept bringing up how much she supported and admired President Obama, yada, yada, yada. As if they were “bosom buddies”. She inferred Bernie was not an Obama supporter. Again, nothing could be further from the truth. Bernie not only supports President Obama but he worked actively on Obama’s 2008 campaign as well as the 2012 campaign. What is so appalling about this “Hillary tactic’ is how she treated Obama in the 2008 campaign! She attacked Obama at every turn and, of course, as Hillary always does, tried to destroy his good reputation! I doubt very much that President Obama appreciates Hillary using him in her “campaign rhetoric”!
Both moderators, Lester Holt and Andrea Mitchell put Bernie on the “hot seat” asking the very same questions they knew Hillary was waiting to yada, yada, yada about! Lester went after Bernie on gun control and Andrea went after Bernie about health care. Andrea asked the most asinine question! She asked Bernie if he regretted what he said when asked before about Bill Clinton’s “past transgressions” and his answer was that it was totally unacceptable. Andrea asked Bernie if he regretted saying that! Bernie’s answer was so “Bernie honest” about the question itself, it even surprised Andrea. Bernie said that was not a good question! He said when he was asked the question before he responded to that question. He continued on and said that he has never attacked Hillary about that or anything else (with Hillary nodding her head in agreement) and that there were more important issues for the American people! Mitchell’s reply was “You didn’t have to answer the question that way”. Bernie then said, yes I did because if I don’t answer it now it will come up again and again! Andrea had no reply to that!
Lester Holt announced the Congressional Black Caucus endorsed Hillary and she was ahead in the South Carolina polls. Holt asked Bernie how he could be a nominee because of that. This was an “unnecessary question” by Holt and, extremely rude! Holt did not mention Jim Clyburn, a long time and most respected member of congress, is remaining neutral. As usual, Bernie had a good answer saying “talking about polls”, citing the polls where he is ahead of Clinton in Iowa and even with Hillary in New Hampshire! Something else I noticed was how long Holt allowed the applause to go on after Hillary spoke and interrupted the applause after Bernie spoke. I’m not saying Holt did this intentionally but this is how it was.
I have written this article about Bernie and Hillary because they are the top two contenders. However, I have to give credit to John O’Malley for his participation and thoughtful answers to questions he was asked. He even had the courage to tell Hillary she “wasn’t telling the truth” when she wasn’t telling the truth! In spite of being the “third” candidate and not given as much time to state his views, he did a good job.
As I “digested” this debate, along with the political news these past few weeks I have come to the conclusion the Clintons (Hillary, Bill and Chelsea) have no understanding of how political campaigns have changed since they ran for office. This is no longer the 1990’s or even 2008! They are using the same tactics they did then; attack, smear and tell lies about your opponent!
It didn’t work in 2008 and it won’t work now! The Clintons forget there is a whole new generation of voters out there now. These voters may not know about “Bill’s transgressions” or the turmoil in the White House when Bill was president but… they are “tech literate” and know how to research the facts. The time is past for the “Clinton type” campaigns. It is also past for the Democrat “establishment”, the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz!