The 4th Democratic Primary debate had the same three characters, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley. They began with opening statements.
Hillary Clinton: I want to thank the Congressional Black Caucus institute and the people of Charleston, for hosting us here on the eve of Martin Luther King day tomorrow. You know, I remember well when my youth minister took me to, uh, hear Doctor King. I was a teenager. She was named after Edmund Hillary because of his Mount Everest fame 4 years before he climbed the mountain, too. And his moral clarity , the message that he conveyed that evening really stayed with me and helped to set me on a path to service. I also remember that he spent the last day of his life in Memphis fighting for dignity and higher pay for working people and that is our fight still. We have to get the economy working and incomes rising for everyone including those who have been left out and left behind. We have to keep our communities and our country safe. We need a President who can do all aspects of the job. I understand that this is the hardest job in the world. I’m prepared and ready to take it on and I hope to earn your support to be the nominee of the Democratic Party and the next President of the United States.
Bernie Sanders: As we honor the extraordinary life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., It’s important that not only do we remember what he stood for, but that we pledged to continue his vision to transform our country. And as we look out at our country today, what the American people understand is we have an economy that’s rigged. That ordinary Americans are working longer hours for lower wages. 47 million people living in poverty and almost all of the new income and wealth going to the top 1%. And then, to make a bad situation worse, we have a corrupt campaign finance system where millionaires and billionaires are spending extraordinary amounts of money to buy elections. I thought they just hoarded money, Bernie? Isn’t spending money what we like billionaires to do? This campaign is about a political revolution to not only elect the President, but to transform this country.
Martin O’Mallley: Thank you, my name is Martin O’Malley. I was born the year Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. And I want to thank the people of South Carolina, not only for hosting our debate here tonight, but also for what you taught all of us in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Mother Emanuel Church. You taught us in fact, in keeping with Dr. King’s teaching that love would have the final word when you took down the Confederate Flag from your State House, let go of the past and move forward. That fixed everything. Now blacks are happy. Remember, it was Pastor Clementa Pinckney, of Mother Emanuel Church, who as a Senator in the South Carolina Senate, voted to keep the Confederate Flag flying and to disarm church goers, so they couldn’t protect themselves. Eight years ago, you brought forward a new leader in Barack Obama to save our country, from the 2nd Great Depression. And that’s what he’s done. Our country’s doing better, we’re creating jobs again. But in order to make good on the promise of equal opportunity and equal justice under the law we have urgent work to do and the voices of anger and fear and division that we’ve heard coming off of the Republican Presidential podiums are pretty loud. We need new leadership. You just praised Obama. We need to come together as a people and build on the good things that President Obama has done. That’s why I’m running for President. I need your help, I ask for your vote, and I look forward to moving our country forward once again. Thank you.
The debate moderators were Lester Holt and Andrea Mitchell. Holt started off by asking all of the candidates to complete this sentence, “In my first 100 days in office, my top three priorities will be…” fill in the blank.
Bernie Sanders said that it’s about understanding that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world (something he hates) we should have healthcare for every man, woman and child as a right, that we should raise the minimum wage to at least $15.00 an hour, (why not $500.00 an hour?), that we have got to create millions of decent paying jobs by rebuilding our public infrastructure. Didn’t Obama do that? I remember him calling it shovel ready. He promised that 8 years ago, so surely it’s done by now.
Hillary Clinton said, I would work quickly to present my plans to Congress for creating new jobs in manufacturing, infrastructure, clean and renewable energy, raising the minimum wage, and guaranteeing finally, equal pay for women’s work. Unless they work for Hillary. I would also be presenting my plans to build on the Affordable Care Act and to improve it by decreasing the out of pocket costs, by putting a cap on prescription drug costs, by looking for ways that we can put the prescription drug business and the health insurance company business on a more stable platform that doesn’t take too much money our of the pockets of the hard working Americans. What? What did she say? Looking for ways? You don’t know your plan yet, you still have to look for ways? This is how someone talks to keep the sheeple drooling without actually saying a thing. Third, I would be working in every way that I knew (what are these ways, tell us) to bring our country together.
Martin O’Malley said he would lay out an agenda to make wages go up again rather than down. Making it easier rather than harder for people to join labor unions. Many people are in labor unions who have no choice. Getting 11 million of our neighbors out of the underground shadow economy by passing comprehensive immigration reform. They always call amnesty “comprehensive immigration reform,” because it sounds so enlightened. Raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour however we can, wherever we can. First, that’s unconstitutional. Second, minimum wage is universal, so “wherever” is moot. I believe the greatest business opportunity to come to America in 100 years is climate change. No kidding. That is exactly what it is. A business model, not an actual threat. It’s a way to separate you from your money. O’Malley may have accidentally let a cat out of the bag. Third, we need a new agenda for America’s cities. We have not had a new agenda for American cities since Jimmy Carter. If anyone knows what he’s talking about, I’d ask you to let me know, but I can’t say I am very interested.
Lester Holt asked why Bernie changed his position on immunity from lawsuits for gun manufacturers before the last debate after Hillary said that he was a pretty reliable vote for the gun lobby. Bernie said Secretary Clinton knows that what she says is very disingenuous. I have a D- voting record from the NRA. That’s all I need to hear to know I’m not voting for Bernie. In this country, we should not be selling military style assault weapons. I have supported from day one, an instant background check to make certain that people who should not have guns do not have guns. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Everyone has the right to have guns. You want our guns Bernie? Molon Labe. I guess Bernie believes in a second class citizen that doesn’t have constitutional rights. And that includes people with criminal backgrounds and people who are mentally unstable. And government gets to decide if you are a criminal and if you’re mentally unstable. I support what President Obama is doing in terms of trying to close the gun show loophole. Unconstitutionally infringing on rights by usurping power reserved to kings to make up laws on his own. There is no gunshow loophole. Vendors at gunshows are unconstitutionally forced to run background checks too. And I think it should be a federal crime if people act as strawmen. Where is that in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. It has to be there to make a law about it. We have seen in this city a horrendous tragedy of a crazed person praying with people and coming out and shooting 9 people. 9 people that government disarmed. Nothing Bernie proposes could have stopped this shooting. As a senator from a rural state that has virtually no gun control (and virtually no gun crime…hmmmm…) I believe I am in an excellent position to bring people together to fight for sensible gun safety legislation.
Lester Holt asked him to answer the question about changing his position on immunity for gun manufacturers. Bernie continued, what I have said is that the gun manufacturers liability bill had some good provisions among other things, we prohibited ammunition that would have killed cops who had protection on. We had child safety protection on guns in that legislation. And a small mom and pop gun shop that sells a gun legally to someone should not be held liable if someone does something terrible with that gun. What I said is that we will relook at it.
Hillary listed a bunch of what she considered to be pro-gun votes Bernie Sanders has made over the years. O’Malley said that he’s the only candidate on this stage that passed comprehensive gun safety legislation. Notice how they changed the words “gun control” to “gun safety” lately? This is very personal to me, being from Baltimore. Yeah, look at Baltimore. What a success story that place is! I’ve never met a self respecting deer hunter that needed an AR15 to down a deer. Lots of people hunt with AR15s, Martin. It’s the top selling rifle in America.
Hillary was asked about the fears of many African American men that their lives are cheap and he brought up Walter Scott being shot in the back while running from police. She said, sadly it’s reality. It has been heart breaking and incredibly outraging to see the constant stories of young mend, like Walter Scott, as you said, who have been killed by police officers. The only thing constant is media hype. In a nation of 320 million people, this is actually an incredibly rare event and almost always the fault of the person who gets shot. Ask Mike Brown. She said there is a systemic racism in our criminal justice system. One out of three African American men may well end up going to prison. That’s the statistic. Wow! Is that because cops go out and just grab black men off the street for no reason, day after day? Really? Or could it possibly be their high crime rate? Hmmmm?
Bernie broke in to go on about how we have more people in prison than any other country. He said, who is satisfied that 51% of African American young people are either unemployed or under employed. They live in cities run by which party, Bernie?
Lester Holt said to Martin that he was governor of Maryland and before that Mayor of Baltimore which was rocked by violent unrest in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray. He was asked what responsibility he bears? Martin said he improved police and community relations. He’s living a fantasy.
Holt played a Youtube video from a woman named Franchesca Ramsey basically asking how we can be better at prosecuting cops when they shoot blacks, since the cops in the Tamir Rice shooting weren’t indicted. Facts don’t matter to #BlackLivesMatter Youtube video makers. The question was given to Bernie. Bernie said he couldn’t hear all of the question. Franchesca may be a #BlackLivesMatter stooge, but she was definitely a clean and articulate black person, but Bernie didn’t understand her, so asked Holt to reread the question. Bernie said that this is the responsibility of the U.S. Justice Department to get involved. No it isn’t. They have no jurisdiction, unless you can show me federal authority over state and local police in criminal matters in the Constitution. Hint, it’s not there. The Justice Department itself is unconstitutional and wasn’t created until our nation was almost 100 years old. Whenever anybody in this country is killed while in police custody they should automatically trigger a U.S. Attorney General’s investigation. Except for that pesky Constitution, which doesn’t allow it. We have got to make our police departments look like the communities they serve in their diversity! So we should racially profile when hiring cops. So, no black cops in Vermont then, Bernie?
Lester Holt said that Heroin has become a major issue in this race. Well, it hasn’t, that’s a lie, so I’ll spare you this entire subject. Substance use or abuse is not in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution and therefore not a federal issue.
Andrea Mitchell said that Bernie is for Medicare for All and that Hillary says that this would tear up Obamacare and replace it. She asked Hillary if it’s really fair to say that Bernie Sanders wants to kill Obamacare? Hillary said that she is absolutely committed to universal healthcare. The Democratic Party has worked since Harry Truman to get the Affordable Care Act passed. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it! Improve it? If you worked on it since Harry Truman, wasn’t that enough time to figure it out?
Bernie said, Hillary didn’t answer the question! That is nonsense! What a medicare plan for all does, is finally provide in this country healthcare for every man, woman, and child as a right! What about Bruce Jenner? Hillary broke in to say that she doesn’t know if he is talking about the plan he just introduced tonight or the plan he introduced 9 times in the Congress, but the fact is, we have the Affordable Care Act. That is one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, of the Democratic Party and of our country and we have already seen 19 million Americans get insurance. More lost insurance. Almost everyone else saw a $2000 or more rise in premiums. Most who gained insurance were forced onto it against their will or the will and pocket books of their parents, as in the under age 26 folks, whose parents are force now to buy their 25 year old living in the basement, health insurance.
Bernie said, tell me why we are spending three times more than the British who guarantee healthcare to all their people. No, they don’t. I lived there. I helped my friend rush his 4 year old daughter to a hospital when she cut off her thumb. I carried it in on ice. I watched a doctor throw the thumb into a trash can, because he said it would be too expensive to sew it back on. He said it would be a relatively simple procedure and would graft nicely, but British Health Care coverage opted for the cheapest solution: stitch up the wound. Once government pays your bill, they decide what service you get.
O’Malley said that in Maryland they moved to an All Payer system. We have moved hospitals away from fee for service and actually to pay, we pay them based on how well they keep patients out of the hospital. That’s the future! What? Oh, you’re going to get great service at a hospital that gets paid more money to keep you out! This guy is totally off his rocker!
Andrea Mitchell said to Sanders that Vermont just walked away from a bill that would give them Medicare for all, because it would include major tax increases and it would double the budget. Sanders said that she should ask the Governor of Vermont why he couldn’t do it, he’s the Senator from Vermont. He then said that the reason we can’t do what other countries do is because we have a campaign finance system that is corrupt. This debate must be taking place on the Yellow Brick Road.
Lester Holt said that Obama’s biggest regret in his last State of the Union Address was that he couldn’t bring the country together and asked Hillary how she would do it. Hillary said that she will go anywhere to meet with anyone at any time to find common ground. Unless there is a Benghazi victim’s mother there, in which case she cancels her appearance.
Another Youtube video maker, 23 year old and absolute idiot, (gender self identification, unknown) Connor Franta sent in a question. He said that Sanders is very popular among his peers. Regarding people his age, he asked, how are all of you planning on engaging us further in this election. Clinton said this election is about the future and it is of greatest urgency for young people. Democrats always target young people, because they’re ignorant and want everything for nothing. Easy votes if you offer bribes. I’ve laid out my ideas about what we can do to make college affordable, how we can help people pay off their student debts save thousands of dollars. Really? Who pays for that? It’s not my debt. Will you pay off my house? How we can create new, good jobs. Young people are talk to are pretty disappointed about the economic prospects they feel they’re facing. That’s because you tell them they just have to go to college and then they’re going to have a great job right from the start and I will pay off their college loans and they will be rich. Reality hits them in the face when they graduate and they can’t believe it. Well, tough. They can suffer through the trials and tribulations of starting off in life at the bottom, like everyone else. So, making community college free, making it possible to attend universities with debt free tuition, looking for ways to protect our rights, especially from the concerted Republican assault. She’s always “looking for ways.” She never has ways. Free! Free! Free! Let’s make everything free!
Sanders was asked the difference between what he would do about big banks and what Clinton would do. Sanders said that he doesn’t take money from big banks or get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. What I would do is bring back a 21st Century Glass Steagall legislation and you gotta break up these huge financial institutions.
Hillary said that no bank is too big to fail and no individual is too powerful to jail. That may be the first thing Hillary Clinton ever said that I agree with and I would be honored to be her first visitor in cell block D.
Andrea Mitchel said to Bernice Sanders that he’s been specific about everything he wants, free education for everyone, the federal minimum wage raised to $15.00 an hour, expand Social Security benefits, you’ve been specific about what you want, but let’s talk about how to pay for all this. You now said that you would raise taxes to pay for your health care plan. You haven’t been specific about how to pay for the other things. Will you tell us tonight? Bernie said, Good! You’re right! I wanna rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, create 13 million jobs. We do that by doing away with the absurd loophole that now allows major, profitable corporations to stash their money in the Cayman Islands. Yes, I do. I please guilty. I want every kid in this country to go to college tuition free. How do I pay for it. I pay for it by a tax on Wall Street speculation. This country and the middle class bailed out Wall Street, now it is Wall Street’s time to help the middle class. There goes your 401Ks, folks.
Hillary said, I will make sure the wealthy pay for debt free tuition, child care, and paid family leave. Doesn’t matter if you want it or not, you will pay for it.
Andrea Mitchell said to Bernie, you said that you would only raise middle class taxes to pay for family leave, but now you say you’ll raise middle class taxes to pay for health care as well. Is that breaking your word? Bernie said, no, it is not breaking my word. It’s one thing to say I’m raising taxes, it’s another thing to say that we are doing away with private health insurance premiums. So if I save you $10,000 in private health insurance and you pay a little bit more in taxes, in total there are huge savings in what your family is spending. Pray your daughter doesn’t cut off her thumb.
They received a “question” from YouTube’s Minute Earth Channel. Their video said that fossil fuels kept our cars moving and light bulbs lit. But we now know that burning these fuels releases heat trapping gases that that are warming the planet causing seas to rise and contributing to extreme weather events like South Carolina’s devastating flooding last year. Fighting human caused climate change means giving up our global addiction to fossil fuels and shifting the bulk of the world’s energy supply to alternative sources. They went on and on. There never was a question. Just a pile of lies. The sea levels haven’t risen a millimeter.
Since there wasn’t a question, Holt asked, how do you convince Americans that climate change is so urgent that they need to change their behavior? Bernie said we already are and the younger generation understands it instinctively. Instinctively… I don’t think Bernie knows what instinctively means. No, they understand it indoctrinatively. I made up that word, but it fits. Climate change is real! It is already causing major problems! If we do not act boldly and decisively, a bad situation will become worse. Except that this isn’t true and there is increased polar ice. We have a major party called the Republican Party that is so owned by the fossil fuel industry and their campaign contributions, that they don’t even have the courage, the decency to listen to the scientists. The scientists democrats bribe with grants to give them the results they buy.
Andrea Mitchell addressed Bernie and said that the Iran deal is now in force and they are receiving billions of dollars from the U.S. and the President said it’s a good day, a good day for diplomacy, it’s a time now to restore diplomatic relations for the first time since 1979 and actually reopen a US Embassy in Tehran. There was no actual question. Bernie replied by saying, I think what we have got to do is move as aggressively as we can to normalize relations with Iran. Understanding that Iran’s behavior in so many ways is something that we disagree with. Their support for terrorism. The anti-American rhetoric that we’re hearing from some of their leadership is something that is not acceptable. On the other hand, the fact that we managed to reach an agreement, something that I very strongly supported, that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, is a very positive step. Except that we made it more possible they get nuclear weapons, gave them $150,000,000,000 and “we” never reached an agreement, the deal is unconstitutional and did not have the support of 2/3 of the senate as the Constitution requires. It is fake. It is treason on the part of Barack Hussain Obama. It is a deal between Iran and Obama, not Iran and the United States.
Hillary said, I am very proud of the Iran nuclear agreement. I was pleased to be a part of what the President put into action. Liar, you were no longer Secretary of State.
The candidates were asked if they would support combat forces in Syria to fight ISIS. Clinton said, absolutely not. I have a 3 point plan that does not include ground forces. It includes an air coalition, which is what we are doing, supporting fighters on the ground. We also have to disrupt their supply chain of foreign fighters and foreign money and we do have to contest them in online space.
Bernie Sanders said that Obama is doing the right thing. What the nightmare is, is to not have learned the lesson of Iraq. To get American young men and women involved in perpetual warfare in the quagmire of Syria and the Middle East would be an unmitigated disaster that as President, I would do everything in my power to avoid. O’Malley agreed that Obama is doing the right thing.
Bernie was asked if the Obama/Hillary policies created a vacuum in Iraq and Syria that helped ISIS grow. Ok, we all know the answer to this. Yes. That’s all Bernie has to say. Bernie said, No, I think the vacuum was created by the disastrous war in Iraq, which I vigorously opposed. It’s easy to get rid of a two bit dictator like Saddam Hussain, but there wasn’t thought as to what to do after you get him. Yes there was. The entire country was secured in 2008 before Obama took over. Who rises up? Groups like ISIS. Only after we left.
Holt said to Clinton that she famously handed Russia’s foreign minister a reset button. Since then Russia has annexed Crimea (False, Crimea seceded and applied to Russia to join) fomented a war in Ukraine, provided weapons that downed an airliner and launched operations to support Assad in Syria. As President, would you hand Vladimir Putin a reset button? Hillary said, it depends on what we got for it. I can tell you what we got in the first term. We got a new START Treaty to reduce nuclear weapons between the United States and Russia. We got permission to resupply our troops in Afghanistan. We needed Russian permission for that? When Putin came back in 2011, he came back with a mission. There were fraudulent elections held and Russians poured out into the streets to demand their freedom and he cracked down and accused me of fomenting it. He’s someone you have to continually stand up to, because like many bullies, he will take as much as he possibly can unless you do. Say what you want about Putin, but Russians love him. Elections don’t have to be fraudulent to elect him. The people of Crimea are almost unanimously ecstatic to be part of Russia now.
Yet another Youtube question came in, from Marques Brownlee. He said that tech companies are responsible for the encryption technology to protect personal data, but the government wants a back door into that information. So do you think it’s possible to find common ground and where do you stand on privacy versus security? Martin said that he thinks whether it is a backdoor or front door, the American principle of law should still hold. That our federal government should have to get a warrant. Whoa! O’Malley actually got something right. He said that he agrees with Benjamin Franklin, that no people should give up their privacy or freedoms for a promise for security. Wow! I have no rebuttal for O’Malley on this.
Sanders was asked how he would fight lone wolf terrorists here in America. Bernie instead started rambling on about the Patriot Act, addressing what O’Malley said. He said it’s not only the government we have to worry about, it’s corporations. You would be amazed at the amount of information private companies and the government has. In terms of the websites that you access, the products that you buy, where you are this very moment. Holt broke in and asked, but in terms of lone wolves, the threat…? Bernie said, what we’ve got to do there is have Silicon Valley help us to make sure that information being transmitted through the internet is in fact discovered. Ok, so Bernie is for full fledged spying and federal control of private companies, enslaving them to work for government to violate your rights. Undeniable.
Hillary and Martin tried to respond, but they went to a break. When they came back, Holt said that he would give Hillary 30 seconds to respond to the lone wolf question, since they had to cut to a break when she wanted to respond. Martin asked if he could have 30 seconds too and the audience cheered. Hillary said, I was very pleased that leaders of President Obama’s administration went out to Silicon Valley last week and began this exact conversation about what we can do. Our first line defense against lone wolf attacks is among muslim Americans. Whoa! Did she just admit that muslims are the problem? If muslims aren’t to blame for terrorist attacks, why seek help only from muslim Americans? It should be noted that we never receive help from muslims. Muslims are muslims. There are no peaceful muslims.
Andrea Mitchell said that when these leaders from the intelligence community went to Silicon Valley they were flatly turned down. They got nowhere. Clinton said, that is not what I’ve heard. Let me leave it at that. This is very disturbing. Whether Clinton just lied or told the truth, either way is frightening. If Silicon Valley is working with feds as Hillary just insinuated, that is reprehensible. If Hillary just lied, she exposed that she would push for this agenda, which is just as reprehensible. The Constitution needs to start being taught again in school.
O’Malley jumped in for his 30 seconds. Here in the homeland, unlike ISIL abroad, like your body’s immune system, it’s able to protect your body against bad bugs, not necessarily because it outnumbers them, but it’s better connected. The fusion centers. The bio surveillance systems. Better prepared first responders. If Donald Trump wants to start a registry in our country of people by faith, he can start with me and I will sign up as one who is totally opposed to to his fascist appeals, that wants to vilify American muslims. That can do more damage to our democracy… O’Malley started tripping over his tongue and became incomprehensible.
The candidates were asked if there was anything they wanted to say that they haven’t had the chance to say. They started with O’Malley. O’Malley said that we haven’t discussed immigration reform and the deplorable number of immigrant detention camps that our nation is now maintaining. We haven’t discussed our people of Perto Rico and the hedge funds that are working them over. We haven’t discussed the fact that in our own hemisphere we have the danger of nation state failures because of drug traffickers in Honduras and Guatemala and El Salavdor. You know why, Martin? Because none of this has a darn thing to do with the major issues we are facing. Who cares about Guatemala right now?
Clinton said that she spent a lot of time being outraged by what is happening in Flint, Michigan. We’ve had a city, in the United States of America where the population, which is poor in many ways and majority African American has been drinking and bathing in lead contaminated water. First, this isn’t a Presidential responsibility. Second, this is a Democrat run city. Big shocker that it’s full of poor, poisoned blacks.
Bernie said that very little is going to be done to transform our economy and to create the kind of middle class we need unless we end a corrupt campaign finance system, which is undermining American democracy. Ok Bernie, American is not a democracy. And you can’t blame campaign finance for everything from war in Iraq to Nabisco destroying what used to be a great snack food, Vegetable Thins. My God, if Bernie trips and falls, it’s Campaign Finance that caused it.
Well, that brings it to an end. The last question served as their closing comments, which did little to give them any credibility that they know what the job of President under Article 2 of the Constitution, even is. They’re all concerned about issues that aren’t important, such as Guatemala, poisoned black people, and campaign finance. The three candidates in the democrat debates are just not up to par. They need to bring in Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Chris Christie to get the Democrat debates really going strong.
AMP (Anna Maria Perez)
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