Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders view a lot of things differently but agree on Clinton's email scandal. In the first Democratic presidential debate, Sanders said the American people are sick and tired of hearing about Clinton's emails. The Vermont senator argued that there are many more important things to be discussing, starting with economic inequality. Clinton accused congressional Republicans of continuing partisan attempts to hurt her in the ongoing investigation of how she handled email when she was Secretary of State.
Clinton said she has been transparent and forthcoming and will continue to be so when she testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi later this month. Clinton is under investigation for using a personal email account and a private server when she was Secretary of State. She said it was not the wisest thing to do but insisted that it was allowed by the State Department at the time. Clinton is the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination but is facing a stiff challenge from Sanders.
Clinton and Sanders clashed over gun control in the Las Vegas debate. Clinton criticized past votes Sanders has taken against gun regulations. Sanders said he supports keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. Sanders also noted that he represents a rural state where gun laws are viewed suspiciously. Clinton said it is time to stand up to the powerful firearms industry and pass effective gun safety legislation.
Sanders also defended his role as a self-described Democratic socialist. He said he stands for strong principles against a "rigged economy." Sanders argued that all people in the U.S. should be able to get ahead, not just a "handful of billionaires." He brushed off suggestions that he is not electable in a national election. Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley criticized Clinton's vote in support of the Iraq war when she was in the Senate. O'Malley called the invasion of Iraq a huge foreign policy blunder.
Clinton defended assertions that she has flip-flopped on key issues. Clinton suggested that it is okay to reconsider positions when new information emerges. CNN aired live coverage of the debate. Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee opened the debate and said he has the vision, experience and character to be President. Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb followed Chafee and noted that many Americans are disgusted with national politics. O'Malley took a shot at Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, calling him a "carnival barker."
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