By Thaha Sherwani
Domestic News Writer
The Democratic Party has faced some criticism from its own party members, among others, who are upset by the few debates that they have had.
The fourth democratic debate took place in Charleston, South Carolina. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley took the stage to once again lay out their platforms and opinions. The debate on NBC was watched by 10.2 million viewers, according to NBC estimates, making it the most watched Democratic primary debate since October.
The debate was cohosted by YouTube. YouTubers questioned the candidates via video while Lestor Holt was the main moderator from NBC.
South Carolina is the second state where democrats will cast their votes for the nomination. The debate took place blocks away from Mother Emanuel Church, where a mass shooting took place last June. The Democratic Party made a statement to the community of Charleston that it stands with them. President Obama’s recent Executive Action on gun control received positive airtime.
The debate had memorable lines and key moments. Many critics have said that Secretary Clinton attempted to align herself very closely to President Obama, while Senator Sanders talked about his plans to revolutionize the country and the system.
Governor O’Malley attempted numerous times to address the issues, however only received half the time to speak. A memorable line came near the very end of the debate when the moderator asked O’Malley if he had anything else to say that he had not been able to say during the debate, and the moderator sarcastically added that the Governor had sixty seconds. O’Malley responded that he would need twenty minutes.
Secretary Clinton attacked Bernie Sanders on his position on gun ownership. Senator Sanders defended his record saying that he was from Vermont, a hunting state, and that the National Rifle Association (NRA) gave him a D-.
Hillary Clinton later commented and assured voters that not only does she have an F rating from the NRA, but she will also stand up to the NRA.
Clinton implied that Bernie Sanders has also changed his policies regarding health care and continues to attempt to present new plans instead of supporting the Affordable Care Act. Hillary Clinton assured voters that if she were to become President, the Affordable Care Act would only get stronger.
When the candidates described what their first 100 days would be like in office, they all said that they would improve the Affordable Care Act, increase the minimum wage, and improve American infrastructure.
They talked about the state of America’s policing, race relations in our country, and the economy. Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton talked about regulating Wall Street and imposing stricter regulations on banks. Senator Sanders spoke about the need for campaign finance reform multiple times, saying that the lobbyists prevented Congress from truly acting for the American people.
The candidates also emphasized, throughout the debate, that if the American public votes for a Republican, it would undo all the progress that President Obama has made. As the time came for closing statements, Hillary Clinton stressed that the water crisis in Flint, Michigan must be resolved. She emphasized that if Flint was a rich suburb in Michigan, the Governor would not have allowed children to drink and bathe in lead contaminated water.
Throughout the debate, the three candidates refrained from personal attacks.
Overall, it seems as though the Democratic debates have been less chaotic and more substantive than Republican debates.
Subsequent to the debate, polls have been indicating that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are very close for the upcoming caucus and primary contest in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively.
The fifth debate will be on Feb. 11, 2016, after those states have chosen their Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 26th print edition.
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