Friday, July 12, 2024

Sharp Policy Differences In South Carolina Democratic Debate


The Democratic candidates running for president faced off on Sunday night for their last debate before the Iowa Caucuses on February 1. The heightened sense of urgency was palpable as former Secretary Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took a markedly more aggressive tone towards one another in exchange after exchange that focused on policy difference as opposed to showmanship that was on display at the Republicans’’ debate last week. Clinton cast herself as the tested, pragmatic candidate who is best positioned to build on President Obama’s achievements while Sanders sought to portray himself as the best candidate to deliver radical change that was needed concerning big banks.

“We’ve accomplished so much,” roared Clinton as she defended Obamacare and tore into Sanders’ healthcare plan as naïve. “I do not want to see Republicans repeal it and I do not want us to start over with a contentious debate. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it.”

Sanders was ready to counter her attacks on his healthcare record by invoking contributions and big banks tied to the Democratic frontrunner’s campaign, a hallmark of his candidacy. “Can you really reform Wall Street when they are spending millions and millions of dollars on campaign contributions and providing speaking fees to individuals?”

Clinton parried Sanders’ attacks by aligning herself with President Obama, who is immensely popular among South Carolina’s black community in the Charleston debate, throughout the night. “I’m going to defend Dodd Frank and I’m going to defend President Obama” she said in response to Wall Street reform criticism and in an subtle attack on the Vermont senator’s record on guns, a topic that has proven lucrative for Clinton, claimed he “reversed his position” on immunity for the gun lobby in certain civil suits.

The Hill