Good evening, and welcome to NPI’s live coverage of the eighth Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 cycle. I will be watching and sharing impressions of the debate as it progresses. This debate is being held in Miami, Florida, and is being broadcast by Univision and CNN.
There are two candidates left seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Tonight’s debate will be the second since Super Tuesday.
The moderators are Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos from Univision and Karen Tumulty from The Washington Post.
We will begin our live coverage at 6 PM, when the candidates take the stage.
UPDATE, 6:09 PM: We’re off and running with Hillary Clinton’s opening statement. Though the moderators are speaking in Spanish and English, the candidates are speaking in English. Clinton emphasized job creation and comprehensive immigration reform in her remarks. Sanders also emphasized combating the climate crisis.
UPDATE, 6:11 PM: First question went Hillary Clinton. “What went wrong in Michigan?” Univision asked. Clinton smiled and pointed out that she won most of the delegates and votes overall last night. She noted that Sanders has been running a competitive campaign throughout the nominating season.
UPDATE, 6:13 PM: Ugh, an emails question. Come on, Univision. Enough.
UPDATE, 6:15 PM: What is this — Fox Noise Channel or Univision? Seriously — Jorge Ramos just asked Hillary Clinton: “If you get indicted, will you drop out?”
Clinton refused to dignify it with a response.
UPDATE, 6:19 PM: We’re still not talking about issues. Instead, we’re talking Trump. Is he a racist? Karen Tumulty asked. Both candidates criticized Trump when giving their answers, but refused to simply say, “Yes, Trump is a racist.”
UPDATE, 6:21 PM: We’ve moved on to the topic of comprehensive immigration reform. Clinton says, “I’m staunchly in favor… and have been so over the course of my career.” It’s now Sanders’ turn to answer.
UPDATE, 6:27 PM: The candidates are having a pretty sharp back-and-forth about how progressive their positions on immigration reform are. They’ve each accused each other of taking positions that aren’t progressive.
UPDATE, 6:28 PM: We’re heading to a commercial break.
UPDATE, 6:33 PM: We’re back and talking about deportations.
UPDATE, 6:36 PM: “I would not deport children,” Clinton says in response to a question from Ramos, adding that her position is “Stop the raids.”
UPDATE, 6:37 PM: Sanders promises he won’t deport children.
UPDATE, 6:39 PM: Sanders is talking about the 2007 bill again. Clinton is accusing Sanders of supporting indefinite detention of immigrants ten years ago.
UPDATE, 6:48 PM: Question from the floor… what would you do to stop deportations? Sanders says we need to unite families, not divide families, citing the story of a U.S. solider whose wife was deported. Sanders called such travesties “beyond comprehension”. Now, turning to Clinton — what’s your plan?
UPDATE, 6:50 PM: Clinton’s praising the asker of the question for her courage. “It is time to bring families together. I don’t think there’s any doubt we must do more to let stories like yours be told,” she said.
UPDATE, 6:52 PM: Karen Tumulty is asking Clinton about polling that suggests people don’t view her as trustworthy. “It’s painful for me to hear that,” Clinton says. “This is not easy for me.… I’m not a natural politician like my husband.”
UPDATE, 6:55 PM: Tumulty asks Sanders, do you think Hillary Clinton says one thing to Wall Street bankers and another thing in public? Sanders says we’d know for sure if she released the transcripts of her speeches.
UPDATE, 7:03 PM: Again, have to wonder, is this Univision or Fox Noise? Jorge Ramos is now asking a Benghazi question. He had to talk over loud booing from the audience. After showing a clip, Ramos asked Clinton, “Did you lie to them?” (referring to families who were killed in the attacks.)
Clinton pushed back hard, to loud applause.
UPDATE, 7:09 PM: Another break has come and gone.
UPDATE, 7:16 PM: The candidates are talking about jobs, especially for Latinos. Sanders was in the middle of an answer when he was told, “Your time is up.” The moderators have been pointlessly interrupting the candidates all night, and it’s been really, really, annoying. Just let the candidates debate, Univision.
UPDATE, 7:26 PM: The candidates just finished rehashing a debate they’ve had before on healthcare. We’re now talking about the climate crisis… finally got a good question from the Univision moderators.
Sanders says we need a political revolution to effectively bring down emissions.
Clinton says she’ll move quickly to invest in resilience and mitigation while trying to cut emissions. She says she’ll uphold President Obama’s executive actions on clean power and clean air, which are being challenged in court by Republicans.
In his second stab at the question, Sanders called for an end to fracking and called on Clinton to embrace his plan to fight the climate crisis.
UPDATE, 7:32 PM: Next question is a good one. Do you agree with Elizabeth Warren’s criticism that President Clinton and President Obama have relied too heavily on advisors from Wall Street?
UPDATE, 7:34 PM: Clinton says she supports Tammy Baldwin’s legislation to address the revolving door and suggests Sanders should be attacking George W. Bush more, instead of criticizing her husband and President Obama.
UPDATE, 7:35 PM: Heading to another break.
UPDATE, 7:39 PM: We’re back. Next questions are about Cuba. The candidates are being asked if they support and will continue President Obama’s Cuba policy.
Univision also had another gotcha question — this time for Sanders.
UPDATE, 7:48 PM: Next question… what qualifications would you look for in a Supreme Court nominee? Clinton’s slamming the Republicans for saying he’ll refuse to consider President Obama’s nominee to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia. She reminded the audience about Bush v. Gore. Before Sanders could get a word in edgewise, Univision cut to commercial.
UPDATE, 7:54 PM: Time for closing statements. “I am going to take on those economic barriers,” Clinton said cheerfully, thanking those members of the audience and viewers on Facebook who submitted questions. “I would be honored to have your support in the upcoming primaries on Tuesday.”
“This has been a wonderful debate, but time being limited, some of the most important issues have not been asked [about],” Sanders said, proceeding to return to his themes of income inequality and the dominance of money in politics.
UPDATE, 7:57 PM: We’re all done. Jorge Ramos is delivering some final remarks. Behind him and the other moderators, we can see the audience. It’s very diverse, and it definitely looks like a cross section of the United States of America.