NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Liveblogging the ninth 2016 Democratic presidential debate from the great Northwest

Good evening, and wel­come to NPI’s live cov­er­age of the ninth 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 Brook­lyn, New York and is being broad­cast by CNN. You can livestream the debate from CNN’s website.

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 first debate in about a month.

The mod­er­a­tors are Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash.

We will begin our live cov­er­age at 6 PM, when the can­di­dates take the stage.

UPDATE, 6:10 PM: We’re off and run­ning, and it did­n’t take long at all for this debate to get feisty.

UPDATE, 6:22 PM: Dana Bash wants to know… why does­n’t Clin­ton release the tran­scripts of her speech­es to Gold­man Sachs and put the issue to rest?

Clin­ton is real­ly, real­ly strug­gling with her answer to this. She keeps try­ing to change the sub­ject, and it isn’t working.

Bernie Sanders says he’s going to release his tax returns from 2014 tomorrow.

UPDATE, 6:25 PM: Wolf Blitzer throws a hos­tile ques­tion Bernie Sanders’ way, ask­ing how Sanders could pro­mote Amer­i­can busi­ness around the world, giv­en his “con­tempt for large U.S. cor­po­ra­tions”. Sanders rejects the premise of the ques­tion, not­ing that not all com­pa­nies dis­re­spect their workers.

Asked how he would bring jobs back to the U.S. with­out caus­ing the cost of goods to increase, Sanders spoke of rebuild­ing Amer­i­ca’s man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor and rais­ing the min­i­mum wage. Clin­ton says she has a plan to do just that.

UPDATE, 6:30 PM: Stay­ing on the top­ic of rais­ing the min­i­mum wage, Wolf Blitzer asks: “If a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress put a $15-an-hour min­i­mum wage bill on your desk, would you sign it?” Clin­ton says she absolute­ly would.

Sanders, react­ing with sur­prise, began giv­ing his response, while Clin­ton tried to inter­rupt. The can­di­dates are real­ly talk­ing over each oth­er here.

Giv­en a chance to explain her more nuanced posi­tion, Clin­ton says she sup­port­ed the fight for $15 in cities like Los Ange­les and Seattle.

“I have tak­en my cue from sen­a­tors like Pat­ty Mur­ray,” she added, name-check­ing Wash­ing­ton’s senior senator.

“Of course, if we have a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress, we will go to $15.”

“Pat­ty Mur­ray has intro­duced leg­is­la­tion to increase the min­i­mum wage to $12, that’s good. I’ve intro­duced leg­is­la­tion to increase the min­i­mum wage to $15; that’s bet­ter,” Sanders said in response.

UPDATE, 6:37 PM: We’ve moved on to the top­ic of gun safe­ty and gun respon­si­bil­i­ty. Bernie Sanders is defend­ing his record on this sub­ject, say­ing in 1988 he lost his con­gres­sion­al bid in part because he sup­port­ed ban­ning assault weapons. Clin­ton scoffed at that, and repeat­ed her claims that Sanders was in the wrong for vot­ing against the Brady Bill five times, and wrong for sup­port­ing leg­is­la­tion that gave the gun lob­by immu­ni­ty from lawsuits.

UPDATE, 6:46 PM: Now talk­ing about the 1994 crime bill. Was it a net pos­i­tive, or in ret­ro­spect, what was it mistake?

Clin­ton says she’s sor­ry for the adverse con­se­quences the leg­is­la­tion has had, but point­ed­ly not­ed it was her hus­band who signed the bill.

Sanders remind­ed view­ers that the 1994 crime bill includ­ed the Vio­lence Against Women Act (VAWA) and banned assault weapons… so it was­n’t all bad.

“We’ve got to have the guts to rethink the War on Drugs,” Sanders added.

UPDATE, 6:50 PM: Sanders was just asked a fol­low-up ques­tion about end­ing mass incar­cer­a­tion; he said his plan is to bring pro­gres­sives and con­ser­v­a­tives togeth­er in the states to reduce the nation’s over­all prison population.

UPDATE, 6:59 PM: We’re back and talk­ing about the cli­mate cri­sis. Sanders is aggres­sive­ly going after Clin­ton over fracking.

UPDATE, 7:01 PM: Defend­ing her advo­ca­cy of frack­ing, Clin­ton calls nat­ur­al gas “a bridge” to the future (mean­ing, a tran­si­to­ry ener­gy source that’s bet­ter than coal or oil but not as good as wind and solar.)

UPDATE, 7:03 PM: “Lit­tle steps are not enough,” Sanders declared in response. “We’ve got to tell the fos­sil fuel indus­try: their short term prof­its are not more impor­tant than the health of this planet.”

He asks Clin­ton if she’d sup­port a tax on car­bon diox­ide emissions.

UPDATE, 7:07 PM: Pressed on whether his ener­gy pro­pos­al would “dri­ve this coun­try back to coal and under­mine his fight against glob­al warm­ing”, Sanders talked about the need to ambi­tious­ly build rooftop solar, weath­er­ize build­ings, and pro­tect jobs as the coun­try tran­si­tions to a renew­able ener­gy future.

UPDATE, 7:16 PM: We’re talk­ing about U.S. sup­port for NATO now. Sanders says Euro­pean coun­tries should be pay­ing more of the defense bud­get. Clin­ton agrees, and says there are oblig­a­tions that are not being met, and those require­ments need to be enforced. Clin­ton goes on to call NATO the most suc­cess­ful mil­i­tary alliance in his­to­ry, and it would be strength­ened, not dissolved.

UPDATE, 7:21 PM: For the first time in these Demo­c­ra­t­ic debates, we’re hav­ing a lengthy, in-depth dis­cus­sion about Israel and Pales­tine. Bernie Sanders, who says he’s “100% pro-Israel”, also main­tains that the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple need to be treat­ed with respect and dig­ni­ty, or there will not be peace.

UPDATE, 7:29 PM: Bernie Sanders has giv­en some of the best answers of the night in response to these ques­tions about Israel and Pales­tine. He’s cor­rect: There are most cer­tain­ly two sides to this con­flict. Israel may have the right to defend itself, but we should not have a one-sided approach to address­ing this conflict.

UPDATE, 7:34 PM: Now back from the break.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer imme­di­ate­ly trot­ted out anoth­er hos­tile “gotcha” ques­tion for Sanders about the costs of his pro­pos­als. Sanders dis­put­ed the data used as the premise of the ques­tion, and point­ed out that many oth­er devel­oped coun­tries pro­vide access to health­care and a tuition-free col­lege edu­ca­tion to their people.

UPDATE, 7:40 PM: We’ve now moved on to talk­ing about Social Secu­ri­ty. Wolf Blitzer asks Clin­ton (yes or no), would you scrap the cap?

Clin­ton did not imme­di­ate­ly say yes, but gave a more lengthy answer detail­ing her sup­port for ask­ing wealthy fam­i­lies to pay more into Social Security.

“I think we are in vig­or­ous agree­ment here,” Clin­ton told Sanders, at one point dur­ing the testy back and forth between the two.

Clin­ton did con­tribute one very impor­tant point to the dis­cus­sion: no mat­ter who gets the nom­i­na­tion, they’re going to need a coop­er­a­tive Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress to work with in order to accom­plish key pri­or­i­ties like expand­ing Social Secu­ri­ty or mak­ing col­lege more afford­able or tuition-free.

UPDATE, 7:48 PM: Clin­ton just called out the mod­er­a­tors of this and eight pre­vi­ous debates for fail­ing to ask any ques­tions about repro­duc­tive rights. The audi­ence respond­ed with rous­ing applause.

UPDATE, 7:52 PM: The can­di­dates are now talk­ing about Demo­c­ra­t­ic pol­i­tics and the future of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. Bernie Sanders tout­ed polls show­ing that he does bet­ter than Hillary Clin­ton against Don­ald Trump; Clin­ton point­ed out she’s received more votes so far this nom­i­nat­ing season.

Sanders field­ed a hos­tile ques­tion from CNN about his par­tic­i­pa­tion in Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty pol­i­tics, not­ing that he has helped raise mon­ey for the DSCC, to help Democ­rats get elect­ed to the Unit­ed State Senate.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for keep­ing a run­ning com­men­tary going. Gives those of us with unre­li­able streams a way to follow. 

    # by Chantay Bielser :: May 7th, 2016 at 6:10 PM
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