Democratic presidential candidates from left, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee take the stage before the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
The Democratic candidates for president talked about a wide variety of issues in their recent debate but issues of income equality and race relations played a major part of the discussion.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the front-runner in the Democratic presidential contest, was joined at the CNN/Facebook-hosted first Democratic presidential debate by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Sen. Lincoln Chafee on Oct. 13 at the Wynn Las Vegas resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the two-hour long event, the candidates focused on the economy, foreign policy and race relations.
When asked about the Black Lives Matter movement, Sanders made his views clear.
“Yes, Black lives matter,” the senator said. “We have to combat institutional racism and reform the criminal justice system.”
On Black Lives Matter, O’Malley said that while he was the mayor of Baltimore, he saw that people of color’s lives were undervalued and he worked with Black and Brown leaders in his city to address race problems. Clinton credited President Obama for leading the discussion on racial justice and said that the country’s leaders need to address mass incarceration and improving the lives of all children.
“If there is one thing that has bipartisan support in the Congress is that we have to address the problems of the criminal justice system,” she said.
While Clinton, a self-described “progressive who gets things done” and Sanders, a Democratic Socialist, clashed on issues such as the role of Wall Street in determining economic inequality and helping middle and working class people prosper, they did come to an accord on focusing less on Clinton’s emails and more on helping the American people.
Clinton said that she recognizes that her email debacle was not handled in the best way but said that the most important issues of the campaign have to do with helping struggling families make ends meet. Sanders agreed with her.
“I am sick and tired of those damn emails,” he said to thunderous applause. “Enough of those emails and talk about the real issues.”
For more on former Maryland Gov. Martin O’ Malley see page D1.