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Hottest moments from the first Democratic debate of the 2016 elections

Courtesy+of+CNNU.S.+Secretary+of+State+Hillary+Clinton+speaks+at+the+Democratic+Partys+presidential+debate+on+Oct.+13.+Five+candidates+faced+off+Tuesday+night+for+the+first+Democratic+debate+of+the+2016+presidential+race.+

Courtesy of CNN

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Democratic Party’s presidential debate on Oct. 13. Five candidates faced off Tuesday night for the first Democratic debate of the 2016 presidential race.

The top five Democratic presidential candidates of 2016 — aside from vice president Joe Biden, who has still not decided if he is running – met on the debate stage for the first time Tuesday night. Anderson Cooper brought the fire during a two-hour long CNN debate. Hillary Clinton came out strong and was the clear winner but her top competitor, Bernie Sanders, held his own. Here are the top five moments:

Clinton’s “damn emails”

Sanders finally said what millions of Americans have been thinking over the past seven-months of news coverage on Clinton’s email scandal: “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails… Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.” Sanders prefaced his statement by saying that it “may not be great politics” to agree with Clinton on this, but in the end it was a winning move further showcasing Sanders’ authenticity.

Obama and Clinton “crashed” Chinese meeting

Clinton expertly steered the conversation towards her history with foreign policy, and the key role she has played in the Chinese climate change agreement. “I have been on the forefront of dealing with climate change, starting in 2009, when President Obama and I crashed a meeting with the Chinese and got them to sign up to the first international agreement to combat climate change that they’d ever joined,” she said.

Do black lives matter, or do all lives matter?

CNN was criticized last month for failing to bring up the Black Lives Matter movement in the September 16, GOP debate. They did not make the same mistake twice — Sanders and O’Malley agreed that black lives do matter; Clinton said President Obama had made headway with the issues in the African American community, but then turned her attention to early childhood education in a statement that came as a shock to many listeners. “We need to be committed to making it possible for every child to live up to his or her God-given potential,” stated Clinton.

College affordability

Sanders shined during the discussion of affordability, pointing out that a four-year college degree is now the equivalent of what a high school diploma was 50 years ago. He called Clinton’s college affordability plan complex and stressed that his plan to make all public colleges and universities tuition-free would be paid for by taxes on Wall Street speculation. Clinton went on the defensive and said, “My plan would enable anyone to go to a public college or university tuition free. You would not have to borrow money for tuition. But, yes, I would like students to work 10 hours a week.”

Re-instate Glass-Steagall

Martin O’Malley, the former Gov. of Maryland who is currently third in the polls, was adamant about re-instating the Glass-Steagall Act that once limited commercial banking. Clinton thanked O’Malley at the beginning of the debate for supporting her 2008 run, but O’Malley insists that they now have one great difference between them, “You are not for putting a firewall between this speculative, risky shadow banking behavior,” he said.


Follow Michelle Jaquette on Twitter.


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