The Best Zingers From the Final Democratic Debate of 2015
Analysis: Sanders struggles to gain edge in presidential bid.
Goffstown, NH–As the third Democratic debate faded to a five-minute commercial break, Hillary Clinton had exactly one minute and 45 seconds to walk out of the gymnasium at St.Hillary Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri struggled Sunday to defend her boss’ claim that videos of Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric were being used as recruitment tools for the Islamic State.The campaign of Democratic Party hopeful Bernie Sanders is not holding back their criticism of ABC News’s debate moderators David Muir and Martha Raddatz and their choice of topics for the final Democratic debate of 2015.Mindful of the grassroots support she’ll need to fuel a general election bid should she capture the nomination, Clinton accepted his apology, instead, keeping her criticism carefully aimed at her GOP rivals — particularly businessman Donald Trump. “I’m very clear that we have a distinct difference between those of us on this stage tonight and all of our Republican counterparts,” she said, in her opening remarks. “We have to prevent the Republicans from rolling back the progress that we’ve made.” Clinton’s brush-off of the data breach controversy underscores her confidence in a race in which Sanders is struggling to regain momentum as it shifts away from an economic message — the core of his campaign — to one over national security, because of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.
Bernie Sanders, left, speaks as Hillary Clinton listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate shown on TV screens in the media filing room Dec. 19 at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Palmieri appeared uncomfortable backing Clinton’s claim at Saturday’s debate that fact-checkers from the New York Post and PolitiFact have debunked. “Um, the uh, uh, you know, Donald Trump, I think, was talking–uh, you know, what Secretary Clinton was saying last night is that one of the many dangerous things about Donald Trump is that, uh, his hot rhetoric, saying we shouldn’t allow Muslim refugees into the country, is being used, and this is something that [an international group] has, who monitors social media and uh, on ISIS, has said –” she said before Stephanopoulos cut in. “Well, what they have said is that they are using him — he is being used in social media by ISIS as propaganda,” Palmieri said, sounding almost out of breath. “She didn’t have a particular video in mind, but he’s being used in social media, and uh, you know, what they haven’t found is the video Mr. Sanders’ pledge to avoid personal attacks in favor of policy disputes has seemed to frustrate his aides at times, who have occasionally gone on the offensive on their own. In a new fundraising email signed by liberal author and environmental activist Bill McKibben, they called the debate topics “a disappointment for anyone who cares about the future of the planet.” Last night’s Democratic debate was a disappointment for anyone who cares about the future of our planet. According to the Washington Post, the Clinton campaign backed up the candidate’s claim by referencing a quote from Rita Katz, the executive director of the SITE Intelligence Group. “They love him from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric,” she told NBC News earlier this month. “They follow everything Donald Trump says.
After an historic climate summit in Paris, it is unconscionable that the moderators of last night’s debate — as well as the Republican debate — didn’t ask a single question about climate change. When he says, ‘No Muslims should be allowed in America,’ they tell people, ‘We told you America hates Muslims and here is proof.’” However, Katz was speaking specifically of social media. It’s an assertion reminiscent of Trump’s insistence that video showed thousands of Muslims in the U.S. cheering the 9/11 attacks, which has been debunked for weeks. The topic, which Sanders has blamed in the past for the rise of terrorism around the world, was mentioned only twice; once by Sanders in his opening statement and once by former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in his closing statement.
During Saturday’s debate, Clinton stated that the Republican presidential contender is “becoming ISIS’s best recruiter,” with the group attracting people by showing videos of him. But on Saturday, the ABC News hosts, tied to the schedule of live TV, proceeded with their questioning about the economy with an empty podium awaiting Mrs.
His aides came out swinging on Friday after revelations that their staffers stole some of Clinton’s voter data, using a clumsy response by the Democratic National Committee to charge party leaders with favoritism and insinuate that her campaign also lifted some of their information. Indeed, Katz told the Post, “ISIS didn’t feature Trump in a video, but ISIS supporters and recruiters have used Trump’s rhetoric to promote ISIS’ ideas and agenda.” “If you go back and look at social media, if you look at what’s going on, they are definitely pointing at Mr. Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri acknowledged Sunday the campaign is aware of no such IS video and that jihadis are capitalizing on Trump’s comments about Muslims through social media. Instead, he chose to forgo the political opportunity, just as he did in the first debate when he dismissed controversy over Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
When his claim about a video showing “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating 9/11 was debunked weeks ago, Trump dug in his heels on the assertion about “plenty of people cheering.” He repeated that position Sunday. The campaign’s vice chairwoman, Huma Abedin, had timed the distance to and from the podium and expressed concerns to organizers, but the gymnasium setting meant there were no closer options. Asked about IS recruitment videos, he told ABC: “She just made it up.” So, it seems likely that the first part of Clinton’s claim—that Trump is “ISIS’s best recruiter”—is at least partly true. But it also highlights the organizational challenges Sanders faces as he tries to turn an insurgent candidacy into a campaign that can topple a world famous political celebrity with a solid double-digit lead. They’re not putting him in videos, though. (Not yet, at least.) Which is to say: there’s no need to make things up when the truth is as awful as it is.
Clinton, so focused on defeating the Republicans, had, perhaps, decided to watch the primary debate from a Manchester bar, with a row of glistening ladies’ rooms nearby. His aides believe that wins in those two states would give them momentum heading into the next contests in South Carolina and Nevada, territory where he’s struggled to gain traction over the former first lady. Attackers connected to or inspired by IS often say their actions are in response to the airstrike campaign against Islamic State militants, whose focus is on Syria and Iraq. Sanders’ campaign has successfully turned grassroots energy into a sizable war chest, announcing last week that it had received 2 million contributions — a milestone only matched by President Barack Obama in his re-election campaign. Shiite Muslims have been their primary target since the beginning and in their online videos, they often call out to their followers to attack infidels — Shiite Muslims in particular.
Demos, a left-leaning think tank, said in a May study that the decline in state funding accounted for 79 percent of tuition hikes between 2001 and 2011. CLINTON on rising premiums and out-of-pocket costs for the privately insured after enactment of Obama’s health care law: “I would certainly build on the successes of the Affordable Care Act and work to fix some of the glitches.” THE FACTS: Obama’s law was mainly about expanding coverage for the uninsured, and even former officials of his administration say major work still has to be done on cost control. Sanders says his plan for a government-run health care system along the lines of Canada’s and Western Europe’s would save money for families and taxpayers. When the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office looked at the concept back in the early 1990s, it concluded that a single-payer system had the potential to save money but that wasn’t guaranteed. SANDERS, apologizing for his campaign improperly gaining access to Clinton campaign data, raised the possibility that Clinton’s campaign may have done the same thing. “I am not convinced that information from our campaign may not have ended up in her campaign,” he said.
During a conference call with reporters on Friday, Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said he could “unequivocally tell you that no member of our staff stole data from theirs.” And the contractor that manages the campaign data for the Democratic Party, NGP-VAN, issued a statement Friday saying “our team removed access to the affected data, and determined that only one campaign took actions that could possibly have led to it retaining data to which it should not have had access.” THE FACTS: Clinton appears to be blaming the entire estimated death toll of the Syrian civil war on just one side: the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Syrian conflict began with anti-government protests before spiraling into a war with many groups emerging in opposition to the brutal regime crackdown.
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