6 Democratic Debate Questions That Could Legitimately Trip Up Hillary Clinton

Seen by many as a shoe-in for the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has not faced too many ugly attacks this time around on the campaign trail. Both the other Democratic contenders have largely played nice, but that may change at this Saturday's debate. In response to Clinton's rising poll numbers, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley may step up their criticism of the former senator and first lady. What if the moderators joined in? Forget Iowa nice. Imagine if moderator John Dickerson, host of CBS' Face The Nation, threw out a few hardball debate questions aimed at Clinton.

Like Sanders has said, questioning her on Benghazi, her emails, and other invented controversies is not the way to go. He has said Americans want to her about the issues that affect them. In that vein, he has begun to criticize her on her late arrival to progressive causes like opposing Keystone XL and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. O'Malley has the same strategy, just with different issues that he has heralded in Maryland, like the death penalty, immigration and gun control. These new, more marked challenges should raise the heat on Saturday's debate but there's more that could be explored and some questions might even trip Clinton up.

Why should LGBT Americans vote for you in the primary when you were behind the tide on gay marriage?

Long before Clinton tweeted her support for marriage equality, she was against it. In fact, she didn't come around on the issue until 2013, after even President Obama. She would frame her prior opposition to marriage as support for civil unions, but it still doesn't answer why she was so slow in coming around.

Do you support marijuana legalization and allowing states to develop their own policy toward the drug?


Clinton slightly changed her position over the weekend on marijuana, but she still doesn't go as far as Sanders in calling for the drug's legalization. She would change its classification from a Schedule 1 drug to Schedule 2, meaning it would move from the heroin column to the prescription pain-killer column. Given that four states have already legalized the drug for recreational use, it needs to be discussed.

What do you say to all the Americans who lost their jobs thanks to NAFTA?

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Clinton has reluctantly come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, but back in the day she was a big supporter of NAFTA, signed by her husband. She has criticized it in years past, but many voters whose livelihoods have been affected would benefit from knowing how Clinton factors their jobs into the trade debate.

What would you say to some of your top Wall Street donors about Wall Street reform?

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Clinton doesn't support breaking up Wall Street's biggest banks like Bernie Sanders. Could that be because of the money they shower down on her? She made $3.15 million on speaking fees from big banks in just 2013.

Would you have invaded Syria?

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Clinton supported a more aggressive approach to Syria while Secretary of State. She pushed for supporting an alternative to President Bashar al-Assad from the very beginning. Obama eventually followed suit and armed rebels. How far would she have gone? She now supports a no-fly zone over the country in response to Russian bombing.

What would you say to those who describe you as the democratic Mitt Romney?

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Columnist H.A. Goodman described her as "an electable Democratic candidate who leans to the right. She's the Democratic version of Mitt Romney. Would she present a true choice for Americans? She's continually presented as trying to be all things to everyone. Will her more progressive views change once she clinches the party's nomination? Romney moved back to the center after winning the Republican nomination.