Bernie Sanders' Closing Statement At The Democratic Debate Went Back To The Basics
On Sunday, the Democrats met on stage for their last debate before Iowa voters head to the caucuses in February. As expected, it was the most aggressive direct confrontation between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to date. As he's done many times before, Sanders criticized Clinton for her ties with Wall Street, and called her attacks on his gun record "disingenuous." However, Sanders’ closing statement went back to basics, focusing on his favorite issue: fixing income inequality and ending the influence of money in politics.
While Sanders and Clinton generally took it easy on one another in the first three Democratic forums, they pulled no punches tonight, likely because of their close poll numbers and the imminence of the first two nominating contests. In all likelihood, that harsh tenor will only increase as long as the two remain competitive in Iowa and New Hampshire. After all, the prospect of Sanders getting the nomination now actually seems like a possibility, raising the stakes much higher in what’s largely been, up to this point, a sleepy primary for the Democrats.
The two clashed on several points Sunday ― most notably, on guns and economic regulation. For their closing statements, the candidates were asked if there was any issue they wanted to discuss but hadn't had a chance to touch on. Clinton brought up the horrific water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and Sanders touched on it during the beginning of his. Then he moved on to economic issues:
Where Secretary Clinton was right, and what I did which I think is also right, is demanded the resignation of the Governor [of Michigan]. A man who acts that irresponsibly should not stay in power.
Now, we are a great nation, and we’ve heard a lot of great ideas here tonight. But let’s be honest and let’s be truthful: Very little is going to be done to transform our economy and create the kind of middle class we need unless we end a corrupt campaign finance system which is undermining American democracy.
We have got to get rid of Super PACs, we have got to get rid of Citizens United, and what we have got to do is create a political revolution which revitalizes American democracy, which brings millions of young people and working people into the political process to say loudly and clearly that the government of the United States of America belongs to all of us, and not only a handful of wealthy campaign contributors.
Say what you want about Sanders, but he certainly doesn't lack focus. He's been knocking Citizens United and calling for a political revolution this entire campaign, and the chances of him stopping that any time soon are effectively zero.
Image: Caroline Wurtzel for Bustle