Did Hillary Clinton Really Request Flint Hold A Debate? She Has Put A Spotlight On Michigan's Water Crisis
At the beginning of the Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders called on Michigan governor Rick Snyder to resign over the state's water crisis. Clinton also took the opportunity to remind voters that she was the one who wanted the debate to be held in Flint. Is that true? Did Clinton really request that this debate be held in Flint?
Yes, she did. Clinton called for a Democratic debate to be held at the epicenter of Michigan's water crisis back in January. John Podesta, Clinton's campaign co-chair, put out a statement on Jan. 30 calling the water crisis "unconscionable" and saying that "we think one of [the future debates] should be held in Flint." He released this statement during a brief meta-debate, if you will, between Sanders and Clinton about when and where they should hold future debates.
"We should use the spotlight of the presidential campaign to keep the focus on Flint, and to lift up the historic underlying issues that Flint and too many other predominantly low-income communities of color across America are struggling with every day," Podesta wrote. "We want their votes to be heard in this campaign, and holding a debate would go a long way toward achieving that goal."
So far, the strategy appears to be paying off, at least insofar as the debate goes. The first several questions of the night were devoted to the water crisis, and while they didn't expose any significant differences between the Democratic candidates — both Clinton and Sanders basically agreed about everything related to Flint — the questions served another purpose. By focusing so much energy on the water crisis on Sunday's debate, the Democrats successfully highlighted the fact that the Republican presidential candidates completely ignored Flint at the last GOP debate — and that's something both Clinton and Sanders want voters to keep in mind for as long as possible.