The Slatest

The Best Lines of the PBS Democratic Debate

Democratic Debate
The candidates take their positions.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have had plenty of contentious conversations on stage throughout the primary season. But the stakes have never been higher for the two than they are tonight, especially after Sanders’ huge victory in New Hampshire last Tuesday. If they know what’s good for them, they’ll be doing their best to sell their ideas tonight—and they’ll probably be coming for each other while they’re at it. Follow along here for their best lines.

Clinton on the cost of her proposals:

Especially with health care, this is not about math. This is about people’s lives.

Sanders, denying that he wants to dismantle the Affordable Care Act:

In my view, health care is a right of all people, not a privilege, and I will fight for that.

Sanders, resisting Clinton’s attempts to price out her policy proposals:

Senator Clinton, you are not in the White House yet.

Clinton, speaking to Wisconsin Democrats:

And Senator Sanders’ plan really rests on making sure that governors like Scott Walker contribute $23 billion on the first day to make college free. I’m a little skeptical about your governor actually caring enough about higher education to make any kind of commitment like that. 

Clinton on getting the support of female voters:

I have spent my entire adult life working toward making sure that women are empowered to make their own choices, even if that choice is not to vote for me.

Sanders on the need from criminal justice reform:

Today a male African-American baby born today stands a 1 in 4 chance of ending up in jail. That is beyond unspeakable. 

Sanders, explaining how trade policies fuel racial resentment:

No one thinks working in a factory is the greatest job in the world, but you can make a middle class wage. Decent health care, decent benefits. You once had a pension. Those jobs, in many cases, are now gone. They’re off to China.

Sanders on expanding protections for seniors:

You know, you judge a nation not by the number of millionaires and billionaires it has but by how you treat, we treat, the most vulnerable and fragile people in our nation. And by those standards, we’re not doing particularly well.

Clinton on dark money:

The Koch brothers have a very clear political agenda. It is an agenda, in my view, that would do great harm to our country. 

Clinton on what campaign contributions don’t do:

[President Obama] was the recipient of the largest number of donations ever. When it mattered, he stood up and took on Wall Street. He pushed through and he passed the Dodd-Frank regulation, the toughest regulations since the 1930s. So let’s not imply here that either president Obama or myself would not take on any vested interest… to stand up to do what’s best for the American people! 

Sanders on where campaign contributions do go:

Why does the fossil fuel industry pay huge amounts of money in contributions? Any connection to the fact that not one Republican candidate for president thinks and agrees with the scientific community that climate change is real and that we have got to transform our energy system?

Clinton on domestic counterterrorism efforts:

We need to understand that American Muslims are on the front line of our defense. They are more likely to know what’s happening in their families and their communities, and they need to feel not just invited but welcomed within the American society. 

Clinton on voting records:

I do not believe a vote in 2002 is a plan to defeat ISIS in 2016. It’s very important we focus on the threats we face today.

Sanders on one of Clinton’s “friends”:

I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country. I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger.

Sanders on responding to humanitarian crises:

Given our history as a nation that has been a beacon of hope for the opposed, for the downtrodden… I very strongly disagree with those Republican candidates that say, You know what, we’ve got to turn our backs on women and children who left their homes with nothing, nothing at all. That is not what America is supposed to be about. 

Clinton on Sanders’ criticism of Obama:

I don’t think [Obama] gets the credit he deserves for being a president who dug us out of that ditch, put us on firm ground, and himself sent us into the future… The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans. I do not expect [it] from someone running for the democratic nomination to succeed president Obama. 

This post will be updated throughout the debate.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the Democratic primary.