For those of you who have managed to defeat PDF (Presidential Debate Fatigue) and stick around this long: Pat yourself on the back! Tonight we’re following Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as they face off on the CNN debate stage in Flint, Michigan. Check back here to see who gets vindicated and who gets Berned when moderator Anderson Cooper questions the Dems on Flint’s water crisis, mass incarceration, and the state of the auto industry. But really, can we just have a moment of thanks for a debate where neither candidate references the size of his or her junk?
A sarcastic Sanders, on why Americans should trust the government to address the Flint crisis:
I suppose they can trust the corporations who have destroyed Flint by a disastrous trade policy which have allowed them to shut down plants in Flint and move to China and Mexico. We can trust them, I’m sure. Or maybe, Anderson, maybe we should let Wall Street come in and run the city of Flint. We know their honesty and integrity has done so much for the American people.
Clinton, on what should happen to government officials who knew about Flint’s drinking water:
They should be relieved. They failed this city.
Clinton, on keeping corporations accountable when they try and take jobs overseas:
I am also going to go after companies. When a company decides to leave like Nabisco is leaving, [and] they have gotten tax benefits from Chicago and Illinois to stay there, I will claw back the benefits.
Sanders, on Clinton’s response:
I am very glad, Anderson, that secretary Clinton discovered religion on this issue. But it’s a little bit too late. Secretary Clinton supported virtually every one of the disastrous trade agreements written by corporate America.
Clinton, on when she will release the speeches she gave to Wall Street:
I have said and I will say again, I will be happy to release anything I have as long as everybody else does too.
Sanders, on the experiences that have helped him understand other communities:
When I was a young man at the University of Chicago, I worked with students trying to desegregate University of Chicago-owned housing. Most candidates don’t put this on their resume, but I was arrested for trying to desegregate the Chicago school system.
Clinton in response to CNN’s Don Lemon asking whether she’s a little bit racist:
Being a white person in the United States of America, I know that I have never had the experience that so many people in this audience have had … I have spent a lot of time with the mothers of African-American children who lost them, [like] Trayvon Martin’s mother. I got to know them. I listened to them. It has been incredibly humbling, because I can’t pretend to have had the experience you and others have had.
Sanders, answering the question of whether he supports fracking, after Clinton spent about 130 words more:
No. I do not support fracking.
Clinton, reminding us that it’s all relative:
We have our differences and we get into vigorous debate about issues. But compare the substance of this debate with what you saw on the Republican stage last week.
Sanders, chiming in on Clinton’s GOP diss without quite thinking it through:
Let me pick up on the last point the secretary made. We [the Democrats] are, if elected president, going to invest a lot of money into mental health. When you watch these Republican debates, you know why.
Sanders, making his strongest statement yet on how his Jewish identity informs his politics:
My father’s family was wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust. I know about what crazy and radical and extremist politics mean. I learned that lesson as a tiny, tiny child when my mother would take me shopping, and we would see people working in stores who had numbers on their arms because they were in Hitler’s concentration camps. I’m very proud of being Jewish, and that’s an essential part of who I am.
Clinton, on her prayer habits:
I am a praying person. And if I hadn’t been during the time I was in the White House, I would have become one—because it’s very hard to imagine living under that kind of pressure without being able to fall back on prayer and on my faith.
This post will be updated throughout the night.