Hillary Clinton stands strong in US Democratic primary debate

Hillary Clinton challenges main opponent Bernie Sanders in first debate over Democratic candidacy for 2016 presidential election.

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton challenges main opponent Bernie Sanders in first debate over Democratic candidacy for 2016 presidential election.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a commanding performance Tuesday night in the first Democratic primary debate broadcast on CNN ahead of the presidential election in 2016.

Desperate to contain a surging campaign on her left by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton assumed a poised demeanor, testament to her considerable debate experience, as she mixed pointed attacks with assurances of her liberal background.

While the two candidates — along with former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, and former U.S. Senator from Virginia Jim Webb –primarily dealt with economic regulations — particular attention being paid to Wall Street and income inequality — Clinton had her best moments, and Sanders his worst, when she criticized his gun control voting record.

Sanders, who argues that guns are an intricate part of the rural Vermont lifestyle, was at pains to appear convincing on why he had not voted for specific gun control legislation in the Senate, an important issue for liberal voters.

When compared to the two Republican primary debates, which took place in August and last month, Tuesday’s appeared considerably more peaceful and less polemical. And, as Clinton and Sanders dominated the debate, the other three candidates seemed tentative.

One of the highlights saw Sanders defend his top rival Hillary Clinton over her use of a private e-mail system while she was the secretary of state between 2008 and 2012,

When Clinton was questioned on the issue, she said that she already had admitted that it was a mistake and blamed the Republicans for trying to affect her poll numbers by using the e-mail scandal.

“I am still standing,” she said.

“Let me say something that may not be great politics,” Sanders added forcefully. “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.”

While Sanders received a big applause for his reaction, Clinton with a big smile on her face, shook Sanders’s hand.

Describing himself as a “democratic socialist”, Sanders said he did not adhere to the capitalist system — a stance that, as polls indicate, has seduced numerous voters, threatening Clinton’s once inevitable bid for the presidency.

“Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little, by which Wall Street’s greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I don’t,” he said. “Congress does not regulate Wall street. Wall Street regulates Congress.”

A former secretary of state, Clinton, not surprisingly, appeared strong on foreign policy. She insisted on the fact that, as president, she would prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and that they fall into the wrong hands (Anadolu Agency).

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