Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton went to bat Thursday during the sixth democratic debate of the 2016 election season. What did each candidate have to say about these select topics? Get a pencil ready; it’s time to keep score.
Note: A full transcript from the debate can be found online. These quotes are not meant to provide a holistic representation of the candidates’ views.
“We’ve got 11 million undocumented people in this country. I have talked to some of the young kids with tears rolling down their cheeks, are scared to death that today they may or their parents may be deported.
“I believe that we have got to pass comprehensive immigration reform, something that I strongly supported. I believe that we have got to move toward a path toward citizenship. I agree with President Obama who used executive orders to protect families because the Congress, the House was unable or refused to act.”
“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. So when somebody like Donald Trump and others stirs up the demagoguery against American Muslims, that hurts us at home. It’s not only offensive; it’s dangerous.”
“I think the American people have responded to a series of basic truths, and that is that we have today a campaign finance system which is corrupt, which is undermining American democracy, which allows Wall Street and billionaires to pour huge sums of money into the political process to elect the candidates of their choice… (The American people) see kids getting arrested for marijuana, getting in prison, getting a criminal record, while they see executives on Wall Street who pay billions of dollars in settlements and get no prosecution at all. No criminal records for them.”
“People lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings. Turns out that the African-American community and the Latino community were hit especially hard. As I understand it, the African- American community lost half of their wealth as a result of the Wall Street collapse… We bailed them out. Now it is their time to help the middle class.”
“Here is where we are with public education. A 100, 150 years ago incredibly brave Americans said, you know what, working class kids, low income kids should not have to work in factories or on the farms. Like rich kids, they deserve to get a free education. And that free education of extraordinary accomplishment was from first grade to 12th grade. The world has changed. This is 2016. In many ways, a college degree today is equivalent to what a high school degree was 50, 60 years ago.
“So, yes, I do believe that when we talk about public education in America, today, in a rapidly changing world, we should have free tuition at public colleges and universities. That should be a right of all Americans regardless of the income of their families.”
“There are a lot of training programs and education programs that I think can be streamlined and put into a much better format so that if we do continue them they can be more useful, in public schools, community colleges, and colleges and universities.
“People are being released from jail without the education, without the job training, without the resources that they need to get their lives together, then they end up — we’re shocked that they end up back in jail again. So, we have a lot of work to do… We will invest in education, and jobs for our kids, not incarceration and more jails.”
“American people are looking around and they see a broken criminal justice system. They see more people in jail in the United States of America than any other country on earth, 2.2 million. We’re spending $80 billion a year locking up fellow Americans.
“We have got to demilitarize local police departments so they do not look like occupying armies. We have got to make sure that local police departments look like the communities they serve in their diversity. And, where we are failing abysmally is in the very high rate of recidivism we see. People are being released from jail without the education, without the job training, without the resources that they need to get their lives together, then they end up — we’re shocked that they end up back in jail again.”
“We have to restore policing that will actually protect the communities that police officers are sworn to protect. And, then we have to go after sentencing, and that’s one of the problems here in Wisconsin because so much of what happened in the criminal justice system doesn’t happen at the federal level, it happens at the state and local level.
“There are other racial discrepancies. Really systemic racism in this state, as in others, education, in employment, in the kinds of factors that too often lead from a position where young people, particularly young men, are pushed out of school early, are denied employment opportunities. So, when we talk about criminal justice reform, and ending the era of mass incarceration, we also have to talk about jobs, education, housing, and other ways of helping communities.”
“When extraordinarily wealthy people make very large contributions to Super PACs, and in many cases in this campaign, Super PACs have raised more money than individual candidates have, OK? We had a decision to make early on, do we do a Super PAC? And, we said no. We don’t represent Wall Street, we don’t represent the billionaire class, so it ends up I’m the only candidate up here of the many candidates who has no Super PAC.
“Now, Secretary Clinton’s Super PAC, as I understand it, received $25 million dollars last reporting period, $15 million dollars from Wall Street. Our average contribution is $27 dollars, I’m very proud of that.”
“My 750,000 donors have contributed more than a million and a half donations. I’m very proud. That, I think, between the two of us demonstrates the strength of the support we have among people who want to see change in our country. But, the real issue, I think, that the Senator is injecting into this is that if you had a Super PAC, like President Obama has, which now says it wants to support me. It’s not my PAC. If you take donations from Wall Street, you can’t be independent.
“I would just say, I debated then Senator Obama numerous times on stages like this, and he was the recipient of the largest number of Wall Street donations of anybody running on the Democratic side ever.”
MARIJUANA AND EQUALITY
“What we have to do is end over-policing in African- American neighborhoods. The reality is that both the African-American community and the white community do marijuana at about equal rates…The reality is four times as many blacks get arrested for marijuana. Truth is that far more blacks get stopped for traffic violations. The truth is that sentencing for blacks is higher than for whites.”
“When it comes to the issues that are really on the front lines as to whether we’re going to have equal pay, paid family leave, some opportunity for, you know, women to go as far as their hard work and talent take them, I think that we still have some barriers to knock down, which is why that’s at the core of my campaign.
“…any other American today who feels somehow put down and oppressed by racism, by sexism, by discrimination against the LGBT community, against the kind of efforts that need to be made to root out all of these barriers, that’s what I want to take on.”