Democrats Debate: ISIS, Wall Street, Trump Targeted, But Clinton's In Crossfire, Too!

  • by: Alan Duke

The CBS Democratic presidential debate opened with a prayer for Paris a day after the horrific terror attacks on the French capital, followed by each of the three candidates on stage to address the violence.

"We need to have a resolve that will bring the world together to root out the kind of radical jihadist ideology that motivates organizations like ISIS, a barbaric, ruthless, violent jihadist terrorist group," Hillary Clinton said.

Clinton used the moment to suggest she would be the best commander in chief, promising details will come on her plan to work with European countries "and elsewhere to do a better job of coordinating efforts against the scourge of terrorism."

Sanders briefly addressed the Paris attacks, vowing the United States would lead the effort to "rid our planet of this barbarous organization called ISIS." But he quickly shifted to economic issues, saying the country has "a rigged economy."

"People are working longer hours for lower wages," he said. "On top of that we have a corrupt campaign finance system."

Martin O'Malley calls the Paris attacks "the new face of conflict" and the "no nation on the planet" is "better able to adapt to this change than our nation."

"We must anticipate these threats before they happen," O'Malley said. "This is the new sort of challenge, the new sort of threat that does in fact require new thinking, fresh approaches."

O'Malley and Bernie Sanders both jumped on Clinton for being in the pocket of Wall Street, suggesting she would not bring about reforms needed to prevent another economic collapse such as happened in 2008. They pointed to political donations her campaign's received from bankers and investors.

"It is weak tea," O'Malley said of Clinton's economic proposals. Americans want a president who will protect Main Street from Wall Street, the Maryland governor said. He suggested she was "the candidate of Wall Street."

Clinton responded by reminding O'Mally that "when you had a chance to appoint a commissioner of financial regulation (for Maryland) you chose an investment banker in 2010."

"If the Big banks don't play by the rules, I will break them up and I will also go after the executives whose decisions have such bad consequence for the economy," Clinton said.

Sanders said the banks were following the rules in place when they collapsed in 2008, but "the business model of Wall Street is fraud." No Wall Street executives would serve in his cabinet, he said.

Earlier in the debate, Sanders said he would raise the top income tax rate for the wealthiest Americans, but not up to the 90% level of the 1950 during the administration of Republican Dwight Eisenhower. "I'm not that much of socialist compared to Eisenhower," Sanders said.

O'Malley noted the top tax rate was 70% under Ronald Reagan. It was cut to 28% during Reagan's presidency.

When the debate turned to immigration, O'Malley drew big applause by calling Donald Trump an "immigrant bashing carnival barker." He said "our symbol is the Statue of Liberty it is not a barbed-wired fence."

Trump soon tweeted an expected insult aimed at O'Malley: "Hillary and Sanders are not doing well, but what is the failed former Mayor of Baltimore doing on that stage? O'Malley is a clown."

But it's a line that will be treasured by Trump opponents.

O'Malley, who has been a running a distant third in the polls and with media attention, made also made a splash when talking about race relations he said "Yes, indeed. Black lives matter!"

While it may be a long shot for O'Malley to close the gap with Clinton or even Sanders, it wasn't lost on many tweeters that the Maryland governor would be high on a vice presidential short list.

Lead Stories' Trendolzier scours social nets for trending content about Clinton, Sanders and O'Malley. Scroll down to see the latest.


  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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