tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 25, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
>> earlier tonight we played senator sanders your ad. >> uh-huh. >> asked him a question. one of the
ads that you're putting out here in the run-up to the caucuses. we'll do the same for you. here's the senator's ad. ♪ notes ♪ >> i'm bernie sanders, and i proof this message. >> i think that's great. i think that's fabulous. i loved it. [ applause ] you know, look, you campaign in poetry, you govern in pros. and we need a lot more poetry in this campaign. and in our country.
so, i applaud that. i love the feeling. i love the energy. i obviously respect senator sanders greatly and appreciate what he has done in this campaign. but i believe that
i'm the better person to be the democratic nominee, and to be the president and commander in chief of the country because -- [ applause ] >> another question for you. h's from logan, iowa, going to school, workings as a supervisor for a january tomorrow company. says he's undecided, has a question. >> great. >> secretary -- oh, clinton, sorry. >> that's okay. >> i can see why they gave you this question, i just wanted to know which of our previous presidents has inspired you most and why. >> you can only pick one. one. you can pick. sorry. let me jump your question, one president, one. >> okay. >> just one. [ applause ]
>> okay. sorry, president obama, sorry, bill, abraham lyincolnlincoln. you know, i -- wow, when i think about his challenges, they paleed in comparison to anything we can face or imagine, you know, more americans died in the civil war than, you know, the wars of the 20th century put together. so here was a man who was a real politician. i mean, he was a great statsman, he understood politics and he had to work to put together, the support he needed to be able to hold the country together during the war, and while he was prosecuting that war to keep the union together, he was building america, which i found just an astonishing part of his legacy. transcontinental rail system,
land grant colleges, he was thinking about the future while in the middleton of trying to decide which general he can trust to try to finish the war. that's what i mean, when you've got to do a lot of things at once, what could be more overwhelming than trying to wage and win a civil war? and yet, he kept his eye on the future and he also tried to keep summoning up the better angels was our nature. you know, he was willing to reconcile and forgive, and i don't know what our country might have been like had he not been murdered, but i bet that it might have been a little less rank reduce, a little more forgiving and tolerant than might possibly have brought people back together. more quickly. but instead, you know, we had reconstruction, we had the reins graduation of segregation and jim crow.
we had people in the south feeling totally discouraged and defiant. so, i really do believe he could have very well put us on a different path. and, as i say, our challenges are nothing like what he faced, but let's think ourselves about not only what we have to do right now, especially to get the income rising in america, especially to make college affordable, do something about student debt, keep health care growing until 100% coverage and so much else, but let's also think about how we do try to summon up those better angels. and to treat each other, even when we disagree, fundamentally disagree, treat each other with more respect. and agree to disagree more civilly and try to be inspired by, i think, the greatest of our presidents. [ applause ] >> secretary clinton, thank you very much for taking the tunt. >> great to see you. >> appreciate it. >> you doing okay?
>> everything's great. thank you. we want to want thank secretary clinton, governor o'malley and senator sanders, and everyone who made this town hall possible. thanks to our partners, the iowa democratic party, and drake university, of course, and thank you all, our audience for watching and participating. the caucuses just one week from tonight. we'll be here, cnn will have complete coverage. i'm chris cuomo in des moines, don lemon picks up our coverage right now. [ applause ] all right. chris, thank you very much. our breaking news tonight. you just heard from hillary clinton, bernie sanders, and martin o'malley. made their closing arguments at cnn's democratic town hall in des moines. this is cnn tonight, i am don lemon, thank you for joining us. just one week away from the first vote in the nation at the iowa caucuses. and the race for the democratic nomination is up for grabs right now. so let's discuss.
we heard great things from all three candidates. joining me now is peter biener, also van jones, i will not be getting a word in edge wise with all of you. i realize that. it was very interesting. all of them showed up, hillary clinton showed up. >> she showed up. >> how did they do, gloria? >> these were candidated out on the campaign trail. i don't think they would have been as good in this kind of a venue, six months ago. >> six weeks ago. >> right. hillary -- they all had to stand up because they had so much energy. they couldn't kind of talk sitting down. hillary clinton came to play. bernie sanders came to play. you had a 74-year-old revolutionary there on stage, taking it right to hillary clinton, not in the personal way, but saying these are the areas i disagree with you on. this is why i would be a better leader because i was against the war in iraq before you were. i was against those trade deals before you were. i was for climate change before you were.
you know and on and on, and then you saw hillary clinton give it right back and basically say, without again, without criticizing bernie sanders personally, but saying you know what, i can govern. i've been there. i've been under attack and i keep coming back, and i know thousand get -- >> that was the first answer to the young person, when were you born, '93 or whatever. you were chomping at the bit. what were you saying, ben? >> all three of them were at their very best. this was the best i've seen all three of them. hillary clinton demonstrated that she is probably the best prepared person to be commander in chief maybe in the history of the country, but bernie sanders, if you are curious, how can this weird guy be surging? you saw tonight why. this guy has taken on the mantle of the progressive wing of the democratic party, and unapologetically, she's done it with humor anden warmth. usually you see him yelling and yelling, you can see now the charm. you can see now why he's rising.
i think he's done the democrats a favor. he has done what republicans have done, moving the needle to the right. he has made it safe to be a strong liberal, he is unapologetic. >> i want to stick with this side of the room, any standout moments for you? >> i thought they were both good. it was like a slam dunk contest. no opponent on the field. >> they were both, they were both -- what was striking though was the content. bernie sanders almost no foreign policy. hillary clinton, dominated by foreign policy. one of the reasons they could both be so strong is they were playing in their own spots and comfort level, he's much more comfortable dealing with question of economics and class -- >> social issues. >> strong on policy. >> dealing with foreign policy, big difference. how much energy was on the by - straj. we hear about this, energy deficit in the democratic party. i'm a hillary clinton supporter, and she came out tonight. and i think she snoked it
completely out of the park, but i also recognize that bernie sanders did a hell of a job. he really did a great job in co. lissing his supporters. he pivoted back to the billionaire class, income inequality. he is the most bond message candidate that i have ever seen in my -- >> you thought martin was going to show up? did he? >> he was present. he was present. >> difficulty that martin o'malley is having he's running against bernie sanders, who is in his own element who has these large crowds who is feeding off this energy, who's probably going to be the 45th president of the united states, hillary clinton, who's literally dominated foreign policy, and you could see on that stage, it was, she was ready to be president today. and i think that in a world where many people are afraid in a country where many people have this fear, they spoke to them. >> neutral, let me start with that, but more importantly i was
proud to be a democrat tonight. >> exactly. >> i was proud to hear from fly distinguished candidates who understand the issues, understand what keeps americans up at night, and they were able to answer those questions. i think we should remember that there's a large percentage of voters who are still uncommitted, and tonight, this town hall was, was there for voters to sort of help make up their mind, clear up any misunderstanding. so i thought it was a good forum, a great response from the candidates. and i think we're going to have one, excuse melange, one hell of a week in politics -- >> that's nothing on this show. >> i'm a catholic girl, but owe you know, it was great to hear candidates and stand up and address some questions from the voters. it was a good night for democrats and the country. >> you have the stage. >> i listened with an open mind to bernie sanders giving his definition of democratic socialism. and what i was trying to disearn
is whether it's sellable to the country at large. i doubt that it is. i listen to him and thought he was effective, i though he was on top of his game, but i still look and wonder is this the george mcgovern of 2016 should he ever win the nomination? he'd be better served if he used the word capitalism and used the word sburp neuroship in the midst of giving his explanations, so as to say hey, i want people to make money, it's cool to make money, but the disparity has grown too large. >> did he get people to understand, did he distinguish himself, how are you going to pay for this? i'm going to raise taxes. >> play in that room. it'll play in that room. >> we're going to look in this moment when we come back and discuss that and many more as we continue on. stay with us, everyone. when we come back, more from iowa and from the man who moderated tonight's debate, that's chris cuomo. on the other side of this break. ♪ ♪
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back now with the postcoverage, anderson cooper was in des moines in the hall tonight. he is with chris cuomo who was moderator. i really liked this format as -- i like the debates, but i like this better than the debates. what'd you think, did you like them? >> i think it allowed the candidates to make an impassioned case for why they
should be the dimmic nominee. when you're doing this chris, it's hard to get a sense of how it's going. how did you think it went? >> i felt that the questions were good. from the voters. you're right, especially in something like this. i really wasn't focussed too much about myself because i wasn't really that relevant, it's not like moderating a debate when you have to be the conductor of what's going on here. here it was just not getting in the bay and trying to push back when necessary. but i think it's different when a candidate is talking to you or me than when they're talking to a voter. . they don't, they cannot regard us the same way, they can blow off the premise of a question if they want and it's acceptable. you can't do that with a voter. and you get to the measure a candidate, i think, the voters in a way that they dmoent others. and i think this was a smart way to do it. >> you got a sense that the candidates, look, iowa is retail politics, iowa is all about small meetings like this and they've been doing the town halls, but they are clearly
practiced at it. i was surprised at the energy of each of them. considering they've been out all day long, bernie sanders referenced that about being more tired if you were keeping up with him all day long. each may impassioned pleas and played very well to certainly this young audience. >> you know, where the senator and i grew up, they called it the hunga, the hunga right now. they're on, candidates do that when they're getting close. what i think, what welcome the plus/minus on this one. the plus is you got good exposure for the voters, direct questions? what's the minus? well you didn't go at them the way you usually do in a debate. that was not as much of an accountability ses, but i think that's by design. certainly we have no problems asking hard questions to candidates, but this was their chance to make their last pitch, you know, which is obviously going to be largely positive because it's coming for them in response to voters questions. take for what it is, they did a
good job. >> bernie sanders clearly tried to paint the difference between him and senator clinton in a way that was respectful, didn't seem like an attack, but make those differences clear. as did hillary clinton. >> absolutely as did secretary clinton. i mean, she's not consistently talking about experience being up for the whole job by coincidence. she's saying that to frame bernie sanders is a one trick pon pony. >> plays different lip on television than in the room. but certainly in this room, the audience was wrapped, the applause very strong, particularly in martin o'malley, strong response from a lot of people in this room. it'll be interesting to see how voters watching on television, how they viewed it compared to the people in this room, don. >> after i question for you -- i have a question for you, i was interested in the questions from young people, especially because they asked all the candidates, you know, i don't see the enthusiasm for you and bernie sanders. was the room filled with a lot of young people?
>> there were. a lot of young people here. clearly a lot of students -- i don't know how it was determined who got to be in the room. clearly a lot of students from the university here. definitely when you look around, probably one of the few gray haired people around. it's definitely a very, very young audience, don. >> i have dmoon brazil to make up on this end for gray hairs. we got great hairs. >> you can have mine. >> all right guys, thank you very much. nice job for both of you in iowa. up next, more from the iowa town hall, you heard the candidates make their final arguments. dp you change your mind about any of them? about anything? we'll discuss when you come back. so i'm going to take this opportunity to go off script. so if i wanna go to jersey and check out shotsy tuccerelli's portfolio, what's it to you? or i'm a scottish mason whose assets are made of stone like me heart. papa! you're no son of mine! or perhaps it's time to seize the day.
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which is why healthy choice simply café steamers uses 100% natural chicken and absolutely nothing artificial. democratic candidates taking their battle down to the wire with the iowa caucuses. and just one week away, back with me now is my panel. and the people with no hair, we have everything from it. and that's a compliment, don, that's no shade as someone said on social media. michael mentioned this just a short time ago, talking about the candidates perceived strengths and weaknesses are. you mentioned earlier about bernie sanders defending himself as a socialist. >> some of your detractors have called you a associatist on occasions, and you don't seem too troubled by that, and sometimes embrace it. i wondered if you could elaborate on that, and just to
show us what the comfort level you have, your definition of so that it doesn't concern the rest of us citizens. >> democratic socialism means, to me, is that economic rights, the right to the economic security should exist in the united states of america. it means to me that there's something wrong when we have millions of senior citizens today trying to get by on 11, $12,000 a year social security. it means there's something wrong when the rich get richer and almost everybody else gets poorer. it means there is something wrong, and government should play a role in making sure that all of our kids, regardless of their income, are able to get a higher education. which is why i'm calling for free tuition of public colleges and universities and why we have to deal with this horrendous level in student debt that people are having. now what's going on in countries around the world, in scandinavia and germany, the ideas that i am
talk abouting are not lradical ideas, what it means to me in its essence is that we cannot continue to have a government dominated by the billionaire class, and a congress that continues to work for the interest of the people on top while ignoring working families. >> all right. this was your, you brought this up. did he help himself there? did he explain himself? socialist, people are afraid of that word. >> i think he helped himself with regard to the democratic base, probably helped himself in as far as he's trying to attract those voters in iowa. i don't think that sells to the nationed a large, unless he completes the thought and says something like, i'm for you in you're an entrepreneur, there's nothing wrong with wanting to make money, i'm talking about the very wealthy, having too big a piece of the pie because they've manipulated the process, but left the way that it is, i think it opens itself to a criticism that he's coming for everybody's wallet. >> the only thing, he makes this
mistake every time trying to go overseas. look, in some scandinavian village they do this -- >> they don't want to be compared to them. this is a huge opportunity to point out that a lot of stuff we take advantage like free k-12 education. medicare was a socialist program. of a lot of things that we have in america were once called that. he never talked about american history, talked about the fact that, like dr. king, had ideas that were once called socialists, we could all be together and hold hands. he could make the sale a lot better than he does. >> you know, he was supposed to give a speech during this campaign and he hasn't done it yet. >> he went to georgetown and he, and he did lay out his vision -- >> laid out his vision, yes. >> about what it would mean and this modern day capitalism. >> but what he didn't include is the fact that be your taxes, among the wealthy this in this country would be raised to 40 to
50% tax rate. he didn't detail how you would pay for x, y, and z. >> that is a big, big -- >> the only millennial at this table is this young man right here, and when millennials say to me, i like bernie sanders. that's great. so how is he going to pay for this? how is he going to pay for this. you guys are going to pay for it. let's listen, he was asked about it and then we'll talk about it. >> massive redistribution of wealth in this country. it's gone from working families, trillions of dollars, to the top one tenth of 1%. so yes, what this campaign is about is to say profitability corporations who in some years don't may a nickel in taxes, for the wealthiest in this country who have an effective tax rate lower that be truck drivers or nurses, yeah, you are going to start paying your fair share of taxes. >> you will hear people say that
sur paying for is it is actually punitive. you're going to punish people who make money, you're going to punish the financial district, you're going to punish and wind up changing the idea of an open and free economy. >> we got to put what i am doing in context. and here's the context, today in america, we have more income and wealth inequalities than since 1928. there has, chris, been a massive transfer of wealth, i'm talking about trillions of dollars, from the pockets of working families into the hands of the top one tenth of 1%. that's a fact. so if you are telling me that at a time when wall street's recklessness and illegal behavior brought this country to its knees, that i am going to say to them that they're going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes, fine, if that's the criticism, i accept it, i demand that wall street
start paying its fair share of taxes. >> i think it's more than that though. i mean for the fact of the matter is, i'm a millennial, i just got married four or five months ago and i'm still trying to figure this thing out. every month, i have a car note, 400 bucks, i pay over $1300 a month in student loan payments, like many people watching out there trying to figure out how to balance their books. and this isn't just going to be the billionaire class on wall street that are going to have to share the bernie sanders tax burden, this is middle class americans as well. those of us who go out and get degrees, the tax burden on us is going to bump up as well. >> that's not right. i mean, that's not right. especially, you know, if you buy his idea that basically you're going to get rid of health care costs for private insurance, it's worth remembering under -- >> we're going to eliminate private insurance. >> that's the goal. remember in the 1950s, this is the point he makes, but it has to be true, top margin tax rate
was much, much, much higher, in the 1950s which the republicans kind of row the man size under dwight eisenhower. we have accept since ronald reagan a notion of what have our economic policy should be, it is actually far, far to the right of where things were in the period. bernie sanders wants to shift that back. now practically you maybe the be able to do it, but radical depends on what you're basing it on. dwight eisenhower is back, it's not that bad. >> how do you tell people who are already paying 40% taxes and convince the middle class american, most americans they're going to have to pay nor tax taxes -- >> the american people care about the national deficit. we still have a huge burden in terms of our foreign policy and wars and so forth. so, i think bernie sanders has tried to answer how he would come top pay for all of these programs, but i think -- >> quick last word on this.
then we'll move on. >> the greater question is to convince americans that they ought to have more faith in government to be the solution to all of their problems, at a time when trusting government is at an all-time low. and bernie sanders is saying -- >> i'll let you speak, but hurry. >> look, there are a lot of people out there that agree with what he says because they think the insurance companies are ripping them off and why do you need insurance, you don't need insurance companies, you need to see a doctor. and he does talk about charging wall street for speculation. these guy us gambling with money, a little bit of tax there can give you a chance to go to college. i think that's a good thing. >> that's his issue. the whole socialist thing. strength or weakness, however you see it. you guys know, honestly, honesty question, she got it tonight. here it is. >> i've heard from quite a few people my age that think you're dishonest. but i'd like it hear fro you and why you feel the enthusiasm
isn't there. >> well, i think it really depends upon who you're seeing and talking to. you know, today in oskaloosa, i spent time with about ten high school students who are enthusiastically working for me. i see young people across the state who are doing the same. but i'm totely happy to see young people involved in any way. that's what we want. and we want to have a good primary to pick a nominee, and then we to want have everybody join together to make sure we win in november. which afterall is the purpose of this whole campaign. and so, you know, look, i've been around a long time, people have thrown all kinds of things at me. and you know, i can't keep up with it. i just keep going forward, they fall by the wayside, they come up with these outlandish things, they make these charges.
i just keep going forward because there's nothing to it. they throw all of this stuff at me, and i'm still standing. but if you're new to politics, if it's the first time you've really paid attention, you go oh my gosh, look at all of this, and you have to say to yourself, why are they throwing all of that? well, i'll tell you, with i've been on the front lines of change and progress since i was your age. i have been fighting to give kids and women and the people who are left out and left behind the chance to make the most out of their own lives. and i've taken on the status quo time and time again. >> so, i think michael, that was her first question, i believe -- >> it was. >> and i actually felt watching it, it was her best moment. >> it was. and i would categorize that as the woman in the arena speech. her essentially saying that this comes with the territory, if you're out there on the front lines as i have been for all these years, you're going incur
this criticism and it's all prepostero preposterous, but as i watched her say that, i couldn't help but think of michael bloomberg, and that may seen like nothing, but i think the reason that bloomberg is taking a look at getting into this race is he's wondering whether she has liability relative to the e-mail issue. >> i thought what made it a strong answer was she wasn't pretending to be something she's not. i'm the fresh face, she was saying yeah, people have thrown stuff ae mt., i'm tough, i can take it. then her answer at the en, why did they do that? they do it because they fear me because in fact i'm going to bring change. that's an answer that democrats like to hear. >> did you believe her? did you believe her? >> i believe that that's what she really believes. do i believe that's a big part of the reason? yeah, i think, and i also think frankly a lot to do with the fact that she's a woman. the '90s, a lot was because she was a figure of cultural change. >> you could see her trying to get there though because at the first part of the question, she said, oh, i'm just totally happy
that young people are involved. and that wasn't a really great answer. it was very weak. but then you could see her mind working and she finally got to the point -- >> she felt the room -- >> she got to the point where you know why, because i've been on the front lines, and that was the good part of the answer, but it took her ha while. >> yeah, because in the south carolina debate, she didn't know thousand answer that question. >> she couldn't get there. >> exactly. >> but she got there tonight. and i thought that was three snaps. for those of us that understand that. >> z formation. teach michael over there. >> it's called living color. it's from the '80s. but also, i thought was -- some people like it, others don't, when she talks about bag woman. and talked about dancing and president obama complimenting her and saying, you know, ginger rogers had to do everything been but in heels and backwards.
and that worked for her. >> that was a very, very difficult question that young man zd. former secretary of state of the united states of america. >> about honesty. >> to her face and said many young people believe you're dishonest. and she was taken aback first of all that that was the first question she got at the democratic forum, and found that caden cadence. when you're a politician, you have to find that rhythm, you have to find that cadence, then she said, i'm still standing. you're going to see that on everything. >> stick around, we're going to continue own and discuss all of this. the best moments from the town hall. don't go anywhere. introducing metris, the mid-size van from mercedes-benz. it's got small-ability and big-ability. towing-ability and stowing-ability. rack-ability and hvac-ability. it's fully customizable and sized just right to give you cupcake-ability, entourage-ability... ...garage-ability and even afford-ability.
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welcome back, the democrats making their closing arguments to iowa's voters tonight. now let's get to a reality check on what the candidates had to say. you had a lot to work with, jim. >> we did, and with had our best team in the business on this tonight, don, let's start with bernie sanders. this is one of the big issue bs in the campaign, universal health care, bernie sanders drawing a distinction with hillary clinton on this. him supporting he says, a much broader plan.
so let's listen to a claim he made tonight on why he is doing this. listen. >> today is the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care as a right. >> only country on earth doesn't guarantee health care as a right. we went to our fact checkers, in fact the world health organization looking at this, usa currently the only high-income company industrialized nation that does not have nearly universal health care coverage. our reality check team rates that has a true. hillary clinton, another ke issue here has been wealth disparity, hillary clinton and making her case for president going back to the clinton years, and making this claim about wealth, growth during that decade. >> at the end of eight years, we not only had 2/3 million new jobs, what was most important is incomes grew for everybody. not just those at the top. more people were lifted out of poverty, the middle and working people, and today in knoxville
and my town hall, i called on a man said, we never had it so good. >> we never had it so good, that the crux of the clinton argument, america's prospered under president bill clinton. the reality check team looks there, it is true. looking at the numbers particularly on the spreading that income growth around during the economic growth of the 1990s. let's go to martin o'malley. big issue, violent crime, but specific to baltimore and maryland, don, you know this, you've been covering this, in the last year. the violence there the crime and the resulting protests. here's a claim he made -- >> at the end of my time, we had driven down crime to a 30-year low and incarceration rate to a 20 year low. do both at the same time by doing good things at work. >> so we looked at both figures close that drove down violent crime 30 year low, but that incarceration rate, here's what our team found. violent crime down, significantly amount for 100,000
inhabitants, incarceration rate down not as significantly, but the team rating that claim as true. this is a final one, dom, there was a moment in the debate when bernie sanders makes a claim of being a great athlete, basketball bernie, here's what he said to our chris cuomo. >> i was a good athlete, not great, i was a good basketball player, my elementary school in brooklyn won the borough championship. >> you don't get more outlandish claims than that, we got the best team, i'm a new yorker, i used to play elementary school basketball, did his school win the brooklyn borough championship in basketball? ps 197 in brooklyn, fact checking team looked, they did indeed win. don -- >> whew. >> reality check claim is true. take it to the bank. sflped that be the one that everyone would be ticked off about. if it wasn't true. >> you can check.
>> nice job, jim, thank you very much. and did your team win? >> my team did not win. i'm standing in awe just as much as chris cuomo. he was also a good miler, 437 mile, not bad. >> oh wow. and that's true too as well. thank you, jim. so back with everyone here tonight. we have the whole team with us here. i want to ask you, this is something, this is hillary clinton, you were speaking to joe biden, and he talked about hillary clinton's record on income inequality and he had an interesting answer. tell me. >> he said that basically that hillary clinton was, hadn't spent her entire career on that issue, and bernie sanders seemed authentic on this issue because he had put an awful lot of time into it. so it was kind of a backhanded criticism of hillary clinton -- >> do you want to listen? >> i was in that fight during my husband's administration.
and let's remember what happened there. at the end of eight years, we not only had 23 million new jobs, what was most important is income's grew for everybody. not just those at the top. more people were lifted out of poverty, incomes rose in the middle and working people, and today in knoxville in 43 town hall, i called on a man, he said we never had it so good, except when your husband was president. because we tackled income inequality and produced results. not talk, action. and that's what i will do as president. >> well obviously that was from the tonight and not during your interview. that was a pretty good answer for the question. >> because the question was that the vice president had said you're a relative newcomer. and her point was no, i've been fighting this alongside former president bill clinton reminding everybody of the great economy in the '90s under bill clinton. not talk, just action. and that's her whole point about
bernie sanders. he can talk the talk, but she can walk the walk. >> we keep mentioning bill clinton. bill clinton speaks a language of the middle class. even though he's a multimillionaire now. >> now he is. >> in her answer, and what she's doing on the campaign trail, how is she doing? >> well look, hillary clinton you saw tonight is the hillary clinton that we know. she's that way. she's passionate, she was engaged, dynamic. when you meet her one on one, she's amazing. she finally got that across tonight. i thought that was great. usually she doesn't do as well on that. but she did something else i thought was very clever on this question of inequality. bernie's been hitting her on income inequality, she broadened it out, she said what about gender, racial inequality. she was undermining him by making the argument, not just a class argument, but a bigger argument. i thought that was very, very clever. for the base, that was clever.
>> and shrewd as well, one thing hillary clinton knows is her limitations. we all agree that the income inequality check box goes to bernie sanders. you're not going to outincome inequality him. >> my question is is she right and maybe it wasn't called income inequality at the time, but working on, you know, balancing the budget and doing all those things. >> i don't think that the gap, i don't think that the data suggests that the gap then on bill clinton's watch, or watches et first lady was -- it's gone in the last decade, plus, so, bernie, clearly was the first one to the party on this issue, and i think the issue has caught up with him. more son so than her missing it in the first go round. >> that's right. there's a difference here. i don't think shint actually so concerned about income inequality per se. income inequality also grew under bill clinton, people didn't mind because people at the bottom were doing better. i think she's in a different place, and she could have made that clearer. i don't think her concern is the
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you heard the democrats going head to head in tonight's town hall, back with me the panel. you know the issue that continues to dog at least one candidate. and that would be them among the voters, and that's the iraq war. hillary clinton pressed on it, bernie sanders asked about it, here they are. >> the truth is that the most significant vote and issue regarding foreign policy, that we have seen in this country in modern history is the vote on the war in iraq. okay, that's a fact. i voted against the war in iraq and if you go to my website, listen to the speech that i gave when i was in the house in 2002,
saying yeah, it's easy to get rid of a dictator like saddam hussein, but there's going to be instability, gives me no pleasure to tell you that chl of what i feared, in fact happened. hillary clinton voted for the war in iraq. >> i have a much longer history than one vote, which i've said was a mistake because of the way that that was done and how the bush administration handled it. but i think the american public has seen me exercising judgment in a lot of other ways, and in fact, when that hard primary campaign was over, and i went to work for president obama and he ended up asking me to be secretary of state, it was because he trusted my yumt. and we work side by side over those four years. >> so peter, does he win on this issue? does this issue even matter among democratic voters? >> he could have made it matter, but i don't think he did. what he did is tied her iraq war
vote to her current view. he made it relevant, going down the same path on iran than going down on iraq, what bernie sanders didn't do was connect the hillary clinton's policies today, but she's actually more hawkish than where most democratic base voters. she wanted a no-fly zone in syria, or should have gone after this line that she went after on the last debate when she wants to move to normalization, yes, i do, because i don't want a cold war with iran. a cold war with iran is providing instability. he doesn't have the confidence to take that issue and make it relevant and make it hurt for her. >> the way it came up was that commercial, i think it's quite compelling which displays her vast experience and bernie sanders had to respond to it. and it thought he had a decent line when he said we need to differentiate between experience and judgment, and then he said, dick cheney had a lot of experience, and i thought that would have drawn more of a reaction did, it didn't. to peter's point, i maintain if
she were on the republican stage, she's fit in relative to foreign policy with her hawkishness, and i'm surprised that bernie sanders, and maybe this is the point you're making, hasn't turned that against her with a democratic base. >> my question was, i said to the democratic voters, the voters that maybe she hasn't won over yet, that she -- do they care? >> i think the people, i think that for the people who don't like hillary clinton in the democratic party, this matters a lot. >> right. >> and i agree that he could use it to more affect than he had. it does matter a lot because it goes to the sense that hillary clinton is hawkish. that she is going to try to be so tough that she may do things that are dumb. and that is something i think that democrats are afraid of. there's a budget in this party. you had people like benghazi and others who were screaming say ig don't go to war, and barack obama, who got smacked down by people like hillary clinton, and that still matters. >> she was more of a diplomat
tonight. she wasn't the interventionist hawkish hillary clinton that we saw on the stage back in 2008 when i think she tried to prove just what kpiend of commander and chief she would be at. this was a hillary clinton tonight who talked about diplomacy and how that should be the first step -- >> but she did talk about her experience. she talked about her experience a lot as secretary of state and how she is ready to do whatever, you know -- ready to do whatever it takes to be the president and whatever that job will bring. here it is. listen. >> you know, you don't get the pick the issues you work on when you're president. a lot of them come at you. they come in the door whether you open it or not, and even gave the example of working on the state of the union, being at the desk in the oval office when one of his aids came in and said, the iranians have just camtured two of our naval vessels and have taken our sailors prisoners. you can't say okay, don't bother me now, i'll deal with that later. you have to immediately be able
to switch gears, you've got to do all aspects of job. so let me tell you how i think about it. i think it's imperative you do your very best, every president, and certainly i will. to avoid military action, it should be the last resort, not the first choice. to use diplomacy, even if it's slow, boring, hard, to continue to persist and be patient to get results. >> i know you want to weigh in on this. >> van jones, van, i saw a smile, and then a frown. i was watching your face, you were like uh, oh. what were you thinking? >> she's good. i mean -- >> come on. >> that's not who you painted her as. >> that's not what the you characterized her as a moment ago. >> that does go to the question about authenticity. tonight we saw the hillary clinton that is prepared or it commander in chief. she's very good. when she says stuff like that, it's reassuring democrats.
>> it wasn't hillary the hawk tonight. it was hillary clinton, barack obama, made me his secretary of state, hillary clinton. and barack obama who by the way, opposed the war in iraq, made me his secretary of state. have i said that enough? and the all evenin long, all evening long, it was hillary clinton, comma, friend, colleague, secretary of state, of president barack obama -- >> barack obama. hillary, barack obama, hillary barack obama. >> there's a reason she's comfortable. and yes, democrats don't ask questions about terrorism. you notice what a dramatic difference it was in that room from the other debate? isis almost never came up. the priorities are different. the foreign policy questions were much more geared towards answers about the diplomacy where it's tougher for a democrat is when you get a lot of questions which are basically on the country easter if ied,
what are you going to do about it. that's where democrats fientd it more difficult. >> i also think that hillary clinton can stand on the stage in terms of foreign policy and answering that question of should i worry with any republican that you put her up against. i think she displayed that tonight. more importantly, getting back, i really think that's a central theme in this democratic primary. i mean even barack obama in his interview today, he hinted at it the, but hillary clinton says it over and over and over again, eric holder said it on her behalf. this race is about building on and protecting the legacy of barack obama. that is what she's running on in this democratic -- >> is that a third obama? >> it is, for republicans it'll be a third obama term. i think president obama knows that in order to preserve his legacy, he's got to get hillary clinton elected. >> but it includes diplomacy. it definitely does. >> i think that's an important point. she's saying i'm going to be hillary rodham obama.
>> clinton obama. >> exactly. >> and bernie sanders is not doing that. and that does create some heartburn, especially for black voters, it creates heartburn. it does. >> and i'm sorry to once you leave -- >> whatever. >> once you leave iowa and you leave new hampshire, people in the south, when we get to these other primaries, we want to build on and protect the legacy of barack obama. so she's hitting those notes. and i think that's going to carry her a little further. >> stand by, everyone. because this is the top of the hour and i have to tell everyone what we're doing here. you just heard hillary clinton and bernie sanders and martin o'malley a short while ago make their closing arguments at cnn's town hall in des moines. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. it's midnight here on the east coast and we are just one week away from the first vote in the nation at the iowa caucuses. can hillary clinton energize her campaign? will bernie sanders, his improbable rise, take him to the top? and who's the best candidate to go against the gop? we're going to continue