- Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton met in Flint, Michigan for the first Democratic debate since Super Tuesday.
- The CNN-hosted debate aired live from Flint, centre of a massive water crisis that has affected the largely black and poor residents of the city.
That's a wrap for our live coverage of the Democratic debate in Flint. Thanks for following and be sure to come back for the latest 2016 presidential election updates.
Sanders' concluding statement focuses on the "tragedy" of a wealthy nation that doesn't take care of the most vulnerable. Instead all the wealth is going to the top 1%. He says it's "too late" for establishment politics and the current campaign finance system.
Clinton acknowledges "we have a lot of work to do," and asks for support in the Michigan primary. She vows to "run a campaign you'll be proud of," and, in a clear dig at Donald Trump, promises not to get into the "gutter" with the ultimate GOP nominee.
Last question: religion and "is God relevant" to the candidates. Sanders says yes, and cites the Golden Rule as his moral and ethical guide. He says he's very proud of being Jewish," and that his father's family was "wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust,"
Clinton says she "prays on a pretty regular basis during the day," and that she prays "for the will of God to be known."
"I would love to run against Donald Trump," says Sanders, who claims that all polls show him beating Trump by a bigger margin than Clinton would. He also take the opportunity to tout his victory in Maine.
"The last time I checked ... Donald Trump had received 3.6 million voters," says Clinton, pointing out that she's the only candidate who has received more. "I'm building a broad, diverse coalition across our country. I think that Donald Trump's bigotry, his bullying, his bluster are not going to wear well on the American people."
Clinton takes a break from attacking Sanders to underscore how crazy she finds the GOP candidates. "You know we have our differences, and we get into vigorous debate on issues," Clinton says. "But compare the substance of this debate with what you saw on the Republican stage last week."
Sanders quips: "We are, if elected president, going to invest a lot into mental health, and if you watch these Republican debates, you're going to know why."
Clinton's negative about fracking; Sanders is absolute.
"I don't support it where any locality or any state is against it, number one," says Clinton. "I don't support it where release of methane or contamination of water is present ... I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place."
Sanders responds: "My answer is a lot shorter. No, I do not support fracking."
"Who wants to step up?" for our children, asks a Detroit mother suing the school system. "We should be ashamed at how we treat our children and our senior citizens," Sanders responds. "We have to change our national priorities. No more tax breaks for billionaires and corporations; we are going to invest in our children and have the best public school system in the world," says Sanders. "My priorities are no, we're not going to give tax breaks to the wealthy ... so children can get the education they deserve."
Clinton says she would restore federal funds to help local schools. She wants to set up an "educational SWAT team, if you will," using experts within the Department of Education to focus on critical issues. Clinton, backed by two major teachers unions, says teachers shouldn't be scapegoated for poor school performance when the nation isn't prepared to spend the money it takes to make the educational system work.
A black resident of Flint asks Sanders about the new civil rights movement, and why older civil rights leaders have flocked to Clinton more so than the senator. Sanders recalls protesting with the civil rights movement in the 1960s; Clinton speaks of hearing Martin Luther King Jr. when she was 14 and getting a grant in law school to study civil rights.
"And I have spent a lot of time with mothers of African American children, who have lost them. Trayvon Martin's mother," she says. "It has been incredibly humbling, because I can't pretend to have the experience that you have had and others have had. But I will do the best I possibly can to understand and empathize, and to tear down the institutional barriers" sustaining racism.
Sanders says: "When you're white you don't know what it's like to be living in a ghetto. You don't know what it's like to be hassled when you walk down the street or to be dragged out of a car." He insists his platform is the strongest to reform the criminal justice system.
CNN's Don Lemon noted that as a black man in America, he has a one in three chance of ending up in jail, and asked Clinton if the 1990's crime bill passed by her husband was a mistake given its over-incarceration effects today.asks: "Why should black people trust you to get it right this time?" Clinton calls some aspects of the measure "a mistake." She wants to "go after systemic racism that stalks the criminal justice system, ending private prisons, ending the incarceration of low-level offenders." Sanders says the bill had some good provisions, including a crackdown on domestic violence, a ban on assault weapons. "This is a campaign promise: At the end of my first term we will not have more people in prison than any other country."
Sanders disagrees that gun manufacturers should be responsible for mass killings, and Clinton suggests he's a friend of the NRA.
Abigail Kopf, 14, victim of the American Uber driver who shot six people in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is recovering from her wounds and "laughing," said her dad, who asked the candidates the first question in the debate about crime, pressing them about what they would do about the epidemic of mass shootings in the US. Clinton says gun manufacturers have to be held legally accountable in such crimes. "No one has a magic solution to this problem," says Sanders. "We have to do everything we possibly can."
Anderson Cooper reminds Sanders that he's sounding like GOP candidate Ted Cruz. "I hate to break the bad news but Democrats are not always right," Sanders responds.
Thanks to trade pacts, corporate America has been allowed to flee the US for cheaper labor abroad, which is responsible for the shrinking middle class, says Sanders. Hillary lauds her husband's record when he was president in increasing the number of American jobs. "I want to do everything I can to compete with exports," vows Clinton, in using credit from the Import-Export Bank of the US. Most funds of the bank go into the pockets of the corporations, says Sanders, who blasts it as the "Bank of Boeing."
Sanders attacks Clinton's Wall Street support. "Let's have some facts instead of some rhetoric for a change," snaps Clinton, who vows she's strong enough to stand up to Wall Street. Not one person in Wall Street has gone to prison for the subprime mortgage debacle, complains Sanders, who vows to fix the "broken" criminal justtic system.
Jobs is second on everyone's mind in the strapped town of Flint. We've got to "tell corporate America they're going to have to invest in this country, not in China," says Sanders. But Clinton points out that Senator Sanders voted against the auto industry bailout. He slams it as a "Wall Street" bailout. "I said, 'Let the billionaires of Wall Street themselves bail out this country," says Sanders.
To no one's surprise the Flint water crisis is at the top of the debate. "There has to be absolute accountability and I will support" whatever a investigation determines, says Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders won't say if anyone should go to jail for the lead-poisoned water. "I can't sit up here and make judgment about whether somebody committed a criminal act."
We kick off our live coverage of tonight's Democratic debate from Flint, Michigan. The CNN-hosted debate will feature the remaining two candidates as they vie for continued support from voters as they work towards winning the Democratic nomination.