Democratic Town Hall
The Democratic presidential candidates will meet for a last time before the Iowa caucus on 1 February. Reuters
  • All three Democratic presidential hopefuls took part in the Iowa town hall event hosted by CNN just a week before the Iowa caucuses.
  • Bernie Sanders defended his call for a more activist government, saying the nation's problems are so severe that he's willing to bring back what's been called "the era of big government."
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly reminded voters that they are also electing a commander-in-chief and said attacks on her have accumulated over the years but do not amount to anything.
  • Trailing in third place among the candidates, Martin O'Malley urged his supporters to "hold strong" against old ideologies and "old names."
  • CNN's Chris Cuomo moderated the event from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. where the candidates took 30 minutes to answer questions from Cuomo and the audience made up of Democratic caucus voters.
  • The next Democratic debate will be broadcast on 11 February from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Wisconsin. The PBS-hosted event will be moderated by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff and will air after the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

And that's a wrap for the #DemTownHall. We're just a week away from the Iowa caucuses. All three candidate gave it their all, but it remains to be seen if it will make a difference in the caucuses.


Clinton is asked which president she admires most. She quickly apologises to Obama and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and says she's most inspired by the 16th president: Abraham Lincoln.


Like Sanders before her, Clinton is asked to watch and comment on her biggest Democratic rival's latest campaign advert. "I love it," Clinton says. "I love the energy...," she adds, but notes that she believes she's the best candidate for the US.


Another question from voters, this time Zach Peiper asks Clinton how she'll be able to work with Republicans after the Benghazi attacks and subsequent hearings.

Clinton says that Republicans are only keeping the Benghazi attacks alive because they need to for the elections. She maintains that she has taken into consideration any suggestions she's received from Congressional committees. Clinton then gives two examples of how Congress held by one party has been able to work with a president from the opposing party in times of terrorist attacks.


I want to be the president for everyone.

-Clinton when asked what she would say to Republican voters if elected President


Undecided voter Erum Tariq-Munir asks if America is really the place to raise Muslim-American children. Clinton immediately takes a swipe at Donald Trump's divisive and controversial comments towards Muslims. "We cannot tolerate this," Clinton says, adding that no one should be discriminated against. She also notes that Middle Eastern nations are less likely to join a coalition against Isis if there is rhetoric against Muslims in the US.


Cuomo cites Sanders's earlier comments on Clinton's vote on the Iraq war and America's relations with the international community. She said she admits Iraq was a wrong vote, but blames Bush Administration for the state of international relations when Obama took office.


Dick Goodson, a Clinton supporter, notes that he was a lukewarm Clinton supporter but said that the Benghazi hearings convinced him she earned his support. Goodson asks about how much of an interventionists would she be as president.

Clinton mentions Obama's recent interview and the Iranian incident involving US Navy sailors. She says that military action should be the last action taken and that although diplomacy is slower, it is better. In regards to Syria: she stands firm against ground troops.


Elena Dietz, another Sanders supporter, asks: How can we be sure income inequality will be a top issue for you? Like her previous answer, Clinton notes her past accomplishments in all types of inequality—economic, racial and gender. The former secretary of state doesn't shy away from discussing her time as First Lady.


Taylor Gipple, a Bernie Sanders supporter, asks Clinton where's the enthusiasm among young voters for her campaign. Clinton says she sees plenty of enthusiasm. She then delves into the adversity she's faced in working for children and young people. She adds that younger voters need a candidate that has a proven record.


Clinton is asked: How did you wind up back in Iowa in a nail-biter against a self-described socialist?

She applauds the campaigning done on the Democratic side, taking a quick swipe at Republicans.


Two candidates down and just one candidate to go during this #DemTownHall. The leading Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, makes her way to her stage. Cuomo mentions Clinton's Boston Globe and Des Moines Register endorsements and the supportive words from President Obama.


Benjamin Folladori asks O'Malley what is the last thing he would tell undecided voters to gain support. O'Malley says he's the only candidate that has a record of not being a divider but being a politician that is able to work with both Democrats and Republicans. "Lift up a new leader," he calls on Iowa caucus voters.


A key question about the 15% support for the Iowa caucuses. Cuomo asks O'Malley that if he doesn't reach the needed level of support, who should his backers pick instead. O'Malley says his supports to "hold strong" in their caucuses.


Brian Carlson, a Drake University Student leaning towards Clinton, asks O'Malley about gay rights beyond marriage equality. O'Malley says that every generation works towards including making the US more inclusive.


The largest applause all night, when O'Malley brings up comprehensive immigration reform. He says that bringing out the 11M undocumented immigrants out of the shadows will help the economy.


Our economy is not money. It's people.

-Martin O'Malley


Undecided voter Arnold Woods, the NAACP president for the Des Moines chapter, asks about reinstating the draft or giving young people an opportunity to serve their country. O'Malley pushes for more employment opportunities.


The next question comes from young voter Jenna Bishop, who asks O'Malley what issue in this election does he think young voters should care about most and why? While his notes that college affordability is a major issue, he says that climate change and clean energy are the issues that should be focused on.


Small business owner Dan Koenig, who is leaning for Sanders, asks O'Malley about lessening the burden of health care costs. O'Malley says that the Affordable Care Act is not a perfect plan, but that no plan is ever introduced perfect. He adds that there needs to be a change in what is being paid for.


Undecided voter Joi Latson, a student at Iowa State University, asks O'Malley about his ability to ensure racial equality when his record contradicts his platform to fight racism.

O'Malley says he never stopped searching how best to deal with policing. He also mentions Black Lives Matter and notes that he increased voting opportunities and outlawed capital murder in Maryland.


O'Malley is on the stage and Cuomo starts off by discussing Clinton's latest newspaper endorsement from the Des Moines Register. The state's biggest newspaper claimed O'Malley was better suited to be a member of Clinton's cabinet. The former governor says he's in it to win it.


One candidate down, two more to go. Based on CNN's pre-established format, O'Malley is up next. Here's his latest campaign video from his team in Iowa:

Closing Arguments - The Iowa Way

VIDEO: From city to city and town to town, Martin O'Malley has campaigned the Iowa way! #IACaucus

Posted by O'Malley For Iowa on Sunday, 24 January 2016


Sanders begins to wrap up his 30 minutes, gives accolades to both Clinton and O'Malley but maintains the US is ready for a political revolution.