As Democrats fight to win the White House for a third consecutive term, candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley took to the stage in Charleston, South Carolina tonight [January 17, 2015] to face off in their fourth and final debate, hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus, just two weeks before the February 1 Iowa caucuses.
While the focus was on the heated rivalry between front-runners Clinton and Sanders, former Maryland Governor O’Malley proved he too had a voice (when he was able to use it) and list full of policies worth paying attention to.
As expected, the heated topics up for discussion this time around included healthcare, climate change, the war on terror, and issues pertinent to the African-American community. Though small in number, the Democratic candidates didn’t fail to fill the two hours of debate with sharp back and forth and the reiterations of their ambitious plans for the Oval Office.
All three presidential hopefuls went on the offensive and, at times, defensive as they attacked these issues and provided more insight into their plans if elected.
Check out the Top 10 most powerful quotes from each of the Democratic presidential candidates on some of the evening’s most relevant subjects.
- Hillary Clinton: Dubbed the Democratic favorite at the initiation of the race to the White House, former First Lady, senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held on to the policies and virtues of President Obama this evening, as she staunchly defended his actions on healthcare and gun control, and echoed her efforts to build upon and continue to improve all he’s accomplished while in office.
1. “This is the hardest job in the world. I’m prepared and ready to take it on.”
2. “I would work quickly to present to the Congress my plans to raise minimum wage.”
3. “It has been heartbreaking and incredibly outraging to see the stories of young men like Walter Scott who have been killed by police officers.”
4. “One out of three African-American men may well in end up going to prison. I want people to think what we would be doing if it was one out of three White men.”
5. “I will go anywhere to meet with anyone at any time to find common ground.”
6. “There needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.”
7. “I want us to defend and build on the affordable care act and improve it.”
8. “I know how much young people value their independence.”
9. “I think we have to try to disrupt their supply chain of foreign fighters and foreign money.” (On ISIS)
10. “I will not raise taxes on the middle class. I want to raise income, not taxes.”
- Bernie Sanders: Continuing his routine attack on the small percentage of those who own the larger percent of America’s wealth, Vermont Senator Sanders continued to voice his many opinions on the justice system and vastly unequal economic system of the nation.
1. “We have an economy that is rigged.”
2. “Let us be clear: if a police officer breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable.”
3. “We have got make our police departments look like the communities they serve in their diversity.”
4. “Who in America is satisfied that we have more people in jail? Who is satisfied that 51 percent of young African-American people are either unemployed or underemployed?”
5. “What a ‘Medicare For All’ program does is finally provide healthcare as a right.”
6. “Climate change us real life and if we don’t act boldly, a bad situation will become worse.”
7. “I support what Obama is doing in trying to close the gun control loopholes.”
8. “I want every kid in this country to be able to go to a public college or university tuition free.”
9. “The goal should be to move in warm relations with a very powerful and important country in this world.” (On Iran nuclear deal).
10. “The United States of America belongs to all of us, and not just a handful of campaign contributors.”
- Martin O’Malley: Though he hasn’t made much of a mar in the polls, comparatively, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley certainly executed the agenda that was more “for the people” than anything else. While showing his support of the Obama administration, he also called for the retaking of the government and sparking change, even voicing his concern for his lack of speaking time on the stage.
1. “We cannot keep talking past each other, declaring all Republicans are our enemies. We are one. Our cause is one.”
2. “We have urgent work to do.”
3. “We need new leadership. We need to come together as a people and build on the things President Obama has done.”
4. “The greatest business opportunity to come to America is climate change.”
5. “We need a new agenda for America’s cities that will invest in the talents and skills of our people.”
6. “We’re on the threshold of a new era of American progress.”
7. “The people of America deserve to have a president that is on their side, protecting the mainstream economy from the excess of Wall Street.”
8. “First of all, I would lay out an agenda to make wages go up, equal pay for equal work.”
9. “If Donald Trump wants to start a registry in our country of people by faith, he can start with me. I will sign up as one who is totally opposed to his fascist appeals that want to vilify Muslim Americans.”
10. “Can I get 30 seconds, too?”