Scorecard: How the Democrats fared in their 1st debate
LAS VEGAS — Here’s a look at how the five Democratic presidential candidates performed in Tuesday’s debate at the Wynn Las Vegas resort-casino.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
Standing center stage, Clinton went on offense against Bernie Sanders over his views of the economy and record on gun control. She had to defend her shifting views of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But questions about her private email server ended with a shared laugh with Sanders.
Sanders had to answer for his record on gun control, perhaps the one policy area where he’s at odds with liberals in the party. He faced questions about his electability and his approach to the economy. But he gave Clinton a big reprieve when he groused that the “American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”
O’Malley introduced himself as a can-do former governor, pointing to his work to raise the minimum wage, support gay marriage and address gun control in Maryland. He faced questions about whether his policies as Baltimore’s mayor had sown the seeds of the city’s riots last spring. And when he told Clinton a no-fly zone in Syria would be a mistake, she said she was “very pleased” when he endorsed her presidential campaign in 2008.
The former Virginia senator tried to tap into the anti-establishment fervor in the country, speaking out against the role of money in politics and Wall Street’s influence. He said his military experience and work in the Pentagon would make him the most qualified commander-in-chief. He complained that he didn’t get the same amount of time to talk as his rivals.
The former Rhode Island governor and senator called himself a “block of granite” when it came to issues and said he was most proud of his judgment, particularly in his vote against the Iraq war. But he clocked in at slightly more than 9 minutes, giving him the least amount of airtime on the debate stage, and was largely an afterthought during the evening.
Associated Press political reporters Ken Thomas and Nicholas Riccardi wrote this report. Thomas reported from Washington.