Sanders, Clinton debate tonight

Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are debating right now on MSNBC

Here are some highlights from the debate so far.

10:30 p.m.

Self-described “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders says he can win a general election by exciting young people, the middle class and working-class people and driving up voter turnout.

The Vermont senator says in Thursday’s presidential debate that the rise in turnout will help Democrats keep the White House, gain seats in Congress and win governors’ races.

Sanders says, “Democrats win when there is a large voter turnout, when people are excited.”

He says Republicans win office when voters are “demoralized” and turnout is low.

Hillary Clinton argues that she is the strongest candidate to take on the Republicans, and she hopes to persuade young people currently backing Sanders to come over to her side.


10:25 p.m.

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders is arguing that concerns over the integrity of the Iowa caucus count are overblown.

Asked at Thursday’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire whether questions about the caucuses are still unresolved, Sanders noted the Iowa contest “is not like a winner-take-all thing” and urged the media not to blow the issue out of proportion.

The Des Moines Register has labeled the election a “debacle” because of accounts of confusion and errors. The paper is calling for an audit of the results.

Sanders says his team believes they may be entitled to at least two additional delegates, but he says, “No matter how it’s recounted, it will break roughly even.”


10:20 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are tangling over whether the United States should restore diplomatic relations with Iran.

Clinton says Sanders is wrong to support normalizing relations with a state sponsor of terrorism that she says is “destabilizing the region.”

Clinton says if the next administration normalized relations immediately, the U.S. would remove one of the biggest pieces of leverage it has. She says “you have to get action for action.”

Sanders says he never said the U.S. should normalize relations with Iran “tomorrow” but should try to “move forward.” He points out that Clinton once called then-Sen. Barack Obama “naive” for wanting to talk to the nation’s enemies.


10:15 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is dismissing Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s assessment that Russia now poses a graver national security threat to the U.S. than any other nation.

Asked to rank North Korea, Iran and Russia, Sanders is choosing North Korea as the biggest threat.

He calls the East Asian nation “an isolated, paranoid country with atomic bombs.”

That makes them more dangerous, he says, than Russia or China.

Still, Sanders says he disapproves of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “military adventurism” in his region.


10:10 p.m.

Bernie Sanders says the United States can’t be the policeman of the world.

The independent Vermont senator was asked during Thursday’s Democratic debate to outline how he would approach foreign policy as president. He says “we cannot continue to do it alone. We need to work in coalition.”

But Hillary Clinton says the way they approach foreign policy is “a big part of the job interview with voters.” She says her experience as a former secretary of state sets her apart from Sanders. She says, “I know from my own experience, you’ve got to be ready on Day One.”

Sanders says it is “not arguable” that Clinton has more experience in foreign policy issues, but voters must also assess the judgment of the candidates.


10:05 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders agree that they do not want to see large numbers of American ground troops return to the Middle East.

Debating Thursday in the first one-on-one Democratic debate, the two describe the U.S. role as providing assistance, through supplies, weapons and special forces — but not a massive ground force.

Clinton says sending ground troops “is off the table.”

Sanders says his goal would be keeping the U.S. from getting “sucked into never-ending perpetual warfare within the quagmire of Syria and Iraq.”

He adds, “It must be Muslim troops on the ground that will destroy” the Islamic State group.


9:55 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she is open to releasing transcripts of her paid speeches.

Clinton was asked during Thursday’s presidential debate in New Hampshire whether she would release the transcripts of speeches she’s been paid to give to Wall Street firms.

She says: “I’ll look into it. I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.”

On Wednesday, Clinton struggled when asked why she accepted $675,000 for three speeches from investment firm Goldman Sachs.

Her rival Bernie Sanders calls Wall Street “an entity of unbelievable economic and political power.” He says “the business model of Wall Street is fraud.”


9:50 p.m.

Bernie Sanders says even though he’s been critical of corporate America, he could work with corporations if he was elected to the White House.

Sanders reiterated his disgust that some large multinational corporations like General Electric and Boeing have avoided paying U.S. taxes. He says if he’s elected president, companies like that “are going to pay their fair share of taxes.”

He says that while some companies are good corporate citizens, “there are many corporations who have turned their backs on the American worker.” He says he will do his best to “transform our trade policy” and take on companies that try to invest in low-income economies to make higher profits.


9:45 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she could have done a better job “explaining my record” to voters who distrust her ties to Wall Street.

Speaking at Thursday’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire, Clinton says she warned Wall Street firms before the 2008 crash that their speculative practices could hurt the economy.

She emphasized that her vow to take on the financial sector has industry titans nervous enough to bankroll attacks against her campaign.

She says: “I have a record. I have stood firm, and I will be the person who prevents them from ever wrecking the economy again.”

Bernie Sanders is standing by his assertion that Clinton has disconcerting ties to Wall Street, and says he is better positioned to regulate the sector to protect average Americans.


9:40 p.m.

Bernie Sanders says he considered using the public financing system for presidential elections but concluded it was too antiquated and would be “a disaster.”

Sanders was asked why he didn’t use the government’s public campaign finance system as a way to curb the role of big money in politics. He says he could have had a super PAC but says he doesn’t represent “corporate America or billionaires.”

Sanders says he went with a second option — raising money from average Americans. It has turned out well for him: Sanders has received 3.5 million individual contributions averaging $27 apiece. The Vermont senator raked in $20 million in January, mostly online.


9:35 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is telling Bernie Sanders “enough is enough.”

Clashing at Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate, Sanders said he is running a “transformational campaign” funded by individual supporters and not big-money interests like those who have formed a super PAC to back Clinton.

The former secretary of state is lashing back, saying Sanders is misrepresenting her record in a manner that not “worthy of you. Enough is enough.”

Clinton says Sanders has been orchestrating a “very artful smear” against her. She says they should instead be talking about issues affecting the American people.

Clinton says Democrats need to be united to take on problems facing the country. She says she has a better track record and opportunity to get the job done than Sanders does.


9:23 p.m.

Bernie Sanders says his liberal vision is worthy of the Democratic Party nomination even if he’s spent his political career as an independent.

At the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire Thursday, Sanders is stressing that he has always caucused with Democrats in the Senate.

He confirms he “would like to see changes in the Democratic Party” to make it friendlier to working people.

His rival Hillary Clinton is responding by noting that many elected Democrats in Sanders’ home state of Vermont have endorsed her.


9:20 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says Bernie Sanders is making an “unfair” accusation when he suggests she’s not a progressive.

Clinton also says Sanders’ definition of who is a progressive Democrat would leave out President Barack Obama and other party leaders.

Clinton and Sanders have been squabbling this week over whether the former secretary of state is a liberal Democrat. Sanders has cited Clinton’s previous statements that she’s a moderate, saying she can’t be both.

Sanders says he does believe Obama is a liberal, despite his support for a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade pact that Sanders has called “disastrous.”


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9:15 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is taking aim at the costs of Bernie Sanders’ proposals, saying at Thursday’s Democratic debate that his numbers “just don’t add up.”

She says she doesn’t want to “plunge” the nation into another contentious debate over health care and thinks college should be affordable, not free.

Sanders says there’s no reason the United States can’t make health care a right for people, not a privilege, and says Wall Street should pay to cut the costs of college.

Sanders says the “middle class bailed out Wall Street in their time of need, now it is time for Wall Street to help the middle class.”

He adds that the notion that he would “dismantle” President Barack Obama’s health care law is inaccurate.


9:08 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is attacking her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders in her opening statement of their first one-on-one debate.

Clinton said Thursday in the New Hampshire debate that she is “not making promises that I cannot keep.”

She addressed Sanders’ campaign promise to provide universal health care for all and free college tuition.

Clinton is also acknowledging that “the economy has not been working for most Americans.” She also says special interests are doing too much to “rig the game.”


9:05 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is using his opening statement in Thursday’s Democratic debate to stress his vow to overhaul American politics and the economy.

“The economy is rigged,” he says. He adds that a “corrupt campaign finance system” is “undermining American democracy.”


9:00 p.m.

The first one-on-one debate between Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is underway in New Hampshire.

The two took the stage in the MSNBC-hosted debate Thursday night with just days to go until the first-in-the-nation primary.

The two faced off in the leadoff Iowa caucuses Monday, with Clinton grabbing a razor-thin victory. Sanders appears to be leading in New Hampshire preference polls.


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The debate is the last before Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary, and Sanders holds a big lead in polls in the state.

In fresh evidence of the tightening race, Clinton reported that her campaign had raised $15 million in January — $5 million less than Sanders and the first time she’s been outraised by her opponent. Her finance director called the numbers “a very loud wake-up call” in a fundraising email to supporters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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