The Democratic presidential candidates convened in Las Vegas tonight for the first Democratic debate of the 2016 election cycle. The debate took place at the Wynn Resort and was moderated by Anderson Cooper with additional questions from Dana Bash and Juan Carlos Lopez. Five candidates participated, with Hillary Clinton taking the center stage spot in between Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley.


Aired: Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Candidates: Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley, Webb, Chafee
Moderators: Anderson Cooper with Dana Bash and Juan Carlos Lopez

Here is the entire video of the first Democratic debate:

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Report on the debate from the Associated Press:

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders clashed on U.S. involvement in the Middle East, gun control and economic policy as they opened the first Democratic debate Tuesday, outlining competing visions for a party seeking to keep the White House for a third straight term.

Clinton was an aggressor from the start, an unexpected shift for a candidate who has barely mentioned her Democratic rivals since launching her campaign six months ago. Until now, Clinton and Sanders — who has emerged as her toughest competition — have circled each other cautiously and avoided personal attacks.

After Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist derided “a casino capitalist process by which so few have so much,” Clinton said it would be a “big mistake” for the U.S. to turn its back on the system that built the American middle class. Asked whether she thought Sanders, who has a mixed record on gun control legislation, had been tough enough on the issue, she said simply,” No, I do not.”

Sanders defended his gun control record, and called for better mental health services, stricter background checks and closing a loophole that exempts gun shows from background checks

One of the biggest applause lines was Bernie Sanders defending Hillary Clinton from ongoing questions about her email setup during her tenure at the State Department. Martin O’Malley chimed in to that exchange and pointed out that if the Democrats would have started debating earlier, the campaign may not be so focused on topics such as email servers.

More analysis to come tomorrow.

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