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Full Video: Watch the ABC News Democratic Debate

The three remaining Democratic candidates for president met in New Hampshire tonight for a debate sponsored by ABC News and the New Hampshire Democratic Party. The event was broadcast live from Saint Anselm College in Manchester and moderated by David Muir with Martha Raddatz.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015
ABC News Democratic Debate

Candidates: Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley
Transcript: 3rd Democratic Debate Transcript

Here is the full video of the ABC News New Hampshire Democratic Debate. Debate starts at 12 minute mark.

Alternate video link: Link 1

Report from the New York Times:

Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders put aside the hard feelings over his campaign’s breach of her voter data in the third Democratic presidential debate on Saturday night, opting to stick to the civil discourse that has marked the race.

Mr. Sanders explained what he knew about the data breach and offered an apology to Mrs. Clinton and to his supporters for letting them down.

“This is not the type of campaign that we run,” Mr. Sanders said, promising to fire anyone else involved in stealing such information.

Mrs. Clinton said that she accepted the apology and that she also wanted to move forward.

With just six weeks until the Iowa caucuses, Mrs. Clinton’s two rivals are running out of time to blunt her momentum. Since last month’s debate, the former secretary of state has widened her lead in national polls and most state polls, although Mr. Sanders is keeping the race close in New Hampshire, which holds its first-in-the-nation primary eight days after the Iowa caucuses.

While the debate started on a cordial note, the candidates did not hold back on highlighting their differences. Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, who is under pressure to make his mark, repeatedly injected himself into the discussion, scolding Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders on their records on gun control and painting himself as the true progressive on the stage.

Overall, I think Sanders and O’Malley both had a good night, but so did Hillary Clinton. She did take some more incoming fire than prior debates, though she was ready for those attacks and I think handled them in an acceptable way. In this case, the tie goes to the front runner meaning that Hillary will continue with a sizable lead. It may help O’Malley by breathing a little life into his campaign but if his poll number stay in the basement heading in January, I can’t see him in the race much longer.

Hillary did say she believes we are “right where we should be” in the fight against the Islamic State. I think many voters would take issue with that position and I bet it will not be the last we hear of that comment, especially when Republicans begin responding.

This was the last Democratic debate in 2015. The next Democratic debate takes place on Sunday, January 17, 2016.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

View Comments (39)

  • ABC's coverage of this debate and their punits in Des Moines sucks! Shameful and one of the reasons I no longer go to ABC for news....national and international. Say hello to Stilfano for me...lmao

    • Hillary has been crooked from the very beginning: Whitewater, Benghazi and now E-mail Gate (that's just the short list) --- yet she still is not put in jail where she belonged a long time ago! What's wrong with our nation --- has the Rule of Law totally disappeared in the 21st Century...?!

      Why hasn't the FBI arrested Hillary Clinton ALREADY on her abuse for her FULL 4 years using an illegal Private Email Server while she was Secretary of State --- but, instead Hillary is allowed to walk free and EVEN run for US President ?!?

      Has the FBI been compromised by the Obama administration beyond repair, becoming a liberally politicized body?
      Instead of following their motto: *Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity*, has the
      FBI turned it into: "Perfidy, Cowardliness, Duplicity"?

      Why else is Hillary Clinton walking free, instead of being arrested by the FBI for her criminal email scheme?!?

      • I hate Hillary as much as the next guy... but after multiple bipartisan investigations found that she did nothing wrong, you're still foaming at the mouth over it?

        • In a time when the POTUS ignores the constitution and the SCOTUS approves same
          sex marriage; I think it's fair to question those in power.

        • Hey, Tiny Tim:

          Hillary walked free from her corrupt Whitewater scandal, may even get away from her dereliction of duty that caused the death of Four Americans in Benghazi --- but, if the FBI that's investigating her E-mail Criminal Activity (using a Private Server which she erased, NOT the approved Federal One which saves all her e-mails) fails to arrest her, it will be proof that the FBI has been subverted by the powerful Clintons!

          The only ones foaming at the mouth here, by defending Hillary's CONSTANT criminal transgressions is you, and your liberal ilk such as Goethe.

        • Anyone who uses "Hillary for Prison 2016" as his entire identity should expect to foam at every opportunity.

  • Hillary is going to need someone relatively young to balance her ticket. O'Malley would do that. But he's not that tough.

    Generally, the veep candidate's job is to be "hatchet man," so that the top of the ticket can appear more statesmanlike.

    Her best veep choice would be Jim Webb, for battling purposes, but that would make a very old ticket, especially if Rubio is on the GOP ticket.

    • I think a positive campaign needs a positive VP. I would love Bernie to pick Heather Mizeur, she ran a very clean campaign for Maryland Governor. Probably too green though. Suppose it would also be too much to hope for Jill Stein, actual Green.

      • I guess it really depends on what you view as moderate - I happen to think the corporate Democrats are anything but moderate, are taking the country in a very bad direction with constant war abroad and crumbling infrastructure and poverty at home. It's about time we had two real progressive moderates on a ticket. Sanders / Mizeur or Sanders / Stein would fit that nicely.

        • Wishful thinking. Elsewhere on here, someone said that the polls must be fixed because EVERYBODY he knows only watches the debates for Rand Paul.

          And even if you don't believe polls are accurate, I don't think there's any doubting that a lot of people love Trump and Cruz.

          A Sanders/Stein ticket would be a repeat of the 1972 election.

          • Regarding the Republicans - the proportion of people identifying as Republican is around 21%. They're a minority party, just as the Democrats are at ~29%. To indicate that these polls, however accurate, mean a lot of people love Trump and Cruz belies this reality.

            If we take his best recent poll - 41% support party support - which Monmouth had Trump at around the middle of the month, that means his country wide appeal is 8.6% (41% of 21%) but let's be generous with the margin or error and call it 10%. As candidates drop out of the Republican race, I think it unlikely he'll pick up much more support, but we could continue to be seriously generous and bring him up to 15% of the country and easily enough to win the Republican nomination.

            Next consider the non-Republican support. Will Democrats energized for Sanders defect to Trump if Hillary is the nominee? No, more likely they'll move left or stay home. Independents with a Hillary nomination might, but probably not in large numbers, most will stay home. Would Hillary supporters defect if Sanders wins the nomination? I don't think so, I see polls showing only around 4% of Democrats wouldn't vote for Sanders. Independents are also splitting to Sanders, so little or no help for Trump there either, I think.

            And we could do the same for each Republican candidate.I see Rubio as having the best chances of sucking up some disgruntled Hillary supporters, and I see Rand as having the best chance of picking up some Bernie supporters if he isn't nominated, though again, stay home may be more likely for both.

          • I think the country may be becoming more liberal on domestic issues. There's surprisingly little uproar about the gay marriage ruling, for instance. There's support for raising the minimum wage, and for tax-the-rich schemes.

            But when it comes to security, we are more conservative than we have been. And when it's a question of security vs. rights, security wins every time.

            You guys need to look at "the bench." The GOP has a busload of candidates. Dems have only two (and a half). Look at the state houses, which are 60% GOP. Look at state legislatures, which are overwhelmingly Republican. The Supreme Court has been majority Republican for many decades. Even in "blue" states, Republicans are in control.

            I'm in Michigan, which reliably votes Democratic for president and both of our US Senators. Yet, our governor, AG, Sec of State, and both houses are solidly Republican. The GOP has a real depth of candidates for all offices, while Dems can't find anyone to run for a lot of offices.

            It's possible that Bernie could stir up some of the 40% who don't bother to vote in a presidential election, but Trump seems to be waking up a lot of people, too--including a lot of blue-collar Dems.

          • That "tax the rich scheme" scares people, I'm never sure why - As a single person, I'd need to earn $413,200 before I began to pay the top rate on my next dollar. Maybe a top tier surgeon or a corporate lawyer would be paying more, but not most people.

            I'm still not exactly sure what it is the right want us to be scared of now. Fear of remote and unlikely events is a very effective means of control, I'll give you that. Even so, the bigger drivers are of real life fears for most of us - I do know many people struggling to live, some on poverty wages. Life is too hard now for so many and they fear for their futures.

            I think there's a real desire for a change away from the establishment and their wars, back towards the economic needs of the people. This could well be the year of the 40% who usually don't vote - they just need to figure out on their own that they have a candidate in Bernie Sanders; something the DNC and media have so desperately tried to prevent. I just hope those who want to take part realize that they may need to be registering as Democrats to do so.

          • I think we should all pay the same % in taxes. Rich people should not be penalized for being successful. They are the folks who create jobs. I've never gotten a paycheck from a poor person. NO; I am not rich. I just don't believe in biting the hand that feeds me. None of us will see a penny of our Social Security funds if we don't get our country turned around.

            As for minimum wage increases..
            That will kill the small business' and some of the big ones. Minimum wage jobs are intended to be entry level positions.
            The current company being targeted is Walmart. Each Walmart store has several minimum wage employees with opportunities for advancement. If they get they are paid 30K to run a cash register or stock shelves; how much will management make?Department managers, Assistant Managers, Key Holders etc.. will be rungs on the ladder and each paid more than the prior. Suffice it to say, a store manager of a Walmart paying a $15 minimum wage would easily clear six figures.

          • Hi Teriqua - I really appreciate the opportunity to address some of your points and concerns.

            I'll start with the fairness of a flat tax. Putting aside for a moment the many tax deductions and advantages that high income people are able to take to lower their taxes right now, let's just look at what a small change in federal tax does to two different people.

            First a CEO with a salary of $800,000 a year - their take home pay now would be around $9,700 a week before state taxes and deductions, meaning they will have paid 37% in federal payroll taxes - again, before they apply deductions and visit tax lawyers, they'll get that down a lot, probably to nearer 25%. If you change this person's top tax rate by 1%, it equals around $65 a week. I doubt they would notice $65 out of a $9,700 pay check that much, if at all.

            However someone earning minimum wage for 40 hours a week takes home (before state taxes) about $258 and they'll have paid around 11% tax. For them, each 1% increase in their tax would mean about $3 less income, that's probably a meal or their bus trip to work. Of course, you can't live on $258 a week to begin with, so they're probably doing two or three jobs - either way you'd be inflicting real hardship on someone who already has nothing by taking more from them in tax.

            But there are some other important things to note - as I said, there are deductions some are able to take advantage of, for example add in a mortgage or two and you get to wipe out large amounts from your taxable income - the poor who pay rent don't get that deduction. You may also remember from the 2012 election that Mitt Romney paid less than 14% tax, because the rich have managed to get some income taxed at a far lower rate than other income.

            There are 3.3 million hourly workers at or below the federal minimum wage, half are aged over 25, and less than a quarter are teenagers - so this isn't only affecting kids earning some pocket money. Also, 23 states and the District of Columbia have a higher minimum wage than the federal, so these figures are better than they could be.

            I also take issue with the idea that the poor are not the ones paying your wages - the economy is demand based. Those people who spend what money they have generate the revenue for businesses, who then hire and pay more people and so on. Businesses need consumers in order to be able to pay wages, a rich person who has no consumers buying their products declares the business bankrupt, closes it down, fires the workers, and takes their own money elsewhere. Now take that further - if you double the wage of someone struggling to get by, they will likely spend all of that new money, generating more revenue for small businesses and improving the economy. If you double the wage of someone who already has more than enough to get by, you will not increase their spending much and the economy will not improve.

            And about that company you mentioned - Walmart is the largest company in the world by revenue. The owners, the Walton family, have amassed a net worth of about $150 billion - more cash than the bottom 42% of the population combined. Each year Walmart generates another $33 billion or so for the Walton family. Nice. Meanwhile their workers earn so little that they cost tax payers $6.2 Billion dollars in subsidies, and if you include other federal tax breaks and subsidies, Walmart is taking $7.8 billion per year in corporate welfare from you and me, whether we shop there or not. I don't understand why a company that generates $33 Billion can't pay their workers more and stop sucking from the teat of government.

            Social security is another issue you mentioned. Social security is a 6.2% flat tax on earned income, but it has a cap, so isn't applied once you've reached $118k a year. That doesn't seem fair or reasonable, and if we remove the cap I think you solve the problem you mention of never getting to see a social security check.

          • A tax is not a penalty for being successful. Progressive taxes are based on the idea of the decreasing marginal utility of money, as well as the quite obvious fact that the poor and unemployed simply can't pay a large enough percentage to make a flat percentage tax workable.

          • Without a doubt it is wishful thinking, as it is certainly what I wish for!

            You might be right about Stein as the vice, I don't think it would happen and I rather suspect that she'd be too principled to accept the offer anyway. But we all want to speculate, so in the event it were to happened, Bernie Sanders' existing supporters would not be turned off by it. They're extremely energized and every new donor is a person who has already decided to vote for him, now and in the general. The dangers of a Jill vice are with new support, but I think we're now a far more liberal country than the political pundits and media want to admit.

            And this leads to the dangers of a so called moderate vice - I have donated to Sanders, so I'll have to contradict myself a little here - I would not support Sanders with someone I couldn't stomach as his replacement if something were to happen to him. If he had a corporate democrat on the ticket with him, I'd start by being shocked, and then would seriously consider changing all my future donations over to Jill Stein.

      • Mark, parties usually like to balance their ticket. If Bernie were to get the nomination, they'd want at least a moderate--to speak to moderates and a few conservatives.

        • Actually Bernie has the Millenials in the palm of his hand. Of course they all love to get things free and I'm sure they look forward to defaulting on their student loans. They have created a slogan for Bernie, "Feel the Bern". Every time I see them post it on a blog I give them a big NO THANK YOU!
          What a bunch of Filthy little Rugrats.

    • Julian Castro.. he checks all the boxes. Plus he's the polar opposite in terms of political baggage. They will make a huge play for Latino voters. It will be the female-Latino ticket in an attempt to draw out the same coalition that Obama did in '08.

      • That might be a dream ticket for the Dems. I thought that was a possibility months ago, but he's been out of the news, although there's this:

        http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/10/hillary-hints-julian-castro-could-be-vp-pick.html

        Having a tough woman and a young, attractive Latino should shore up their primary constituencies. It appears that Blacks are favorable to a Latino candidate, perhaps just being a "minority."

        I thought Henry Cisneros might be the first Latino president, but then, of course, we found that he likes women. Certainly can't have that!!

        It would also be interesting to have a Castro follow a Hussein into the White House.

  • Why is Hillary still running for Prez --- instead of being arrested by the FBI, already?!?

    "Those statements, or any evidence that [Hillary] Clinton pressured a third
    party as part of a cover-up, would constitute felony violations of U.S.
    Code Title 18, Section 1001. Each violation carries a five-year prison
    sentence."

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/426970/hillary-clinton-emails-fbi-investigation-widens

    *FBI expands probe of Clinton emails, launches independent classification review*

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/11/12/fbi-expands-probe-clinton-emails-launches-independent-classification-review.html

    and more: "...the agency [FBI] expanded the investigation to a new area, which is: The
    bureau is investigating whether Hillary and Huma Abedin and Cheryl
    Mills, her closest aides, whether they violated the law by giving false
    statements to the FBI, and that’s a felony, subject to five years in
    prison.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/260180-clinton-critic-fbi-investigating-potential-lies-to

    The FBI has a huge decision to make --- will they bow down to the powerful Clinton Machine, and thus lose all integrity by covering up for Hillary's criminal transgressions; or, will they stand for the Law of the Land, by arresting Hillary Clinton and charging her with the felonious acts she's been guilty for a long time.

    The future of America is right now in the hands of the FBI --- care to take bets which way they'll go...?

  • "Prioritize widows and orphans" in the immigration screening process?? What is that comment based on.....Obama's recent Sunday night address to the nation? Again, Hillary echoing a non-original thought. I would like to see the immigration statistics for widows and orphans for the last three years.

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