By Ariele Vaccaro
Though Wednesday evening’s Democratic debate hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper didn’t shake up the race all that much, the audience was still able to see the two frontrunners spar and surprisingly, help each other out. The debate in Las Vegas became the record most-watched Democratic debate, reeling in 15.3 million viewers.
Strangely enough, the strongest and most tweeted-about remark of the night was a helping hand lent by one leading candidate to the other — namely, from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
After Cooper brought up the inevitable — Clinton’s private email controversy — Sander’s piped in, offering his own take on the issue.
“The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!” Sander’s said.
Clinton laughed in agreement. They shook hands a few seconds later.
According to Google Trends, the comment was viewed some 53,000 times on Youtube.com.
Things hadn’t started out so congenial, however. Clinton criticized Sanders for being too light on gun manufacturers after being asked if she thought the senator was “tough enough on guns”.
Among other issues, the candidates addressed the Black Lives Matter movement, which has seen criticism from GOP candidates like neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who said it had been “bullying people” in an interview with CBS News.
Both Clinton and Sanders answered strongly in support of the movement.
Former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley apologized for once saying, “all lives matter”.
Clinton’s debate expertise became apparent when Cooper asked her if she changes tune depending on the crowd she is speaking to, and if she is, in fact, a progressive.
“I’m a progressive,” said Clinton. “But I’m a progressive that likes to get things done.”
Clinton and Sanders saw much more airtime than their lesser-known counterparts. According to a Wednesday report by NPR, Clinton got about 30 minutes on screen while Sanders saw about 28.
O’Malley came in at about 17 minutes, with former Virginia Senator Jim Webb — who complained openly about his lack of airtime — following at 15. Lincoln Chafee, a former Rhode Island Governor, clocked in at around nine minutes, but his perpetual smile failed to show any disappointment in that fact.