Watch Hillary Clinton say she supports Wall Street because of 9/11.
Tim MurphyNov. 15, 2015 12:56 AM
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders may have enjoyed a detente during the foreign policy portion of Saturday's Democratic debate, but when the subject turned to Wall Street, the gloves came off.
It started when the CBS moderator, John Dickerson, asked Clinton how voters could trust her to rein in Wall Street given her close ties to the financial services industry. Clinton was ready for it. "Well I think it's pretty clear that they know that I will," she said. She described "two billionaire hedge fund managers who started a super-PAC and they're advertising against me in Iowa." Why? Because "they clearly think I'm going to do what I say I'm gonna do." She then invoked her Senate career and pointed to legislation that she introduced to limit compensation and increase shareholder oversight and continued:
I've laid out a very aggressive plan to rein in Wall Street—not just the big banks, that's a part of the problem, and I'm going after them, it's a comprehensive plan. But I'm going further than that. We have to go after what's call the shadow banking industry. Those hedge funds—look at what happened in '08. AIG an insurance company. Lehmann Brothers, an investment bank, helped to bring our economy down. So I want to look at the whole problem, and that's why my proposal is much more comprehensive than anything else that's been put forth.
But when Dickerson asked Sanders for his response, the Vermont senator was unimpressed:
"Here's the story, I mean let's not be naive about it," he said. "Over her political career, why has Wall Street been a major, the major campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? Now, maybe they're dumb and they don't know what they're gonna get, but I don't think so."
Dickerson pressed Sanders on what specifically he believed Wall Street would get for the industry's campaign contributions to his opponent. Sanders explained:
I have never heard a candidate—never—who's received huge amounts of money from oil, from coal, from Wall Street from the military-industrial complex, not one candidate, who doesn't say, 'Oh, these contributions will not influence me, I'm going to be independent.' But why do they make millions of dollars of campaign contributions? They expect to get something. Everybody knows that. Once again, I am running a campaign differently than any other candidate. We are relying on small campaign donors, 750,000 of them, thirty bucks apiece. That's who am I indebted to.
Clinton was ready with a sharp response. "He has basically used his answer to impugn my integrity, let's be frank here," she began. "Not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors—most of them small—and I’m proud that for the very first time, a majority of my donors are women—60 percent." She said her support for Wall Street is because "I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked."
Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York, it was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country. Now it's fine for you to say what you're gonna say but I looked very carefully at your proposal. Reinstating Glass–Steagall is a part of what very well could help. But it is nowhere near enough. My proposal is tougher, more effective, and more comprehensive because I go after all of Wall Street, not just the big banks.
Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign has signaled for months that it doesn't want to go negative against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. At the second Democratic presidential debate on Saturday, Sanders took the gloves off—hitting the former secretary of state for her support among Wall Street donors. But early on, he took a pass on underscoring a major point of distinction between them.
The first half hour of the second Democratic presidential debate was focused on how the United States should deal with ISIS and international terrorism. It could have been an opening for Sanders to highlight Hillary Clinton's early support for the Iraq war. And out of the gate, Sanders did emphasize his opposition to the 2003 invasion. "I don't think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of Iraq led to the instability we are seeing now," he said. "I think that was one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in the history of the United States."
But when the CBS moderator, John Dickerson, pressed him specifically about Clinton's support for the war, he didn't take the gloves off:
I think we have a disagreement, and the disagreement is that not only did I vote against the war in Iraq if you look at history, John, you will find that regime change, whether it was in the early '50s in Iran, whether it was toppling Allende in Chile, whether it was overthrowing the government of Guatemala way back when, these invasions, these toppling of governments...regime changes have unintended consequences. I will say, on these issues I am a little bit more conservative than the secretary in that I am not in favor of regime change.
That was it. It was a history lesson—and a true one—but it was hardly a powerful indictment of her record.
By contrast, in 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama hammered Clinton over and over again for her vote to authorize the war; on Saturday, Sanders spoke right past her.
Donald Trump is trailing Ben Carson in Iowa and it's starting to get to him. On Thursday night, he told an audience in Iowa that Carson is "pathological, damaged," and sought to prove his point by reenacting the pediatric neurosurgeon's infamous childhood stabbing, in which he claims to have thrust a knife at his relative's abdomen, only to be stopped by a belt buckle. Trump used the incident to paint Carson as both a pathologically violent maniac and a fabulist who couldn't possibly have committed such an act of violence. "How stupid are the people of Iowa?" he asked. "How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?"
At Tuesdays kids-table presidential debate in Milwaukee, Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) tried to remind Republicans why they ever liked him in the first place—by getting really angry at everyone. Here are some of the targets of Christie's attacks:
China: A former US attorney, Christie appeared to take the Chinese government's hack of a massive database of federal employees personally. "If the Chinese commit cyber warfare against us, they are gonna see cyber warfare like they've never seen before," he promised. Christie explained that his administration would then leak embarrassing details from its counter-hack of the Chinese government. "They'll have some real fun in Beijing when we start showing them how they're spending money in China."In case there was any remaining ambiguity about his position on China, he unloaded on the Obama administration for not challenging China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. As president, he promised that his first move on China (even before he launched a cyber war, evidently) would be to fly Air Force One over China's artificial islands. "That'll show them I mean business," he said.
Black Lives Matter: Christie has won praise for his campaign-trail compassion on substance abuse. That empathy doesn't apply to victims of police violence. He ripped into Democratic politicians for, he alleged, turning their backs on police officers. "They're not standing behind our police officers across the country, they're allowing lawlessness to rein across this country," Christie said. He promised things would be different if he's elected: "When president Christie's in the Oval Office, I'll have your back." Christie returned the subject unprompted later, even connecting support for Black Lives Matter to overseas engagements with ISIS. "When the president doesn't support law enforcement officers in uniform, he loses the moral authority to command anyone in uniform," he said.
Hillary Clinton. More than anything else, Christie wanted to talk about the Democratic front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "She is the real adversary tonight, and we better stay focused as Republicans on her," Christie said right off the bat. And he lived up to his word, responding to every question as if he were her likely opponent rather than an also-ran. He came prepared with a series of one-liners. ("The bottom line is this: Hillary Clinton's coming for your wallet everybody") and promised to "prosecute" her on the debate stage next fall. Clinton's quip at the first Democratic debate that the enemies she's proudest of in her career were Republicans also struck a nerve. Christie called it "the most disgraceful thing I've seen in this entire campaign."
The only people Christie didn't beef with were his fellow also-ran candidates on stage. The New Jersey governor explicitly refused to respond to a challenge from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. And in that respect, he won by default, as the only candidate who seemed to remember that the point of the smaller stage was to get off it.