Expect sparks to fly at the fourth Democratic debate Sunday night.
Tonight’s Democratic debate comes on the heels of some serious attacks on Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is under stress because the Vermont senator is gaining supporters quickly while Hillary is losing them. Because of this, the Clinton camp has resorted to some underhanded and dishonest smear campaigns against Bernie.
The good news about all this is that since December, when Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC attempted to block Sanders’s access to his own data after vendor software left all campaigns vulnerable, Bernie Sanders has added millions of dollars to his campaign coffers. Each time Hillary or someone closely associated to her tries to smear Bernie, tens of thousands of people make donations to him.
— Ronna RomneyMcDaniel (@RRMGOP) January 18, 2016
The most recent attack never materialized. David Brock, the found of Correct the Record, is closely aligned with the Clinton campaign. Word got out that Brock was planning to air attack ads in South Carolina this weekend prior to the debate calling into question Bernie Sanders’ age and health.
— Holly Miller (@hollypolisci) January 18, 2016
After Jeff Weaver, Sanders’s campaign manager, called the other side out for this tactic, Hillary’s campaign manager distanced himself from Brock by telling him to “chill out.” Brock responded that the rumor wasn’t true.
But the damage was done.
Ironically, even if Hillary had approved of calling for Bernie’s medical records, she would be forced to answer for hers. Although her doctor has given her a clean bill of health, concerns still swirl about her actual fitness to do the job. As far back as 1998, Hillary Clinton has had serious medical issues, including deep vein thrombosis, and in 2012, she had a cerebral venous thrombosis, which resulted in a serious fall that caused a concussion. She has fainted on several occasions throughout the years, and is rumored to have experienced a serious heart condition or a stroke, or even both.
Voters and Bernie Sanders supporters are hoping that he forces Hillary to answer for these attacks during the debate. Sanders, for his part, will likely keep his debate tactics on the issues because he has vowed not to run a dirty campaign, and it is unlikely that he will go on the offensive on the debate stage.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) January 18, 2016
So far, Clinton has attacked Bernie on his stand on gun control. He’s been accused of not being tough enough on guns, although the NRA has given him a D- rating on the issue. Chelsea Clinton attempted to convince voters that Sanders would take away their health care, which caused even David Axelrod to scratch his head. And most recently, doubts are being spread about Bernie’s physical fitness to be president, which is clearly an ageist tactic. Hillary supporters forget that she is only six years younger than Sanders and has had many more health issues than he has.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, Bernie Sanders was again asked about his record on gun control. Confronted by his 2005 vote to give manufacturers immunity against legal action when buyers commit crimes, Sanders indicated a willingness to support a bill amending that legislation.
“We have rethought … There’s a bill apparently being introduced. I like that bill, it makes some good changes, and we will be supportive of it.”
During the Democratic debate, Hillary may accuse Sanders of a pre-debate flip-flop, but Bernie has said on numerous occasions before that he is willing to reconsider his position.
At the Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders will likely face heat for not releasing the full details of a tax plan he would implement as a way to fund a single payer health care system. For several months, he’s said that the plan will come soon, but with the Iowa caucuses quickly approaching, he’s under pressure to release more details. The moderators, Clinton, and even O’Malley will assuredly go after him for that.
Clinton will probably double down on her claim that Bernie’s health care proposals would do more harm than good, even though his plan could actually save people thousands of dollars per year.
And even better, hours before the Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders released more details for his single payer health care proposal.
“The shift to universal health care would be paid for with a 2.2 percent health care premium (calculated under the rules for federal income taxes); a 6.2 percent health care payroll tax paid by employers; an estate tax on the wealthiest Americans and changes in the tax code to make federal income tax rates more progressive.”
He also claimed that families would save a large sum of money on health care costs.
“The typical family earning $50,000 a year would save nearly $6,000 annually in health care costs.”
Prior to the Democratic debate, Bernie held a platform discussion on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Prominent Ohio Democrat Nina Turner, Dr. Cornel West, and rapper Killer Mike participated. The event was live-streamed and is available on Bernie Sanders’s website.