CNN Democratic Debate Live Blog III

Well, it’s obvious that Anderson Cooper did not want to look friendlier than Jake Tapper. There’s not as much to work with as Tapper had with Republicans in the way of quotable attacks on one candidate by another. But he’s deploying whatever criticisms he can find.

Cooper asks Clinton about emails and her handling of the issue. “This committee is basically an arm of the Republican National Committee…I’m still standing.” Pivots to “more important issues.” Cooper: didn’t president call this issue legitimate?

Sanders: agrees with HRC, says “American people are tired of hearing about your damn emails!.” HRC shakes Bernie’s hand…huge sustained cheers.

Cooper tries to bring Chafee in to attack HRC on emails; Linc says her credibility in serious question over Iraq and emails; HRC declines to respond; again, sustained cheers.

Now Cooper tries to bring O’Malley in to attack HRC; he won’t.

Cooper give up, and Don Lemon takes over with Facebook question: “Do black lives matter or all lves matter.” Bernie knows how to answer this one now, argues for assault on “institutional racism” and criminal justice reform.

O’Malley: Doesn’t answer directly, but gets it right: “lives of African-Americans have been undervalued.”

Clinton: Didn’t get direct “whose lives matter” question, but instead asked what she can do that Obama didn’t on racial issues. Says we need action on policing recommendations and notes criminal justice reform may be only bipartisan issue in Congress. Touts need for “New New Deal for people of color.”

Webb: Says “all lives matter,” but touts his prioneering effort on criminal justice reform.

Cooper shifts a bit, asks Sanders what he’d do on inequality that Obama couldn’t; Sanders contextualizes Obama’s record as (a) improvement over where we were eight years ago, and (b) fighting 40-year trend. He goes on to tout $15 minimum wage, different trade agenda.

HRC: Economy does better with Democratic in White House.

O’Malley: we did in Maryland what Sanders is talking about now. Then brings up Glass-Steagall, which he suggests is why he didn’t endorse HRC this time.

HRC: Claims her banking plan is tougher than Sanders/O’Malley’s. Argues she’s focused not just on banks but “shadow banks.”

Sanders: No, HRC’s plan not tougher. Opposed Clinton administration on banking deregulation.

HRC: Not sure she should mention she represented Wall Street in the Senate, but gets good line in about jailing bankers.

Sanders: “Congress doesn’t regulate Wall Street, Wall Street regulates Congress.”

O’Mallley: It’s all about Glass-Steagall! Hillary, you aren’t for it!

HRC: We’ve all changed positions; touts diplomacy on climate change.

Cooper mentions potential collapse of economy without TARP; Sanders denies it. Webb mentions his own proposal for “windfall profits tax” on bailed-out CEOs, which is a very clever idea. Webb complains about attention he’s getting for about the fourth time.

Cooper asks Chafee about voting for Glass-Steagall repeal; Chafee says it was his first vote in the Senate and basically he didn’t know what he was doing. Not sure how much credit for honesty he will get. Linc goes on to bring up taxes, advocating higher top rates.

Bash asks Sanders about HRC opposition to his “free college for everybody” plan on equality grounds. Bernie criticizes “complicated” HRC college plan, says college now like high school in the past.

HRC given chance to disagree with Sanders on universal access to free college and Medicare; Clinton ignores question and lays out her college plan.

Bash follows up on expanded Social Security and “Medicare for everybody.” Clinton advocates more SocSec benefits for poor people.

Sanders cuts in with explanation of his SocSec plan.

Cooper suddenly shifts to immigration, with Carlos raising Sanders vote against Bush-era immigration reform legislation. Sanders says he just opposed guest worker provisions.

Carlos now asks HRC if she agrees with O’Malley on opening up Obamacare to undocumented workers. She’ll let them buy into Obamacare, but not get subsidies.

O’Malley presents uncompensated care argument for broad access to Obamacare.

Webb agrees and takes advantage of chance to do his own immigration pitch, not really successfully.

HRC asks to follow up, notes GOPers have demonized undocumented immigrants. Agrees with O’Malley she’d go further than Obama on executive action, would also “support” states that decide to give undocumented in-state college tuition.

O’Malley touts record in Maryland, gets to call Trump “carnival barker.”

Cooper challenges Sanders’ record on VA health care eligibility delays. Sanders says he actually led reforms.

Chafee asked about Patriot Act vote. Now says he supports reforms to require warrants.

Did HRC regret her vote on the Patriot Act? No, but she says it was abused by Bush administration.

Sanders gets big cheers for being only Senator to vote against Patriot Act. Says he’d shut down NSA surveillance program, and also ban corporate surveillance.

Chafee suddenly asked if Edward Snowden should be brought home or labored traitor. “Bring him home.”

Clinton: No, he broke the law.

O’Malley: “Whistle-blowers don’t go to Putin.”

Sanders: “Should be penalty, but did open our eyes.”

Webb: Touts record on surveillance reform.

Another roundabout:

How would your administration differ from Obama’s third term?

Chafee: Ending all wars.

O’Malley: Wall Street reform.

Clinton: I’d be a woman! Would build on successes, but go beyond Obama.

Sanders: Political (anti-corporate) revolution!

Webb: Aside to Bernie: “The revolution’s not coming.” Less use of executive authority.

Follow-up by Sanders: clarifies that he’s talking about revitalization of democracy.

O’Malley: Green revolution!

Another break. Unclear how much longer this thing goes on.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.