Democratic debate: Sanders apologizes to Clinton for data breach

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders apologized to Hillary Clinton and his own supporters Saturday for a breach of her campaign's valuable voter data, seeking to put the controversy to rest in a debate that quickly moved on to national security concerns and Americans' heightened fear of terrorism.

See Full Article

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner who kept an eye on the general election, was also sharply critical of Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States, calling the leader of the Republican race the Islamic State's "best recruiter."

"Mr. Trump has a great capacity to use bluster and bigotry to inflame people," said Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state.

Clinton and Sanders, her closest challenger, entered Saturday night's debate in the midst of one of their fiercest fights -- about the campaign itself rather than a national or international issue. Clinton's campaign accused Sanders' team of stealing information used to target voters and anticipate what issues might motivate them. In response to the breach, the Democratic National Committee temporarily cut off Sanders' team's access to its own data, a move the Vermont senator said Saturday was an "egregious act."

Still, Sanders said his staff had acted improperly.

"This is not the type of campaign that we run," he said. Sanders' campaign fired a worker involved in the breach but also used the controversy to raise money, sending an email to supporters that said the national party had placed "its thumb on the scales in support of Hillary Clinton's campaign."

Clinton quickly accepted the apology, saying "We should move on because I don't think the American people are interested in this."

The debate, the third for Democrats, was expected to have low viewership given that it was scheduled on the last weekend before Christmas, when many Americans have turned their attention to the holidays. It came as Clinton had solidified her standing atop the field, shaking off a rocky start and the controversy about her use of private email at the State Department.

Clinton and Sanders were joined on stage by former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has struggled to be a factor in the race. O'Malley was aggressive in seeking to play a role in the debate, repeatedly talking over moderators and accusing his rivals of having outdated views on foreign policy.

Clinton also defied moderators' efforts to cut her off, leading Sanders to call out, "Now this is getting to be fun."

While there was broad agreement among the Democratic contenders that the U.S. should not launch a ground war to defeat the Islamic State, they differed in the tactics they would take and whether the U.S. should seek regime change in Syria, where IS has a stronghold.

Clinton recommended more direct action than her competitors, calling for a no-fly zone over part of Syria and insisting that the U.S. must seek to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.

"If the United States does not lead, there is not another leader -- there is a vacuum," she said.

Sanders disagreed, saying the U.S. should first seek to defeat the Islamic State, calling Assad a "secondary issue" that should be dealt with over the course of years.

"Yeah, regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy, but you have to think about what happens the day after," he said.

All three candidates stressed working more closely with Muslim-American communities to tackle radicalism at home -- a sharp difference from the rhetoric of some Republican candidates. Returning to her focus on Trump, Clinton said, "If you're going to put together a coalition in the region to take on the threat of ISIS, you don't want to alienate the very countries you need to be part of the coalition."

Sanders sought to stand out on foreign policy by noting that he voted against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, an unpopular war Clinton supported. He said he does not support any "unilateral military action" but rather a coalition in which the U.S. works hand in hand with Muslim nations to fight the radical militant group.

Saturday's debate was the first for Democrats since the shooting in San Bernardino, California, where 14 people were killed by a married couple that authorities say had been radicalized. The incident, as well as earlier attacks in Paris, pushed national security to the forefront of the 2016 White House race.

The foreign policy focus has blunted Sanders' momentum in the Democratic race. The senator has deeply loyal supporters who are drawn to his economic- and inequality-focused campaign, but he's far less comfortable discussing foreign policy issues.

Sanders sought to refocus on his core message of levelling the economy playing field for middle class Americans, casting himself as an enemy of Wall Street and big financial institutions. Asked whether corporate America would love a Sanders presidency, he said simply, "No, I think they won't."

Sanders and O'Malley have suggested Clinton is too cozy with Wall Street and is running a campaign funded by wealthy executives, charges she has rejected. When asked by moderators whether corporate America should love her, she quipped, "Everybody should."

------

Pace reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Vivian Salama, Ken Thomas, Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Can Bernier or O'Leary lead a Conservative caucus that wants O'Toole or Scheer?

    Canada News CBC News
    More than two-thirds of the Conservative caucus has gotten behind one of the 14 candidates for the party's top job. Most are supporting either Erin O'Toole or Andrew Scheer — and O'Toole has now surpassed Scheer as the favourite of Conservatives in the House of Commons, even luring two of Scheer's former backers to his side. Source
  • Marijuana industry gets boost from legalization target date

    Canada News CBC News
    Canadian marijuana businesses got a confidence boost from a CBC News report that the government plans to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018, although big questions remain about how the legal market will work in different provinces. Source
  • 'The White House is in disarray': Trump struggles to find 'easy win' after health-care dud

    World News CBC News
    Hungry for a win after his failure to close the deal on a new health-care bill last week, Donald Trump's announcement Monday of a task force to streamline government should have been a palatable bread-and-butter offering to his conservative base. Source
  • Netflix's anti-piracy team aims to make stealing content uncool

    World News CBC News
    ?Netflix is getting tough on piracy. The streaming service giant reveals its plan of attack in an online job posting seeking someone with legal and internet piracy experience to manage its newly created Global Copyright Protection Group. Source
  • Quebec Finance Minister to table 2017-18 budget today

    Canada News CTV News
    Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao will table the province's 2017-18 budget today and says it will be one of "confidence and optimism." Leitao said earlier this month he will be tabling his third consecutive balanced budget. Source
  • French candidate's wife faces charges over parliament jobs

    World News CTV News
    French presidential candidate Francois Fillon, left, and his wife Penelope arrive for a television debate at French TV station TF1 in Aubervilliers, outside Paris, France, Monday, March 20, 2017. (Patrick Kovarik/Pool Photo via AP) Source
  • Human remains may have been discovered on Korean ferry that sank in 2014

    World News CBC News
    South Korean salvage crews on Tuesday found what is presumed to be the remains of one of the missing victims of a 2014 ferry disaster that killed 304 passengers, an official said. The remains were found in the waters near where the ship's wreckage was raised last week, said an official from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. Source
  • Malaysia says Kim Jong Nam's body still in the country

    World News CTV News
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The body of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is still in Malaysia, the country's health minister said Tuesday, dismissing reports that his remains were about to be flown out of the country as part of diplomatic negotiations. Source
  • Khalid Masood's wife 'saddened and shocked' by his attack near British Parliament

    World News CBC News
    The wife of the man who killed four people outside Britain's Parliament last week condemned the attack, saying she is "saddened and shocked." In statement released through London police on Tuesday, Khalid Masood's wife, Rohey Hydara, also said "I express my condolences to the families of the victims that have died, and wish a speedy recovery to all the injured. Source
  • 'Screaming, howling wind' from cyclone leaves thousands of Aussies without power

    World News CBC News
    Howling winds, heavy rain and huge seas pounded Australia's northeast on Tuesday, damaging homes, wrecking jetties and cutting power to thousands of people as Tropical Cyclone Debbie tore through Queensland state's far north. Wind gusts stronger than 260 km per hour were recorded at tourist resorts along the world-famous Great Barrier Reef as the powerful storm, at Category 4 just one rung below the most dangerous wind speed level, began to make landfall. Source