Sanders quoted Roosevelt, whose New Deal programs marked a massive expansion of government safety nets during the Great Distress, as a leader he admired.
“What he did was redefined the role of government,” Sanders said. He restated Roosevelt’s message: “’We are a nation which, if we come together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.’ And kind of, that’s what I see our campaign is about right now.”
This should have been a moment where Clinton could have stepped in to clear her vision of the change that was needed, and Sanders’ more sweeping vision. Clinton could have argued that she did not believe the country needed another massive New Deal-style transformation. Earlier, she had stated that Sanders had been refusing to “level with” the public about how much his broad plans would cost.
Clinton agreed with Sanders another massive New Deal-style transformation
Instead, Clinton simply said she agreed with him
“I certainly agree with FDR [being a leader to admire], for all the reasons Senator Sanders said,” Clintion said.
When they did argued, they argued more about issues that were covered in their first one-on-one debate last week.
For instance, Sanders repeated a criticism he’d made in past debates, saying that Clinton is not solid on foreign policy, that she had shown her weakness on foreign policy by voting in favor of the Iraq War in 2002. Experience matters, Sanders said repeating a statement he had said in the past. But, he stated, “judgment matters as well. Judgment matters as well.”
Clinton responded swiftly to that criticism by repeating something she too had said before: that a vote in 2002 was not a plan for taking on the Islamic State in 2016.
They both criticized the sudden approach in deportations of illegal immigrants carried out by the Obama administration, saying they would both block the expulsions and offer them a new legal path toward citizenship.
“I am against the raids. I am against the kind of inhumane treatment that is now being visited upon families,” Clinton stated, who was President Obama’s first secretary of state, during Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate.