At the first Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) got the biggest applause line of the night when siding with Hillary Clinton on her email scandal.
“Let me say this. Let me say something that may not be great politics,” he said. “But I think the secretary is right. And that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!”
“Thank you,” Clinton responded. “Me too. Me too.”
The crowd in Vegas went wild, Bernie’s donations skyrocketed, and — as Clinton found a fresh Bernie target in his gun-rights stances — Sanders seemed to lose a viable point of attack against Hillary.
But as he told the Wall Street Journal, go ahead and investigate the damn emails.
“There’s an investigation going on right now. I did not say, ‘End the investigation.’ That’s silly… Let the investigation proceed unimpeded,” Sanders said, noting “valid” questions about Hillary’s potential storage of classified emails on a private server.
Bernie didn’t say he regretted his defense of Hillary at the debate, though.
“You get 12 seconds to say these things,” he said of the debate setting.
The numbers have slightly tilted toward Hillary since her Capitol Hill testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, with a WSJ/NBC poll released Monday showing fewer Americans figuring the private server into whether or not they’ll vote for Clinton. She also gained a few percentage points from an earlier October poll on whether people were satisfied with her responses.
Sanders noted on MSNBC this week that Clinton has gotten her numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire by dropping millions on campaign ads, while he so far hadn’t “spent a nickel.”
That changed this week.
“We have an ad up and we will continue to do TV and radio. I think that will have a significant impact because a lot of people especially in Iowa who don’t know who I am or what I stand for,” Sanders said.
“But second of all, we’re feeling very good… when we started this campaign, as you know, I was considered to be a fringe candidate. I was at 3 percent, 5 percent. We have gained a lot of ground in the last six months,” the senator added. “I think we’re going to continue to gain ground by talking about the real issues that impact the American middle class income and wealth inequality, the collapse of the American working class, climate change and the fact that we have more people in jail than any other country on earth.”