Democratic Debate

Journalists check the debate stage during a walk-through before the Democratic Presidential candidates arrive for their CNN Facebook Democratic Debate this evening at the Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party’s first presidential debate. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By John Wildermuth
October 13, 2015
Updated: October 13, 2015 – 10:54pm

While Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders agreed during Tuesday night’s debate that serious changes are needed to get the country moving, they tussled repeatedly over how that should be done.

For Sanders, the Vermont senator who is trailing Clinton in the polls, nothing less than “a political revolution” is needed to save the country from the powers of Wall Street, he told the enthusiastic crowd at the Wynn casino and hotel in Las Vegas.

The question, he said, “is whether we can mobilize our community to take back the government from the handful of millionaires and billionaires” now running it.

Clinton, the former secretary of state, New York senator and first lady, took a less drastic view of the country’s needs. Describing herself someone “who can both find common ground and stand my ground,” Clinton called for pushing ahead with many of the same programs Sanders advocated, such as paid family leave and college tuition relief, but in a less combative way.

“I’m a progressive who likes to get things done,” Clinton said in a clear shot at Sanders.

The two leading candidates also provided contrasting looks on the stage, with Clinton calm and understated and Sanders often shouting and waving his arms like a revivalist preacher.

And he was preaching a very different sermon from those usually heard in political campaigns, proudly rejecting the capitalist system for what he called the Democratic socialism seen in countries like Denmark and Sweden.

Sanders called for breaking up big banks, providing low-cost health care to all Americans, free tuition to all public colleges and universities, and raising taxes on wealthy individuals and businesses to pay for it.

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