One week before the 2016 Iowa caucus, all three Democratic presidential candidates participated in a CNN town hall at Drake University. Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, and Hillary Clinton fielded questions from undecided voters. Polls indicate that the race in Iowa is neck and neck between Sanders and Clinton.
Among the comments at the town hall, here are three of the most positive from the candidates:
1. Bernie Sanders: Economic Security
"Economic rights, the right to economic security is — should exist in the United States of America. It means to me that there's something wrong when we have millions of senior citizens today trying to get by on $11,000, $12,000 a year Social Security. It means there's something wrong when the rich get richer and almost everybody else gets poorer. It means there is something wrong and government should play a role in making sure that all of our kids, regardless of their income, are able to get a higher education. Which is why I'm calling for free tuition at public colleges and universities, and why we have to deal with this horrendous level of student debt that people are having. Now, what's going on in countries around the world, in Scandinavia and in Germany. The ideas that I am talking about are not radical ideas. So, what democratic socialism means to me in its essence is that we cannot continue to have a government dominated by the billionaire class and a congress that continues to work for the interest of the people on top while ignoring working families."
2. Martin O'Malley: Discrimination
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"I believe that the genius of this American experiment of ours is that in every generation, we take actions to include more people more fully in the economic, the social, and the political life our country. That's the broader arc of American history. We've yet to arrive at a perfect union, but every generation we have the opportunity to make it a more perfect union. One of the most powerful beliefs we share is our belief in the dignity of every person. That's what's motivated me and the common good that we share. And, I will do everything in my power to move us forward as a nation and make us more inclusive in every possible way I can across the board because that's what makes us stronger as a country."
3. Hillary Clinton: Islamophobia
"It's not only shameful and contrary to our values to say that people of a certain religion should never come to this country, or to claim that there are no real people of the Muslim faith who share our values, and to have the kind of dismissive and insulting approach. It's not only shameful and offensive, which it is. I think it's dangerous. And it's dangerous in several ways. It's dangerous because American Muslims deserve better. And now their children and they are the target of Islamophobia, of threats. I've met a number of parents who said their children are afraid to go to school because they are worried about how they will be treated. And we cannot tolerate this. And we must stand up and say every person in this country deserves to be treated with respect. And we must stand up against the bullying."
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