HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FOURTH DEMOCRATIC DEBATE

Here's what you missed.
  1. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed over gun control
    Clinton has called out Sanders’s record on guns, specifically his vote in 2005 that protected gun manufacturers from lawsuits. Last night, Sanders got the chance to respond: "Secretary Clinton knows that what she says is very disingenuous.” Is his recent reversal on gun manufacturer immunity a genuine one? Sanders clarified, “What I have said is that the gun manufacturers liability bill had some good provisions... I would re-look at it, we will re-look at it, and I support stronger provisions.”
  2. Structual racism got some long overdue attention
    It may be that NBC took the criticism of previous debates to heart. Or it may be that, the night before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, at an event being hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, in a city roiled by the police killing of Walter Scott and the Emanuel Church massacre, the topic was simply too blaring to ignore. Either way, the attention is long overdue. Now we need more of it.
  3. Clinton offered a good argument against Berniecare
    In a heated exchange about health care, Clinton made a powerful argument for maintaining and improving the Affordable Care Act, rather than scrapping it for the single-payer system that Sanders has advocated on the campaign trail. “The Democratic Party in the United States worked since Harry Truman to get the Affordable Care act passed,” Clinton said. “We finally have a path to universal health care. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it.”
  4. Clinton got attacked for her ties to Wall Street
    Economic populism is one of the stronger threads in contemporary Democratic politics, so it’s not surprising that things got testy Sunday night over the candidates’ stances toward Wall Street. Sanders reiterated his suggestion that Clinton is too cozy with big money interests, even if she supports Dodd-Frank. O’Malley went after Clinton as well, promising that, if elected, he would “put cops back on the beat of Wall Street.”
  5. Clinton’s got an “interesting” relationship with Vladimir Putin
    Asked how she would describe her personal relationship with the Russian president, Clinton laughed. “My relationship with him,” she said. “Ah it’s … ah it’s interesting.” She continued, "We've had some very tough dealings with one another. He’s someone you have to continually stand up to because like many bullies, he is somebody who will take as much as he possibly can unless you do.”