2016 Democratic Debate: Clinton and Sanders Face Off In Wisconsin

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met Thursday night for their first post-New Hampshire primary debate. At the showdown, hosted by PBS NewsHour at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the two sparred over President Obama's legacy, immigration reform, foreign policy, and a host of other topics.

The second one-on-one debate of the campaign took place in the wake of Bernie Sanders' large win in New Hampshire on Tuesday and a week before the Democratic caucuses in Nevada on Feb. 20.

You can catch a recap of all the action right here from our live blog:


Recap the Latest #DemDebate Below

Recap the #DemDebate Below

We're wrapping up our live blog for the night! Read how Clinton cooled the Bern at the debate here and catch up on everything else you missed in our updates below. Or, you can watch all of the big moments in just 3 minutes here.


For up-to-date primary numbers go to our full results page here.

For exit poll data on race, gender and more out of New Hampshire go here.

For news updates, analysis and videos go to the Decision 2016 page here.

As always, thanks for following!

Big Moments from the Hillary/Bernie Debate (in 3 minutes) 3:10

So Social

So Social

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton shared equal time in the twittersphere Thursday night during the Democratic debate, both talked about 50 percent of the time on Twitter.

As for Facebook, the top social moment of the night was when Sanders said in his final remarks, "One of us ran against Barack Obama, I was not that candidate."

At the start of the debate, Sanders led the Facebook conversation with 64 percent to Clinton's 36 percent. But by the end, that gap narrowed, with Sanders at 57 percent and Clinton at 43 percent. Not surprisingly, Wall Street was the top talker on the social media platform, followed by jobs and racial issues.

Here Are the Closing Statements...

Here Are the Closing Statements...

Bernie Sanders in his closing remarks of the night got in a final zing: "One of us ran against Barack Obama - I was not that candidate."

The senator added that his campaign is "not just about electing a president. What this campaign is about is creating a process for a political revolution in which millions of Americans, working people who have given up on the political process ... tens of millions of people, together to demand that we have a government that represents all of us -- not just the one perfect."

Hillary Clinton with the last line said, "I am not a single-issue candidate, and I do not believe that we live in a single-issue country." The country has much to overcome, she said, from the poisoned water in Flint, Michigan to Americans "put down or depressed" by racism, sexism or LGBT discrimination. "I'm going keep talking about tearing down all the barriers standing in the way of Americans fulfilling all their potential," Clinton said. "I don't think our country can live up to its potential unless we give a chance to let every single American to live up to their potential."

For more Decision 2016 coverage go here!

Leigh Ann Caldwell

Clinton Attacks Sanders for Being Critical of Obama

After Sen. Sanders told NBC News' Kasie Hunt that President Obama has a "presidential leadership gap," Clinton jumped on it.

"I don't think he gets the credit he deserves," she said. "It is the kind of criticism we expect from the Republicans."

Sanders was not happy. "Madam Sec. that is a low blow," he said.

"We have made enormous progress," Sanders said about Obama.

"Have you ever disagreed with the president? I suspect you have," he adds.

David Taintor

What Should the U.S. Do to Help Refugees?

Both Clinton and Sanders offered words of support for refugees fleeing war-torn Syria and other parts of the Middle East.

Clinton said the U.S. should work with partners in the region and welcome properly vetted refugees. "This is a humanitarian catastrophe, no question about it," she said.

Sanders recalled a visit to a Turkish refugee camp on the Syrian border, where he saw men, women and children forced to flee violence and persecution. "It seems to me, given our history as a ... beacon of hope for the distressed, downtrodden, I strongly disagree with those Republican candidates" who want to seal off the nation's borders. "The entire world needs to come together to deal with this horrific refugee crisis," he added.

Andrew Rafferty

Clinton Says US Must Speed Up Syrian Ceasefire

Hillary Clinton said a ceasefire in Syria has to be implemented more quickly than was agreed upon by major world powers shortly before Thursday's Democratic debate.

The former secretary of state said Russia would "do everything they can to destroy what's left of the opposition" in Syria before the ceasefire deadline in one week. She encouraged the U.S. to expedite that deadline and work to implement the humanitarian aide included in the agreement by world powers.

Bernie Sanders applauded how President Obama has handled Putin and said the U.S. needs to put more economic pressure on Russia. Sanders said Putin's aggression, like his incursion into Crimea, cannot go unchecked.

Is the US Ready For the Next Attack?

Is the US Ready For the Next Attack?

Hillary Clinton said that in order to remain equipped to foil and prevent attacks, the country needs to focus on the now. The country has to go against terror groups like ISIS, the former secretary of state said, not only by leading a coalition that will take back territory from the terror group, but also that we have "take on ISIS online."

And in an attack on Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Clinton said that American Muslims "need to feel not just invited but welcome within the American society," adding that Trump stirring up demagogy against American Muslims is "not only offensive, it's dangerous."

Bernie Sanders said that the country needs to create a world of peace and prosperity, and that the point is not that the U.S. can overthrow a dictator, but to "understand what happens the day after." In typical Sanders fashion, the senator brought up his vote against the Iraq War in 2003, saying, "I listened very carefully to what Bush and Cheney had to say and I didn't believe them."

Clinton shot back, saying that we shouldn't be looking at the past, but that "it's very important we focus on the threats today ... that we understand the world we're living in today."

Sanders, as he did in the last Democratic debate on MSNBC, said that it's not just experience that is critical in handling foreign policy, but that judgement matters as well.

Leigh Ann Caldwell

Henry Kissinger? Yes.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is just as controversial in this Democratic debate than he was during his tenure in government.

"I'm proud to say Henry Kissinger is not my friend," Sanders said of the Nobel Peace Prize winner who some want to try for war crimes. "I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive Secretaries of state in the history of this country."

Sanders Slams Clinton's 'Mentor' Kissinger 1:33

Clinton sometimes refers to Kissinger as someone from which she takes counsel. She criticized Sanders for not having advisers on foreign policy.

"And, yes, people we may disagree with on a number of things may have some insight, may have some relationships, that are important for the president to understand in order to best protect the United States," Clinton said.

More about Henry Kissinger

Leigh Ann Caldwell

Cut the Government?

Sanders said he would cut the Defense Department.

David Taintor

A Fight Over Campaign Financing

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders got into it over campaign financing and Wall Street's political donations.

Clinton sought to distance herself from a super PAC supporting her, but nonetheless pushed back on the notion that she would be unable to crack down on Wall Street because her campaign benefits from financial sector contributions.

"Let's not insult the intelligence of the American people," Sanders said. "People aren't dumb. Why in God's name does Wall Street make huge contributions? I guess for the fun of it."

Clinton responded by saying she has made clear there is "no bank too big to fail, no executive too powerful to jail."

Both candidates highlighted the fact that their campaigns have received small donations from hundreds of thousands of individuals.

Sanders, Clinton Spar Over Campaign Funds, Donors 1:37
Monica Alba

Clinton's Clyburn Reference Not a Coincidence

Hillary Clinton's casual mention of Rep. James Clyburn in an answer about race and poverty is no accident. She is actively pursuing his endorsement before the South Carolina primary.

Clyburn told NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday that he was not prepared to endorse a candidate this week, but did not rule out making a selection before the Democratic contest on February 27. Clyburn remained neutral in the 2008 race between Clinton and then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Leigh Ann Caldwell

Disproportionate of African Americans in Sentencing

Sanders says the large numbers of blacks in jail is "one of the great tragedies in our country today."

Clinton: "I completely agree." She also says Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed 31-year old who was killed in Milwaukee by a police officer, should still be alive.

He calls for "radical reform" of the criminal justice system, including reforms to mandatory sentencing, demilitarizing the police, and ensuring the police "look like the communities they serve." He also talks about the high rate of recidivism, an area where the U.S. is "failing abysmally."

Sanders: "When we have more people in jail .... than china does. ... at the end of my first term, we will not have more people in jail than any other country."

Leigh Ann Caldwell

Plans for Social Security

They talked about their plans for Social Security:

Sanders: Lift the cap on taxable income then he wants to expand social security by $1300 a year. He says his plan will expand the life of social security by 58 years.

"If elected president I will do anything i can to expand SS for seniors and disabled vets," Sanders said.

Clinton: She doesn't have a plan yet and is "looking at a couple different ways" to do so.

She says he is considering expanding the tax to "passive income so we get more revenue."

She also said she wants to ensure low income seniors and women who spent a large part of their life as caregivers who weren't paying into the social security system get an increase.

Sanders pressures her to come up with a proposal.

Clinton doesn't commit but says "we're in vigorous agreement here." We want to get more revenue in.

The Talk on Twitter

The Talk on Twitter

Halfway through the debate, Twitter users were discussing both Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders equally.

Literally, 50-50.

Andrew Rafferty

Clinton, Sanders Clash Over '07 Immigration Vote

Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders said they disagree with the country's current deportation policies for undocumented immigrants, but clashed over a 2007 vote on comprehensive reform.

The two Democratic candidates said families should not be broken up and promised to take President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration even further.

But they butted heads over 2007 immigration legislation that Sanders voted against and Clinton supported.

Sanders cited progressive groups who said a guest worker program included in the bill was "akin to slavery." The Vermont senator said that a number of progressive voices opposed the legislation for that reason.

Clinton said the bill was championed by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and she was "proud to stand with him and support him."

Sanders Points Out Difference on Immigration With Clinton 0:49

Clinton Puts Price Tag On Health Plan

Hillary Clinton said her universal health care plan would cost about $100 billion per year. Clinton has criticized Sanders' single-payer health plan, saying it's a bad idea to start from scratch and that it would be easier to get from "90-100 than zero to 100" by expanding Obamacare to cover all Americans. Clinton has not yet laid out details of how she would get to full coverage. But she said Thursday that her plan would not increase the debt or raise taxes.

David Taintor

Clinton: Obama Has Succeeded on Race Relations

Hillary Clinton praised President Obama's record on improving race relations as the nation's first black president, saying the Affordable Care Act helped more African-Americans get health insurance than any other group.

Clinton also said the rise of social media and smartphones have exposed the "the dark side of systemic racism we have to root out in our society."

Bernie Sanders said race relations would "absolutely" improve under his administration, noting that he would create "millions of jobs" for low-income kids.

Sanders Surprised Over 'White People' Topic at Debate 0:51
Andrew Rafferty

Hillary Clinton Defends Poor Showing Among Females in N.H.

Hillary Clinton addressed her poor showing among female voters in New Hampshire on Tuesday and said she does not want women to vote for her based on gender but rather because she is the most qualified candidate.

"I have spent my entire adult life working toward making sure women are empowered to make their own choices, even if the choice is not to vote for me," Clinton said.

Clinton also carefully brushed off longtime political ally Madeleine Albright's comment that there is a "special place in hell" for women who don't support other women.

Clinton said Albright has been using the phrase "as long as I've known her."

Bernie Sanders dismissed the notion that he could be the one to derail history by preventing Clinton from becoming the first female president. The Vermont senator said his election would "be of some historic accomplishment as well."

Both candidates applauded this fact, mentioned by Clinton to the two female moderators:

"I would note, just for an historic aside, somebody told me earlier today we've had like 200 presidential primary debates and this is the first time there have been a majority of women on the stage. So, you know, we'll take our progress wherever we can find it."

David Taintor

Clinton Dings Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Hillary Clinton dinged Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin who failed to gain traction in the GOP presidential race. Clinton said she didn't think Walker would go along with Sanders' plan for free college tuition.

David Taintor

Bernie Sanders to Clinton: 'You're Not in the White House Yet'

Bernie Sanders pointedly responded to Hillary Clinton's policy proposals, saying, "Secretary Clinton, you're not in the White House yet."

A moment earlier, Clinton offered a veiled criticism of Sanders' lofty policy platform. Clinton said politicians should not "make promises we can't keep." The remark stemmed from a question over whether people skeptical of the federal government should be afraid of a Clinton presidency.