The democratic debate shifted gears to a very heartbreaking topic of terrorism on Nov. 14, just one day after the horrifying attack on Paris that killed at least 129 people and put 352 in a hospital.
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley all took the stand during the Des Moines Debate on Nov. 14 to speak out against terrorism. The democratic presidential hopefuls didn’t waste a minute before weighing in on the ISIS’ attack on Paris, that French President Francois Hollande referred to as an “act of war” against France.
Following a moment of silence, the candidates began nearly 35 minutes of debate over terrorism matters. Bernie started, declaring that his campaign is “about a political revolution.” He stated that all Americans are “shocked and disgusted” by what happened in Paris on Nov. 13. “Together leading the world, this country will rid our planet of this organization called Isis,” he said. In response to what needs to be done, he said we need to lead an international coalition, including Muslim nations, mentioning that the invasion of Iraq led to what’s happening now.
In Hillary’s opening statement, the former Secretary Of State said, “Our prayers are with the people of France tonight, but that is not enough.” While Hillary agreed with Bernie that the Iraq invasion was a mistake, she also mentioned that the United States does not have the bulk of the responsibility when it comes to fighting against terrorism. Hillary emphasized that this election is about choosing our next Commander In Chief and mentioned that we need to work with our friends and allies to do a better job at protecting against terrorism. She called for a “resolve that will bring the world together,” adding that we do need to reach out to Muslim countries in order to be successful.
Martin contested Hillary’s statement about this not being America’s fight, stating that in fact it is, but adding “it cannot solely be America’s fight.” He agreed that we need help from our “Muslim American neighbors” and alliances, calling for “new thinking” and “fresh approaches” in fighting terrorism. Although Martin said we have proved to have the “greatest military on the planet,” he suggested that we aren’t very good at anticipating threats and our traditional ways of fighting aren’t going to work moving forward.
Steve Capus, the executive editor of CBS News revealed that he was in a rehearsal for a date on Friday when the Paris attack story broke. With that, he decided that terrorism must be approached during the debate. “American leadership is put to the test. The entire world is looking to the White House. These people are vying to take over this office,” he said in a statement to the New York Times. The debate was originally set to foucs on the economy — specifically wages and income inequality.
“This is exactly what the president is going to have to face,” he added. “It is the right time to ask all the related questions that come to mind. We think we have a game plan to address a lot of the substantive and important topics.”
Immediately following the debate, CBS also planned a special report on the attacks, anchored by Norah O’Donnell in New York and Scott Pelley from Paris. Additionally, Face the Nation‘s Sunday broadcast has been changed to be broadcast from Washington instead of its planned broadcast from Des Moines.
— Emily Longeretta and Taylor Weatherby