Dec 20, 2015 10:03 AM
The Associated Press
MANCHESTER — Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton moved past the rancor over a breach of her campaign's valuable voter data, shifting Saturday night's debate into a pointed but polite discussion of national security, Americans' heightened terrorism fears and the economy.
Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, kept much of her focus on the general election, sharply criticizing Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States. She called the leader of the GOP race the Islamic State's "best recruiter."
"Mr. Trump has a great capacity to use bluster and bigotry to inflame people," said Clinton, the former secretary of state.
Clinton and Sanders, her closest challenger, entered the debate in the midst of one of their fiercest fights — about the campaign itself rather than a national or international issue. Clinton's campaign accused Sanders' team of stealing information used to target voters and anticipate what issues might motivate them. In response to the breach, the Democratic National Committee temporarily cut off Sanders' team's access to its own data, a move the Vermont senator said Saturday was an "egregious act."
Still, Sanders said his staff had acted improperly.
"This is not the type of campaign that we run," he said. Sanders' campaign fired a worker involved in the breach but also used the controversy to raise money, sending an email to supporters that said the national party had placed "its thumb on the scales in support of Hillary Clinton's campaign." His campaign said after the debate it had suspended two more aides.
Clinton quickly accepted his apology Saturday night, saying, "We should move on, because I don't think the American people are all that interested in this."
The debate, the third for Democrats, was expected to have low viewership given that it was scheduled on the last weekend before Christmas, when many Americans have turned their attention to the holidays. It came as Clinton had solidified her standing atop the field, shaking off a rocky start and the controversy about her use of private email at the State Department.
Clinton and Sanders were joined onstage by former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has struggled to be a factor in the race. O'Malley was aggressive in seeking to play a role, repeatedly talking over moderators and accusing his rivals of having outdated views on foreign policy.
In a heated exchange on gun control, O'Malley accused both Clinton and Sanders of having a "flip-flopping, political approach" to the contentious issue.
Clinton also defied moderators' efforts to cut her off at times, leading Sanders to call out, "Now this is getting to be fun."
While there was broad agreement among the Democratic contenders that the U.S. should not launch a ground war to defeat the Islamic State, they differed in the tactics they would take and whether the nation should seek regime change in Syria, where IS has a stronghold.
Clinton recommended more direct action than her competitors, calling for a no-fly zone over part of Syria and insisting that the U.S. must seek to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.
"If the United States does not lead, there is not another leader — there is a vacuum," she said.
Sanders disagreed, saying the U.S. should first seek to defeat the Islamic State, calling Assad a "secondary issue" that should be dealt with over the course of years.
"Yeah, regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy," Sanders said. "But before you do that, you've got to think about what happens the day after."
All three candidates stressed working more closely with Muslim-American communities to tackle radicalism at home — a sharp difference from the rhetoric of some Republican candidates. Returning to her focus on Trump, Clinton said, "If you're going to put together a coalition in the region to take on the threat of ISIS, you don't want to alienate the very countries you need to be part of the coalition."
Saturday's debate was the first for Democrats since the shooting in San Bernardino, California, where 14 people were killed by a married couple that authorities say had been radicalized. The incident, as well as earlier attacks in Paris, pushed national security to the forefront of the 2016 White House race.
The foreign policy focus has blunted Sanders' momentum in the Democratic race. The senator has deeply loyal supporters who are drawn to his economic- and inequality-focused campaign, but he's far less comfortable discussing foreign policy issues.
Sanders sought to refocus on his core message of leveling the economic playing field for middle class Americans, including his call for free college tuition and a single-payer health care system. Clinton challenged Sanders on how he would pay for those proposals, suggesting he'd pass on the costs to states and middle class Americans.
She pledged that as president, she wouldn't raise taxes on families making $250,000 or less per year. "That is a pledge that I'm making," she said.
Pace reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Vivian Salama, Ken Thomas, Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.
4 hours 34 minutes agoThe three officers present in the conference said they have never saved a life before, nor have they been forced to use an AED...
13 hours 15 minutes agoSpring may be upon us in the Granite State, but the weather still has some snow in store. (More)
6 hours 4 minutes agoPresident Donald Trump announced that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will take on a leading advisory role on a soon to be formed commission...
Mar 28, 2017 4:45 PMNew numbers from NH Secretary of State’s office indicate that 458 people who voted here on Election Day may have possibility committed voter fraud....
11 hours 3 minutes agoA man lived to see another day, and it's all thanks to a few officers at the Manchester Police Department. (More)
9 hours 3 minutes agoA Barrington man died after his car crossed over the center line, striking an oncoming vehicle on Route 16. (More)
12 hours 4 minutes agoThe masked man allegedly went behind the counter, stuffed an undetermined amount of cash into a paper McDonald's bag and pushed the employee to...
Mar 28, 2017 4:37 PMNeighbors who live near the scene of a homicide in Manchester say they're 'unnerved' that something that serious happened so close to home. (More)
Mar 28, 2017 7:29 AMA Massachusetts woman who pleaded guilty in the fentanyl overdose death of a 17-year-old girl at a New Hampshire motel is scheduled to be...
Mar 27, 2017 2:38 PMA Manchester woman allegedly threatened to poop on an officer's leg following a domestic assault incident. (More)
Mar 27, 2017 11:58 AMSupporters of convicted murderer Pam Smart launched a Twitterstorm to support her release after she coerced her teenage lover into killing her husband. (More)
Mar 28, 2017 2:48 PMThe New Hampshire Attorney General announced an ongoing investigation into the untimely death of an adult man. (More)
Mar 28, 2017 9:23 AMThe Manchester Police Department was on scene of an 'untimely death' Tuesday morning. (More)
Mar 27, 2017 10:20 PMA Florida woman was charged after crossing the yellow line and colliding with another vehicle head-on in Rochester. (More)
Mar 27, 2017 1:02 PMThe Manchester Police Department awarded a man - who recently evicted the tenants from his Derry home following a shooting - officer of the...
Mar 27, 2017 10:34 AMA local carpentry company was slapped with a fine earlier this month by OSHA as they investigate a truss collapse that occurred last year...
Mar 27, 2017 9:55 PMA snowmobiler was found dead on a trail Monday from an apparent collision with a tree after failing to return home Sunday night. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 9:35 PMPolice said a sex offender kicked down a door and then assaulted a man. He is charged with burglary, simple assault and possession of...
Mar 27, 2017 9:00 AMThe advisory warns of mixed snow, sleet, freezing rain for central and northern areas today. A brief period of freezing rain will occur closer...
Mar 25, 2017 7:52 PMA South Carolina man who wrapped electrical tape around a dog's muzzle to stop her from barking has been sentenced to five years in...
Mar 26, 2017 5:59 PMOfficials transported a young child to a local hospital with minor injuries after they allegedly ran into a moving car. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 10:40 AMA Hooksett man faces charges after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend twice and choked her, impeding her breathing. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 12:29 PMChichester Fire and Rescue extinguished a heavy kitchen fire, leading to the death of household pets. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 11:43 AMPolice allegedly found crack cocaine and heroin on a man wanted on an arrest warrant. (More)
Mar 25, 2017 9:34 AMA Tilton felon is facing drug and gun charges after police allegedly saw him slumped over the wheel of his car Saturday around 1...
Mar 24, 2017 5:19 PMWhile executing a search warrant, police seized what is believed to be psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, and butane honey oil. (More)
Mar 25, 2017 4:30 PMPolice arrested a woman after she left her 2-year-old in her running vehicle while she shopped at Target Saturday. (More)
Mar 25, 2017 2:54 PMThe newly appointed deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee says the Democratic party can't spend all of its energy focusing on Republican President...
Mar 24, 2017 9:33 AMNew Hampshire State Police arrested to wanted fugitives after stopping a van full of people who entered the United States illegally. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 3:59 PMTwo influential members of New Hampshire’s state Senate predict that a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession will pass their chamber. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 3:51 PMSnow fell faster than expected today, accumulating a few inches in parts of central and northern New Hampshire through late-afternoon. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 12:39 PMA woman is facing drug charges after being found in possession of heroin during a parole check-in. She was arrested for possession of a...
Mar 23, 2017 4:16 PMState Police rearrested a Wales man for stealing electricity from a Central Maine Power pole and transformer. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 4:59 PMA Stafford County corrections officer allegedly tried bringing thousands of dollars of drugs into the jail was supposed to get deployed. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 11:09 AMIt's the first Friday of spring, but Granite Staters will have some snow to deal with. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 9:02 AMThe effort to crack down on drug-related crimes - known NH-wide as Operation Granite Hammer - led to the arrests of 2 suspected heroin...
Mar 23, 2017 3:02 PMA Keene man was indicted for allegedly strangling two of his then-girlfriend's cats. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 1:28 PMDemocrats filed a complaint with the ethics committee arguing Sununu violated rules against using his position to secure advantages for himself or others. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 5:27 PMNicole Guida, owner of Chic & Unique, a boutique shop located in Littleton, is requesting a jury trial against a former customer who caused...
Mar 22, 2017 6:02 PMA Strafford County corrections officer allegedly attempted to bring heroin into the jail before being detained by police. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 11:01 AMChelsea Blais plead not guilty to abusing children in her care at the Alpha Bits Learning Center, where police say she force fed and...
Mar 22, 2017 10:15 AMNYPD seized over $4.1 million and over three kilograms (6 pounds) of heroin, unraveling a multi-state drug ring — involving New England. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 4:06 PMNew Hampshire is often in the 'weather battle zone' this time of year, which isn't a good thing if you are looking for spring...
Mar 22, 2017 10:45 AMNew Hampshire’s top public officials Wednesday marked the death of state Sen. Scott McGilvray. The first term Democratic state senator from Hooksett and president...
Mar 22, 2017 7:33 AMThe National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory from 10 a.m. Wednesday to midnight. (More)
Mar 21, 2017 10:29 PMA report released on Tuesday by the state agency that licenses childcare centers revealed multiple incidents of verbal and physical abuse committed by a...
Mar 21, 2017 6:40 PMA mother and her friend who injected her with heroin while she was in labor in September 2016 will not be facing felony charges...
Mar 21, 2017 4:09 PMA 74-year-old Mass. man living in public housing for the elderly faces drug trafficking charges after police say they found cocaine valued at about...
Mar 21, 2017 12:09 PMDerry Police say a home was shot at and struck at least 6 times early Tuesday morning, but no one was hurt. (More)