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Feb 11, 2016 11:08 PM

The Latest: Clinton, Sanders wrap up Milwaukee debate

The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) The Latest from the 2016 campaign trail (all times local):

9:56 p.m.

The Democratic presidential debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has concluded.


9:51 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is portraying herself as a competitive general-election candidate with broad national appeal in her closing statement of the debate.

Clinton says she's not a single-issue candidate. She says she's concerned about poor miners being left out of today's economy just as she's concerned about people affected by racism, sexism or discrimination against gays and lesbians. She says the next president must also stand up for working people in unions.

Clinton says she'll keep talking in her campaign about tearing down all the barriers standing between Americans and their full potential.


9:50 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is using his closing statement to call for a political revolution.

The independent senator from Vermont said in Thursday's Democratic presidential debate that no president can take on large corporate donors, big money interests and Wall Street alone.

He says: "This campaign is not just about electing a president. What this campaign is about is creating a process for a political revolution (for) millions of Americans, working people who have given up on the political process."

Sanders says his campaign is about bringing together millions of people to build a government that represents "all of us" and not just the richest 1 percent.


9:45 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is criticizing Bernie Sanders for comments he made about President Barack Obama's leadership.

In an MSNBC interview, Sanders said presidential leadership was needed to close a gap between Congress and the American people. Asked if he though Obama had provided that leadership, Sanders said: "No, I don't. I mean, I think he has made the effort. But I think what we need, when I talk about a political revolution, is bringing millions and millions of people into the political process in a way that does not exist right now."

During the Democratic presidential debate Thursday night, Clinton questioned the remarks, saying she "couldn't disagree more" and arguing that Obama doesn't get "the credit he deserves."

Sanders said the attack was a "low blow." He said he has been supportive of the president, but also said it was appropriate to have disagreements.


9:33 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is criticizing Bernie Sanders for suggesting the United States should move toward normalizing relations with Iran.

Sanders said during Thursday's debate in Milwaukee that "It's easy to talk to your friends, it's harder to talk to your enemies. I think we should do both."

He says the goal, over time, should be to deal with America's enemies and "not just ignore them."

But Clinton says a lot of work needs to be done with Iran before the U.S. can move toward normalizing relations.

They are also differing on how to approach relations with Russia. Clinton says she supports Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to get Russia to agree to a ceasefire in Syria, but notes that "the Russians have not gone after ISIS or any of the other terrorist groups."


9:30 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is going on the attack against a former secretary of state not Hillary Clinton, but Henry Kissinger.

Sanders is trying to impugn Clinton's foreign policy judgment by pointing out that Clinton has boasted of praise from Kissinger. The 92-year-old was secretary of state until 1977.

Sanders says Kissinger was "one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the history of this country." He's blasting Kissinger's role in U.S. policy toward Cambodia decades ago.

Clinton is trying to turn the tables by pointing out that Sanders has faced tough questions about where he's getting his foreign policy advice. Sanders responds, "Well, it ain't Henry Kissinger."

Clinton is praising Kissinger for his role in expanding U.S. relations with China. She says she listens to an array of voices on foreign policy.


9:28 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he's done using foul language at his rallies after blowback earlier this week.

"I won't use foul language, I'm just not going to do it," he says at on Thursday evening.

Trump's tendency to use salty language on the trail has been drawing increased criticism from his rivals, especially after he repeated an audience member's shout earlier this week calling Ted Cruz an offensive term for lacking courage.

Trump says at a rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana: "Even if it's not a bad word, if it's a little bit off, they kill me. So I won't do it. I'll never do it again, actually. And I'll never even copy somebody."

Trump nonetheless peppered the remainder of remarks with words that might raise eyebrows, referring to negative ads against him as "all crap" and recounting his decision to run with the sentence, "Damn it, I'm just going to do it myself."


9:25 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is continuing to criticize Hillary Clinton for supporting the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which he opposed.

During a foreign policy exchange in the Democratic debate in Milwaukee Thursday night, the Vermont senator cited the two opposing war votes in the Senate and said, "judgment matters."

The former secretary of state stressed her experience, saying, "I do not believe a vote in 2002 is a plan to defeat ISIS in 2016."

Clinton has since said her vote to authorize the war was a mistake.

Asked about keeping America safe, Clinton said the United States should combat the Islamic State by supporting fighters on the ground and trying to "take on ISIS online." She also said American Muslims must feel "welcomed."

Sanders said the United States must be cautious about seeking regime change in other countries, noting that he "will look very carefully at unintended consequences."


9:21 p.m.

Republican Donald Trump is previewing the attacks he plans to unleash against George W. Bush when the former president hits the campaign trail for his brother next week.

Trump tells a crowd of thousands at a rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that he has read reports about the former president's plans to campaign with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Trump says Jeb Bush "tried the mother, that didn't work out so good. Now he's bringing in his brother."

Trump repeated his own opposition to the war in Iraq and pointed to George W. Bush "getting us in that quicksand."

He says, "That was a horrible call to go in."

Trump says he'll leave Jeb Bush alone if his campaign stops airing negative ads against him.


9:00 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is using President Barack Obama to deflect attacks on Wall Street contributions to her campaign.

She says Obama "got the largest number of Wall Street donations. When it mattered he stood up and took on Wall Street."

She's defending her plan to regulate the financial industry as far broader and more effective than Sanders' proposals.

Sanders is firing back, saying: "Let's not insult the intelligence of the American people. People aren't dumb."

He says Wall Street firms and other large donors want a return for their campaign contributions.


8:55 p.m.

Republican presidential Donald Trump is touting his ability to work across the aisle.

Trump tells a crowd of thousands at a rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that "you have to get along with everybody" when you're in business.

He says, "You get along with Hillary as secretary of state," referring to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

He adds, "I even got along with Harry Reid, can you imagine?" referring to Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Trump's past contributions to Democrats and avowed willingness to work with them has been criticized by some conservatives and his rivals.

But Trump says the next president needs to be willing to make deals to get things done.


8:47 p.m.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are clashing over a 2007 vote on an immigration overhaul bill.

The dispute in Thursday's Democratic debate came after both Clinton and Sanders blasted Republicans for opposing the liberalization of immigration laws and a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people who are living here illegally.

In 2007, both Sanders and Clinton were serving in the Senate. Sanders voted against the immigration bill, saying in the debate he did so over humanitarian concerns related to guest worker provisions he says were akin to slavery.

Clinton voted for the bill.

While they clashed over that vote, they both agree there needs to be comprehensive immigration reform. Sanders says, "We have got to stand up to the Trumps of the world who are trying to divide us up."

And Clinton says she hopes "some of the Republicans will come to their senses and realize we will not deport 11 to 12 million people in this country."


8:42 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says there are white communities in the U.S. that rightfully feel forgotten and need special support.

Clinton is parlaying a question about whether white people should feel resentful into a description of how communities of all races have been left behind. She's pointing to areas dependent on coal that have taken dramatic blows to their local economies.

Clinton and Bernie Sanders are both working aggressively to court minority voters ahead of upcoming primary contests in South Carolina, Nevada and other diverse states. Clinton says she supports a proposal by South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn to spend more federal money on communities that have faced persistent poverty for generations.

Clinton says at least as many white communities are being left behind as black communities. She says as president, she'd focus on "where the real hurt is" and offer special help to those in need.


8:32 p.m.

The Democratic presidential candidates are pushing for reform of the criminal justice system.

Hillary Clinton rattled off a list of policies to combat racial injustice, saying she'd go further than just changing sentencing laws to tackle jobs, housing and employment policies.

Sanders concurs.

He says he would also decriminalize marijuana and demilitarize and diversify local police departments.

Sanders pledges, "At the end of my first term, we will not have more people in jail than any other country."


8:31 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is slamming Republicans for what he says is hypocrisy on abortion.

The Vermont senator said during Thursday's Democratic presidential debate in Milwaukee that Republicans love to campaign on cutting government for the good of the people. But he says "when it comes to a woman having to make a very personal choice" on abortion, they want government to make that choice.

Sanders says, "if that's not hypocrisy, I don't know what hypocrisy is."

His comments came after an exchange with Hillary Clinton about the historic nature of her effort to become the first woman president. Sanders brought up abortion by saying there is no question that women's rights are "under fierce attack."


8:25 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she's not asking people to vote for her because she's a woman, but because she'd make the best commander in chief.

Clinton is defending her appeal to women after losing to Bernie Sanders among female voters in the New Hampshire primary. She says she has "no argument" with female voters making up their own minds about which candidate to support despite the prospect of electing the first female president.

Clinton says she has a record and an agenda responsive to women's issues.

Sanders says he, too, has a record of fighting for women. The self-declared democratic socialist says a victory for him would be a historical accomplishment as well.


8:18 p.m.

Bernie Sanders says free tuition at public universities should be a "right of all Americans."

Sanders clashed with Hillary Clinton over college affordability during the Democratic presidential debate in Milwaukee Thursday night. The Vermont senator argues that college should now be part of a public education, like K-12 education is today. The former secretary of state says she wants to make college affordable and debt free, but she questions whether Sanders' plan is viable.

Sanders' plan "really rests that making sure governors like Scott Walker to contribute $23 billion dollars on the first day to make college free," Clinton said. "I'm a little skeptical about your governor actually caring enough about higher education to make any kind of commitment like that."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is a former 2016 GOP candidate for president.

8:11 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says rival Bernie Sanders should "level with people" about the costs and benefits of his health care plan.

The two Democratic rivals are tangling over health care. Sanders wants to create a single-payer system. Clinton says that would demolish President Barack Obama's health care law and risk coverage for millions.

Clinton says, "The numbers don't add up and many people will actually be worse off."

Sanders says her critique is "completely inaccurate" and his proposal would save money for middle- and lower-income families.


8:06 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is making a pitch to young voters, immigrants, African-Americans and women in her opening comments in the latest Democratic debate.

Clinton said in her first comments in Thursday's debate in Milwaukee that she wants to "knock down all the barriers that are holding America back."

The debate comes just two days after Clinton lost to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary. His win was fueled by young voters and female voters, who favored Sanders.

Clinton says there aren't enough well-paying jobs for young poeple and she says she will fight for equal pay for women.

Clinton also says African-Americans face discrimination in the job market, education, housing and the criminal justice system. And she is also making a pitch for those who want to liberalize immigration laws, saying those families should not have to live in fear.


8:04 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is using his opening statement in the PBS debate to introduce himself to voters unfamiliar with his campaign.

Sanders says his campaign had no money, organization or name recognition when it started. But he says Americans are responding to basic truths, including corruption in the campaign finance system that he's railed against.

Sanders is also invoking issues important to minority voters, whom both he and Hillary Clinton are eagerly pursuing in South Carolina and Nevada.

Sanders laments that there are more people in jail in the U.S. than other countries. He says Americans see kids getting criminal records for marijuana arrests while Wall Street executives go unprosecuted despite billion-dollar settlements for misconduct.


8:02 p.m.

The Democratic presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is underway on PBS.


7:36 p.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz says Donald Trump's foul language isn't very presidential.

The Texas Republican told reporters in Fort Mill, South Carolina, that voters portably aren't excited about the prospect of a president who, "when he gets rattled, when he gets upset, begins cursing and yelling vulgarities."

Cruz said Trump "can choose to communicate however he likes." But he added, that if Trump "wants to throw insults and vulgarities my way, I will not reciprocate."

Cruz and conservative media personality Glenn Beck were addressing thousands at a mega church.

Trump continues to lead the polls in South Carolina. But Cruz is hoping to counter that by energizing evangelical voters.


7:20 p.m.

Low wage workers are staging a protest near the entrance of the media room at Thursday's Democratic debate in Milwaukee, waving signs about the "Fight for $15."

The mostly black demonstrators chanted, "You want our vote? Come get our vote!" The protest happened about an hour before the start of the debate between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

The "Fight for $15" is a national movement to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour. It has been pushed by fast food workers around the country and promoted by labor unions.

Sanders supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour while Clinton has supported raising the federal wage to at least $12 an hour and encouraging cities to go higher.


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