Hoping to win their Party a third consecutive term in the White House, presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley faced-off Sunday night in the fourth Democratic debate vying for their party’s nomination.
Hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus on NBC, the debate took place in Charleston, SC — just blocks away from blocks from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church where nine parishioners were killed during Bible study in a mass shooting last summer — where the candidates went head-to-head on a variety of hot-topic issues.
Below we’ve rounded up 10 of the most significant quotes from the debate.
- On gun control:
MARTIN O’MALLEY: I’ve listened to secretary Clinton and senator Sanders go back and forth on which has the most inconsistent record on gun safety legislation, and I would have to agree with both of them. They’ve both been inconsistent when it comes to this issue.
- On fundraising:
BERNIE SANDERS: Well, the first difference is I don’t take money from big banks. I don’t get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs… I have doubts when people receive huge amounts of money from Wall Street. I am very proud, I do not have a super PAC. I do not want Wall Street’s money. I’ll rely on the middle class and working families.
- On the GOP:
BERNIE SANDERS: It is beyond my comprehension how we can elect as president of the United States somebody like Trump who believes that climate change is a hoax, invented by the Chinese.
- On Obamacare:
HILLARY CLINTON: I don’t to want see us start over again with a contentious debate. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it.
- On the criminal justice system:
HILLARY CLINTON: There needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system. And that requires a very clear agenda for retraining police officers, looking at ways to end racial profiling.
- More on the criminal justice system:
BERNIE SANDERS: We have a criminal justice system which is broken. Who in America are satisfied that we have more people in jail than any other country on Earth, including China? Disproportionately African-American and Latino. Who is satisfied that 51 percent of African-American young people are either unemployed or underemployed. Who is satisfied that millions of people have police records for possessing marijuana when the CEOs of Wall Street companies who destroyed our economy have no police record.
- On polls:
BERNIE SANDERS: Secretary Clinton well knows, when this campaign began, she was 50 points ahead of me. We were all of 3 percentage points. Guess what? In Iowa, New Hampshire, the race is very, very close. In terms of polling, guess what, we are running ahead of Secretary Clinton in terms of taking on my good friend, Donald Trump.
- On drug abuse:
HILLARY CLINTON: We have to move away from treating the use of drugs a as crime and, instead, move it to where it belongs, as a health issue. And we need to divert more people from the criminal justice system into drug courts, into treatment, and recovery.
- On privacy vs security:
MARTIN O’MALLEY: I believe whether it’s a back door or front door, that the American principle of law should still hold that our federal government should have to get a warrant. Whether they want to come through the back door or your front door
- On Wall Street and big banks:
MARTIN O’MALLEY: Look, if a bank robber robs a bank and all you do is slap him on the wrist, he’s just going to rob banks again. The same thing is true with people in suits.