Hillary Clinton said she would release her transcripts when Bernie Sanders releases his.
Telemundo sponsored the Clinton-Sanders Town Hall forum that was aired LIVE from Las Vegas on MSNBC last night. It was moderated by José Díaz-Balart and Chuck Todd (Transcript)
Evidently, the first to speak was determined by a coin toss (like some caucuses are determined), and Bernie was the first to speak. Of course, when it was Hillary Clinton's turn, she took advantage of this by making attacks on Bernie that he couldn't respond to or refute.
From the very first moment during the forum, Bernie Sanders was getting hammered left and right by some very hardball questions from the moderators and from the audience members. At first it appeared as though it was a staged ambush — and the forum didn't seem near as warm and welcoming as the previous forums I watched. But all throughout, Bernie held up and I thought he did much better than anyone else might have. And the longer he spoke, he seemed to be drawing more and more applause from the audience. I waited to see if they'd put Hillary through the gauntlet too.
When Hillary first came on stage she reieved a standing ovation from the audience, and I thought to myself: "Hmmmmmmmm."
At first she was getting lobbed softballs. The moderator José Díaz-Balart mentioned Bernie Sanders's previous criticism of Bill Clinton's legacy for the NAFTA trade agreement, deregulating Wall Street and passing welfare reform, and then asked Hillary, "Should you be held accountable for your husband's presidency?"
First of all, those decisions her husband made on trade, the banks and welfare reform were all decisions that Hilary publicly supported — so it doesn't matter whether or not she should be held accountable. The question by moderator José Díaz-Balart was clearly asked for the purpose of giving Hillary a chance to explain that she wasn't running for her husband's third term, but that she was running for her first term (even though, it appears she's been really running for Obama's third term. Not to mention, she's been running for her first term for the past 15 years...every since she left the White House in 2001 )
Hillary had criticized Sanders when she said Sanders had tried to get Obama primaried in 2012. Bernie said that because Obama had ran as a progressive, but then, once he was elected, Obama moved to the right to govern as a moderate. Now Hillary is being forced to call herself a "progressive" to show that she is to the left of Obama (just like Bernie); but yet, at the same time (to pander for the Black vote), she's also been hugging Obama and saying she'll continue his policies.) Later Hillary got applauded, then booed, because she said maybe Bernie wasn't a real Democrat. And then I thought: "Maybe the audience wasn't fixed after all."
Hillary had also implied that, unlike Sanders, she won't make promises that she can't keep. But then she made all kinds of promises herself, but admitted that she'd also need the co-operation of Congress (which is dominated by the GOP) to get things done — just like Sanders would also need Congress (but she didn't say that).
Oh, and she reminded us again that she was a "progressive". She said "We need to do this" and "We need to do that" — but she didn't say what she could do that Sanders himself couldn't also do with a GOP congress. But yet, she still got applause — and I thought, "Why are they applauding her? Is that how the bankers behaved during one her speeches to them?"
Speaking of which, later Clinton finally got a hardball question when asked by a Bernie supporter about the transcripts to her Goldman Sachs speeches, for which she said: "I'm happy to release anything I have, when everybody else does the same, because every other candidate in this race have given speeches to private groups, including Senator Sanders."
Then after she went "bla, bla, bla" for a few minutes about saying why she once thought marriage was between a man and a woman, the man asked her again about the transcripts. Then she gave him another B.S. answer. [Bernie, please release the transcripts for all your paid speeches to Goldman Sachs too.]
When asked about shoring up Social Security, Clinton hemmed and hawed about taxing the "passive income" (capital gains) of rich people for Social Security; and when asked about lifting the "cap" higher, she just said it was something to consider as an "option" — but as usual, she never really gave a direct answer or offered any solid plan in writing — not like Bernie Sanders, who has a REAL plan.
After the forum, the Las Vegas journalist Jon Ralston had commented that [paraphrased] he was very surprised by how sharp the questions were for both candidates, and especially their follow-up questions. He said that on a couple occasions both candidates were a little taken off guard, and noted that when the Sanders supporter had asked Clinton the question about the Goldman Sachs transcripts, she got really irritated. He said Bernie also got irritated about a couple questions too: "But with him, it was harder to tell — because Bernie is always irritated."
One of the MSNBC's pundits had said the Nevada's biggest labor union (Culinary local 226) had said the leadership won't endorse Hillary because the rank-and-file members wanted Bernie. That's probably the same reason why the AFL-CIO isn't endorsing Hillary. So far, the unions that did endorse Hillary were done so by the union's leadership, not by their union members. And the unions that endorsed Bernie, did so by votes from its members.
Here are (what I thought) were the highlights from Hillary's segment of the forum in the 4½ video below. Of course, there were more, but it would have taken me too long to edit ;)