Bernie’s Brown Suit, Jorge Ramos’ Clinton Connection, Donald Trump’s Wall Dominate Dem Debate

Univision Debate Clinton Sanders

Univision’s CNN-simulcast Dem debate at Miami-Dade College was very rough around the edges — Bernie Sanders’ microphone did not work properly for the first few questions, giving the sense he was talking from the bottom of a deep well – which helped grip TV viewers from the start. Among the debate’s Big Moments: Sanders’ Suit: The Vermont senator dared to wear a brown suit to the debate. This is Washington’s equivalent of a nip slip, Washington being a world in which only blue and grey suits are allowed – black for funerals. Understandably, Reporters Who Cover Politics obsessed over this for a good-ish chunk of the debate. One man only ever has pulled off a brown suit in the White House. Ronald Reagan. Well played, Bernie Sanders.

Jorge Ramos Compensates For Clinton Connection: ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos had to step away from moderating debates this election cycle when word got out he’d contributed to the Clinton Foundation before she announced her candidacy. Ramos, however, got to handle his family connection to Clinton differently, kicking things off by announcing again that his daughter works for Clinton’s campaign. Then bit her on the leg:

“When you were Secretary of State, you wrote 104 e-mails in your private server that the government now says contained classified information,” he began, and so on about her emails as Secretary of State. She patiently walked him, and Univision viewers, through everything she already has said many times before on the subject. Turns out, it was all just a set-up for Ramos Big Moment:

“If you are indicted, will you drop out?”

“Oh, for goodness — that is not going to happen,” Clinton shot back. “I am not even answering that question.” And a headline was born. Later, Ramos went after her with The Benghazi Question, but the audience booed him loudly. Didn’t matter to the many news outlets that reported this morning how tough Ramos had been on Clinton. Mission Accomplished.

Donald’s Tall Wall. Clinton had some fun talking about the big-handed GOP front-runner’s Tall Wall:

Call Trump “Racist.” Do It Now. Both Clinton and Sanders danced around a directive to call Donald Trump a racist. Because Clinton and Sanders are not dopes, and they know a tabloid-headline-in-the-making when they see one, both declined to use that exact word in their responses, while agreeing with the sentiment. After dinging Trump pretty loudly, Clinton suggested people can “draw their own conclusion about him.” The WaPo moderator, however, did not have so much faith in voters, or her readers, and again insisted they had to use the actual word. The two Dems, still not dopes, demurred, with Sanders saying, “The American people are never going to elect a president who insults Mexicans, who insults Muslims, who insults women, who insults African Americans.” Sure enough, in its coverage of the debate this morning, WaPo noted “Clinton declined to call Donald Trump a ‘racist’.”

Bern Snark. Emboldened by the big way in which his brown suit was going over, Sanders got especially snarky last night. He keeps urging Clinton to release those Goldman Sachs speeches, he said, because, “When you get paid $225,000, that means that that speech must have been an extraordinarily wonderful speech. I would think that a speech so great that you got paid so much money for, you would like to share it with the American people.” When that played well in the room, Sanders followed with: “Clearly, the secretary’s words to Wall Street have really intimidated them, and that is why they have given her $15 million in campaign contributions.”

Three Little Words. Among the debate’s more memorable moments, Clinton answered a question about the Supreme Court vacancy with: “Let’s remember three words: Bush v. Gore. A court took away a presidency.”

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