Five of the Democratic 2016 presidential hopefuls met on stage Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
So how'd the candidates do? Here's what some New Hampshire Democrats had to say:
Ross McLeod of Windham: With Sanders stating that "climate change" is our greatest national security threat, I wonder whether he understands the issue and can handle tough foreign policy and security issues. Hillary - great comeback on the capitalism question to pull in small businesses instead of just going on an angry rant (Sanders). Typical of the night. Hillary was the only one to respect an open mind - stating that she’s willing to grow by her experiences and shift her views based on new, acquired information. The others either didn’t comment or appeared prideful of not changing their views, even in the face of new information - which can result in ineffective solutions to persistent problems. I was looking forward to seeing Bernie Sanders for the first time, but was disappointed with his irritation, anger, and narrowness of depth on the issues. No one embarrassed themselves, but Sanders sure came across as irritated and angry; lacking that statesmanship and charisma expected of a President.
Arnie Arnesen of Concord, radio host and former gubernatorial candidate: Hillary's performance proved that decades in the public sphere and the 28 debates with Obama in 2008 prepared her to be the master of the night - she took command of the stage and has to love Bernie for shutting down the whole email controversy (ironic that it was Bernie who liberated her from her self made scandal). The Loser hands down was Webb. It is clear he is running for the exit - what an arrogant human being... why did they invite him, he has not campaigned, he hasn't kept up with the issues (he is still back in 2007) and his tantrums were pathetic and annoying.
Kristi St. Laurent, chair of the Windham Democratic Town Committee: I watched the debate with the local Bernie Sanders team at a local business. There was a good crowd, engaged and listening intently. There was plenty of applause for Bernie’s many strong moments, but also recognition of several good moments by the other candidates. I thought Governor Chafee had the most missteps, particularly in defending his record of early votes. I have heard him speak and listened to him recount his overall record as Governor and Senator – he does present a compelling case with a record of standing up to Dick Cheney and the Republicans as he transitioned from Republican to Independent to Democrat. However, he did not stand up to confrontation well – and he would definitely need to do this as President. Senator Webb seemed remote and stiff, his answer on his enemy at the end of the debate was more personal than political or related to his platform. Senator Sanders had the most memorable moment with his comment about being sick of Hillary’s emails. He made some strong points with his message and that is what is resonating with people at his town halls and rallys across the country. His passion for prison reform, social security and medicare, the middle class, wall street reform, campaign finance reform – it is hard to argue with! Governor O’Malley made a strong showing tonight, presenting clear policy on energy and climate change, college, family and medical leave, etc. He is a solid candidate that has not had a fair shot at the spotlight thus far, but he made a good case for his candidacy tonight.
Terie Norelli of Portsmouth, former N.H. House Speaker: Hillary Clinton demonstrated her experience, showed her gravitas, had great composure, was comfortable in her skin. She was very good about integrating real life into policy - ex. connecting women and the economy. She showed command of the issues and their nuances and had the chance to talk about her plans to address them.
Lenore Patton of Hampton: Hillary knocked it out of the park!
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley: Unlike the GOP Debates, tonight we saw a substantial debate focused on issues that really matter to Granite Staters - from women’s health funding to climate change, from paid family leave to expanding opportunity to the middle class. It’s clear that Democrats are offering solutions for the middle-class in order to move our country forward while Republicans continue to try and drag us backward. There will be a clear choice next fall and Democrats will prevail here in the Granite State.
Congresswoman Annie Kuster: Hillary Clinton continues to show that she is the leader we need to move our country forward and stand up for middle class families. I share her deep passion for policies that will help working families, and tonight she again demonstrated her commitment to fighting to give every child in New Hampshire and across the country access to a good education and a piece of the American Dream.
Jeff Woodburn of Dalton, N.H. State Senator: Tonight, Hillary Clinton is proving that she is ready to lead and is the right candidate for people who need a champion. Especially important to the voters of the North Country, Hillary has the tenacity and experience to effectively protect and enhance the Affordable Care Act, while making important reforms that will help thousands of Granite Staters - like bringing down the cost of prescription drugs. This debate is a shining moment for Hillary, and I am proud to support her candidacy.