The Four Most Obnoxiously Liberal Questions From NBC's Democratic Debate

Sunday night’s Democratic debate, finally on a night when many Americans are actually home to watch it, featured NBC journalists pushing Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley from the left. While the two hour program did feature some questions from the right, there were none of the personally insulting attacks seen at CNBC’s Republican debate. Here are top four worst examples.  

Singling out Bernie Sanders, Andrea Mitchell fretted, “You called Bill Clinton's past transgressions, quote, 'totally, totally, totally disgraceful and unacceptable.' Senator, do you regret saying that?” This prompted Sanders to deny any interest in “Bill Clinton's personal behavior.” 

On another topic, Lester Holt channeled the party’s liberal base: “Many Democratic voters are passionate about the need to do something to combat the threat of climate change.” He featured a YouTube video from a group called MinuteEarth. The animated production lectured, “But here at home, we still get a whooping 82 percent of our energy from coal, oil, and natural gas.” 

Holt demanded: 

LESTER HOLT: Senator Sanders, Americans love their SUVs, which spiked in sales last year as gas prices plummeted. How do you convince Americans that the problem of climate change is so urgent that they need to change their behavior?

Example number three: Holt again zeroed in on Clinton’s top opponent. 

HOLT: Senator Sanders, last week Secretary Clinton called you quote, ‘a pretty reliable vote for the gun lobby.' Right before the debate, you changed your position on immunity from lawsuits for gun manufacturers, can you tell us why?

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Finally, Holt reminded the candidates of Barack Obama’s big government activism. He underlined, “President Obama came to office determined to swing for the fences on health care reform. Voters want to know how you would define your presidency? How would you think big?” 

In fairness, there were some questions from the right. On guns, Holt noted the debate was taking place in South Carolina. He said of the event’s hosts: “They may be hearing, ‘you want to take my guns.’ What would you say to them?” 

Some of the questions, though conservative-leaning, seemed designed to undermine Sanders and promote Clinton as more moderate. Holt quizzed Sanders: “How will you win a general election labeling yourself a democratic socialist?” 

But none of the “tough” questions came near the hostile tone of the October 28, 2015 Republican debate. There, co-moderator John Harwood attacked Donald Trump: “Let’s be honest. Is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?” To Marco Rubio, Carl Quintanilla mocked, “When the Sun-Sentinel says Rubio should resign, not rip us off, when they say Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job, when they say you act like you hate your job, do you?” 

A partial transcript of Sunday's debate is below: 

LESTER HOLT: We've all laid out large visions and we're going to cover a lot of the ground you talked about as we continue in the evening. The last couple of weeks of this campaign have featured some of the sharpest exchanges in the race. Let's start with one of them, the issue of guns. Senator Sanders, last week Secretary Clinton called you quote, ‘a pretty reliable vote for the gun lobby.’ Right before the debate you changed your position on immunity from lawsuits for gun manufacturers, can you tell us why?

...

HOLT: President Obama came to office determined to swing for the fences on health care reform. Voters want to know how you would define your presidency? How would you think big? So complete this sentence: in my first 100 days in office, my top three priorities will be -- fill in the blank.

...

HOLT: Many Democratic voters are passionate about the need to do something to combat the threat of climate change, including the team of scientists from Youtube's MinuteEarth channel.

Here's their take.

ANNOUNCER: Hello from MinuteEarth. Fossil fuels have long kept our cars moving and our light bulbs lit. But we know that burning these fuels releases heat-trapping gases that are warming the planet, causing seas to rise and contributing to extreme weather events, like South Carolina's devastating flooding last year. Fighting human-caused climate change means giving up our global addiction to fossil fuels and shifting the bulk of the world's energy supply to alternative sources. Some countries have acted decisively to make this transition. But here at home, we still get a whooping 82 percent of our energy from coal, oil, and natural gas. In the U.S., political gridlock, pressure from industry lobbyists and insufficient R&D have made an already tough battle against climate change even tougher.

HOLT: Senator Sanders, Americans love their SUVs, which spiked in sales last year as gas prices plummeted. How do you convince Americans that the problem of climate change is so urgent that they need to change their behavior?


...

MITCHELL:  Senator Sanders, let me ask you a question. You called Bill Clinton's past transgressions, quote, "totally, totally, totally disgraceful and unacceptable." Senator, do you regret saying that?

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.