Bernie Sanders made a splash with the crowd at the first Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night when he refused to take on his Democratic rival over her recent email scandal.
Asked point blank by Anderson Cooper about the ongoing saga over Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers while she was secretary of state, Sanders responded, “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about [Clinton’s] damn emails.”
“Enough about the emails, let’s talk about the real issues facing America,” he added.
Clinton thanked him and shook his hand after the comments in a moment of unity that lit up social media in addition to galvanizing those watching live in Las Vegas.
— CNN (@CNN) October 14, 2015
Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee took a more contentious tone on the matter, insisting that Clinton’s decision to use the private server called her credibility and judgment into question.
The FBI is investigating Clinton’s emails as part of a broader probe into her use of a private server while she served as secretary of state.
“I think the American people want substantive discussions on substantive issues,” Sanders said after the debate when asked what motivated him to make the comments.
The Sanders campaign reportedly sent a fundraising email out about the moment shortly afterward.
Sanders fundraising off “your damn emails” comment pic.twitter.com/drMImr9jbt
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 14, 2015
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 14, 2015