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Clinton interrupts Sanders, but nobody puts Bernie in the corner

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders argue a point during their Sunday night debate.
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders argue a point during their Sunday night debate. AP

Flint water bad. Bailouts bad, except when they’re good.

Interrupting someone, well, it’s in the eye of the beholder.

“Excuse me, I’m talking.”

“If you’re gonna talk, tell the whole story.”

“Let me tell my story, you tell yours.”

“I will.”

Anyone who said Republicans own a monopoly I-know-what-you-are-but-what-am-I debates was reminded otherwise Sunday night.

When Bernie Sanders was explaining why he didn’t vote to for the federal bailout of the auto industry — remember the days of Government Motors? — he quickly pivoted to an attack on then-Sen. Hillary Clinton’s vote to keep Wall Street afloat. Bernie, you’ll recall, is not a friend to billionaires.

She objected to the line he was taking, interrupted him, and he essentially shushed her.

That reminded some of a time in 2008 and when she and Barack Obama talked over each other.

That then triggered a discussion of whether Sanders had been sexist in shutting her down.

Correct the Record, a Clinton-friendly outfit run by the once Clinton-hating David Brock, posted a statement criticizing Sanders’ demeanor.

“Perhaps nothing from this debate will be more memorable than Bernie Sanders rudely flying off the handle — losing his temper and shushing Secretary Clinton, wagging his finger and repeatedly yelling the likes of ‘excuse me, I’m talking’ and ‘let me finish.’ It was a cringe worthy moment from Senator Sanders more fitting of the GOP debate stage than the Democratic one.”

That, in turn, had Sanders’ defenders suggesting that Team Hillary ought not play the gender card so quickly.

The debate took place in Flint and focused heavily on the city’s water crisis. (In a nutshell: Public officials cut corners to save money so now the taps run heavy with dangerous levels of lead.)

Clinton and Sanders pointed fingers at Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican. He was not pleased and suggested the candidates were carpetbagging in his state in the days leading up to Tuesday’s primary.

Meantime, people still appeared most curious about Sanders, the 74-year-old relative newcomer who’s newer to national politics than the former first lady, senator and secretary of state.

Conservative RedState.com was curious about why Bernie Sanders thought only black people know the pain of poverty and included a Simpson character photoshopped next to the Vermonter.

“Bernie Sanders was talking about black Americans in his response to a question about race,” the website wrote. “He said that white people don’t understand what it is like in those communities. He then said that white people don’t understand what it’s like to live in a ghetto or to be poor. The obvious implication here is that being poor and living in a ghetto is something black people do. Imagine, if you will, Rick Perry saying that. Or Ted Cruz. Or Donald Trump.”

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The right-tilting Washington Free Beacon dug at Clinton, wondering facetiously if her answer to a question about the Flint water crisis might apply to her own troubles with the private email server she maintained as secretary of state.

“If listened to in a vacuum, it could make one wonder if she was talking about the Flint water crisis or her own private email scandal.

“Full exchange:

“DON LEMON: Do you think people should go to jail?

“HILLARY CLINTON: Well, that’s going to be up to the legal system, Don. I can’t–standing here–I don’t have all the facts, but people should be held accountable, wherever that leads. If it leads to resignation or recall if you’re in political office, if it leads to civil penalties, if it leads to criminal responsibility, there has to be an absolute accountability, and I will support whatever the outcome of those investigations are.”

Stay tuned, the Republicans take the stage again on Thursday. Can’t promise there’ll be more discussion of hand size.

Scott Canon: 816-234-4754, @ScottCanon

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