With the first Democratic primary debate now behind us, the question now is who won the night? Who will surge in the polls?
And, who will win the youth vote?
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and self-identified socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who were front and center for the entire broadcast, both discussed their college affordability platforms. Sanders called for free tuition at public colleges across the board, while Clinton explained her plan as more of a work-study program.
“This is the year 2015. A college degree today is the equivalent of what a high school degree was 50 years ago,” Sanders said, “and what we said 50 years ago and a hundred years ago is that every kid in this country should be able to get a high school education regardless of the income of their family. I think we have to say that is true for everybody going to college.”
The senator explained that his plan will place a ‘speculation tax’ on Wall Street firms, which he believes will provide full funding for free college.
Clinton explained that, contrary to Sanders, she wants students to work for their degree. Specifically, she would like students to work 10 hours a week.
“My plan would enable anyone to go to a public college or university tuition-free,” Clinton insisted, “but I do believe — and maybe it’s because I worked when I went through college — I think it’s important for everybody to have some part of getting this accomplished.”
Clinton said that her college affordability plan would “zero in” on solving the student debt problem, calling for lower interest rates on student debt repayment.
Clinton was also questioned about whether undocumented immigrants should receive free instate college tuition. Like Sanders and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, she supported the idea.
“My plan would support any state that takes that position, and would work with those states and encourage more states to do the same thing,” Clinton responded.
O’Malley said he helped pass a state version of the DREAM Act in Maryland and called those who don’t support free tuition for illegal immigrants “xenophobes,” directing his comment at GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
“The more our children learn, the more they will earn,” O’Malley said, “and that’s true of children who have yet to be naturalized.”
The CNN debate concluded with many issues covered, including, candidates indicating they may, or may not, have tried marijuana, and discussion of whether they believe “black lives matter” or “all lives matter.”
The next presidential primary debate is the CNBC Republican debate on the economy, to be held at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, on October 28th.