Democratic Presidential Candidates took to the stage in Nevada to answer more questions from the public ahead of that state’s Saturday caucus.
The MSNBC-Telemundo Town Hall was hosted by Chuck Todd and Jose Diaz Balart. The program aired live Thursday night on those stations. The two-hour program was broadcast from Las Vegas starting at 9AM (EST).
Audience members were quite diverse including men, women, African-Americans, Caucasians, Latinos, Native Americans, teenagers, working professionals and retirees. According to the moderators, the audience included both Sanders and Clinton supporters– as well as undecided voters.
The candidates addressed a variety of topics: Veterans Affairs, the definition of Democratic Socialism, race relations, immigration policy, minimum wage, and feminism, among them.
Senator Bernie Sanders hit the stage first. For about 15 minutes, Sanders answered questions the moderators posed. Then, he answered questions from some of the 350 audience members attending the Town Hall.
The Latino population in Nevada makes up about a third of the state’s population. Unsurprisingly, people in the audience appeared to be concerned with immigration reform.
Sanders acknowledged he voted against Immigration legislation in 2007. He says he opposed guest worker provisions in that legislation because it permitted exploitation of workers by their employers.
Sanders says he eventually supported immigration legislation. “I voted for Immigration in 2013 because it was a much better piece of legislation,” Sanders said. “I want to take 11 million undocumented people in this country out of the shadows.”
For the second half of the program, Hillary Clinton took to the stage.
Clinton sat for a few questions from Balart and Todd before taking questions from audience members.
On immigration, Clinton promised to deal with the issue within the first 100 days of her presidency if elected. “If I am fortunate enough to get the Democratic nomination ….immigration reform will be among my top issues,” Clinton said.
She went on to criticize Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his political rhetoric. “I was the first to call out Donald Trump,” said Clinton. “I said ‘Basta enough of this prejudice and paranoia and the kind of language he uses.”
Of note, throughout the broadcast, several audience members asked their questions in Spanish. Bolart, a bilingual anchor of Cuban translated the questions for the candidates.
At the end of the question-and-answer period with Clinton, Balart said:“Secretaria Clinton, muchisimas gracias por estar con nosotros,” (Secretary Clinton, thanks very much for being with us.)
The Nevada caucus takes place Saturday.
That’s the Lowdown!