Live Blog: CNN Democratic Presidential Debate

By Mark Joyella 

Tonight, we’re in Flint, Mich., with the candidates: Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, and challenger Bernie Sanders.

The moderator tonight is Anderson Cooper, and CNN’s Don Lemon will also be on hand to ask questions. The hashtag, again, is #DemDebate.

CNN describes tonight’s debate as a “showdown,” due to the state of the race:

Their showdown comes a day after Sanders pulled off morale-boosting Super Saturday victories in caucuses in Kansas and Nebraska, doubling up on Clinton, who won one matchup — the Louisiana primary.

Yet such is the math of the presidential nominating process that Clinton won 57 pledged delegates to the 50 hauled in by Sanders, and so extended her lead in the overall Democratic presidential race.

Cc6E0YkW0AIAssE.jpg-large8:05 p.m. ET: It Is Raining Lead Immediately addressing the city’s dominant issue–the water crisis that has become a national scandal. “It is raining lead in Flint,” says Clinton.

Sanders noted that the people of Flint “are paying three times more for poison water than what I’m paying in Burlington, Vermont for clean water.”

8:27 p.m. ET: Testy Exchange Over the Auto Bailout Clinton accuses Sanders of voting against the auto bailout. He says “you mean the Wall Street bailout?” When she interjects, Sanders says “excuse me, I’m talking.” Some in the crowd boo.

Anderson Cooper has stepped in at least twice to interject perspective on what the candidates are discussing, including some background on Flint, and helping to define what the Import-Export Bank does.

8:50 p.m. ET: Guns Gene Kopf, whose daughter was seriously wounded in a shooting rampage in Kalamazoo asks a question of the candidates on addressing gun violence.

9:14 p.m. ET: Race in America Asked about race, Senator Sanders concedes that his personal experience does not give him direct knowledge of racism. Sanders uses the word “ghetto,” and some on Twitter, including MSNBC’s Joy Reid, cringe.

9:45 p.m. ET: Interruptions! There are only two Democrats on stage, and two hours allotted for the debate. So why does Anderson Cooper keep holding the candidates so strictly to time?

10:00 p.m. ET: The Debate Has Ended Go in peace.