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Kamisar writes: "Sanders called for Snyder to resign in January, but Clinton had not joined him until the debate's opening statement on Sunday."

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. (photo: WPIX-TV)
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. (photo: WPIX-TV)

Clinton, Sanders Call for Michigan Governor to Resign at Debate

By Ben Kamisar, The Hill

07 March 16


illary Clinton used Sunday's Democratic debate to for the first time directly call on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to resign over the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Clinton and presidential rival Bernie Sanders debated in Flint two days before the state's primary on Tuesday, and the city's water crisis was the immediate focal point of the night.

Sanders repeated his call for the Republican governor's to resign before Clinton spoke.

"Amen to that," she said.

"I agree, the governor should resign or be recalled. We should support the efforts of citizens trying to achieve that. But that is not enough.

"We have to focus on what must be done to help the people of Flint," Clinton continued. "I support 100 percent the efforts by your senators and members of Congress to get the money from the federal government in order to begin the work that must occur to fix the infrastructure. The state should also be sending money immediately to help this city."

Sanders called for Snyder to resign in January, but Clinton had not joined him until the debate's opening statement.

"It [is] beyond belief that children in Flint, Mich., in the United States of America in the year 2016 are being poisoned," Sanders said. "That is clearly not what this country should be about."

Sanders connected the issue to the "proliferation of millionaires and billionaires" while "middle-class people are struggling, towns and cities are struggling to provide basic services."

The Flint debate had not originally been a part of the Democrats' debate schedule but was added last month as part of a compromise to increase the number of debates. Clinton's campaign had first floated the idea of a Flint debate, and she took credit Sunday for the debate's location.

"I am very grateful that my request that we hold this debate to be held here [was accepted], so we can continue to shine a very bright spotlight on what has happened in this city."

Clinton pushed back when Bryn Mickle, the editor of The Flint Journal, asked if the candidates were just "using this crisis for political points."

"Throughout my public career, I have been evening the odds for people in every way that I could," she said.

"When I heard about it, I immediately sent people here to find out what was going on. ... I'm just determined to do whatever I can, so I have put together resources from the private and the philanthropic communities."

Clinton pledged to "be with Flint all the way through this crisis in whatever capacity I am."

Mickle asked Sanders the same question, noting that he only recently visited the city. Sanders argued that he had been in Detroit earlier to learn about the crisis and recently held a "nonpolitical" town meeting for people to share their stories.

"I think the fear, and legitimate fear, of the people of Flint is that at a certain point, the TV cameras and CNN is going to disappear and then people are going to be left struggling in order to live in a safe and healthy community," he said.

"All I can say is if you check my record going back a long time, I have stood with those who are hurting, I have stood with those who have no money, and I have taken on virtually every powerful special interest in the United States of America. your social media marketing partner
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