Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Democratic Primary
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the winner of the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, as projected by several TV networks. With 74 percent of the vote counted shortly after 11 p.m. Eastern, he had 60 percent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 39 percent, according to NBC News.
The state has 24 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, and they are awarded proportionally. Also shortly past 11 p.m. Eastern, Sanders had won 13, Clinton nine, reports the Associated Press.
Sanders and Clinton both delivered high-energy speeches to enthusiastic supporters after the results were announced, and both of them touched on LGBT issues.
“We must pursue the fight for women’s rights, for gay rights, for disability rights,” Sanders told his supporters toward the end of his victory speech, after making familiar points about economic inequality and the need for campaign finance reform. He also pledged that the “political revolution” he seeks “will bring tens of millions of our people together, including “blacks and whites, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, straight and gay, male and female, people who were born in America and people who immigrated here.”
Clinton, after talking about her strategies for the economy and job creation, said, “But even all that is not enough. We also have to break through the barriers of bigotry. African-American parents shouldn't have to worry that their children will be harassed, humiliated, even shot because of the color of their skin. Immigrant families shouldn't have to lie awake at night listening for a knock on the door. LGBT Americans shouldn't be fired from their jobs because of who they are or who they love. And let's finally deliver something long overdo, equal pay for women in this economy.”
She also said, “We have to keep up with every fiber of our being the argument for, the campaign for human rights. Human rights as women's rights, human rights as gay rights, human rights as worker rights, human rights as voting rights, human rights across the board for every single American.”
Sanders touted tonight’s results as a victory over conventional politics. “Tonight we serve notice to the political and economic establishment of this country that the American people will not continue to accept a corrupt campaign finance system that is undermining American democracy and we will not accept a rigged economy in which ordinary Americans work longer hours for lower wages while almost all new income and wealth goes to the top 1 percent,” he said.
He repeated his call for universal, single-payer health insurance. “What our campaign is about is thinking big, not small,” he said. “It's about having the courage to reject the status quo. It's about saying that in a time when every major country on earth guarantees health care to all of their people, we should be doing the same in our great country. In my view, on President Obama's leadership, the Affordable Care Act has been an important step forward, no question about it, but we can and must do better.”
He also touted his plan for tuition-free education at public colleges and universities, and said this and other ambitious social programs will be financed by “a tax on Wall Street speculation.” He condemned the influence that Wall Street firms and other corporate donors have on politics, and noted again that unlike Clinton, he has no super PAC, and that his campaign is financed primarily by individual contributions.
On foreign policy, he said, “As president, I will defend this nation, but I will do it responsibly. I voted against the war in Iraq. And that was the right vote. [Clinton voted for the war as a U.S. senator from New York and has since said she was wrong.] While we must be relentless in combating terrorists who would do us harm, we cannot and should not be the policemen of the world.” He further pledged to reform the criminal justice system, which sees African-Americans and Latinos incarcerated at disproportionate rates, and create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Clinton, in a much shorter speech than the one Sanders delivered, promised to be a president who can get reforms enacted. “What is the best way to change people's lives so we can all grow together?” she said. “Who is the best change-maker? … Here's what I promise: I will work harder than anyone to actually make the changes that make your lives better.”
She continued, “In this campaign, you've heard a lot about Washington and about Wall Street. Now, Senator Sanders and I both want to get secret, unaccountable money out of politics, and let's remember, let's remember, Citizens United, one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our country's history, was actually a case about a right-wing attack on me and my campaign. A right-wing organization took aim at me and ended up damaging our entire democracy.
"So, yes, you're not going to find anybody more committed to aggressive campaign finance reform than me. We also agree -- we also agree that Wall Street can never be allowed to once again threaten Main Street, and I will fight to rein in Wall Street, and you know what, I know how to do it." She also noted that she has many small campaign donors.
The contest now goes on to the Nevada caucus, set for February 20, and the South Carolina primary, February 27. Clinton is far ahead in polls in both states.
Sanders looked not only to upcoming primaries but to the general election in part of his speech. “I want to take this opportunity, again, to congratulate Secretary Clinton and her organization and supporters for waging a vigorous campaign,” he said. “I hope that in the days ahead we can continue to wage a strong issue-oriented campaign and bring new people into the political process. But I also hope that we all remember, and this is a message not just to our opponents, but to those who support me as well, that we will need to come together in a few months and unite this party and this nation because the right-wing Republicans we oppose must not be allowed to gain the presidency.”
Watch both speeches below.