Democratic debate: In their seventh face-off, Clinton and Sanders spar over trade, 1990s reforms

Welcome to Trail Guide, your host through the wilds of the 2016 presidential campaign. It's Sunday, March 6, and here's what we're talking about:

I am a praying person, and if I hadn't been during the time I was in the White House, I would have become one. Because it’s very hard to imagine living under that kind of pressure without being able to fall back on prayer and on my faith.

Hillary Clinton, on the role her faith played during her time in the White House.

Context on prison rates

Sanders and Clinton check their privilege

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were challenged during their debate Sunday to confront their white privilege and explain blind spots they may have when it comes to race.

“Being a white person in the United States of America, I know that I never had the experience that so many people in this audience had,” Clinton said. “I think it's incumbent on me … to urge white people to think what it is like to have ‘the talk’ with your kids, scared that your son or even daughter could get in trouble for no good reason and end up dead in a jail.”

Sanders talked about confronting his shock at the inability of a black colleague decades ago to hail a taxi in Washington because the experience was too humiliating, with the taxis driving by him because of his race. And he also spoke about his experience working with activists from Black Lives Matter, who initially were skeptical but came to appreciate the effort he put into understanding their perspective.

“When you're white, you don’t know what it's like to be living in a ghetto,” he said. "You don’t know what it's like to be poor; you don't know what it's like to be hassled when you walk down the street, or you get dragged out of a car.”

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on the tone of those other debates

Clinton says 'superpredator' comment was poor choice of words

Hillary Clinton expressed regret for using the term "superpredators" while talking about gang crime in 1996, saying at Sunday's debate that she should have used different language.

African American activists have seized on her use of the phrase at an appearance in New Hampshire nearly 20 years ago, saying it was a coded -- and racist -- reference to young African American men.

I think it was a poor choice of words."

Hillary Clinton, on her use of the phrase "superpredators" to describe street gangs

A black activist recently interrupted Clinton at a fundraiser to demand an apology for her use of the phrase and for the high incarceration rate for African Americans during and after her husband's presidency.

“I am not a superpredator, Hillary Clinton," activist Ashley Williams said in a filmed encounter that has been widely viewed.

Clinton said Sunday that she didn't plan to use the phrase, had never used it before and has never used it since. 

Bernie Sanders goes back to the '90s

 (Scott Olson / Getty Images)
(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders steered the discussion during Sunday's Democratic debate back into the 1990s, raising the welfare reform legislation championed by President Clinton and supported by his wife. 

“The poorest people of this country have become much poorer as a result of that,” Sanders said.

His debate opponent, Hillary Clinton, bridled at the characterization. “Let’s get the facts straight,” Clinton said. “That bill had a lot of provisions that were stripped out by George W. Bush, by Republican governors.” She said that had it been implemented as the Clintons hoped, the impact would not have been as harsh. But Clinton also made no apologies.

“If we are going to talk about the 1990s, let’s talk about 23 million new jobs,” she said. “Income went up for everyone. Median African American income went up 33%.”

Sanders wasn’t done.

“In the 1990s, you know what we also did?” he said. “We deregulated Wall Street, which allowed Wall street to begin destroying our economy.… You are right. A lot of good things happened. But a lot of bad things happened.”

Is there an echo in here?

The debate so far: Clinton and Sanders duel over trade, Wall Street, guns

 (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)
(Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

Sunday night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Flint, Mich., began as a crucial test of whether Sanders can throw the front-runner off her game in a part of the country where he sees opportunity to cut into her lead.

The beginning of the night was dominated by discussion of the water crisis in Flint, a largely African American community grappling with the plight of contaminated drinking water exacerbated by government neglect. Sanders called for the resignation of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, as he has repeatedly in recent weeks.

Here's a wrap-up about halfway through the debate:

The 'Avenue Q' song that just made it into the debate

CNN's Don Lemon used this song from the Tony-winning Broadway musical "Avenue Q" to introduce his question about racism in America.

Arrest photo of young activist Bernie Sanders

 (Chicago Tribune)
(Chicago Tribune)

A Chicago Tribune archival photo of a young man being arrested in 1963 at a Chicago protest shows Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, his campaign has confirmed, bolstering the candidate's narrative about his civil rights activism.

Here's the story by the Tribune's Katherine Skiba:

Democratic fireworks vs. GOP fireworks

What you're really talking about is ending gun manufacturing in America. I don't agree with that.

Bernie Sanders, on whether victims of gun violence should be allowed to sue gun manufacturers

Sanders and Clinton tussle over trade

In a testy exchange during Sunday's Democratic debate in Flint, Mich., Bernie Sanders accused Hillary Clinton of flip-flopping on free trade, saying Clinton had changed her views about the need to keep jobs from moving overseas.

"I'm very glad Secretary Clinton has discovered religion" on free trade, Sanders said, noting Clinton's support for the North American Free Trade Agreement reached by her husband's administration in the 1990s. 

“Your story is voting for every disastrous trade agreement and for corporate America," Sanders said. 

Ahead of Tuesday's primary in in the state, trade has moved to the forefront of the fight for the Democratic nomination, with Sanders arguing that trade agreements Clinton supported have wrecked states with manufacturing economies such as Michigan and Ohio.

Clinton took issue with Sanders' debate assertion, pointing out that she came out last year against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and opposed a similar free-trade agreement while she was serving in the Senate. 

Clinton said she preferred not to "argue about the 1990s instead of talk about the future." 

But she lingered there herself for a moment, reminding Michigan voters about the state's low unemployment rate and high economic growth when her husband left office in 2001.

Bernie Sanders on his 'single issue'

What's the Export-Import Bank?

 (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

The Export-Import Bank made a surprise appearance at the Democratic debate. Hillary Clinton supported saving it last year after Republicans tried to shut it down. 

Bernie Sanders sided with many in the GOP, saying it chiefly supported giant corporations such as Boeing.

The Times' Jim Puzzanghera took at look at the controversy recently, showing the bank earned a profit of $432 million for taxpayers last year.

Here's his story:

Fight over Wall Street

Democrats are not always right.

Bernie Sanders, explaining his vote against the Export-Import Bank, drawing applause from the audience

Clinton and Sanders square off over bailouts of auto industry and Wall Street

Clinton joins Sanders in calling for Michigan governor's resignation

Bernie Sanders has been calling for months for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to step down over his role in the Flint water crisis. 

During Sunday's debate, Hillary Clinton joined Sanders in that position, saying Snyder "should resign or be recalled." As recently as today, Clinton campaign officials had shied away from saying Snyder should step down. 

The beginning of the debate was dominated by more than 20 minutes of questions about the city's lead poisoning crisis.

Sanders and Clinton both condemned the poisoning of the Flint's water supply as a "dereliction" of duties by officials. Neither would say whether they thought Snyder or others should go to jail, but both said more needs to be done. 

"People should be held responsible wherever it leads," Clinton said.  "There has to be absolute accountability."

She said the state and the federal government has the money to fix the problem.

"I know the state of Michigan has a rainy day fund for emergencies," she said. "What is more important than the health and well-being of the people? It is raining lead in Flint and the state is derelict in not coming forward with the money that is required." 

Excuse me, I'm talking.

Bernie Sanders, clashing with Hillary Clinton over trade deals

By the numbers

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