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MEMO: The Real Debate Happening

To: Members of the Press Corps
From: David Brock, Correct the Record
Date: February 10, 2016

On this morning after the New Hampshire primary, while parsing the results of last night’s voting will be a major preoccupation of the news media, it’s considerably more important that attention be paid to the real debate happening in the Democratic Party – a debate about our country’s future and about which candidate’s plans can actually move America forward.

The truth is that few serious policy analysts, experts or commentators, take Senator Sanders’ sketchy policies seriously. His proposals, which are little more than a flurry of press releases and empty pronouncements, are not based in fact and empirical evidence, do not accurately describe the present-day economy, fail to account for the progress wrought by the Obama Administration (the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank). And thus, they are not practical solutions to America’s most pressing priorities such as raising incomes and creating jobs, holding Wall Street accountable for its risky bets, or dealing with ISIS.  According to a veritable chorus of observers, there is almost no practical, real-world value behind Senator Sanders’ sloganeering. His policies are a Potemkin village.

Over the course of the coming weeks, it is Senator Sanders’ policies that should be evaluated and held to the same scrutiny that has been applied to Secretary Clinton in her public service career.

Attached are some of the headlines of the stories and analyses – many of which you all have written – that crystallize the contrasts between Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders. On the critical issues facing Americans, Secretary Clinton is ready to lead on the first day in office and Senator Sanders is not.


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Secretary Hillary Clinton

“Hillary Clinton’s Bold Plan for Voting Rights.” [The Nation, 6/4/15]

“Clinton money-in-politics plan would benefit candidates like…Bernie Sanders.” [Center for Responsive Politics, 9/9/15]

“Clinton’s Bold Immigration Plan Leaves Republicans Nearly Speechless.” [NPR, 5/11/15]

“The Big, Bold Idea at the Heart of Hillary Clinton’s Plan to Make College Cheaper” [Slate, 8/10/15]

“Hillary Clinton Unveils Bold Plan to Power American Homes.” [NBC News, 6/27/15] 

 “Hillary Clinton to Offer Plan on Paying College Tuition Without Needing Loans.” [The New York Times, 8/10/15]

“Hillary’s $350 billion plan to kill college debt.” [Politico, 8/10/15]

 “What Hillary Clinton Gets (and Bernie Sanders Doesn’t) About Wall Street.” [The New Yorker, 12/10/15] 

“Hillary Clinton’s plan to tame big banks shows her at her wonkish best.” [Vox, 10/9/15]

“Hillary Clinton Takes on ISIS.” [The New York Times editorial, 11/20/15]

“Hillary Clinton Unveils Aggressive Gun Control Plan” [ThinkProgress, 10/5/15]

“Hillary Clinton Drug Plan Would Cap Consumer Costs, Mandate R&D Spending.” [Bloomberg, 9/22/15] 

“Hillary Clinton’s autism platform is transformational and empowering.” [The Guardian editorial, 1/6/16]

“Hillary Clinton’s Autism Plan Suggests Times Are Changing.” [Forbes, 1/7/16]

“4 Ways Hillary Clinton’s Autism Plan Will Improve American Education.” [The Seventy Four, 1/7/16]

“Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination.” [The New York Times editorial, 1/30/16]

“Voters have the chance to choose one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.” [The New York Times editorial, 1/30/16]

“Hillary Clinton Deserves Democratic Nomination.” [The Boston Globe editorial, 1/24/16]

 “Endorsement: Hillary Clinton has needed knowledge, experience.” [Des Moines Register, 1/23/16]

“Editorial: Clinton is Democrats’ best choice.” [Concord Monitor editorial, 1/24/16]

“Endorsement: Clinton has record of getting things done.” [Iowa City Press-Citizen editorial, 1/29/16]

“We endorse Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president.” [Sentinel Source editorial, 1/28/16]

“LCV Action Fund Endorses Hillary Clinton for President.” [League of Conservation Voters, 11/9/15]

“Bricklayers Endorse Hillary Clinton for President.” [International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, 9/9/15]

“Iron Workers Endorse Hillary Clinton for President.” [International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, 11/23/15]

“SEIU endorses Hillary Clinton for president.” [Service Employees International Union, 11/17/15]

“EXCLUSIVE: The U.S. Black Chambers Endorse Hillary Clinton.” [Black Enterprise, 1/15/16]

“American Federation of Teachers Endorses Hillary Clinton for President.” [American Federation of Teachers, 7/11/15]

“The South Carolina Education Association Recommends Hillary Clinton for President.” [Medium, 12/11/15]

“Brady Campaign to Endorse Hillary Clinton.” [Politico, 1/12/16]

“Human Rights Campaign Endorses Hillary Clinton for President.” [Human Rights Campaign, 1/19/16]

“5 Reasons Why NARAL Pro-Choice America Is Endorsing Hillary Clinton. Our Champion.” [Medium, 1/5/16]

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Senator Bernie Sanders

“Bernie’s foreign policy deficit.” [Politico, 1/30/16]

“The loner: On foreign policy, Sanders may disappoint devotees.” [Newsweek, 2/1/16]

“Foreign Policy Questions Push Bernie Sanders Out of Comfort Zone.” [New York Times, 2/8/16]

“Sanders flunks on foreign policy.” [Boston Globe, 2/5/16]

“Bernie Sanders is wrong about this and Hillary Clinton is right.” [New York Times, 1/18/16]

“Bernie Sanders Is Promising Health Care Utopia, With No Way To Deliver.” [Huffington Post, 1/21/16]

“The false charms of Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan.” [Washington Post, 2/7/15]

“Bernie Sanders Isn’t Serious About Governing.” [Roll Call, 1/21/16]

“Bernie Sanders is wrong about this and Hillary Clinton is right.” [New York Times, 1/18/16]

“I Get Sanders’ Appeal. But He’s Not a Credible President.” [Politico, 1/25/16]

“Bernie’s Single Payer Health Plan. Ain’t Gonna Happen.” [Newsweek, 1/26/16]

“Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan isn’t a plan at all.” [Vox, 1/17/16]

“The Bernie Sanders Health Plan Is Too Good To Be True, Analyst Says.” [Huffington Post, 1/27/16]

“For Now, Bernie Sanders’s Health Plan Is More of a Tax Plan.” [New York Times, 1/19/16]

“Bernie Sanders doesn’t get how politics works.” [Boston Globe, 1/18/16]

“Bernie Sanders’s fiction-filled campaign.” [Washington Post editorial, 1/27/16]

“Study: Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan is almost twice as expensive as he says.” [Vox, 1/28/16]

“Bernie Sanders’s Tax Increases Fall Short of Paying for Health Plan, Analysis Finds.” [Wall Street Journal, 2/2/16]

“The false charms of Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan.” [Washington Post editorial, 2/7/16]

“Sanders’s Wall Street plan is a slogan.” [Vox, 1/18/16]

“AP Spin Meter: Sanders Says He’ll Quickly Break Up Big Banks.” [Associated Press, 1/30/16]

“Bernie Sanders’s questionable ‘revolution.’” [Washington Post editorial, 4/30/15]

“Bernie Sanders isn’t as progressive as you think.” [Washington Post editorial, 9/15/15]

“Sanders’s free tuition plan is half-baked.” [Vox, 1/18/16]

“On guns, Sanders has an authenticity problem” [Yahoo, 1/7/16]

“Bernie Sanders’ Plan to Fight Mass Incarceration Doesn’t Add Up.” [Mother Jones, 1/12/16]

“Sanders’ pledge illustrates how plans to curtail mass incarceration fall short” [Los Angeles Times, 11/25/15]