early and often

Sanders Tells Clinton: ‘Excuse Me, I’m Talking’ in Arguably Sexist Debate Exchange

The 2016 Republican primary race has been so dramatic that we haven’t had much time to argue over whether or not Hillary Clinton is being treated unfairly because she’s a woman. That likely ended tonight with one line uttered by Bernie Sanders at the CNN debate in Flint, Michigan. After Clinton criticized Sanders for failing to vote for the auto-industry bailout, he replied, “If you are talking about the Wall Street bailout, where some of your friends destroyed this economy … ” Clinton started to interject, and Sanders stopped her, saying, “Excuse me, I’m talking.”

It was clearly one of the sharpest moments in the Democratic race so far, but Twitter users are divided on whether it was a condescending, sexist, campaign-damaging line, in the vein of candidate Obama’s “you’re likable enough, Hillary”:

Or an appropriate, even cheer-worthy response from Sanders to a fellow candidate trying to interrupt him:

At least one pro-Clinton group is already pushing the former narrative. In a statement released at the end of the debate, Correct the Record president Brad Woodhouse said:

But perhaps nothing from this debate will be more memorable than Bernie Sanders rudely flying off the handle — losing his temper and shushing Secretary Clinton, wagging his finger and repeatedly yelling the likes of “excuse me, I’m talking” and “let me finish.” It was a cringe worthy moment from Senator Sanders more fitting of the GOP debate stage than the Democratic one.

Wherever you stand, by tomorrow you should be able to find several angry opinion pieces backing up your position. But as usual, it’s hard to describe any exchange between Clinton and Sanders as truly nasty or derogatory when the Republicans candidates are openly calling each other liars and debating their penis size.

This post has been updated to include statements from Twitter and Correct the Record.

Sanders to Clinton: ‘Excuse Me, I’m Talking’