The issue of Hillary Clinton's emails came up about an hour into the Democratic debate Tuesday night, giving Bernie Sanders a prime opportunity to pounce. Instead, he defended her and called it a non-issue with a line that drew long applause and even laughter:
- " Let me say something that may not be great politics, but the secretary is right—and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about the damn emails. Enough of the emails, let's talk about the real issues facing the United States of America."
Clinton herself laughed and thanked Sanders, and the two even exchanged a handshake, notes CNN. Before Sanders spoke, Clinton derided the House panel investigating her emails as a "partisan vehicle" designed solely to bring her down in the polls, reports the New York Times. But “I am still standing,” she said. “I am happy to be part of this debate. And I intend to keep talking about the issues that matter to the American people.” When Lincoln Chafee chimed in on the scandal and its ethical implications, Anderson Cooper asked Clinton if she wanted to respond. "No," she said simply, again to laughter and applause.