Hillary warns U.S. is in a ‘full-fledged crisis in our democracy’

‘We are living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy’: Hillary issues grave warning at Selma civil rights event as Jesse Jackson says Trump would probably have been ‘with the storm troopers’ on ‘Bloody Sunday’

  • The air remained chilly between 2016 Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders when the two were in Selma, Ala., on Sunday
  • Clinton and Sanders addressed the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast to mark the 54th year since the march across the Edmund Pettus bridge
  • The two were seen exchanging a short hand shake after Sanders’ remarks while Clinton hugged Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown after they spoke
  • Cinton kept her remarks focused concerns about voter suppression 
  • ‘We are living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy,’ she said 
  • Meanwhile the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Trump would have been with the ‘storm troopers’ who attacked marchers on that day in Selma 54 years ago
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The air remained chilly between 2016 Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders when the two were in Selma, Ala., on Sunday for a breakfast marking the 54th year since the march across the Edmund Pettus bridge.

Clinton and Sanders joined fellow Democrats Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown in addressing the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast, where Clinton warned of a ‘full-fledged crisis in our democracy.’ 

 Also present was civil rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson, who told Yahoo! News earlier in the day that he believes President Donald Trump would probably have been on the side of the ‘storm troopers’ who beat protesters in what has become known as ‘Bloody Sunday.’

When asked what he thought Trump ‘would have been doing’ if he was in Selma at the time, Jackson replied: ‘Probably with the storm troopers.’ 

There were reports of lingering tension between Clinton and Sanders as they were seen exchanging a short hand shake after Sanders’ remarks while Clinton hugged Booker and Brown after they spoke. 

The air remained chilly between 2016 Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders when the two were in Selma, Ala., on Sunday

They were seen exchanging a short hand shake amid talk of lingering tension from the 2016 presidential campaign

Reverend Jesse Jackson, left, Hillary Clinton, second left, and Charles Steele, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, right, take seats onstage during the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast in Selma, Alabama

Cory Booker, Hillary Clinton and Jesse Jackson hold hands as they walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge

Sanders did give Clinton a short acknowledgement for the honors she was receiving that day. 

‘Let me congratulate Secretary Clinton on the award she is about to receive,’ he said of the former secretary of state, who received the 2019 International Unity Award and was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame.

But he then immediately pivoted to praising another civil rights icon in the room – the Rev. Jesse Jackson – for his work on unity.

Sanders noted he was going to say a ‘special word’ about unity and then proceeded to sing Jackson’s praises.

‘When you talk about unity way back in 1984 this man stood up as a candidate for president and talked about a rainbow coalition,’ he said. 

Clinton and Sanders struggled to unify the Democratic Party in the wake of their brutal 2016 primary where the lingering hard feelings between their two camps have burst onto the public scene in recent days. 

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But Clinton focused her remarks Sunday on voter suppression and offered a warning about the state of American politics. 

‘We are living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy,’ she said.

She noted there may not be ‘tanks in the streets,’ but ‘what’s happening goes to the heart of who we are as a nation.’ 

‘To anyone who has ever wondered what you would have done during those defining moments that we read about in history books – whether you would have risked arrest to demand votes for women or bled on the Edmund Pettus bridge to demand voting rights for all – the answer is what you are doing now could be as important as anything that anyone has done before,’ she said.

Clinton also said former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who lost her election last year to become the first female black governor of that state by a close margin, ‘should be governor, leading that state right now.’ 

She accused voter suppression of keeping Abrams from the gubernatorial mansion and praised Abrams for setting up a foundation to tackle voting rights’ issues. 

At a second event later in the day, Clinton blamed the absence of crucial parts of the Voting Rights Act as one reason for her loss to Donald Trump.

The Supreme Court in 2013 struck down a part of the law that required the Justice Department to scrutinize states with a history of racial discrimination in voting.

‘It makes a really big difference,’ she said. 

The anniversary of the Selma march also comes amid renewed criticism of Trump as a racist, a charge his former personal attorney Michael Cohen made during his congressional hearings last week.  

Sanders, who attended Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on the National Mall where he gave ‘I have a Dream’ speech, has long touted his civil rights record and courted the African American vote.

Booker launched his 2020 candidacy during Black History month and is one of two African American candidates fighting to win the right to take on President Donald Trump next year.

Cory Booker gives Hillary Clinton a hug as they march across the bridge in Selma

Hillary Clinton warned of a ‘full-fledged crisis in our democracy’

Sen. Cory Booker is one of the two African American candidates running in the 2020 Democratic primary

Bernie Sanders talks with Sen. Sherrod Brown at the breakfast on Sunday

Both Booker and Clinton also spoke at the Brown Chapel AME Church later Sunday. 

The New Jersey senator told the crowd itwas a time to recommit to the fight for justice in America.

‘It’s time for us to defend the dream,’ Booker said. ‘It’s time that we dare to dream again in America. That is what it takes to make America great. It is up to us to do the work that makes the dream real.’ 

On March 7, 1965, peaceful demonstrators were beaten back by Alabama troopers as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was a moment that galvanized support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year. 

Racial issues are expected to dominate on the campaign trail next year. 

But so is tension from the last Democratic presidential primary. 

Since Sanders formally announced his 2020 White House bid, former Clinton staffers have unleashed bitter, lingering resentments from the last Democratic presidential primary to attacked his candidacy.

So far, both Clinton and former President Barack Obama, another towering figure in Democratic politics, have withheld their support for any 2020 candidate. 

The first set of states will not hold the Democratic contests for another year. 

Sanders and his team have not held back either.

When he appeared on ABC’s ‘The View’ last week, the Vermont senator indicated he would not be seeking advice from his former 2016 rival.

‘I suspect not. Hillary has not, you know, she has not called me,’ he said. 

Sanders complimented Clinton’s political career but did not attempt to hide the bad blood lingering between them.

‘Look, we have differences,’ he acknowledged. ‘Hillary has played a very important role in modern American politics.’

HUG IT OUT: Clinton and Sanders hug when he endorsed her in New Hampshire in July 2016

Clinton and Sanders, seen here at November 2016 campaign rally in North Carolina, struggled to unify the Democratic party after their brutal primay

Asked by Meghan McCain if he’s saying he’s not interested in Clinton’s advice he told her point blank: ‘I think not.’ 

And, earlier in the week, former Clinton aides complained Sanders demanded a private jet for his 2016 campaign travel for Clinton. 

Their criticism points to lingering hard feelings from the 2016 primary election where many Clinton staffers believe Sanders stayed in the contest too long when he had no hope of securing the nomination and criticized Clinton too much, contributing to her defeat.   

He waited a month to endorse her after she secured the nomination and the two sides fought it out about his speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention: the Clinton team tried to put him on early – before the networks started airing the addresses – but his side fought back and secured him a primetime speaking slot.

There are hard feelings on Sanders’ side too, particularly after hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee – released by Wikileaks – showed a concentrated effort on behalf of some high-level party officials to secure the nomination for Clinton over Sanders.  

Sanders’ team argued he only used a private jet when it made the most logistical sense in terms of time and location of events. They also note they bought carbon off sets to counter environmental damage.

Sanders spokesperson Arianna Jones told Politico it was physically impossible to get the senator to all of the event locations quickly without a private jet, especially since he was going to a lot of smaller locations with limited commercial options.

‘That’s why chartered flights were used: to make sure Sen. Sanders could get to as many locations as quickly as possible in the effort to help the Democratic ticket defeat Donald Trump,’ she said. ‘Sen. Sanders campaigned so aggressively for Secretary Clinton, at such a grueling pace, it became a story unto itself, setting the model for how a former opponent can support a nominee in a general election.’ 



Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Voted Republican until 1995 but has tacked left since. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Slogan: To be announced 


Age on Inauguration Day: 56 

Entered race: Announced she was running January 21, 2018 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – on Good Morning America. Formally entered race January 27

Career: Howard and U.C. Hunter law school grad who worked as assistant district attorney in Alameda County, CA, then in San Francisco’s DA’s office before being elected San Francisco DA in 2003 and used it as springboard to run successfully for California attorney general in 2010. Won again in 2014 and was at center of U.S. attorney general and Supreme Court speculation but also endured a series of controversies, including over police brutality allegations. Ran for Senate in 2016 and established herself on liberal wing of party

Family: Born in Berkeley, CA, to immigrant Indian Tamil mother and Jamaican father who were both academics and brought up from seven to 18  in Montreal, Canada. Dated married San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, when he was 60 and she was 29. Married attorney Douglas Emhoff in 2014 and has two stepchildren; Cole, an aspiring actor, and Ella, an art and design student. Sister Maya was a Hillary Clinton adviser and brother-in-law Tony West is Uber’s chief legal counsel. Would be first female, first Indian-American and first female black president

Views on key issues: Social ultra-liberal who has rejected criticisms of ‘identity politics’ and is running without a political action committee, which will make her reliant on small donors. Has shifted left on criminal justice reform; supports Medicare for all;  pro-gun control and anti-death penalty; says illegal immigration is a civil not a criminal offense

Religion: Has said she was brought up in both Baptist and Hindu tradition

Slogan: Kamala Harris: For The People 


Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deboarah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Slogan: To be announced


Age on Inauguration Day: 54

Entered race: Announced exploratory committee on Stephen Colbert’s CBS show on January 16, 2019 

Career: Dartmouth and UCLA law grad who was a high-flying Manhattan attorney representing big businesses. Says she was inspired to enter politics by hearing Hillary Clinton speak, although she is also scion of a prominent New York Democratic political family. Won New York’s 20th district, centered on Albany in 2004; appointed to Hillary Clinton’s senate seat in 2008 and won it in 2010 special election 63-35; won first full term 2012 and re-elected 67-33 in 2018

Family: Married to British venture capitalist Jonathan Gillibrand with two sons, Theodore, 15, and Henry, ten. Father Douglas Lutnik was Democratic lobbyist; grandmother Polly Noonan was at center of Albany Democratic politics. Would be first female president

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Initially pro-gun as Congresswoman, has since reversed herself to be pro-gun control and also pro-immigration; said Bill Clinton should have resigned over Monica Lewinsky and helped force Al Franken out of Senate over groping allegations; in favor of single-payer healthcare and Medicare for all

Slogan: To be announced


Age on Inauguration Day: 51

Entered race: Announced he was running February 1, 2019

Career: High school football star who went to Stanford or undergraduate and masters degrees before studying in Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and Yale Law School. Worked for advocacy and youth projects and successfully ran for Newark, New Jersey, city council in 1998. Narrowly lost mayoral election in 2002 facing claims he was ‘suburban’ and ‘not black enough.’ Ran again in 2006 and won landslide on radical reform platform for troubled city, including being tough on crime, cutting budget deficit, increasing affordable housing and tackling failing schools – controversially taking a huge donation from Mark Zuckerberg for the city. Ran for New Jersey senate seat in 2013 special election and won; won full term in 2014

Family: Single. Parents Cary and Carolyn were among IBM’s first black executives. Brother Cary Jr. is education adviser to New Jersey’s Democratic governor. Would be first bachelor president since James Buchanan, who was in the White House from 1857 to 1861

Religion: Baptist

Views on key issues: Self-proclaimed liberal. Endorses abortion rights; affirmative action; single-payer health care; criminal justice reform; path to citizenship for ‘dreamers; federal marijuana decriminalization; $15 minimum wage; but has also spoken against tech regulation and for long-term deficit reduction

Slogan: To be announced     


Age on Inauguration Day: 60

Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis

Career: Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018

Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher

Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)

Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE

 Slogan: To be announced


Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: January 12, 2018, at rally in his native San Antonio, TX. Had formed exploratory committee two months previously

Career: Stanford and Harvard graduate who was a San Antonio councilman at 26 and became mayor in 2009. Was Obama’s Housing and Urban Development secretary from 2014 to 2016

Family: Married with nine-year-old daughter, Carina, and four-year-old son, Cristian. His identical twin Joaquin, who is a minute younger, is Democratic congressman. Mother Maria del Rosario Castro was part of ‘radical’ third party for Mexican-Americans; father left his wife and five children for her but they never married. Would be first Hispanic-American president – announced his run in English and Spanish – and first-ever U.S. president with a twin

Religion:  Catholic

Views on key issues: Wants medicare for all; universal pre-K; action on affordable housing; will not take money from political action committees (PACs) tied to corporations or unions. Other views still to be announced

Slogan: One Nation. One Destiny


Age on Inauguration Day: 69

Entered race: March 1, 2019

Career: Stanford drop-out who graduated from University of Washington and Williamette University School of Law before working as a city prosecutor in Selah, WA. First elected to Washington House of Representatives in 1989 and again in 1990; won Congressional seat in 1992 elections but lost in 1994 and then had failed 1996 gubernatorial run. Returned to Congress in 1998 elections and stayed until 2012 to run for governor. Won first term 51.5 to 48.5; re-elected in 2016 by 54.4 to 45.6

Family: Born in Seattle to late parents Frank, a Navy veteran and high school teacher and coach, and Adele, a Sears sales clerk. Married high school and college sweetheart Trudi since 1972. Three adult sons Jack, a radio producer in Washington D.C.; Connor, director of a Washington state non-profit for the disabled; and Joe, who works for King County, WA’s department of natural resources and parks. Grandfather of three 

Religion: Non-denominational Protestant 

Views on key issues: Running to combat climate change with praise for  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal – his record in Washington D.C. including aspiring to ‘zero emissions’ buildings and largely eliminate fossil fuel use; vocal gun control advocate; fought Trump’s ban on entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries; called moratorium on death penalty in Washington; supported marijuana legalization in Washington and expected to do so federally; will not take money from political action committees; healthcare position still unclear

Slogan:  Our moment   


Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019

Career: Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Ben mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015

Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics. Surname is pronounced BOTT-edge-edge. Would be first openly gay president and first combat veteran since George H.W. Bush

Religion: Episcopalian

Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown

 Slogan: To be announced  


Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Born on American Samoa, a territory, and therefore may be subject to questions over whether she is natural-born. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit. Would be first Samoan-American, first Hindu and first female president

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Slogan: To be announced 


Age on Inauguration Day: 57

Entered race: Filed papers July 28, 2017

Career: Three-time Maryland congressman, first winning election in 2012. Previously set up publicly-traded companies lending capital to healthcare and mid-size businesses and was youngest CEO at the time of a New York Stock Exchange-listed firm

Family: Married father of four; wife April works for children’s issues nonprofit 

Religion: Catholic 

Views on key issues: Social liberal in favor of legalized pot and gun control but not single-payer healthcare; fiscally conservative

Slogan: Focus on the Future


Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: Filed papers November 6, 2018

Career: Started a dotcom flop then become healthcare and education tech executive who set up nonprofit Venture for America

Family: Married father of two; would be first Asian-American president

Religion: Reformed Church

Views on key issues: Warns of rise of robots and artificial intelligence, wants $1,000 a month universal basic income and social media regulated 

Slogan: Humanity First


Age on Inauguration Day: 68

Entered race: Announced exploratory committee November 15, 2018. Formally entered January 28, 2019

Career: Dropped out of Ponoma College, California, became part of the counter culture and anti-war movement and ran a ‘metaphysical bookstore’ before publishing spiritual guide A Return to Love and being praised by Oprah, sending it to number one. Published series of follow-ups and founded AIDS charity and subsequently more non-profits including a peace movement. Ran for Congress in 2014 and lost

Family: Born to immigration attorney father Sam and housewife mother Sophie in Houston, Texas. Married for ‘a minute and a half’ to unnamed man; daughter India was born in 1990 but Williamson declines to name her father

Religion: Jewish

Views on key issues: Wants vast expansion of physical and mental healthcare; and nutrition and lifestyle reforms including ban on marketing processed and sugary foods to children; universal pre-K; much of the Green New Deal’s proposals including a de-carbonized economy, electric cars and rebuilding mass transit; gun control through licensing; wants more vacation time; pro decriminalizing all drugs

Slogan: Join the Evolution


RICHARD OJEDA. West Virginia ex- state senator and paratrooper veteran

Entered race: November 12, 2018. Quit: January 25, 2019  

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