Water, jobs lead topics at Flint debate
FLINT, Mich. (WJBK) - As Michigan voters prepare for primary day, the two democrats competing for their vote held debate in Flint and, as expected, the water crisis led the way.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton debated Sunday night in Flint. They talked about all of the Michigan topics: the auto bailout, Detroit schools, and Flint water. On one aspect with the water crisis they agreed: calling for Governor Rick Snyder's resignation.
This stance was nothing new for Sanders who has been very vocal saying Snyder needs to resign or be recalled. However, this was Clinton's first formal stance on the matter, saying that she's changed her position and agrees that Snyder should resign.
Valerie Jackson of Flint Township believes Clinton's change of position is due to campaign pressure. She's one of many were inside a packed room watching the debate at U-M Flint. So is she ready to commit who gets her vote? Not quite.
"Definitely not Trump. You know, it's kind of hard. They're both handling the questions very well. I'm a Hilary Clinton, but Bernie Sanders is really holding his own, and I'm really impressed with what he's saying," Jackson said.
The Flint water crisis was the first topic out of the gate. Both say that the problem is not a Flint problem and Clinton is calling on the state of Michigan to use its rainy day fund to repair water systems. She vows she would work Mayor Karen Weaver to get the job done. Sanders, meanwhile, promised that under his Presidency, the federal government would step up if the state can't get the job done.
The candidates also gave their views on not just solving the water crisis, but also rebuilding the city of Flint and creating more jobs. Jackson said jobs are coming in but there's still so much unemployment, that they need more of them.
"When GM pulled out, it left a big void in the City. University of Michigan and Michigan State, they're now coming in. But there is still a high jobless rate in the City. So I think that topic of where they're leading off the jobless rate is very important to us because our economy is suffering."
It's important to note that Gov. Snyder did respond to the claims made by both candidates on Twitter. One tweet says "I'm taking responsibility as our value system says we should. My track record is getting things done, and I want to get this done." He also said that the water problem was never about money but rather a failure of government at all levels in what he described as a massive error of bureaucracy.