Democratic Presidential Candidates Face Off in Iowa

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during the Iowa Democratic Partys Hall of Fame Dinner, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. PlayCharlie Neibergall/AP PHOTO
WATCH Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton Share Stage in Iowa

It was a big night for Democrats in Iowa who heard from all five presidential candidates on everything from income inequality to climate change and recent Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act.

Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Jim Webb didn't spend any time going after each other Friday, but instead laid out their visions for the country and at times went after the Republican presidential candidates.

Clinton spent the majority of her speech criticizing Republicans by name -- including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- whose comments that "Americans need to work longer hours" didn't sit well with the former secretary of state.

"He now says he just wants part-time workers to be able to find full-time jobs," she said. "So do I. There’s just one problem: his policies and the policies of all these Republican candidates would make that harder."

But the Democratic front-runner didn't stop with Bush. Clinton and O'Malley also went after billionaire Donald Trump.

“We've heard a lot recently from the new Republican front-runner, Donald Trump," said Clinton. "Finally, a candidate whose hair gets more attention than mine. But there’s nothing funny about the hate he is spewing towards immigrants and their families."

"If Donald Trump wants to run on a platform of demonizing immigrants, he should go back to the 1840's and run for the presidential nomination of the Know-Nothing Party," said O'Malley.

The night began with the five candidates taking the stage together as loud chants of Bernie and Hillary filled the room. More than 1,300 from across the state greeted the candidates with open arms and listened to each 15 minute speech with the same amount of attention but varying levels of enthusiasm.

Clinton, O'Malley, and Sanders had a number of standing ovations from their backers in the room, but lesser known candidates Chafee and Webb had a harder sell. They laid out their visions for the country, spending a considerable amount of time telling Iowans about their accomplishments as public servants.

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks with a supporter during the Iowa Democratic Partys Hall of Fame Dinner, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/AP PHOTO
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks with a supporter during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Dinner, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Sanders was the only candidate to bring up recent race-related shootings in America.

"I want to see an America where when young black men walk down the street, they will not be harassed by police officers," he said, pausing when the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Raising his hands, Sanders added "They will not be killed and not be shot."

Outside the convention hall, O'Malley and Clinton supporters who didn't have tickets to the dinner chanted at each other as cars honked in downtown Cedar Rapids. All of the candidates stayed till the end of the event and worked the room afterwards.

The politicking continues Saturday in Iowa as 10 Republican presidential candidates will discuss their vision for the country at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames.

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