Hillary Clinton & Bernie Sanders Are Asked About Climate Change & It Gets Heated (Video)

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Last night (March 9), the two front-running candidates in the Democratic quest for the presidency squared off in Miami, Florida for the Univision-sponsored debate. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders were both fired up, with the Sanders campaign capitalizing on its recent winning upset in the Michigan primary, a contest they were expected to lose by more than 20 points. Having recently debated in Flint, Michigan, the two Democratic presidential candidates visited Miami, Florida to continue proving to voters why their respective campaigns are the best for 2016 and beyond. Topics covered ranged from auto bailouts, immigration, and much more, but one particularly noteworthy thing took place for the first time in this campaign. While climate change has been discussed often in past debates, last night presented the first time a climate change-related question was explicitly asked by a moderator, a fact hard to fathom considering climate change may be the one issue that literally affects all of us. In any event, the conversation grew loud and unequivocally tense as the two fought hard to put forth plans for rectifying global warming.

“Senator Sanders, Is it possible to move forward on this issue if you do not get a bipartisan consensus? And what would you do?,” Sanders is asked. “Well first of all, Karen, when you have Republican candidates for president and congress telling you that climate change is a hoax – which is Donald Trump and other candidates’ position – what they are really saying is ‘we don’t have the guts to take on the fossil fuel industry,” which earned him great applause from the audience. He went on to say that any Republican who went against the fossil fuel industry and listened to scientists would go on to “lose campaign funding from the Koch brothers,” effectively arguing that coal and other industries have the Republican candidates in their pockets. As far as what his solution to the issue of climate change and the gridlock existing between the two parties, Senator Sanders responded by saying “we need a political revolution in this country” (cue uproarious crowd reaction). “And when millions of people stand up and tell the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits are less significant than the long-term health of this planet, we will win.”

Attention is then turned to Secretary Clinton, who is asked the same question, which she responds to by calling it a “very serious” issue with “not very much time left to do several things that I will move quickly to do.” After mentioning the rising tides in Miami, she argues that we need to “invest in resilience and mitigation while we are trying to cut emissions and make up for the fact that this is clearly man-made and man-aggravated.” She references some of the measures President Obama has already taken towards combatting the effects of climate change through executive action, which Clinton says “I will absolutely support.” She does make note of the fact that many Republicans have vowed to repeal those executive action, but Clinton assures voters that “I will maintain [President Obama’s executive actions on climate change] and act on them. The Clean Power Plan is something that Senator Sanders said he would delay implementing, which makes absolutely no sense,” at which point Sanders can be seen laughing in disbelief. Clinton finishes up her statement by arguing for a “bridge from goal to natural gas to clean energy,” saying “that is the way we will keep the lights on while we are transitioning to a clean energy future.”

Immediately following, there are some tersely worded barbs between the two candidates, many of which are being hurled at the same time. However, cutting through all of the interruptions exist two vehemently spoken promises to help this planet.

For full video of the climate change debate segment, visit Gawker.

Related: Bernie Sanders Calls Out Republicans for “Suicidal Course” on Climate Change (Video)