And then there were two.
So the Democratic presidential field is down to just two candidates, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. That meant the New Hampshire Democratic debate gave each of them more screen time — and they made sure they used it well.
The gloves were off and sparks were flying as both faced off one-on-one for the very first time, without Martin O'Malley awkwardly off to the side waiting to get attention. A lot went down during the fierce debate but some parts were certainly better than the rest.
Check out the five best zingers Sanders and Clinton lobbed at each other, and, of course, at their Republican rivals:
"Artful Smear" Campaign
Clinton has had enough of Sanders going after her past close ties with Wall Street. She made sure to let him know that she was no longer going to tolerate any speaking fee jabs.
"Time and time again, by innuendo, by insinuation, there is this attack that he is putting forth which really comes down to, you know, anybody who ever took donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought. And I just absolutely reject that, senator, and I really don't think these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you. And enough is enough," Clinton said.
"If you've got something to say, say it directly. You will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation I ever received… I think it's time to end the very artful smear you and your campaign have been carrying out,” she added.
The 2002 Vote
After 9/11, while Sanders stood against the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Clinton voted for war — a decision that comes back to haunt her even after 13 years.
Although Sanders is not as experienced in terms of foreign policy as his rival, he often uses it in his speeches to criticize the former secretary of state. But when he did it again during the New Hampshire debate, Clinton was ready.
"A vote in 2002 is not a plan to defeat ISIS," she said, pointing out Sanders’ failure to outline a clear foreign policy.
Sanders’ Iowa Caucus Response
Due to a “virtual tie” in Iowa between Clinton and Sanders — Clinton won by way of coin tosses in some counties — there have been calls for a results audit, especially by The Des Moines Register. But Sanders couldn’t care less.
"I agree with The Des Moines Register, but let's not blow this out of proportion," Sanders said when he was asked by debate moderator Chuck Todd about the controversy in Iowa. "This is not a winner-take-all thing."
For Sanders, it’s “not the biggest deal in the world.”
Clinton’s Progressivism Remark
Clinton let Sanders know, yet again, that a moderate could not be called a progressive.
“I am a progressive who gets things done. And the root of that word, progressive, is progress,” she said. “But if we're going to get into labels, I don't think it was particularly progressive to vote against the Brady Bill five times. I don't think it was progressive to give gun makers and sellers immunity. I don't think it was progressive to vote against Ted Kennedy's immigration reform. So we can go back and forth like this.”
And, Of Course, The Republican Joke
There was but only one point that saw Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in total agreement with each other.
"On our worst days, I think it is fair to say, we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate," Sanders said, as Clinton nodded her head in approval.