Sanders, Kasich, and Russia


Elissa Dallimore, Writer


On May 15th, 2017, CNN hosted a debate between former presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and John Kasich to discuss issues facing the country. The primary topics discussed were concerns over Russia, healthcare, and tax reform.

However, in the duration of the hour-long debate, the only topic that was discussed was that of Russia. The five questions that were asked centered on recent developments concerning former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the firing of former FBI director James Comey, and President Trump’s response to each of the events. Both former candidates agreed that a special prosecutor needed to be appointed, which was done in the days following. In addition, the comments revealed through Comey’s testimony detailing Trump encouraging him to stop investigating Michael Flynn is considered to amount to obstruction of justice by both Sanders and Kasich.

Although specific details on how the investigation should be handled separated the former candidates, they both agreed on the general premise of the issues. As a result, both Kasich and Sanders began to tire of questions focusing on Russia after thirty minutes had been spent discussing it in depth. Despite attempts by both participants to change the debate to the topic of specific policy issues, such as healthcare, the moderators continued to focus on Russia and admitted it was due to a favorable viewing rate.

When the moderators took heed of the exasperation of the former candidates, they took to asking about the 2020 Presidential Election, asking whether there would be a joint Sanders-Kasich ticket on the ballot. Both Kasich and Sanders expressed the discontent of the working class with the current political parties, and looked to France as an example of a strong, independent candidate winning the presidential election.

“I thought that both Kasich and Sanders made a lot of good points about this current political atmosphere and how important it is to listen to people [who] have views that differ from your own views,” commented Senior Ryan Rosenberg.

The debate was cut short with a plea from Sanders to focus on the increasing wealth inequality that is prevalent in America. Moderators mentioned a follow-up debate that would focus on discussing health care, including how Obamacare should be reformed or even replaced.

Some Oakdale students agreed with Sanders.

“I thought the debate itself was lackluster… Income inequality, healthcare, and money in politics would have been great issues to discuss,” explained Senior Alexander Queiroz.

Although the debate was considered much more civilized than previous debates, once again the vital need to discuss policy issues was shunned – and citizens took notice.


Boggioni, Tom. “WATCH: Bernie Sanders Debates John Kasich on CNN Town Hall.” Raw Story, Raw Story, 16 May 2017, Accessed 22 May 2017.