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Sanders’s ‘yuge’ Twitter moment during debate with Clinton

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For many critics of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, one moment at Sunday night’s Democratic debate in Flint, Mich., stood out: the 74-year-old, finger-wagging Vermont legislator trying to hush rival Hillary Clinton with the exhortation, “Excuse me, I’m talking!” To some, this moment crystallized what Sanders’s detractors have been saying about him for weeks: that he’s condescending, cantankerous and sexist.

As Buzzfeed’s Evan McMorris-Santoro put it, Sanders “snapped” at Clinton: “There were audible groans in the press filing center near the debate site on the campus of the University of Michigan at Flint,” he wrote.

A Clinton staffer jumped on the exchange immediately:

Yet, when Twitter shared its “most-tweeted moments,” as it does after many debates and townhalls in this primary season, Sanders’s supposed offense came in at No. 2. The top spot was taken by the senator’s admitted reluctance to use the word “huge” — which, in the New Yawk accent he shares with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, comes out “yuge.” The quip came in response to a serious query from debate moderator Anderson Cooper.

Cooper: “Are you suggesting that [Clinton] is in the pocket of the fossil-fuel industry?”

Sanders: “No. What I’m suggesting is that we have a corrupt campaign-finance system. And instead of standing up to that finance system, Secretary Clinton has a super-PAC which is raising huge amounts of — well, I hate to say the word ‘yuge’ … a lot of money from Wall Street and the fossil-fuel industry.” He added: “I am doing it a different way. I have 5 million individual contributors.”

Bernie Sanders wags his finger a lot, and people are starting to talk about it

Twitter’s No. 3 “most-tweeted moment” came when Sanders and Clinton talked about their faith. The very deep question for Sanders: “Do you believe that God is relevant — why or why not?”

Sanders: “Well, I think — well, the answer is yes, and I think when we talk about God whether it is Christianity, or Judaism, or Islam, or Buddhism, what we are talking about is what all religions hold dear. And, that is to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” In response to a question from Cooper on whether he kept his “Judaism in the background,” he added: “I am very proud of being Jewish, and that is an essential part of who I am as a human being.”

A different version of the same difficult question for Clinton: “To whom and for whom do you pray?”

Clinton: “I have said many times that I am a praying person. And if I hadn’t been during the time I was in the White House, I would have become one. Because it’s very hard to imagine living under that kind of pressure without being able to fall back on prayer and on my faith.”

Winners and losers from the seventh Democratic presidential debate

Sanders led Clinton and Republican candidates in “Ranked follower growth,” as Twitter also noted. Trump came in second:

1. @BernieSanders
2. @RealDonaldTrump
3. @HillaryClinton
4. @TedCruz
5. @MarcoRubio

And the social platform also noted the “most-tweeted topics”:

1. U.S. economy
2. Foreign affairs
3. Guns
4. Energy and the environment
5. National security

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