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Bernie Sanders says debate performance prompted $1.3 million in donations

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders did not mince words at the first Democratic debate in Las Vegas, where he talked about Wall Street, NSA surveillance and climate change. (Video: Victoria M. Walker/The Washington Post)

LAS VEGAS — The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said it raised $1.3 million Tuesday in the four hours after the Democratic debate began.

Sanders appears to have successfully parlayed his most-talked about moment during the debate — telling Hillary Rodham Clinton that “the American people are sick and tired of talking about your damn e-mail” — into a sharp uptick in donations.

A Sanders solicitation e-mailed to supporters while the debate was still going on included a video of the moment and seeks donations “before Bernie steps off the stage.”

In the video, Sanders argues that there are far more important things to discuss than Clinton’s use of private e-mail as secretary of state. Among them, he said, were the collapse of the middle class and the number of young people looking for decent jobs.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, said the money raised Tuesday reflects the enthusiasm for his campaign. During the previous quarter, Sanders said that he raised $26 million while Clinton raised about $28 million.