Three Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination spoke Sunday night at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual big event, the Jefferson-Jackson dinner.
At the event, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders injected a regional issue into the presidential campaign by speaking about a gas pipeline project that is controversial in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
In a plea for action against climate change, Sanders told more than 1,000 Democratic activists at Manchester’s Radisson Hotel that he opposes the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which would carry gas from New York state through western Massachusetts, into southern New Hampshire and down to Dracut.
“Right here in New Hampshire, I believe the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline that would carry fracked natural gas for 400 miles through 17 communities is a bad idea and should be opposed," Sanders said.
Sanders also noted he opposed another controversial project, the Keystone pipeline, from “day one,” as in, much earlier than did rival Hillary Clinton, who is in a tight race with Sanders in the New Hampshire primary.
Clinton spoke after Sanders, but made no mention of any pipeline project, and she spent comparatively little time talking about climate change. In the past she has called for federal regulators to pay more attention to local concerns about the proposed Kinder Morgan line.
Clinton did appear to be sharpening her rhetoric against Sanders though, taking aim at his proposal to provide free tuition for public higher education.
“When it comes to affordable college I will not spend your tax dollars paying for Donald Trump’s kids or any other millionaire or billionaire’s kids to go to college," she said. "That is not a good investment, that is not smart. I want to help middle-class, working-class, poor kids get the chance to go to college again, instead of being priced out.”
Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, had some choice words about Sanders and about Clinton, who many years ago was a Young Republican. “I was never a socialist, or a Republican — I’ve always been a Democrat," he said.
Asked after his speech about the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal, O’Malley appeared to be unaware of its specifics. He said that in general he opposes fossil fuel energy projects.
This segment aired on November 30, 2015.