Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders prepared to go head-to-head in CNN's Democratic debate Sunday in Flint, Michigan. The debate comes amid a slew of primary votes, as the two remaining candidates look to woo voters and differentiate themselves ahead of more first-round voting events.
The CNN debate, moderated by Anderson Cooper, is expected to be available for streaming online here through the cable network's website homepage. The event is set to begin at 8 p.m. EST.
Flint has become a frequently discussed campaign issue for the Democratic candidates, whereas the Republican hopefuls have mostly ignored it. The city of Flint saw a major water crisis after local authorities switched the city’s water source from Detroit water to the Flint River in 2014 in part to save money. City officials did not properly use corrosion control to keep lead out of the water, and researchers found the water contained high levels of lead at sometimes-toxic amounts.
Children in particular have suffered from health conditions that may have been caused by the lead in the water, and when news of the crisis broke earlier this year, outrage followed throughout the country. Flint has high levels of poverty and a large African-American population. Activists and commentators began to draw attention to the ways in which environmental hazards disproportionately affect poor black communities.
"This has to be a national priority," Clinton said at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint in February. "What happened in Flint is immoral,” she said, adding, “The children of Flint are just as precious as the children of any part of America."
Sanders has also looked to challenge Clinton at Sunday’s debate on her record with Wall Street as well as her trade plan, and he has been running a series of attack ads against the former Secretary of State. The state takes to the polls in a Democratic primary vote Tuesday.