UPDATE: 10:55 p.m. EST -- When questioned over her ties to Wall Street, Hillary Clinton -- a former U.S. senator from New York -- argued that “I think Sen. Sanders’ target is too small, I really do. I respect him going after the big banks. I agree with him, no bank is too big to fail, no executive too big to jail. ... I want to go after all the other culprits,” and vowed to go after every transgressive company from pharmaceuticals businesses to insurance companies.
CNN's Anderson Cooper mentioned that Clinton had previously made paid speeches for financial firm Goldman Sachs, asking her if that was a mistake. In response, she argued that she has made speeches for a number of groups and that she does not regret it.
Moving to the decriminalization of marijuana, Clinton called for more research and that she had “no doubt” there are real health benefits for people who use the right amount and the right kind of marijuana. She also touched on the addiction problem in New Hampshire, saying the U.S. need more answers about marijuana and more treatment for addiction.
UPDATE: 10:30 p.m. EST -- Hillary Clinton took the stage next at Wednesday night's town hall in New Hampshire, with CNN's Anderson Cooper kicking things off by asking whether she does better fighting from behind.
"I have an uphill climb and I am going to climb as high and hard as I can,” Clinton said.
Cooper noted that young women are not rallying around Clinton, despite the fact that she could be the first female president.
“They don’t have to be for me, but I’ll be for them,” Clinton said, referring to young people.
The former U.S. secretary of state and U.S. senator from New York acknowledged her record of fighting for universal health care, saying she is going to fix what needs to be fixed in contrast to Sanders’ call for a “political revolution.”
Questioned about whether she would consider applying a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees, Clinton claimed she has a “bunch of litmus tests” for nominees. She said she supported preserving the high court's decision on marriage equality, as well as Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. She was also asked by a cancer patient about her views on end-of-life choices, in which she touched on the importance of the issue and the need for discussion, but did not take a clear position.
One voter asked whether Clinton could rule out U.S. military action. She paused, and said no. Military action must always be a last resort, she said, but vowed to be careful and deliberate when making hard choices about U.S. force, and pledged to be transparent with the American public.
When asked how she would handle right-wing attacks after she takes office, Clinton responded, “I’ve had a lot of practice,” drawing laughter from the audience. “It is a brutal experience. … I have had to learn how to take criticisms seriously but not personally.”
Clinton also spoke at some length about her religious faith, saying that her scripture studies help her balance the need for both confidence and humility.
UPDATE: 9:55 p.m. EST -- After an audience member questioned whether Sanders would be able to complete two terms in office, Cooper noted that the Vermont senator would be 83 years old by the end of his second term.
“If I am fortunate enough to win the general election, and we do well, yes I would like to run for re-election,” Sanders said.
Cooper circled back to Sanders’ previous comments about Clinton not being progressive, and in response Sanders praised the former secretary of state, but added, “I do not know any progressive that has a super PAC and takes $15 million from Wall Street.”
Confronted with a question about heroin and drug abuse, Sanders argued that substance abuse and addiction is a health issue and not a criminal issue, referring to his plan of universal health care and that people who need treatment should be able to get it, calling for a revolution in mental health care.
Sanders also took on Republican candidate Donald Trump, urging voters to take a look at Trump's track record and agenda. He cited Trump’s position of not wanting to raise the minimum wage, and noted the billionaire’s views that climate change is a “hoax.”
“I want Trump to win the Republican nomination. … I would love the opportunity to run against him,” Sanders said.
Cooper did not ask Sanders about guns, a controversial topic that Clinton has slammed him on.
UPDATE: 9:30 p.m. EST -- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took the stage first in Wednesday night’s Democratic Party town hall event in New Hampshire. He began with acknowledging how far his campaign has come, describing himself as an underdog.
“Of course we’re an underdog, we are taking on the most powerful political organization in the country,” Sanders said, referring to the Hillary Clinton organization.
When asked by moderator Anderson Cooper about comments that created a media firestorm earlier Wednesday about rival candidate Hillary Clinton not always being progressive, Sanders said, “You can’t be a moderate and a progressive. They are different.”
Cooper questioned Sanders about comments that he is not active in organized religion. Sanders responded that faith and spirituality have been guiding principles in his life.
“We are all in this together, and when children go hungry, when veterans are out on the street, it impacts me,” Sanders said, drawing strong applause from the crowd.
In defeating the Islamic State group, Sanders called for a large coalition of troops from Muslim nations, with other countries providing support. He added that internally, the U.S. needs to strengthen its intelligence operations. When asked by Cooper why voters support Clinton over Sanders on foreign policy, Sanders said it was because of Clinton's experience as secretary of state, but noted that Clinton backed the U.S. invasion of Iraq while she was a senator from New York, while he did not.
Sanders also explained how he would improve local policing, citing his experience as a mayor of Burlington, Vermont. He said if a police officer breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable. He also called for the demilitarizing of local police departments and to make those departments as racially and ethnically diverse as the communities they serve, and to re-think the use of lethal force.
On the heels of Iowa’s caucuses, Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are scheduled to take the stage Wednesday night for a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire.
Clinton had a razor-thin win in Iowa Monday night with 49.9 percent to Sanders’ 49.6 percent. Her aides have attempted to “cast her as an underdog,” according to CNN, acknowledging New Hampshire’s proximity to Vermont and its largely white electorate.
“We are running to be competitive right now,” Mike Vlacich, Clinton’s New Hampshire state director, said on Tuesday, CNN reported. “At the end of the day, we still have a lot of work that we can do here in the next week.”
Less than a week ahead of the New Hampshire primaries, a University of Massachusetts Lowell/WHDH TV survey released Wednesday revealed Sanders leads as the Democratic presidential front-runner by 33 points among Democrats in the state, the Hill reported.
“One of the things I love about New Hampshire voters is you sift through it, you give it the once-over, you make up your minds about what makes sense,” Clinton said, the Los Angeles Times reported. “You take a hard look about what people are proposing. You ask yourselves: Does this just sound good on paper or can this get done, and who’s most likely to be able to deliver what you need?”
Both candidates have planned intensive campaigns in the Granite State, and Sanders’ team has planned to spend over $1 million on TV ads, according to the New York Times.
Candidates are expected to answer questions, but not debate, during Wednesday night’s town hall. The event will be moderated by CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper and is scheduled to run from 9 to 11 p.m. EST on CNN. The candidates are also scheduled to face off Thursday night in a debate at the University of New Hampshire. That event is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. EST on MSNBC.