IT WAS supposed to be the night when the Democratic presidential candidates slugged it out against each other.
But the biggest cheer of the night during their first debate was when the two front-runners came to an agreement.
Left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders got a standing ovation when he addressed the controversy of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server whilst she was Secretary of State.
He said: “The American public is sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”
As the crowd roared with approval Mrs Clinton smiled broadly and shook his hand, saying: “Thank you, Bernie.”
Unlike the Republican presidential debate, no candidate drew blood in a lively but well-mannered encounter on live US TV.
It was Mrs Clinton’s strongest showing so far on the campaign trail and she came across as well briefed and putMr Sanders, her closest rival, under pressure.
The other three candidates barely got a look in as the two went head to head.
Mr Sanders, who spent his honeymoon in Soviet Russia and is viewed as America’s answer to Jeremy Corbyn, said he was not a capitalist and that America should be more like Denmark. He urged voters to “mobilise our people to take back our government from a handful of billionaires” and called for a “political revolution”.
But Mrs Clinton went on the offensive and said that “we are not Denmark, we are the United States of America”.
She said: “It’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism but we would be making a big mistake to turn our backs on what made the greatest middle class in the history of the world.”
The former Secretary of State was asked if Sanders was tough enough on gun control and replied: “No, not at all.”
Mr Sanders represents Vermont, a rural state with relaxed gun laws, and has voted against tougher firearms control despite America having had 1,001 mass shootings in the last two years. Mrs Clinton won a huge round of applause when she said: “This has gone on too long and it’s time the entire country stood up against the NRA [National Rifle Association].”
Mr Sanders replied: “We can raise our voices but I come from a rural state and the views on gun control are different in rural states than they are in urban states whether we like it or not.”
Mrs Clinton neutralised her support for the Iraq War by saying President Obama trusted her on foreign policy enough to make her his Secretary of State.
Addressing voters who did not want another Clinton in the White House, she said: “I certainly am not campaigning to become president because my last name is Clinton.”
Over the two hours of the debate in Las Vegas, televised by CNN, Mr Sanders and Mrs Clinton agreed on the need for extended paid leave, more action on climate change and tougher Wall Street regulations.
Mrs Clinton, who has received tens of millions in support from bankers, claimed that she told Wall Street to “cut it out” in 2007 before the financial crash.Mr Sanders responded: “Congress does not regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress.”
Vice-president Joe Biden has not declared if he will run but polls show 48 per cent of Democrats want him to enter the race.