10:44 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., smiles as he is asked about running for president during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday

    And the Big Winner of the GOP Presidential Debate? Bernie Sanders

    © AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster
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    Turns out, the victor of Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate in Cleveland wasn’t actually one of the 10 nomination hopefuls on the stage. Tt was none other than Bernie Sanders - and his Twitter account.

    Sanders, the senator from Vermont whose massive campaign stop turnouts and no-holds-barred calls for political revolution have placed him firmly as Clinton’s number one competition, live-tweeted his thoughts on the debate, using the hashtag #DebateWithBernie.

    "Listen closely, and this is what they will tell you," Sanders predicted of the debate. 

    "They want to give more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires at a time when the rich are getting much richer. … Essentially, when you watch that debate, just imagine if you are one of the wealthiest people in this country and extremely greedy and selfish, and you're going to have 10 candidates more or less talking about your needs and not the needs of the working people."

    It’s clear that Sanders’ take on the debate resonated with many: the candidate gained over 10K new followers during the live-tweeted conversation.

    Sanders, surprising even himself, actually agreed with Senator Rand Paul on fighting terrorism while protecting the constitution, as he discussed domestic government surveillance.

    Perhaps even more shockingly, Sanders admitted that Donald Trump, with his hands flying about like he was making up a new sign language, was correct in his support of a national single-payer health system.

    Mainly, though, Sanders criticised the GOP’s avoidance of issues such as making college more affordable, economic equality, criminal justice reform, and climate change.

    The Democratic presidential hopeful also called out Scott Walker on his “repeal Obamacare” sentiments, which would throw millions of people off of their health insurance, and jabbed Jeb Bush about how he wants more of the same as his brother, who cost the country millions of jobs.

    Following the debate, Sanders delivered the most retweeted GOP debate tweet of the entire evening, with nearly 25,000 retweets.

    The second place tweet was sent by Clinton: a plea for donations that came in with 5,000 retweets.

    During the debate, the hashtag #DebateWithBernie popped up 56,748 times, and his twitter handle @BernieSanders was mentioned 59,935 times.  

    Sanders seems to have his social media game on-point, and it is clear that Clinton is going to have her work cut out for her when she takes the stage to debate her outspoken challenger in October.


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