Democratic Debate to Shift Focus After Paris Attacks

The moderators of Saturday night's Democratic debate will change their questions after the deadly attacks in Paris, steering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her challengers for the Democratic nomination into new territory.

The Democratic candidates can now expect to face more questions from the CBS moderators on national security, foreign policy and terrorism, the network said Saturday.

"Last night's attacks are a tragic example of the kind of challenges American Presidents face in today's world and we intend to ask the candidates how they would confront the evolving threat of terrorism," CBS News Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief Christopher Isham said in a statement.

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The terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed at least 120 people in half a dozen locations across the city, is among the deadliest terrorist acts of the 21st century and has left the city reeling. It will also call attention to the presidential candidates foreign policy bona fides in a race that has thus far largely been about the economy and domestic issues.

For the Democratic candidates, who have been preparing for weeks for the debate, the changes will come as a last-minute surprise, one that is likely to favor Hillary Clinton, the candidate with the most foreign policy experience.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley have signaled they intend to attack Clinton in the debate, but in the aftermath of the carnage in Paris, political infighting could appear unseemly.

“American leadership is put to the test,” Steve Capus, executive editor of CBS News told the New York Times Friday night. “The entire world is looking to the White House. These people are vying to take over this office... there is no question that the emphasis changes dramatically.”

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Charlie Riedel—AP
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