Bernie Sanders speaks during the second Democratic presidential primary debate in the Sheslow Auditorium of Drake University in Des Moines, IO on Nov. 14, 2015.
Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images
By Maya Rhodan
November 15, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders quickly pivoted from the Paris attacks back to his domestic policy-focused stump speech at the start of Saturday night’s Democratic debate.

After a debate introduction began with a moment of silence, CBS debate moderator John Dickerson asked the candidates to comment on Friday night’s attacks, which left more than 129 dead.

Sanders said he was “shocked” and “disgusted” by the attacks, for which ISIS terrorists have claimed responsibility, and vowed that the U.S. would lead the world to “rid our planet of this barbarous organization.” But immediately thereafter shifted back to his domestic policy.

“I’m running for president because,” Sanders said, “what I hear is people’s concerned that the economy we have is a rigged economy.”

His campaign, the Vermont Senator said, is about a “political revolution.” He also did not change his previous statements that climate change is the greatest threat to national security.

Before the debate, the Sanders campaign argued with CBS about the format of the debate, with operatives from a rival campaign claiming the argument was in part about the shift to foreign policy—a claim the campaign denied.

The debate focused on foreign policy and the response to the Paris attacks for the first 36 minutes.

Read Next: Democrats Focus on Security in the Wake of Paris Attacks

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