01:29 - Source: pbs news hour
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CNN will host a Democratic debate featuring Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Flint, Michigan

Both candidates have sparred over who would be better-suited to address poverty, racism and gun violence

CNN —  

CNN will host a Democratic presidential debate featuring Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Flint, Michigan, on March 6.

The debate, moderated by Anderson Cooper, will come amid the packed primary calendar in early March, with hundreds of delegates pledged in the days prior. Michigan voters will go to the polls two days after the event.

A massive scandal over toxic drinking-water in the largely black, and largely poor, city has made Flint a household name – and a frequent reference from both Clinton and Sanders.

Clinton has made Flint’s water crisis a central part of her pitch to black voters, visiting Flint in early February.

“This is not merely unacceptable or wrong, though it is both, what happened in Flint is immoral,” Clinton said from the pulpit of the House of Prayer Memorial Baptist Church.

Sanders has also spoken sharply on the issue, calling for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s resignation in January.

“The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint’s water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned,” Sanders said.

The debate will also take place around two hours away from the site of one of the country’s latest incidences of high-profile gun violence, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The two competitors have fought vigorously over Sanders’ record on gun control.

CNN has partnered with local news organizations, MLive and The Flint Journal, for a debate that will air live on CNN, CNN en Español and CNN International.