Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is pitching economic populism as he tries to win the upcoming New Hampshire presidential primary. Opening a debate on MSNBC, Sanders repeated his primary argument that the U.S. economy is rigged. Sanders' rival Hillary Clinton agreed that millions of Americans feel left out and left behind. In her opening statement, the former Secretary of State vowed not to make promises she cannot keep.
Hillary Clinton said competitor Bernie Sanders' proposals are not achievable. She said that her and Sanders share some big progressive goals, but the numbers don't add up from what the Vermont senator is proposing. She said she agrees that there should be universal coverage on healthcare, but doesn't think the Affordable Care Act should be completely destroyed. She promised to build on what President Obama has already created. On education Hillary Clinton differentiated herself from Bernie Sanders plan of tuition-free college saying she believes college should be affordable, but not free.
Sanders said Clinton represents the establishment, while he represents ordinary Americans who aren't enamored with that. The Vermont senator says his campaign has only gotten donations from over a million Americans contributing an average of $27 each and that he does not have a Super PAC. Clinton argued that she has never changed a view or a vote because of any donation she has received. She also criticized Sanders for attacking her by insinuating she is taking financial bribes.
She said powerful Wall Street interests are trying to hurt her presidential campaign. Clinton was pressed about taking a huge speaking fee from Goldman Sachs and insisted that the payment has not influenced her thinking or actions.
Clinton also said she would consider releasing the transcripts of paid speeches she has delivered since stepping down as Secretary of State. Vermont Senator Sanders cited widespread corruption on Wall Street and repeated an argument that the U.S. economy is rigged. Sanders also said the biggest financial institutions should be broken up.
The Democratic presidential candidates are not in agreement about how to handle foreign affairs. Bernie Sanders pointed out the fact that he voted against the war in Iraq back in 2002. Hillary Clinton argued that a vote in 2002 is not a plan to defeat ISIS. Sanders acknowledges that Clinton has more experience with foreign affairs since she was the Secretary of State, but he said judgment is really what counts. The former secretary pointed out that she does have good judgment since President Obama hand picked her to advise him in that position.
When it comes to Iran Hillary Clinton says the U.S. should not normalize relations with Iran. She says Iran is the principle state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders disagrees, saying enemies are exactly who America has to talk to in order to make peace. He added that normalizing relations with Iran isn't something that should be done overnight, but he hopes to improve the relationship eventually.
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