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Clinton, Sanders Locked in Heated, Angry Debate

  • Ken Schwartz

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont reacts to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's answer to a question during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, Feb. 4, 2016.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont reacts to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's answer to a question during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, Feb. 4, 2016.

The two remaining Democratic presidential candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, held a tense and angry debate Thursday night in New Hampshire, days before the Northeastern state holds the nation's first presidential primary.

Clinton trails Sanders by 16 percentage points in the polls after barely beating him in the Iowa caucuses. Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley dropped out of the race after a poor showing in Iowa.

Now that voter preference actually starts to count toward who gets nominated, the cordial campaign is becoming heated, with Clinton and Sanders bickering over who is the true progressive in the race and who is beholden to big-money interests.

Clinton called herself a "progressive who gets things done," saying the senator's proposals for free college and health care are promises that cannot be kept. She said such ideas will raise taxes and make it hard for Americans to get ahead and stay ahead.

Sanders said these are not radical ideas. He said just about every other developed nation has free public college and single-payer health care for its citizens.

The senator said Clinton once called herself a moderate. Sanders said no one can be a moderate and a progressive at the same time.

Clinton seemed also genuinely offended when Sanders pointed out that she has received high speaking fees from large Wall Street financial firms. He said big money in politics and Congress is one major reason for high drug prices and energy policies that rely on fossil fuels and big oil.

Clinton called it an "artful smear" and rejected accusations that anyone getting big money is being "bought." She said she had never changed a view or a vote because of any donation.

Sanders again boasted that he had raised millions of dollars from small contributors and that he was the only candidate in the race, Democrat or Republican, without a super PAC — a political action committee that raises unlimited sums from mainly wealthy donors.

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