Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton traded blows right at the onset of Thursday’s Democratic debate in New York.
CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Sanders, a Vermont senator challenging Clinton for the Democratic nomination, if he believed Clinton was “unqualified” for the presidency, which he recently suggested.
Sanders said “of course” Clinton has the experience to be president, but he does “question her judgment” because she voted for the Iraq war and supported trade agreements.
“And I question her judgment about running super PACs that are collecting tens of millions of dollars from special interests, including Wall Street,” Sanders said.
Clinton fired back, bringing up Sanders’ interview with the New York Daily News for which he was widely criticised.
“We have disagreements on policy, but if you go ahead and read Sen. Sanders long interview with the New York Daily News where he had problems answering questions about his core issues, breaking up the banks,” she said.
When asked, he could not explain how that would be done, and when asked about a number of foreign-policy issues, he could not answer about Afghanistan, Israel, counterterrorism, unless he had a paper in front of him. I think you need to have the judgment on day one to be both president and commander in chief.
Sanders circled back to his attack over Clinton’s vote for the Iraq war and the super PACs supporting her campaign.
Clinton responded saying that attacking her for having super PACs is an attack on President Barack Obama as well.
Many in the crowd appeared to groan at the statement.
“You may not like the answer, but I’ll tell you why,” she said. “Obama had a super PAC, Obama took tens of millions from contributors. And he wasn’t influenced.”
“This is a phony attack that is designed to raise questions when there is no evidence,” she added.