Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) went after Hillary Clinton early in the PBS/CNN Democratic debate on Thursday night, slightly chiding her for assuming that she’ll win not only the nomination contest, but the general election as well.
PBS moderator Gwen Ifill asked Clinton about her plans to expand the federal government and pointed out that exit polls from the New Hampshire primary Tuesday showed that most Democrats are angry or dissatisfied with the government.
“Given what you and Sen. Sanders are proposing in expanding government in almost every area of our lives, is it fair for Americans who fear government to fear you?” Ifill asked.
Clinton said it was not fair, and then encouraged people to take a hard look at her and Sanders’ proposed policies.
“It is absolutely fair and necessary for Americans to vet both of our proposals, to ask the very hard questions about what is it we think we can accomplish, why do we believe that, and what would be the results for the average American family,” she said.
“In my case,” she continued, “whether it’s healthcare, or getting us to debt-free tuition, or moving us toward paid family leave, I’ve been very specific about where I would raise the money, how much it would cost, and how I would move this agenda forward.”
Clinton then talked about how she would fund her proposals.
“I believe I can get the money that I need by taxing the wealthy, by closing loopholes — the things that we are way overdue for doing, and I think that once I’m in the White House, we will have enough political capital to do that,” she said.
That prompted Sanders to quip: “Sec. Clinton, you’re not in the White House yet,” a statement that earned some apparent groans from the audience.
“And let us be clear,” he added, “that every proposal that I have introduced has been paid for.”
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