In the Democratic Debate, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Clash on Immigration
Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders clashed vividly over immigration reform and deportations during a contentious debate in Miami on Wednesday night. The two Democrats made aggressive appeals to Hispanic voters while also making the case that each would be the strongest candidate against Donald J. Trump, the Republican front-runner, in the general election.Mrs. Clinton, bruised by her surprise loss in the Michigan primary a day earlier, relentlessly attacked Mr. Sanders for opposing a 2007 bill that would have created a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the country illegally. Aiming her remarks at the large Hispanic audience watching on Univision, a Spanish-language sponsor of the debate, Mrs. Clinton portrayed herself as a defender of immigrant parents and children and argued that Mr. Sanders was not a fighter on the issue.
“We had Republican support,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We had a president willing to sign it. I voted for that bill. Senator Sanders voted against it.”
She refused to let up when Mr. Sanders explained that he thought the guest worker provisions in the bill were “akin to slavery.” Mrs. Clinton argued that she, Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Hispanic groups would never have supported such a bill. Her broadsides finally became too much for Mr. Sanders when she accused him of supporting “vigilantes known as Minutemen who were taking up outposts along the border to hunt down immigrants.”
“No, I do not support vigilantes — that is a horrific statement, an unfair statement to make,” Mr. Sanders said. “Madam Secretary, I will match my record against yours any day of the week.”
In their final debate before primaries in Florida, Ohio and other states on Tuesday, the two Democrats were a study in contrasts as they made stark appeals to the demographic groups they have come to prize. Mrs. Clinton stuck to her promise to “knock down barriers” in employment and housing and to champion criminal justice reform and Social Security, hoping these priorities would inspire Hispanics, African-Americans and the elderly and deliver her landslide victories in Florida and North Carolina.
Mr. Sanders’s rallying cries against the “rigged economy” and “establishment politics” were aimed at liberals, young people, working-class white voters and independents who could be decisive for him in Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, his top targets next week.
The Democratic debate, the eighth since October, came just three days after the candidates’ last face-off in Flint, Mich., and less than 24 hours after Mr. Sanders was declared the winner of that state’s primary. His unexpected victory infused the Sanders campaign with excitement and fund-raising momentum: He was on track to raise $5 million in online donations in the ensuing 24 hours.
I caught part of the debate and they were going at it pretty good though no references to hand size.
I won’t vote for either but I’m so glad that Bernie is staying in for the long haul. I’m sure Hillary thought this time she’d get the coronation she deserved.