Hillary Clinton Responds To Bernie Sanders’ Judgment Remark With A List Of People Who Think She’s Got It
During Thursday night's Democratic presidential primary debate, Hillary Clinton responded to Bernie Sanders' judgement remark, and defended herself from his recent comments about her being unqualified. It was one of many simmering lines of attack that have surfaced in the Democratic primary campaign of late ― during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, the Vermont senator stated that he didn’t believe Clinton was qualified, on the basis of her campaign fundraising from large financial institutions.
And on Thursday night, Clinton responded to that charge, and to Sanders' questions about her judgment (centered largely around her vote to authorize the Iraq War in 2002), turning the question of preparedness around on him. She specifically cited his recent interview with the New York Daily News, which has been characterized by the Clinton campaign and some political observers as exposing a lack of specific policy knowledge on Sanders' part.
Clinton cited that interview, saying, "Even his core issue, breaking up the banks. When asked, he could not explain how that would be done." She also responded to the specific criticism of her qualifications, saying she hadn't heard that said of herself before:
Senator Sanders did call me unqualified. I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, that was a first.
The above quote, also part of Clinton's impassioned and unapologetic defense, was in response to Sanders and his campaign's demand that she release the transcripts of her high-earning speeches to major Wall Street financial institutions, and the more general suggestion that Clinton's fundraising from Wall Street would influence her decision-making on policy. As she has in previous debates, Clinton pressed Sanders to specifically cite an instance where he felt she'd been influenced that way.
Sanders, for his part, backed off somewhat from the stauncher rhetoric he'd used on the trail days before. He stated that the remarks were an in-kind response due to questioning of his qualifications by Clinton, and perhaps in an effort to tamp down the issue, lauded Clinton's "experience" and "intelligence." Said Sanders:
Does Secretary Clinton have the experience and intelligence to be president? Of course she does.
All in all, the Thursday night Brooklyn debate was the most contentious between the two candidates so far, with volumes raising a number of times throughout. And that tone was set from the very start by Clinton and Sanders' verbal sparring over the increasingly caustic campaign rhetoric of the last several days.