Clinton, Sanders camps squabble over NY debate, latest in presently contentious primary

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Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 4:29 AM

Bernie Sanders’ challenge to debate him in NY ahead on the state’s April nineteen primary, but the final negotiations have resulted in the kind of acrimony the has pervaded their primary contest in recent days.

Clinton, Sanders camps squabble over NY debate, latest in presently contentious primary

The Clinton campaign has met rival Sen. Bernie Sanders’ challenge to debate him in NY ahead on the state’s April nineteen primary, but the final negotiations have resulted in the kind of acrimony the has pervaded their primary contest in recent days.

The Clinton campaign said Saturday that the Sanders team rejected three days offered this week: Monday night, the evening of April fourteen or on ABC’s April fifteen “Good Morning America” show.

“The Sanders campaign needs to stop using the NY primary as a playground for political games and negative attacks against Hillary Clinton,” said Clinton National Press Secretary Brian Fallon.

He said the Monday date was apparently rejected because the Sanders campaign wanted the debate after Tuesday’s Milwaukee primary and that the April fourteen and fifteen offers still stand.

Clinton has a enormous delegate lead over Sanders in the race to win the Democratic nomination in July. However, Sanders is on roll, having recently upset Clinton in the MI primary and taken five of the latest six state contests. And polls indicate he’s in a tight race with Clinton in Wisconsin.

A loss in delegate-rich WI or NY would be a major setback for Clinton, particularly in New York, her adopted residence state for which she was a U. S. senator. Sanders was born in Brooklyn.

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“We are very pleased that Secretary Clinton finally has accepted our request for a debate,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said in response to the offers. “Unfortunately, the dates and venues she's proposed don’t create a whole lot of sense.”

Briggs the Monday night idea is “ludicrous,” considering the NCAA men’s basketball finals are being played at that time and Syracuse could be one of the teams.

He left open the opportunity of compromise by saying, “We hope we can reach agreement in the near future.”

However, the episode capped an particularly scrappy week for the campaigns.

Clinton snapped at a Greenpeace protester. She linked Sanders and Tea party Republicans. And she bristled with annoyance when nearly two dozen Sanders supporters marched out of an event close her residence outside NY City, shouting "if she wins, we lose."

"They don't wish to hear to anyone else," she shot back. "We actually have to do something. Not just grumble about what is happening."

After a year of campaigning, months of debates and thirty-five primary elections, Sanders is finally getting below Clinton'south skin in the Democratic presidential race.

Clinton has spent weeks largely ignoring Sanders and trying to focus on Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Now, after several primary losses and with a tough fight in NY on the horizon, Clinton is showing flashes of frustration with the VT senator — irritation that could destroy her efforts to unite the party around her candidacy.

According to Democrats near to Hillary and former President Bill Clinton, both are frustrated by Sanders' skill to cast himself as over politics-as-usual even while firing off what they consider to be misleading attacks. The Clintons are even more annoyed that Sanders' approach seems to be rallying — and keeping — youthful voters by his side.

While Hillary Clinton'south team contends her lock on the nomination as "nearly insurmountable," the campaign frequently grumbles that Sanders hasn't faced the same level of scrutiny as the former secretary of state, NY senator and first lady. Her aides grumble about Sanders' rhetoric, claiming he'south broken his pledge to avert character attacks by going after her paid speeches and ties to Wall Street, and they point to scenes of Sanders supporters booing Clinton'south title at his rallies.

Actress Rosario Dawson'south 15-minute speech at a NY City rally on Thursday, in which she rallied the crowd by crying "shame on you, Hillary" and well-known that Clinton could soon face an FBI interview over the email controversy while at the State Department, underscored the growing tensions between the campaigns.

Clinton hopes that huge victories in NY and five Northeastern states a week later will authorize her to wrap up the nomination by the finish of the month.

But aides acknowledge that Sanders, who'south raised $109 million this year and has pledged to get his campaign to the party conference in July, is unlikely to perceive significant political or financial pressure to drop out of the race, even if it becomes clear he cannot win the nomination.

Clinton stayed in the two thousand eight contest against Barack Obama until the bitter end, though her initial advantage with superdelegates, who later flipped to the IL senator, gave her a stronger case for the nomination.

Unlike eight years ago, when CA Sen. Dianne Feinstein brought Clinton and Obama together for a meeting, few Democrats are in position to broker peace between Clinton and Sanders. For most of his political career, Sanders identified as an independent — not a Democrat — leaving him with distant weaker ties to party powerbrokers.

According to an Associated Press analysis, Sanders should win sixty-seven % of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates — party leaders and executive who can support any candidate — through June to be able to clinch the Democratic nomination. So distant he'south only winning thirty-seven percent.

Joel Benenson, Clinton'south chief strategist, said: "We're going to obtain to a point at the finish of April where there just isn't sufficient genuine estate for him to overcome the lead that we've built."

Still, any kind of truce is probably weeks, if not months, away.

For now, Sanders is costing Clinton significant time, money and political capital. His victories in recent Western caucuses underscored her weaknesses among younger and white working-class voters, necessary elements of the Democratic coalition. He'south favored in the WI primary Tuesday.

Sanders is drawing sizable crowds in New York, attracting 18.500 to rally in the S Bronx on Thursday. A triumph in that state, which Clinton represented for two terms in the Senate, would deal a significant psychological blow to her campaign, rattling Democrats already worried about her high national disapproval ratings.

Clinton is more reliant on traditional fundraising than is Sanders, who'south raised the bulk of his money online. Even as she prepares for New York'south primary, she's scheduled fundraisers before then in Denver, Virginia, Miami and Los Angeles — at the residence of actor George Clooney.

She needs to continue raising primary dollars because June contests in CA and NJ will be expensive. Sanders faces fewer financial anxieties.

Sanders adviser Tad Devine said the senator wasn't encouraging his supporters to disrupt Clinton'south events and was focused on his own message. But he also said the campaign would reply when Clinton mischaracterizes Sanders' records and positions.

Her attacks, he said, only help Sanders.

"When your attacks against your opponent feed the biggest weakness that you have, you're undermining yourself," said Devine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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