Sanders says Clinton not qualified to be president as war of words escalates in Democratic race

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 9:02 AM

Bernie Sanders said his front-running rival Hillary Clinton was "not qualified" to be president because of "special-interest" contributions to her super PAC.

Sanders says Clinton not qualified to be president as war of words escalates in Democratic race

The Democratic presidential race got even uglier Wednesday — pulling outsiders into the fray — as Sen. Bernie Sanders said his front-running rival Hillary Clinton was "not qualified" to be president because of "special-interest" contributions to her super PAC.

"She has been saying lately that she thinks that I'm quote-unquote not qualified to be president," Sanders told a crowd of more than 10.000 people at Temple University'south Liacouras Middle in Philadelphia. "I don't believe that she'south qualified if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special-interest funds."

"I don't think you're qualified if you obtain million from Wall Str through your super PAC," Sanders continued to cheers from his audience. "I don't think you're qualified if you've voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don't think you're qualified if you've supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement which has cost us millions of decent-paying jobs."

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon responded quickly to Sanders' comment, writing on Twitter: "Hillary Clinton didn't declare Bernie Sanders was `not qualified.' But he's now -- absurdly -- said it about her. This is a new low."

Indeed, Clinton didn't declare Sanders was "unqualified" or "not qualified" during a much-quoted interview Wednesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

In a discussion of an interview with Sanders that appeared in the NY Daily News, Clinton was asked if "Bernie Sanders is qualified and prepared to be president of the United States."

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She responded, "Well, I think he hadn't done his homework and he'd been talking for more than a year about doing things that he obviously hadn't really studied or understood, and that does lift a lot of questions."

Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said Wednesday evening that Sanders was responding to reports on the CNN and WA Post websites. A Post legend was headlined, "Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president."

The Democratic race has become noticeably fractious in recent weeks as Sanders has closed the delegate gap with a series of wins over Clinton, capped by Tuesday'south convincing triumph in the WI Democratic primary. The VT senator'south latest triumph prompted his campaign manager to predict that the Democratic conference in Philadelphia could become an open contest for the nomination.

“It will be an open convention, likely with neither candidate having a majority of pledged delegates," Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told CNN on Tuesday.

In response, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook blasted out a fundraising memo as Sanders was rolling to triumph in Wisconsin, saying Clinton’s delegate lead “is nearly insurmountable.”

He said the Sanders camp, in pushing for an open convention, is trying to “flip delegates’ votes, overturning the will of the voters.”

The complicating factor is the role played by “superdelegates,” party insiders free maintain whomever they want. When those delegates and “pledged” delegates awarded via primaries and caucuses are added together, Clinton has a enormous 1.748-1.058 delegate lead.

She'd necessity to win just six hundred thirty-five of the remaining delegates – roughly a third -- to obtain a majority of total delegates, or 2.383, before the convention. Given her record in the primaries so far, that’s hardly a heavy lift.

But when only pledged delegates are counted, Clinton’s lead is narrower, at 1.279-1.027.

Despite Weaver’s comment, Clinton could easily win a majority of them with roughly forty-three % of the remaining pledged delegates.

The Sanders campaign, however, may be setting the bar much higher. If they argue Clinton should win 2.383 pledged delegates to clinch the nomination – in other words, hit a majority of all delegates counting only pledged delegates – she'd necessity more than sixty % of the remaining pledged field.

Asked specifically what it'd get to avert an open convention, a DNC official reiterated that 2.383 represents the majority of all delegates, but wouldn't speculate beyond that.

FoxNews. com'south Judson Berger and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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