Clinton hits Sanders on gun control, sharpens attacks

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 7:19 AM

The inflammatory rhetoric underscores the importance of the April nineteen NY contest to her campaign and the mounting frustration of Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, with the lingering primary battle.

Clinton hits Sanders on gun control, sharpens attacks

Armed with a blistering tabloid cover, Hillary Clinton is pitting Bernie Sanders against the parents of children murdered in Sandy Hook, portion of an effort to punch her way into the critical New York primary.

The inflammatory rhetoric underscores the importance of the April nineteen NY contest to her campaign and the mounting frustration of Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, with the lingering primary battle.

That irritation spilled out into the public arena Wednesday, when Clinton released a flurry of attacks on Sanders, questioning his truthfulness, preparedness for the presidency and loyalty to Democratic party principles.

Sanders responded at a rally in Philadelphia. "She has been saying lately that she thinks that I'm quote unquote not qualified to be president," he said. "I don't believe that she's qualified if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special-interest funds." He also said Clinton isn't qualified because of her vote on the war in Iraq and her support for trade agreements that he says are harmful to American workers.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon responded quickly, 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."

During an appearance on MSNBC Wednesday morning, Clinton pointed to a NY Daily News cover criticizing Sanders for saying he didn't think victims of a gun crime should be able to sue the manufacturer. His comments came when the newspaper'south editorial board asked him about a wrongful death lawsuit against a rifle maker over the two thousand twelve massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

"That he'd space gun manufacturers' rights and immunity from liability against the parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook is just unimaginable to me," said Clinton, who's long sought to highlight the candidates' differences on guns.

In the interview with the Daily News editorial board, Sanders said he didn't think gun crime victims should be able to sue gun manufacturers. But he did declare people should be able to sue dealers and manufacturers who sell when they know "guns are going to the hands of wrong people." He also said he supported a ban on assault weapons.

Clinton'south campaign — which seized on a no of statements in the interview — organized a phone call for reporters with elected executive and gun control advocates, including Jillian Soto, whose sister was a instructor killed at Sandy Hook, called Sanders' comments "offensive."

"He doesn't know the pain my family has been going through since December fourteen, two thousand twelve," she said.

Sanders responded Wednesday by criticizing Clinton's two thousand two Senate vote in favor of the Iraq war. "Maybe Secretary Clinton might wish to apologize to the families who lost their loved ones in Iraq," he told CBS News.

Clinton also jumped on the Ltd details Sanders offered in the editorial board meeting about how he'd crack up the country'south huge financial institutions, saying he "hadn't done his homework." And in a separate interview with Politico published Wednesday, Clinton said she tries to clarify things in a more "open and truthful way than my opponent."

Later, at a Philadelphia work training center, Clinton said people should know what she'd do if she'south elected president, "not just lots of arm-waving and hot rhetoric."

Despite a sizable delegate lead, the stakes are high for Clinton in New York, the state she represented for eight years in the Senate. A loss there would be a major political blow that'd highlight her weaknesses within her own party, particularly with younger voters who have powered Sanders' primary tender and will be a crucial portion of any Democratic candidate'south common election campaign.

Clinton aides declare there'south small they can do to directly thrust Sanders out of the race. They fear any such effort could compromise her skill to win over the support she'll necessity in the general election.

Instead, her campaign is escalating its attacks in hopes of a decisive win in NY and assembling an "all but insurmountable" delegate lead by the finish of the month.

Sanders notched his sixth win out of seven primaries in WI on Tuesday night, a streak his campaign is casting as a sign of fresh momentum. If Sanders can win a huge share of delegates in NY and the five northeastern contests that follow, his aides believe they can create even larger gains in May and June contests in OR and California.

"She'south getting a tiny nervous," Sanders told supporters at a rally in WY on Tuesday night. "I believe we've an outstanding chance to win New York."

Still, Sanders' path to the nomination remains narrow. His large triumph netted him ten delegates — but Clinton still holds a huge lead in all-important delegate math.

Sanders should win sixty-eight % of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates if he hopes to clinch the Democratic nomination. That'd require blowout victories by Sanders in upcoming states huge and small.

But members of Sanders' team says they look an upside to Clinton'south tougher tone: When Clinton attacks Sanders, they say, it pulls down her favorability ratings and makes it harder for her to argue to voters that she'south honest and trustworthy.

"We've held rallies presently in every portion of the state where tens of thousands have arrive out with 24- or 48-hour notice," said Bill Lipton, NY state director of the liberal Working Families Party, which is backing Sanders. "There'south been incredible energy."

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