The gloves are finally off in the Democratic presidential primary. [score]Bernie Sanders[/score] saw the writing on the wall in Iowa and realized he’s a serious contender for the nomination, and it shows in his total 180 degree change in tone.
Remember the “nice guy” approach that Sanders displayed in the early debates, even defending Hillary Clinton against the attacks on her character throughout the email scandal?:
Well say goodbye to the Sanders-Clinton debate love fests. It’s on now.
The most heated moment at the MSNBC-hosted debate in Durham, N.H., came when Clinton told Sanders she rejects the suggestion that anyone who takes donations or speaking fees from interest groups can be bought.
“Enough is enough,” Clinton said, telling Sanders the “attacks by insinuation” are not “worthy” of him. Clinton said if Sanders has something to allege, “say it directly,” but: “You will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation that I ever received.”
She closed: “I think it’s time to end the very artful smear that you and your campaign have been carrying out in recent weeks.” That line earned a groan from Sanders and some boos from the audience. Sanders went on to link Wall Street deregulation with billions spent on lobbying and campaign contributions. “Some people think, yeah, that had some influence,” he said.
Clinton, meanwhile, described herself as a “progressive who gets things done,” and ripped Sanders for suggesting Clinton cannot be a “moderate” and a “progressive” at the same time. She teased Sanders as being the “self-proclaimed gatekeeper for progressivism” and said she doesn’t know anyone who fits his definition.
Sanders is currently crushing Clinton in New Hampshire polls, 57% to 36.5%, respectively. Clinton still holds the lead nationally by a somewhat comfortable 13.3%.
Hillary Clinton is by no means a shoe-in for the nomination anymore. This battle is only going to get more heated as next Tuesday’s primary date approaches.