Sanders vs. Clinton: The Gloves Are Off

In an increasingly testy race, the sparring intensified at last night’s debate.  Both candidates attacked one another with a heretofore unseen venom.

By Matthew Pryce, PoliticKING

With the New York primary set for this coming Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton faced off in another debate.  Compared to previous meetings which could easily be characterized as gentle, and even lighthearted – this debate was a slugfest.

Even the crowd was raucous as boos, and chants of “Bernie Bernie” could be heard throughout the proceedings, but the really interesting stuff, as always, happened on the stage.

As the months of debates and wry insults have worn on the candidates, all the touchy-feely exchanges gave way to blunt exchanges, sarcasm, and frustration.

After the dust had settled, it’s somewhat difficult to say who left with the upper hand.  Vox called it for Bernie.  The crowd seemed to agree.  Hillary often had a tough time starting or finishing a thought as the Bernie camp often offered their support vocally.  Secretary Clinton had to pause and wait to deliver her final statement as Senator Sanders definitely had the crowd ignited delivering his first.

The subject matter of the debate ran the gamut of the typical issues discussed throughout this campaign season, with each candidate harping on standard planks that make up their platform – the difference, though, was definitely in the tone.

It’s clear that this contest has flung off the niceties that dominated the onset.  Now, with Sanders on a winning streak, and closing the poll gaps in the delegate-rich states that loom, Clinton is forced to recalibrate the campaign and attempted to hit Sanders where she thought she could hurt him including his gun control record and certain congressional votes, some dating back well over 20 years.

Most of these attacks, Senator Sanders dodged quite nimbly refocusing the debate on sore subjects for Clinton.  As has been a theme this election cycle, the subject of Clinton’s speech transcripts were center stage.

Most polls still show Clinton with a double-digit lead in New York.

Did Sanders do enough to make up ground?  The vote is on Tuesday, and we’ll see after the ballots are tallied. 

Hear what Tavis Smiley has to say about the upcoming New York primaries in the latest episode of PoliticKING: 

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