Clinton says Sanders making promises that ‘cannot be kept’

  • By JULIE PACE and CATHERINE LUCEY
  • Friday, February 12, 2016 1:04am
  • NewsNation-World

MILWAUKEE — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tangled over the price tag and practicality of his plans for expanded government programs in Thursday night’s Democratic debate, with Clinton accusing her rival of making promises “that cannot be kept.”

Clinton and Sanders split the first two states in the Democratic primary battle, potentially setting the stage for a long fight for the party’s nomination. After contests in overwhelmingly white states, the race now turns to states with more racially diverse populations.

While Sanders has energized young people with his call for free tuition at public colleges and universities, as well as a government-run, single-payer health care system, Clinton said those proposals come with unrealistic price tags. And she accused Sanders of trying to shade the truth about what she said would be a 40 percent increase in the size of the federal government in order to implement his policies.

“I feel like we have to level with people,” she said.

Sanders didn’t put a price on his policies, but neither did he shy away from the notion that he wants to expand the size of government.

“In my view, the government of a democratic society has a moral responsibility to play a vital role in making sure all our people have a decent standard of living,” Sanders said.

The head-to-head contest between Clinton and Sanders was pointed, yet polite — a contrast to what has become an increasingly heated contest on the campaign trail. While Clinton played the aggressor in the previous Democratic debate, her campaign is mindful of a need to not turn off Sanders’ voters, particularly the young people that are supporting him in overwhelming numbers.

Clinton is hoping to offset Sanders’ backing from those young Americans by drawing support from the black and Hispanic voters who make up a big share of the electorate in Nevada, South Carolina and other states that come next on the primary calendar.

The former secretary of state cast herself as best prepared to address persistent racial inequality in the United States, putting forward the outlines of a plan she said would extend beyond addressing a criminal justice system that sees blacks incarcerated at higher rates.

“We’re going to emphasize education, jobs and housing,” she said.

Sanders has focused his campaign almost exclusively on a call to break up big Wall Street banks and overhaul the current campaign finance system that he says gives wealthy Americans undue influence. Mindful that he needs to expand his appeal to minority voters, he said the rigged economy he has railed against disproportionality impacts black and Hispanic communities.

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