Senator Bernie Sanders and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton escalated their verbal wrangling Wednesday, sharply questioning each other’s liberal credentials in perhaps the most acrimonious day of their fight for the Democratic nomination.
The two conducted their dispute digitally, with posts aimed at their millions of Twitter followers, and then appeared separately in a CNN sponsored town hall meeting Wednesday night. …
Sanders, in his volley of tweets, called attention to her more “moderate” positions on a host of issues important to the party’s liberal base, including her vote to authorize the war in Iraq, ambivalence about the Keystone XL Pipeline, and support for an early draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“You can be a moderate,” Sanders said in one tweet. “You can be a progressive. But you cannot be a moderate and a progressive.”
Clinton has since said the Iraq vote war was a mistake, and she no longer supports the pipeline or the TPP agreement.
Clinton’s campaign responded Wednesday afternoon in its own series of tweets defending her record and attacking Sanders.
“This shouldn’t be a debate about who gets to define ‘progressive’ — it should be about who will get real results for American families,” stated the first tweet.
“Now, if you do want to make it about who’s a ‘real progressive,’ ” @BernieSanders, what were you on these days?” read the next tweet, which included a graphic that listed several of Sanders’ votes, including those against tighter gun control.
In my opinion, both candidates are progressive when compared to any of their possible Republican rivals, which is the only final choice we are going to get.
At a more specific level, Clinton is more progressive on gun control and will shatter a glass ceiling by becoming the first female president — huge progress for the nation. She is less progressive on regulation of Wall Street. Her management of foreign policy is subject to debate as to whether she made progress for the country or not, but she definitely has more experience in international affairs.
Sanders is more progressive on regulation of Wall Street — befitting his Vermont constituency compared to Clinton’s in her days as a senator from New York — and in general aligns more closely with the progressive wing of the democratic party on environmental and foreign policy (which doesn’t necessarily mean that Clinton is not progressive in those areas, perhaps just less progressive). He is absolutely less progressive than Clinton on gun control, and arguably not especially progressive at all on that matter (which for me is a key defining issue).
What do you think?