The contest between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton for a decisive New York victory is heating up, and the tone of the Democratic race is keeping pace. In response to Clinton’s comments on Morning Joe Wednesday that Sanders is a “relatively new Democrat” who hasn’t “done his homework” on key issues, Sanders unleashed his most pointed attack yet against his rival at an event in Philadelphia.
“She has been saying lately that she thinks that I am, quote unquote, not qualified to be president,” he said of Clinton, according to Politico. “Well let me just say, in response to Secretary Clinton: I don’t think you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC.”
He went on to take aim at her foreign-policy record:
I don’t think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don’t think you are qualified if you’ve supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement, which has cost us millions of decent-paying jobs. I don’t think you are qualified if you supported the Panama free trade agreement — something I very strongly opposed and which, as all of you know, has allowed corporations and wealthy people all over the world to avoid paying their taxes to their countries.
However, as a spokesperson for Clinton pointed out, she didn’t technically say he wasn’t qualified to be president. Rather, she declined to say he is qualified three times and finally said she’d “leave it to voters to decide who can do the job that the country needs.”
But after Clinton’s initial comments, the Sanders team sent out a fundraising email saying her campaign was “getting impatient” and deploying a “new strategy” called “disqualify him, defeat him,” and “unify the party later.” “We knew they were getting nervous, but candidly, we didn’t think they would go this negative so quickly,” the email reads. “We have to be ready for what comes next.”
What comes next is New York — the state’s April 19 primary already seems to be stripping all pretense of civility from the Democratic ranks.