A long-simmering feud between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over who is the real “progressive” in the Democratic presidential race broke into the open Wednesday, with the two rivals trading barbs on the campaign trail and in social media.
It started after Sanders, speaking Tuesday in New Hampshire following Clinton’s narrow win in the Iowa caucuses, said Clinton is only a progressive “some days.”
“Except when she announces that she is a proud moderate, and then I guess she is not a progressive,” Sanders said.
Clinton fired back Wednesday on Twitter.
She called Sanders’ remarks a “low blow” and repeated her defense during an appearance in New Hampshire, where polls show she is trailing Sanders ahead of next week’s primary.
“I think it was a good day for progressives when I joined with colleagues in the Senate to stop George W. Bush from privatizing Social Security,” she said, “and it was another good day when I went to Geneva to speak out on behalf of gay rights and Beijing to speak out on behalf of women’s rights.
“We’ve been fighting the progressive fight and getting results for people for years, so I hope we keep it on the issues because if it’s about our records, hey, I’m going to win by a landslide on Tuesday,” she added.
The fight is sure to continue when the two meet for a debate Thursday.
Sanders did not give any ground in a series of Twitter messages later, noting the campaign contributions she has received from the financial industry, her support for the Iraq War, and her late opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.
“You can be a moderate. You can be a progressive. But you cannot be a moderate and a progressive,” Sanders said.
“She’s a progressive through and through—a progressive, though, who likes to get things done and often times that means meeting people in the middle,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said Wednesday on CNN.