Politics, United States

Democratic Rivals Sparring Before the Iowa Caucus

On Sunday, democratic front-runner Hilary Clinton brought up issues like gun control and health care to put rival, Bernie Sanders on the defensive. This led to a series of sharp exchanges between the two Democratic candidates during their final debate before the presidential nomination voting begins in Iowa. According to Mrs. Clinton, her rival has a weak stand on gun-restrictions and stated that his healthcare program would also be a mistake as it would give rise to a long and controversial debate over the issue. Over the weekend, Mr. Sanders had modified his position over these areas and had to defend his actions.

Mrs. Clinton said that they were finally on the road to universal healthcare and starting all over again would point the country in the wrong direction. Wall Street regulation was another matter of contention between the two as Mr. Sanders accused Mrs. Clinton of taking too much money for campaign contributions and speaking fees from the financial sector to implement tough rules now. This was their fourth debate and highlighted some of the sharpest exchanges between the two candidates as polls have tightened considerably in the early primary states. In national polls, the former secretary of state has the lead, but Mr. Sanders is coming out on top in New Hampshire and also getting close in Iowa.

The event was used by Mr. Sanders for hammering his campaign themes on the influence of big-money donors and billionaires in Washington. He stated that he wished to bring about a political revolution that would completely change the face of politics. Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, attempted to focus on her pragmatic approach and experience for governing, especially in a divided government. The pair was in agreement in a lot of other issues ranging from battling drug addiction, national security, climate change and improving the criminal justice system.

Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor was also in agreement with the two, but is currently falling behind them in polls. Mrs. Clinton sought to turn the tables on Mr. Sanders by citing that Wall Street backing had also been provided to President Barrack Obama and is still immensely popular amongst Democratic voters. She pointed out that he had signed the Dodd-rank regulatory bill into law, which imposed new restrictions on the investment and banking industries. Nonetheless, the harshest exchanges in this faceoff were concerned with healthcare issues, particularly the single-payer national healthcare plan suggested by Mr. Sanders.

Mrs. Clinton presented a political argument against the plan and asserted that it wasn’t a good idea to start over when Republicans are still targeting the Affordable Care Plan. She also noted that even in the healthcare debate of 2009, there hadn’t been enough support for public healthcare plans as opposed to private health-insurance plans even though both houses in Congress had had a Democrats majority. In response, Mr. Sanders said that his plan was better as it was applicable on every American and there isn’t such a law currently. He also said that existing healthcare programs wouldn’t be unraveled. 

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