Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, on the eve of Michigan’s crucial primary, locked horns on the campaign trails with both trying their best to outdo each other in the Democrat debate.
“The sooner I could become your nominee, the more I can begin to turn attention to the Republicans,” Clinton told her supporters, who had gathered in the rotunda of the Wright Museum of African American History on Monday night.
Both Democrats battled for every last vote from securing their parties' nominations ahead of Tuesday’s crucial primary crisscrossing the state.
Michigan, the first major industrial state to vote, is crucial for the November election with 147 delegates for the Democrats.
Sanders, at each rally, accused Clinton of mischaracterising his 2009 vote to release funds as part of a financing package to save the auto industry.
“Secretary Clinton went out of her way to mischaracterise my history as it relates to the 2008 auto industry bailout,” Sanders said in Kalamazoo.
“Let me be as clear as I can: there was one vote in the United States Senate on whether or not to support the auto bailout and protect jobs in Michigan and around this country. I voted for the auto bailout,” he added.
Clinton and Sanders later struck in cooler debate hosted by Fox News in downtown Detroit as compared to their fierce Sunday debate.
Sanders, the Vermont senator talked about his December 2008 vote to support the bailout of the auto industry and about his remark that white people “don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto” which drew condemnation on social media.
Meanwhile, Clinton on being asked about her use of a private email server while at the State Department and whether she knowingly sent or received classified emails was quoted by New York Times as saying, “Nothing I sent was marked classified or that I received was marked classified..I have said it wasn’t the best choice to use a personal email.
It was a mistake. However, I am not alone in that. Many people in the government, past and current, have on occasion or as a practice done the same.”
Both Clinton and Sanders also talked about universal health care, abortion—a topic that rarely comes up at Democratic debates.
When asked which Republicans they have good relationships with, both Democratic candidates, hesitated.
In the recent polls, Clinton has maintained a relatively consistent and substantive lead over Sanders.
According to Monmouth University poll released on Monday, it showed Clinton with a 13-point advantage. However, a victory in Michigan could reset Sanders’s campaign.