Sanders, speaking at the televised event in Derry, New Hampshire,
built on an earlier back-and-forth between the two candidates on
Twitter and in appearances in the state, which hosts the second
party-nominating contest on Feb. 9, reminding voters that he and
Clinton have made different decisions on backing the Iraq war,
taking money from Super PACs and energy policies.
"Some of my best friends are moderates, but you canít be a
progressive and a moderate at the same time," Sanders said at the
town hall, hosted by CNN, which included questions from voters.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke immediately after
Sanders at the town hall.
ďI was somewhat amused today that Senator Sanders has set himself up
to be the gatekeeper on who is a progressive, because under the
definition that was flying around on Twitter and statements from his
campaign, Barack Obama would not be a progressive, Joe Biden would
not be a progressive ... so Iím not going to let that bother me,"
Her campaign issued a press release during Sanders' appearance,
listing Clinton's efforts "fighting for progressive causes"
including health care and education.
"I know where I stand, I know who stands with me, I know what Iíve
done," Clinton said.
Moderator Anderson Cooper, referring to criticism from Sanders that
Clinton is too close to Wall Street, asked her about the more than
$600,000 she received from speaking to the investment bank Goldman
ďThatís what they offered,Ē Clinton said, adding that the payments
haven't had any effect on her calls to rein in the big banks.
The two candidates arrived in New Hampshire on Tuesday, a day after
Clinton marked a narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses, the first
nominating contest leading up to the Nov. 8 presidential election.
Sanders, an independent U.S. senator from Vermont who is a
democratic socialist, is polling more than 15 points ahead of
Clinton in New Hampshire, but is trailing her nationally by roughly
the same amount.
During the town hall, Sanders fielded a question about how he would
appeal to a broader swath of the electorate, including minority and
religious voters - blocs he will need to draw to the polls if he
hopes to maintain momentum against Clinton in upcoming nominating
contests in the South and West.
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"Everybody practices religion in a different way. To me, I would not
be here tonight, I would not be running for president of the United
States, if I did not have very strong religious and spiritual
feelings," said Sanders, who, if elected, would be the first Jewish
"My spirituality is that we are all in this together," Sanders
Clinton, a former first lady and former U.S. senator who has spent
decades in public life, fielded a question that elicited a similarly
spiritual response, speaking of balancing the role of public servant
and her sense of self.
"I get a scripture lesson every morning from a minister that I have
a really close personal relationship with," Clinton said. "He gets
up really early to send it to me, so you know, there it is, in my
inbox at 5 a.m."
Clinton is seeking to manage expectations about her performance in
next week's New Hampshire primary, saying Sanders has an advantage
because he is from a neighboring state. But Clinton shows huge
polling leads in the next round of primary contests in Nevada and
The results from New Hampshire could shift momentum in the
Democratic race. Clinton had hoped for a strong finish against
Sanders in Iowa to vanquish his insurgent candidacy. In New
Hampshire, she hopes to overcome his polling lead.
(Additional writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Richard
Valdmanis and Leslie Adler)
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