With at­tacks on Clin­ton, race en­ters a new phase

US Demo­cratic op­po­nents tar­get Hil­lary

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

ROCK HILL: Ver­mont Sen Bernie San­ders and former Gov Martin O’Mal­ley es­ca­lated their at­tacks on 2016 Demo­cratic front-run­ner Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton at a fo­rum Fri­day night. With her num­bers on the rise af­ter a sum­mer slump, Clin­ton finds her­self in­creas­ingly tar­geted by her pri­mary op­po­nents - a marked tonal shift for a race that stayed largely civil for much of the early pri­mary. But that wasn’t the case in South Car­olina on Fri­day night. In in­di­vid­ual in­ter­views with MSNBC host Rachel Mad­dow, both Sen. Bernie San­ders and former Gov Martin O’Mal­ley cast them­selves as the party’s lib­eral stan­dard-bear­ers, ques­tion­ing Clin­ton’s com­mit­ment to the causes Democrats hold dear.

The party nom­i­nee will face the win­ner of a crowded Repub­li­can place cur­rently led by bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man Don­ald Trump and re­tired neu­ro­sur­geon Ben Car­son. Though care­ful never to men­tion Clin­ton by name, San­ders wasted lit­tle time draw­ing a sharp con­trast with her on every­thing from cam­paign fi­nance re­form to for­eign af­fairs. He noted his op­po­si­tion to the war in Iraq and his re­fusal to ac­cept su­per po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee do­na­tions and said he op­poses the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­cent de­ci­sion to send spe­cial forces to Syria, a po­si­tion that Clin­ton sup­ports. He also un­der­mined Clin­ton’s op­po­si­tion to the Key­stone XL pipe­line, which was of­fi­cially re­jected by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion hours ear­lier af­ter a years­long cam­paign by lib­eral ac­tivists.

Clin­ton said she op­posed the pipe­line in Septem­ber, a project she said she was “in­clined” to sup­port back in 2010 as Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sec­re­tary of state. “For me, as op­posed to some other un­named can­di­dates, the is­sue of Key­stone was kind of no brainer,” he said. “I said to no to Key­stone on Day One.” O’Mal­ley echoed his cri­tique, adding in his own shots at San­ders. In an ef­fort to break into what’s shap­ing up to be a two-per­son pri­mary race, he sug­gested that the self-iden­ti­fied demo­cratic so­cial­ist is not a loyal mem­ber of the party.

“I think that when Pres­i­dent Obama was run­ning for re-elec­tion, I was glad to step up and work very hard for him while Sen San­ders was try­ing to find some­one to pri­mary him,” O’Mal­ley said. “I’m a Demo­crat. I’m a life­long Demo­crat. I’m not an in­de­pen­dent. I’m not a former Repub­li­can. I be­lieve in the party of Franklin Roo­sevelt.” The in­ten­si­fied as­sault comes lit­tle more than a week be­fore the can­di­dates will meet in Iowa for their next de­bate, a fo­rum Clin­ton showed a com­mand­ing con­trol of dur­ing the first match-up last month. The mes­sage in­tended for Demo­cratic vot­ers was clear: Clin­ton can­not be trusted to fight hard for lib­eral val­ues.

Clin­ton, who fol­lowed the two men on the stage, largely stuck to her cam­paign themes, never ac­knowl­edg­ing either of her op­po­nents, But she cast her­self as a fighter for lib­eral prin­ci­pals, de­mur­ring when asked whether she’s the most hawk­ish of the Demo­cratic hope­fuls and vow­ing to take on the Koch broth­ers. “Any­body who thinks they can in­flu­ence what I will do doesn’t know me very well,” she said, re­sponded to a ques­tion about the mil­lions of dol­lars she made from highly paid speeches to Wall Street bankers. Democrats have spent months boast­ing about the sub­stan­tive tone of their con­test, at­tempt­ing to set-up a fa­vor­able early con­trast with the crowded and of­ten car­ni­val-like in­sults of the Repub­li­can pri­mary. — AP

ROCK HILL: Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton greets sup­port­ers af­ter a demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date fo­rum at Winthrop Univer­sity in Rock Hill, SC on Fri­day, Nov 6, 2015. — AP

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