On the road to the New York primary election, the two Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have both pulled out all the stocks to win the state. Both have been using their personal connections to New York to sway voters, with Clinton highlighting her tenure as governor, and Sanders talking about his childhood in New York City. However, both candidates were embattled with controversial remarks regarding one another, and towards voters.
Clinton has continued to showcase an aggressive attitude towards her opponents. Recently, video footage has come around showing her yelling at protestors, for protesting her funding from the fossil fuel industry and for past remarks about race, including her comments about minorities being “super-predators”, which she has contributed to “lies from the Sanders campaign”. Further controversies have arose other the involvement of her husband, former president Bill Clinton, in her campaign, including controversies surrounding violating Massachusetts voting laws during their primary election (despite not being charged), arguments with members of the Black Lives Matter organization, and multiple accusations of rape and/or sexual assault or harassment during his political career. Of course, the most poignant criticism of Hillary Clinton’s campaign is her lack of a steady agenda. She has switched positions on many important topics, including same-sex marriage and environmental issues, multiple times throughout the past decade, and has continued to do so, most notably being labelling herself both as a Moderate and Progressive liberal.
The Sanders campaign has still been unable to mitigate the controversy surrounding his Socialist label, with many comparing it (incorrectly) to Communism. However, more importantly, Sanders is being to mount a more aggressive campaign, in light of an interview with The New York Daily News, in which he failed to address concerns outside of his core values of Wall Street and education reform. This new campaign, however, had he to him criticizing Clinton’s campaign, including her qualifications and judgement.
After finally reaching a date, a controversy in itself, the two formally debated in Brooklyn on Thursday night. The atmosphere was completely different than previous debates, with this one being more aggressive and angry than the usual respectful debate the two have. The main takeaway points highlight Clinton’s inability to be transparent, from her emails to her paid, undisclosed speeches, and Sanders’ belief in protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits. Throughout the debate, both candidates made sarcastic responses to one another, and cut each other off to the point where moderator Wolff Blitzer had to stop them.
The New York primary election is on Tuesday, April 19.