The Democratic Party has hidden its South Carolina presidential debate – and its preferred frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, on the Sunday night of a national-holiday weekend.
Hillary Clinton will be appearing Jan. 17 in a barely publicized Youtube live-stream event from Charleston, where she will go toe-to-toe with insurgent rival Bernie Sanders, and with Martin O’Malley, who literally and inexplicably refuses to quit.
The rhetorical battle between Hillary and Bernie is heating up, with accusations flying back and forth and attacks on each others’ health and families.
Sanders leads Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to a pair of polls released last week, with a 14-point lead in the latter state. The difference: white voters. Blue-collar and college-educated whites are fleeing Clinton in favor of Sanders or Trump.
News that President Obama met privately with Sanders clearly got to the Clinton campaign, which rolled out an effort to push back on the idea that Sanders is the real torchbearer of the Obama legacy. That’s right. Hillary Clinton is now attacking Bernie Sanders for not being close enough to Obama.
Top Clinton campaign officials held a press call the morning the polls came out to accuse Sanders of having different policies than Obama.
“The Sanders campaign has understandably tried to eliminate any distinctions between their candidate’s record and President Obama’s,” the Clinton campaign said, referring to immigration and other issues. “Of course this just isn’t true.”
Clinton, for her part, is trying to run to the left of Sanders, vowing to no longer say “illegal immigrant” among other concessions. But she’s also using her own daughter Chelsea to direct barbs at Sanders’ record.
“I don’t think about it,” Clinton told CNN about her sinking poll numbers in a tense interview before the State of the Union. “I don’t pay attention to this.” (Despite not paying attention, she cited a more favorable “PPP poll” that she claimed was released “an hour later.”)
Asked point-blank if she’s preparing back-to-back losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, she said, “I don’t think about that…We wouldn’t know what the outcome will be until after a couple rounds of these primaries.”
Sanders’ surge in the polls is a long-awaited victory for his campaign manager Jeff Weaver, whom this reporter once spotted in an airport loudly mumbling, “Poll here, poll everywhere.”
Clinton is also facing dead-eyed investigators from the FBI who are dissecting her private email-network.
“No, nothing,” Clinton told the Des Moines Register editorial board in an endorsement interview that looked like an interrogation video. “No, there’s nothing like that that is happening. No.”
“I saw [the news report] as I was coming in myself, and it was quite, you know, unexpected and unfounded.”
Asked if she planned to comment on it, she said, “No. I just did. I guess. Didn’t I?” She then laughed loudly.
When another reporter asked if Clinton has had “any contact with the FBI” during the course of the investigation, Clinton quickly answered, “No.”