Washington: Hillary Clinton laid into her Democratic challenger on Wednesday, accusingBernie Sanders of trying unfairly to hog a progressive mantle but admitted she had work to do to win over young voters.
“I`m a progressive that likes to get things done,” she told a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire where she is fighting against Sanders` dominance in local polls ahead of next week`s state primary.
“I was somewhat amused today to hear Senator Sanders set himself up as the gatekeeper for the definition of what`s progressive,” she said the event moderated by television news network CNN.
“I don`t think it helps for the senator to be making those kind of comparisons because clearly we all share a lot of the same hopes and aspirations for our country,” she added.
A relaxed and confident former secretary of state answered questions from voters after clinching the narrowest win in Iowa caucus history with 49.8 percent of the vote compared to 49.6 percent for Sanders.
Disconcerting for Clinton in the first vote of the lengthy 2016 campaign, was Sanders`s crushing victory among Democratic voters aged 17 to 29, who gave him 84 percent of their vote.
“That`s amazing,” she said when asked by CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper about Sanders` majority support among young people in Iowa.
“I accept the fact that I have work to do to convey what I stand for, what I`ve accomplished, what I want to do for young people in our country,” she said.
“They don`t have to be for me, I`m going to be for them,” she said to warm applause.
Her 74-year-old challenger told the town hall that he respected Clinton for her “long and distinguished career” but insisted: “I think there are issues where she just is not progressive.”
“That`s just not progressive,” he said, saying Clinton had taken $15 million from Wall Street, voted for the 2003 Iraq war and supported trade policies with China that had cost American jobs.
“You can`t be a moderate and a progressive, they are different,” he said. The self-declared democratic socialist has ignited a passionate following among voters with his call to improve income inequality.