Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ratcheted up their attacks in a bruising, final debate before next Tuesday’s New York primary, BBC reports. The Democratic race has turned increasingly negative in recent days as the candidates traded barbs about their qualifications for the presidency.
They also clashed on Wall Street banks, gun controls and the minimum wage. Mr Sanders has won seven of the past eight contests, but Mrs Clinton holds a clear lead in race for the nomination. The Democrats have largely avoided the personal attacks that have dominated the Republicans’ debates.
But with so much at stake that changed in Thursday’s debate. “Does Secretary Clinton have the experience and intelligence to be president? Of course she does,” Mr Sanders said at the debate. “But I do question her judgement.”
A resurgent Mr Sanders has won seven of the last eight contests, sparking a groundswell of enthusiasm from his supporters. The Sanders campaign drew more than 25,000 people to a rally on Wednesday in Washington Square in Manhattan.
However, buoyed by earlier wins across the southern US, Mrs Clinton holds a sizeable lead in the number delegates needed to secure the nomination. Many analysts believe that Mr Sanders needs to pull off an upset in New York to remain viable in the race.
Mrs Clinton, who represented the state in US Senate for two terms, holds a commanding lead in New York, according to recent polls.