Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sanders: Clinton 'in serious trouble'

By Eric Bradner, CNN
8:31 PM ET, Tue January 12, 2016 - CNN

(CNN)Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has an explanation for rival Hillary Clinton's increasing attacks on guns, taxes and more: Clinton is "in serious trouble."

The Vermont senator said Clinton is lashing out -- attacking him on guns, taxes and more -- because polls show their race having tightened in Iowa while Sanders has maintained a narrow lead in New Hampshire.

"Secretary Clinton and her campaign is in serious trouble," Sanders told reporters Monday after a campaign stop in Pleasantville, Iowa.

"And I think a candidate who was originally thought to be the anointed candidate, the inevitable candidate, is now locked in a very difficult race here in Iowa and in New Hampshire," Sanders said. "So obviously in that scenario what people do is start attacking. Suddenly Bernie Sanders is not a nice guy. That is not surprising when you have a Clinton campaign that is now in trouble and now understands that they can lose."

Sanders offered a similar take later at the Iowa Brown and Black Forum. When Sanders was asked if he has noticed that Clinton is attacking him harder and more often, he offered a mischievous "yes."

"It could be that the inevitable candidate for the Democratic nomination may not be so inevitable today," he said.

It's Sanders' antidote to Clinton's "electability" argument. His comment bring to mind her failure to capture the Democratic nomination in 2008, and allude to polls that show Sanders with a real shot at winning in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Sanders is benefiting from a base of supporters that is more enthusiastic than Clinton's -- and he got an unexpected boost from Vice President Joe Biden, who said Sanders has credibility on the issue of income inequality.

"Bernie is speaking to a yearning that is deep and real. And he has credibility on it," Biden said during an interview with CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

"It's relatively new for Hillary to talk about that," Biden continued, acknowledging that Clinton has "come forward with some really thoughtful approaches to deal with the issue" of income inequality.

"Hillary's focus has been other things up to now, and that's been Bernie's -- no one questions Bernie's authenticity on those issues," he said.

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Hillary Clinton - AP Photo John Locher

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