Skip to content
National Politics
Link copied to clipboard

Sanders, Clinton quizzed at Constitution Center

Should Hillary Clinton all but clinch the Democratic nomination when the polls close Tuesday, she will not then bend over backwards, or even moderately it seems, by adopting any of her opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders' proposals to win over his base, she said Monday.

Should Hillary Clinton all but clinch the Democratic nomination when the polls close Tuesday, she will not then bend over backwards, or even moderately it seems, by adopting any of her opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders' proposals to win over his base, she said Monday.

"Let's look at where we are right now. . . . I am winning," Clinton told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and a crowd of about 200 people gathered for a town hall at the National Constitution Center. "And I am winning because of what I stand for."

Sanders, in his own town hall before the same crowd but a different host, Chris Hayes, said Clinton would have to reconsider that stance if she is to win over those who have emphatically backed him as the anti-establishment candidate. He said he couldn't snap his fingers and make those voters side with her.

"It is incumbent on Sec. Clinton," Sanders said, "to reach out not only to my supporters but to all the American people with an agenda that they believe will represent the interests of working families, low income people, middle class, those of us who are concerned about the environment, and not just big money interests. "

Of course, Sanders said that applies only "if we end up losing -- and I hope we do not."

The two are vying for 189 Pennsylvania delegates up for grabs, by far the biggest prize of the five states -- Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island -- that will hold their contests that day. A decisive win for Hillary in those states would all but seal the nomination.

Clinton enters Tuesday's primary with several polls showing her having a sizeable lead in Keystone state, including an NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey released Sunday that had her topping Sanders 55 percent to 40 percent among likely Democratic voters.

Both latched onto local causes Monday, Clinton pointing to recent gun violence in Philadelphia and saying she would commit early on, and work every day, to enact gun control legislation. She also called out legislators in Harrisburg for passing what she called the "worst kind of legislation favoring the gun lobby."

"It's just outrageous. And you have these killings going on in Philadelphia," she said. "It wasn't just this weekend. Last weekend 12 people were shot, four people were killed. There was a man executed on the streets here in Philadelphia talking to somebody running for office. This is out of control."

Sanders doubled down on his criticism of Mayor Kenney's proposed soda tax, calling it a tax on the poor. Asked how he feels, as a candidate who has railed against powerful corporations, making the same arguments as the soda industry, Sanders said "big soda companies will do what they do."

"This tax is, as I recall, three cents an ounce," he continued. "A 12-ounce bottle of soda, that's 36 cents, times five sodas a week, that's $2 bucks, a hundred bucks a year. People who don't have a lot of money, that's a lot."

Clinton has said she supports Mayor Kenney's proposed tax, which he is seeking to pay for, among other programs, universal pre-k.

Both candidates balked when asked about potential running mates and whether they would consider putting their opponent in their cabinet.

"Well let me just answer that question Chris in exactly the way you knew I would answer it," Sanders said to Hayes. "And that is to say right now we are running as hard as we can to win this thing. And at the end of the process we'll take a look at what's going on."

Bob Weisbord, a councilman in the borough of Narberth, Montgomery County, told Clinton that as an elected official in a small town he values seeing the party come together after the primary to support down-ballot races and asked her what position she would give Sanders in a Clinton administration.

"I can't answer that because obviously I don't have the nomination yet," she said. "I'm not yet elected president."

To another question, though, Clinton did promise that if elected her cabinet would be 50 percent female.

Published