HENDERSON, Nevada -- Hillary Clinton continued pressing her new line of attack against Bernie Sanders at a rally here Saturday, characterizing the Vermont senator as a “single issue candidate.”
Clinton, rebounding from a narrow victory in Iowa and major loss in New Hampshire, is re-tooling her message for the second phase of the early states. The new strategy is a far sharper attack on Sen. Sanders and particularly his staunch anti-Wall Street message.
“Not everything is about an economic theory, right?” Clinton said, kicking off a long, interactive riff with the crowd at a union hall this afternoon. “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow - and I will if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will - would that end racism?”
“No!” the audience yelled back.
Clinton continued to list scenarios, asking: “Would that end sexism? Would that end discrimination against the LGBT community? Would that make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight?”
After every question, the crowd emphatically yelled “No!”
The Clinton campaign, facing ever-increasing pressure from Sanders in the polls, has significantly ramped up its attacks against the Vermont socialist. In recent weeks, Clinton has often implied that Sanders is “over-promising.”
“I am not making promises I can’t keep,” Clinton said at a Minnesota DFL dinner Friday night, speaking directly after Sanders.
This week, at the sixth Democratic debate in Wisconsin, Clinton used her closing statement to cast him as a candidate too myopic to be president.
"I am not a single issue candidate and I do not believe we live in a single issue country,” she said, repeating the sentiment at the St. Paul event.
The Clinton campaign also released a new web video Saturday excerpting several of Sanders’ answers from the debate in which he pivoted to Wall Street when asked about another topic.
Clinton’s new message suggests a Sanders presidency wouldn’t bring about change in areas beyond the economy, an argument Clinton has only started making recently.
“I'm the only candidate who will take on every barrier to progress. I'm the only candidate who has a record of taking on those barriers. I’m the only candidate who will stand with you in every single fight,” the former secretary of state said Saturday.
Sanders said he was “really stunned” to see Clinton’s ramped up attacks. “Clearly they have been unraveled by the results in Iowa, by our victory in New Hampshire and the progress that we’re making all over this country,” he told reporters in Reno.
Clinton will be campaigning in Nevada in the next few days ahead of the caucuses next weekend. She canceled three previously scheduled fundraisers and a rally in Florida on Monday so that she could spend extra time in the Silver State. Former President Bill Clinton will headline the events in her place.