Region:
America
Category:
Politics

Bernie Sanders Confronts Latino Voters, Hillary Clinton Record

Region:
America
Category:
Politics
Publication date:
Print article

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had another tense debate Wednesday night in Miami, less than a week before crucial primary contests on March 15

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sparred over immigration policy Wednesday night in a fight for Latino voters that unfolded days ahead of Florida's crucial primary, which could decide the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Univision/Washington Post debate in Miami simulcast by CNN was the fourth one-on-one showdown between the two. Moderators Karen Tumulty, Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos largely focused on immigration reform, racism and electability, issues important to Floridians heading to the polls ahead of the state's March 15 primary.

At one point, a Guatemalan woman in the largely Hispanic audience at Miami Dade College, one of the most diverse in the nation, shared a story of her husband's being deported and separated from their five children. Clinton responded with praise.

“Please know how brave I think you are coming here, with your children, to tell your story. This is an incredible act of courage that I think not many people understand,” she said in the night's lone emotional moment. “I have heard similar stories like yours, where your husband is deported, your children’s father is gone, you are doing your very best to support your children, but it is time to bring families together. I don’t think there’s any doubt that we must do more to let stories like yours be heard more widely, so that more Americans can know the human cost of these policies are.”

Clinton has amassed an impressive delegate lead over Sanders after winning big in states across the South in recent weeks. But Sanders has picked up victories in states that tend to vote Democratic in presidential contests, including a surprising first-place finish in Michigan Tuesday night. His success raises questions about whether Clinton will have a turnout problem if she makes it to the November general election, especially among white working-class voters, independents and millennials. Overall turnout has been low in Democratic primaries and caucuses this year compared with 2008 levels, while Republicans such as Donald Trump are bringing out new waves of voters.

“I’m continuing to work hard for every single vote across our country,” Clinton said when asked about her loss in Michigan. “This is a marathon, and it’s a marathon that can only be carried out by the kind of inclusive campaign that I’m running.”