Clinton, Sanders trade barbs on middle-class policies

Greg Nash

Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: Clinton up 4 on Trump in Florida Wall Street Journal editorial board member endorses Clinton The hypocrisy of Hillary's feminists MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersAnti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP Vulnerable NH Republican ties reelection bid to Trump Overnight Finance: Congress poised to avoid shutdown | Yellen defends Fed from Trump | Why Obama needs PhRMA on trade MORE's (I-Vt.) presidential campaigns are hitting each other harder than ever, trading accusations of injuring the middle class and — in Clinton's case — being a flip-flopping servant of pharmaceutical companies.
 
Clinton's campaign punched first.
 

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“If you are truly concerned about raising incomes for middle-class families, the last thing you should do is cut their take-home pay right off the bat by raising their taxes," said Clinton's press secretary Brian Fallon in a statement released Tuesday morning.
 
"Yet Bernie Sanders has called for a roughly 9 percent tax hike on middle-class families just to cover his health care plan, and simple math dictates he'll need to tax workers even more to pay for the rest of his at least $18-20 trillion agenda."
 
Fallon said that in contrast to Sanders, "Hillary Clinton believes strongly that middle class families deserve a raise, not a tax increase." A President Clinton, he suggested, would force the wealthiest Americans to pay more rather than soaking the middle class.
 
The Sanders campaign struck back at the Democratic front-runner, accusing her of flip-flopping on healthcare and throwing money away "on costly premiums for profit-making private insurance companies."
 
"More people would get better care at less cost" under the Sanders plan, said the Vermont senator's spokesman Michael Briggs, in an email to The Hill Tuesday morning.
 
"Didn't she [Clinton] used to be for that?"
 
Under the Sanders plan, "pharmaceutical companies would no longer be able to rip off Americans with the most expensive prescription drugs in the world," he said. "Didn't she used to be for that?"
 
Briggs added, "On Medicare for all, the middle class would be far better off [under Sanders's plan] because it would save taxpayers money."
 
"It’s not surprising that [Clinton] supports a system that props up private insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies which have given so much money to her campaigns."