Clinton: Sanders doesn't stand up to pro-gun lobby
© Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio Trump, Biden court Black business owners in final election sprint The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection MORE on Tuesday slammed rival Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Bernie Sanders: 'This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome MORE for his record on gon control, accusing him of not standing up to the powerful gun lobby.

"I find it kind of interesting, you know, he voted against the Brady Bill five times. He voted for what the NRA said was the biggest NRA priority, giving them immunity," Clinton told supporters at a campaign speech in Ames, Iowa.

ADVERTISEMENT

"He says, 'Well, I’m from Vermont.' Pat Leahy, the other senator from Vermont, voted against immunity for the gun lobby. So no, that’s not an explanation," she added.

Clinton stressed the "big differences" between her record on guns and Sanders's history.

"If you’re going around saying that you stand up to special interests, well then stand up to the most powerful special interests. Stand up to that gun lobby," she added.

Clinton has sought to distinguish herself from Sanders on gun control in the wake of President Obama's executive actions last week aimed at addressing gun violence.

Since then, Clinton has been endorsed by a number of gun-control activists, including former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who survived gunshot wound to the head in a 2011 mass shooting, as well as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 

The former secretary of State also sought to draw a distinction between herself and Sanders on healthcare, saying his plans can't be paid for without raising taxes on the middle class.

"I want to defend the [Affordable Care Act] because I think it was a significant historic accomplishment that our country finally reached," she said.

"Now, Bernie, give him credit, he has a different idea. He’s introduced legislation, I think nine times in Congress, in the Senate, about what he thinks should be done. He wants to roll Medicare, Medicaid, the children’s health insurance program and private health insurance into a national system and then turn it over to the states to administer," she added.

Such a plan would empower Republican state governors, Clinton contended.

"If that’s the kind of revolution he’s talking about, I’m worried, folks," she said. "I think that would be a big problem that would run the risk of actually hurting families, not helping, I think, to turn our healthcare over to the governors, with the records we’ve seen of Republicans governors."

Clinton also pushed back against questions about her connections to the financial industry. 

"I went after carried interest, the hedge fund billionaire special loophole, I went after derivatives and swaps and corporate executive compensation," she said of her time in the Senate.

"So don’t talk to me about standing up to corporate interests and big powers. I’ve got the scars to show for it, and I’m proud of every single one of them."

Clinton and Sanders are neck-and-neck in the first two voting states of the Democratic primary cycle. Earlier Tuesday, a new poll showed Sanders surging ahead of Clinton by five percentage points in Iowa.