Bernie SandersBernie Sanders Texas House Republican tests positive for coronavirus in latest breakthrough case In defense of share buybacks Progressives seething over Biden's migrant policies MORE on Monday night defended his record in support of women's rights and walked back his previous comments on Planned Parenthood.
"I have a 100 perecent pro-choice voting record," the presidential hopeful said, adding that he worked to stop Republicans from defunding the organization and sought to "expand funding for Planned Parenthood."
Last week, Sanders on "The Rachel Maddow Show" characterized Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign — two groups that have endorsed rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE — as being "part of the establishment."
Sanders conceded at CNN’s Democratic town hall in Des Moines that his past comment calling Planned Parenthood "part of the political establishment" opposed to his campaign was worded poorly.
He said that his remark was referring to the organization's endorsement of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
"Now what I said on a television program, I didn’t say it well," the Vermont senator said. "My point is these are great organizations."
"Count me in as someone who strongly supports them."
Sanders made a pitch for pay equity and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. "We have got to raise the minimum wage to a living wage that will impact all people and impact women more than men," he said.
Sanders also challenged Clinton about expanding Social Security, asking whether she plans to support lifting a cap on taxable income. He argued that by doing this, low income seniors, including women, will benefit.
The forum is one last chance for the Democratic candidates to deliver their final pitches to voters in the Hawkeye State one week ahead of the caucuses.
Recent polls show Sanders has closed the gap in Iowa and surpasses Clinton in New Hampshire.