Clinton 'appalled' at Bernie Sanders on abortion
© Getty Images

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders thanks Iowa voters for giving momentum to progressive agenda Manchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Arizona newspaper backs Democrat in dead heat Senate race MORE in a fiery campaign speech on the eve of the New York primary said she is "appalled" at Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders thanks Iowa voters for giving momentum to progressive agenda Live coverage: Gillum clashes with DeSantis in Florida debate Miami Herald endorses Gillum for governor MORE, accusing her Democratic presidential rival of abandoning abortion rights advocates.

In her most pointed strike against Sanders on the issue, the Democratic front-runner linked the Vermont senator to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE.

"When Trump said what he said about punishing women [for having abortions], I was appalled," Clinton told the crowd of Democratic supporters on Monday afternoon in Manhattan.

"That is a core issue and when my opponent in this primary said it was a distraction, that he wanted to talk about the real issues, I was appalled again."

The crowd began booing as soon as Clinton mentioned Sanders's name.

The Democratic primary contest - which started in the most civil manner imaginable, with Sanders refusing to attack Clinton over the FBI investigation of her emails - has turned nastier in recent weeks.

The former secretary of State angered Sanders when she went on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program recently and raised doubts about whether the Vermont senator is prepared to be president. Sanders then ratcheted up the rhetoric by declaring that Clinton is unqualified to be president due to her acceptance of special interest money.

Sanders has since walked back those qualification comments. But he's been sharpening his attacks on Clinton's ties to Wall Street, knowing that he needs to begin winning states by large margins to close the delegate gap.

He has closed the polling gap nationally, but Clinton is still favored to win Tuesday's New York primary, where she leads Sanders by 12 points in the latest RealClearPolitics average.

During Monday's rally, Clinton also hit Sanders over gun control - the main issue on which she has tacked to his left and has been attacking him throughout the primary campaign.

Sanders still believes that gun makers and sellers should not be held liable when weapons they legally sell are used in homicides. Clinton disagrees and has portrayed Sanders as a tool of the NRA - a characterization he angrily disputes, given the gun lobby has given Sanders a D-Minus rating.

"I couldn't believe it when Senator Sanders said the parents of the Sandy Hook children did not deserve their day in court," Clinton said in Monday's rally.

The crowd booed again.

"He voted for the bill that gave special protections, immunity from liability, to the gun makers and sellers," Clinton added.

"I was in the Senate at the same time, so was Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaLive coverage: Gillum clashes with DeSantis in Florida debate Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Republicans bail on Coffman to invest in Miami seat MORE. I voted against it. Barack Obama voted against it. Bernie Sanders voted for it."

"This has to be a voting issue."