Presidential races

Sanders draws sharp contrasts to Clinton night before NY primary

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Bernie Sanders on Monday night delivered a sharp rebuke against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and corporate America one night before the critical New York primary.

Sanders and Clinton have stepped up their attacks in recent weeks and have clashed on a number of issues, ranging from campaign finance to minimum wage.

The Vermont senator continued to hammer the Democratic front-runner for receiving contributions from super-PACs. He also chided Clinton for not releasing transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs and noted that he hasn’t made any closer-door speeches to Wall Street.

{mosads}”My cellphone remains on, and I’m awaiting that call from Wall Street because I would like the opportunity to explain to Wall Street the horrible things that they have done to the American people,” Sanders said at an outdoor rally in Long Island City, with the New York City skyline as the backdrop.

Sanders sought to draw contrasts between himself and the former secretary of State regarding expanding Social Security and raising the minimum wage.

Sanders and Clinton sparred over minimum wage at last week’s Democratic debate in Brooklyn. He said the Democratic front-runner is “wrong” for wanting $12 per hour, saying the country needs to go further and increase it to $15.

He also continued to question whether Clinton would support raising the income cap on Social Security contributions and touted his legislation that would lift this cap.

“I have challenged Secretary Clinton over and over again. Does she support raising the cap and expanding Social Security benefits for the elderly and disable?” Sanders said. “I still have not gotten a clear answer from her.”

The Vermont senator also condemned “corporate greed,” using Verizon as an example. Employees represented by Communications Workers of America, which has endorsed Sanders for president, are currently on strike as they seek to negotiate a contract with Verizon that will limit outsourcing call center jobs and cutting worker benefits.

“Verizon is just the poster child for what corporate America is doing to working families today,” Sanders said. “I say to corporate America: Get nervous if Bernie Sanders is elected president.” 

“Corporate America will not continue to cut wages and benefits of their workers,” he continued. “They will become good corporate citizens whether they like it or not.”

Clinton is still expected to win the Empire State, with polls showing a double-digit lead, but Sanders is in the midst of a winning streak, having taken eight of the past nine contests.

Both candidates have ties to New York: Sanders grew up in Brooklyn, and Clinton served as U.S. senator.

“It is an enormously important primary because there are a lot of delegates at stake,” Sanders said. “Tomorrow, New York state can help take this country a giant step forward toward the political revolution.”

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