Jan 22, 2016 4:36 PM
NH1 News Political Unit
CONCORD – Bernie Sanders says he thinks Hillary Clinton’s campaign is “getting very, very nervous” now that the senator from Vermont and Democratic presidential candidate leads his rival in polls in both New Hampshire and Iowa.
Sitting down for an interview at the NH1 News studios Thursday, Sanders also discounted a new survey that indicated he had a 27 percentage point lead over the former secretary of state among likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, saying “let me debunk that.”
Sanders spoke with NH1 as the tone of the Democratic nomination battle has turned much more negative in recent days, with Clinton and her surrogates increasing their contrasts with the senator and sharpening their criticism.
“We get literally five attacks a day or more and I think you in the media are probably seeing a whole lot of emails attacking us and Clinton’s people have a super PAC and 30 people attacking us,” Sanders said.
“And the answer is obvious. They now know they’re in for a tough fight. They know that the American people are sick and tired of establishment politics and frankly I think they’re getting very, very, nervous. And when people get nervous they start flailing about and start attacking and attacking and attacking,” he added.
Thursday in Iowa, Clinton took aim at Sanders domestic proposals, saying "I tell you, I am not interested in ideas that sound good on paper, but will never make it in the real world."
Asked to respond, Sanders told NH1 News “we of course need realistic policies and that is what I have been proposing throughout this campaign and why I think in fact our campaign is catching fire.”
“What I believe is that we should make public colleges and universities tuition free. That we should substantially lower interest rates on student debt. Is that an unrealistic policy? It is totally realistic because we’re going to pay for it through attacks on Wall Street speculation.”
Sanders went on to describe his infrastructure plan and his proposals to eliminate tax loopholes that benefit large corporations before adding “I think that the Secretary and I have differences of opinion. I respect her. But I look at the work a little bit differently.”
Clinton Thursday also took aim at Sanders over relations with Iran, saying "we can't rush into normalizing relations. The president doesn't believe that. I don't believe that. And I think that Sen. Sanders is wrong about that."
Sanders took issue with Clinton’s comments, saying “nobody talks about rushing into relations with Iran. Iran has policies and behaviors that are absolutely unacceptable to us. They have supported and are supporting terrorists organizations. So nobody is saying that tomorrow we’re going to have normal diplomatic relations with Iran.”
“I think the goal is to the goal to establish over a period of time normal relations with Iran. That is my goal. Is that going to happen tomorrow? No it is not,” he added.
Sanders touts ‘extraordinary strong volunteer network’
Sanders visited the NH1 News media headquarters three days after a University of New Hampshire poll for CNN and WMUR put him at 60% support, with Clinton at 33%.
The senator quickly pushed back against the survey, saying “I think we’re not 27 points up. I think we’re doing well but I think this election is going to be close and we need to be able to bring out a large voter turnout that’s what we’re focusing on.”
And he touted his campaigns ground game in the first-in-the-nation primary state, saying “we have an extraordinary strong volunteer network. We have a great organization and what we are doing right now is understanding that we win this election, and this I’m confident of, if there’s a large voter turnout. If working people, young people, if people who are sick and tired of establishment politics and establishment economics are prepared to come out on February 9th, we’re going to win. If voter turnout is low I expect it to be a very very close election. So what we’re trying to do now is knocking on a lot of doors around the state, we’re doing a lot of telephone calls, and we’re trying to make sure that people come out to vote.”
The senator sat down with NH1 News a couple of hours after a Suffolk University poll for the Boston Globe indicated Sanders with a nine-point lead over Clinton in the Granite State.
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