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Clinton, Sanders trade jabs in run up to caucus

Posted at 10:17 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 02:49:12-05

The increasingly comptetive Democratic presidential race is continuing into Nevada as candidates blitzed the state with town halls and speeches two days before voters can caucus.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are camping out in Nevada over the next few days and holding multiple events, including a televised town hall on Thursday, to try and attract voters in an increasingly close race.

Clinton and Sanders each spent an hour answering questions from union members, Hispanic voters and high school students during a town hall in the Keep Memory Alive Events Center hosted by MSNBC and Telemundo.

Though the candidates mostly stuck to the issues, they didn't hestitate to go on the attack.

"There is one of the two Democratic candidates here who actually ran against Barack Obama," Sanders said. "It wasn't me."

Clinton, who spoke after Sanders, fired back.

"I know that Sen. Sanders has also attacked President Obama," she said. "He's called him weak. He's called him disappointing. He tried to get somebody to run against him in the 2012 election in the primary."


The two candidates also held several events throughout the day in Las Vegas, including an appearance at a Culinary Workers Union rally in front of Sunrise Hospital earlier in the day.

Both campaigns are placing an increased focus on Nevada after splitting victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, and the candidates are neck-and-neck in recent polls of the state.

Immigration proved to be a poignant topic during the town halls, with both Clinton and Sanders defending their past voting records and trying to appeal to the sizable numbers of minority voters in Nevada.

Clinton also promised to introduce immigration reform legislation within her first 100 days of the presidency, but cautioned that it was up to Congress to "get its act in gear." She also promised to do away with the three and ten-year bars of re-entry admission for people who enter the country illegally, leave, and then want to immigrate legally.

Sanders said he wanted to move as quickly as possible to provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million people living in the country illegally, and promised to continue using immigration-related executive orders issued by President Barack Obama.

Neither campaign is slowing down in the rush to Nevada's presidential caucus. Sanders is planning trips to Elko, Sparks and Henderson tomorrow, and former president Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are hosting a cacucus turnout event in Las Vegas.

Both candidates acknowledge that Nevada could be a tipping point in their presidential campaigns.

"You know I won one, he's won one," Clinton said during the town hall. "We've got 48 to go. That's why we're here in Nevada working as hard as we can."