With Tight Nevada Race, Hillary Tries to Tarnish Bernie with Black and Latino Voters
Hillary Clinton is trying to hit Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on immigration as the two are in a dead heat headed into Saturday's Nevada caucus.
The Real Clear Politics polling average puts Clinton ahead by just 2.4 points in the Silver State. A year ago, she got 58 percent compared to just 4 percent for Sanders.
Bill Clinton is trying to get out the caucus vote, stumping for his wife tonight at the Clark County Democratic Party First in the West Dinner at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton will hold a Friday night rally in Vegas.
This morning, the Clinton campaign released an ad with footage from a meeting Hillary had with DREAMers last weekend.
"My parents, they have a letter of deportation. I'm scared they are going to be deported," a 10-year-old girl says.
Clinton gestures for the girl to come over for a hug as the rest of the people in the circle applaud. "Let me do the worrying. I'll do all the worrying... I'll do everything I can to help, OK?" she tells the girl.
The Clinton campaign also today pulled together a press conference with Hillary's presumed vice presidential pick, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, as well as Rep. Luis Gutierrez and United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta to slam Sanders' record on immigration, claiming that he "has been largely absent from the Latino community and on the wrong side of the immigration debate when it has mattered most."
Gutierrez penned an op-ed for Univision calling Clinton "the rare loyal candidate who has been fighting for us her entire career."
"Where was Sanders when we really needed him? I have observed Sanders first in the House of Representatives and later in the Senate and I have to say, he was absent from most of the crucial immigration debates. And when he did show up, his record was troubling," Gutierrez wrote.
"Think about 2005 and 2006, when House Republicans were devising harsher and harsher measures to deport and criminalize immigrants and had passed the Sensenbrenner Bill – the notorious HR 4437 bill – that would have deported everyone and made criminals of families, care-givers, bus drivers and priests who had contact with undocumented immigrants. Where was Sanders? He was mostly silent when we needed champions to defend our community. And worse, at a few critical moments in 2006, he broke with Democrats and progressives and stood with the hardline anti-immigrant wing of the Republican Party."
Gutierrez referenced "an amendment restricting the Department of Homeland Security from revealing information about groups like the Minutemen – a pure fantasy driven by anti-immigrant pandering to the right-wing" to which Sander "took the bait, split with Latinos and progressives in Congress, and voted in favor of this absurd measure."
"I do not trust that he is fully in step with progressives, Democrats and the American people who overwhelmingly support a safe, legal and orderly immigration system," the congressman wrote in a lengthy slam.
Not neglecting South Carolina, the Clinton camp sent out Congressional Black Caucus PAC chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) to seize on a report that some African-American leaders felt ignored by Sanders in his home state.
"We can't afford to to risk President Obama's legacy on someone who waits until the ninth hour to work and coalition build with the African-American community," Meeks said in a statement released by the campaign.
Sanders, meanwhile, met with leaders from nine civil rights groups including the NAACP at the National Urban League today -- with Rev. Al Sharpton and Danny Glover at his side.
“I understand that the African-American community has been harder hit than any other community in America," Sanders said in discussing his economic platform at the meeting convened by Urban League president Marc Morial.
Bernie's camp also highlighted a New York Times report that Wall Street donors told Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, to highlight Hillary's donations from smaller donors and to go after Sanders by stressing that his proposals are "unrealistic" and that every answer from the Vermont senator reverts back to "millionaires and billionaires."
"One of the biggest differences between our campaigns is that Bernie’s campaign does not take its marching orders from Wall Street and big-money donors,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, in a statement. “It's shameful that the Clinton campaign is parroting attacks at Sen. Sanders that The New York Times has documented come right from her big-money backers."
"Now we are beginning to get a glimpse into what goes on in all those closed door meetings with Wall Street interests."