Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders got into a small verbal slap fight over the auto industry, Sunday night, at the democratic debate in Flint, Michigan, and it’s tough to say who came out of it the victor.
Clinton called Sanders out on his vote against bailing out the auto industry in 2008, and things got a little heated. She stated:
“If everybody had voted the way he did, I believe the auto industry would have collapsed, taking 4 million jobs with it.”
Clinton was referring to Sanders’ vote against what ultimately became the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which the Hill reports “was used by the government to give loans to banks, and later to the auto industry.”
Clinton went on to say, obviously playing to Michigan’s auto workers in “Vehicle City”:
“I voted to save the auto industry. He voted against the money that ended up saving the auto industry. I think that is a pretty big difference.”
That sounds somewhat scathing, but that’s when Sanders fired back that Clinton’s true incentive was to help her Wall Street bedfellows who “destroyed this economy” in the first place. Sanders said:
“When billionaires on Wall Street destroyed this economy, they went to Congress and they said, ‘Oh please, we’ll be good boys. Bail us out.’ You know what I said? I said, ‘Let the billionaires, themselves, bail out Wall Street.'”
One could argue, in that respect, Sanders stands much more for “free market” capitalism than both Clinton and her Republican opponents who profess to love it so dearly. Surely that has to win him the hearts of some conservatives, deep down inside—the purists—even if they don’t want to admit it. That is, if they truly do stake their heart and flag on a free market.
And it’s clear Bernie has a large part of the left’s support, as well, mostly for his heavy criticism of big Wall Street money in politics.
All in all, once again, the Clinton and Sanders camps will see their own candidate of choice as coming out of that little exchange the victor, while the other brushes a bit more grime from their political persona—and the election will continue to roll right along.
Featured image by CNN via YouTube video screen capture.