Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont came to the seventh Democratic debate on Sunday ready to scrap, sharpening his rhetoric against Hillary Clinton and occasionally yelling over her.
“Some of your friends destroyed the economy,” Sanders told Clinton during an exchange on the candidates’ positions on Wall Street. Clinton started to defend herself, and an irritated Sanders bellowed, “Excuse me, I’m talking!” He launched into a story about why he voted against the Wall Street bailout, but again became annoyed when Clinton attempted to interject and criticize him for not supporting the bailout of the automobile industry. “Can I finish? You’ll have your turn!”
Later, during a back-and-forth on Sanders’ position on gun control, he again reprimanded Clinton for interrupting. “Can I finish, please?” he asked. Clinton turned away from him and looked at the crowd conspiratorially.
During a Republican debate, these exchanges would qualify as downright collegial, but for the Democratic race, they stood out as heated. This is the first debate the two have participated in since Clinton took a decisive delegate lead over Sanders by winning Nevada and South Carolina.
The Vermont senator hopes to catch up to and ultimately surpass Clinton’s delegate count and winning of the big states, but Clinton is beginning again to look like the inevitable nominee. Sanders’ feistiness shows he’s not willing to concede this fight anytime soon.