Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) angrily hit back at Hillary Clinton’s charge Wednesday that he supported a vigilante group of “Minutemen” in the 2000s that hoped to deter immigrants, calling her statement “horrific” and “unfair.”
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos asked Sanders to respond directly.
“Of course not,” Sanders said. “There was a piece of legislation supported by dozens and dozens of members of the House, which codified existing legislation. What the secretary is doing tonight and has done very often is take large pieces of legislation and take pieces out of it.
“No, I did not oppose the bailout or the support of the automobile industry. No, I do not support vigilantes, and that is a horrific statement, an unfair statement to make. My political career, fighting for workers, fighting for the poorest people in this country, Madam Secretary, I will match my record against yours any day of the week.”
The Washington Post explained the charge:
Clinton, in particular, criticized Sanders for supporting a 2007 amendment that was designed to help the “Minutemen,” a private group that patrolled the U.S. border in hopes of deterring immigration. According to a 2015 BuzzFeed story on that vote, Sanders has said that the measure was seen as largely a minor, empty gesture, and that it had strong support from Democrats at the time.
The two met on the debate stage Wednesday night one day after Sanders surprised Clinton with a victory in the Michigan primary.