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Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had a seriously heated debate last night

The two went at each other in front of a packed crowd in Brooklyn.

Source: AP/Press Association Images

HILLARY CLINTON AND Bernie Sanders came to blows in a heated US presidential debate in Brooklyn on last night, raising the stakes in their increasingly acrimonious race to clinch the Democratic nomination.

They attacked each other on the economy, climate change, gun control, race issues, Libya and Israel, in the ninth Democratic presidential debate just days before the key New York primary, when 247 party delegates will be up for grabs.

The former secretary of state holds a 13.8-point lead over the Vermont senator in the New York polls and needs a commanding win in Tuesday’s primary after losing seven of the last eight contests to her leftist rival.

It was the most combative performance yet between the ex-New York senator, who advocates incremental but realistic reforms, and her challenger, who calls himself a democratic socialist and advocates a political revolution.

Their exchanges became so acrimonious that at one point the CNN moderator interjected to say: “If you’re both screaming at each other, the viewers won’t be able to hear either of you.”

DEM 2016 Debate Source: AP/Press Association Images

Accusations

Each accused the other of failing to answer questions and clashed over the longevity of Clinton’s support for the $15 minimum wage, her support for regime change in Iraq and Libya, and their judgement.

The Brooklyn-born Sanders harangued Clinton for supporting fracking overseas and mocked her over her ties to Wall Street and her insistence that she stood up against the behaviour of banks as New York senator from 2001-09.

“Secretary Clinton called them out, oh my goodness they must have been really crushed,” he said.

Was that before or after you received huge sums of money by giving speaking engagements?

Clinton accused Sanders of waging a “phony attack.”

“Senator Sanders did call me unqualified. I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, that was a first,” she said. “Questioning my judgment, well the people of New York voted for me twice to be their senator,” she said to cheers.

New York is a vital battleground for Sanders, who must beat Clinton to keep alive his dream of wresting the nomination from the Democratic frontrunner.

- © AFP, 2016

Read: After calling her ‘crazy and overrated’, Trump buries hatchet with Fox’s Megyn Kelly

Read: Two of Trump’s kids won’t be able to vote for him – because they failed to register in time

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