DENMARK, S.C. — Speaking to a predominantly African American audience in a rural town here, Hillary Clinton sharply criticized rival Sen. Bernie Sanders for disloyalty to President Obama.
“This is one of the big differences in my campaign with Senator Sanders,” the Democratic presidential candidate said. “As I pointed out last night, he called the president ‘weak,’ a ‘disappointment.’ He tried to get some attention to attract a candidate to actually run against the president when he was running for reelection.”
Sanders, she said, “does not support, the way that I do, building on the progress that the president has made, and that includes building on the Affordable Care Act.”
The lines reprise some of the most fiery portions of her debate with Sanders in Milwaukee on Thursday night. And it marks one of the first times that Clinton has directly attacked Sanders outside of the debate stage for what she characterizes as past attempts to undermine Obama.
With South Carolina’s primary just weeks away, Clinton has sought to expose a rift between Obama and Sanders as part of her outreach to African American voters, who make up more than half of the state's Democratic electorate.
Clinton noted that Sanders sought to start over with a new health care plan despite the "advances" in access to health care that the Affordable Care Act has secured for African Americans. "I don’t think that’s the right approach, my friends," Clinton said.
In the previous night’s debate, Clinton deployed a new tagline characterizing Sanders's agenda as too narrow. She repeated it in South Carolina on Friday: “I am not a single-issue candidate, and this is not a single-issue country."
"I want you to understand: I will not promise you something that I cannot deliver,” Clinton said. “I will not do that. I will not make promises I know I cannot keep. We don’t need any more of that!”
Clinton laid out a new proposal called the “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda,” which she said would pledge $125 billion to economic development for underserved communities, including communities of color. She said the program would be paid for by imposing a tax on the “largest and riskiest financial institutions.”
“Those that contributed to the Great Recession are going to contribute to bringing back the communities that were the hardest hit by the Great Recession,” Clinton said.