NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), gathered supporters for a rally in the Bronx Thursday, while Hillary Clinton appeared at a college in Westchester County and said Sanders’ free tuition plan was unrealistic.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, the suddenly significant New York primary has the candidates dueling. Clinton lashed out at Sanders’ supporters Thursday.
“I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me,” she said. “I am so sick of it.”
Clinton spoke Thursday at the SUNY Purchase campus in Westchester County, where she encountered some disruption from Sanders opponents.
“She wins, we lose!” the Sanders supporters said.
The protesters were escorted out.
“I know, the Bernie people came to say that. We’re very sorry you’re leaving,” Clinton said.
But the protests gave Clinton an opportunity to slam one of Sanders’ signature platforms – free college tuition for all.
“Go read the fine print. It basically says, yeah, it’ll be free if the governors of America put in about $28 billion,” Clinton said.
CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer sat down with Sanders Thursday, and asked him about Clinton’s remarks.
“Our plan imposes the tax on Wall Street speculation, which raises more than enough money to pay for free tuition in public colleges and universities,” Sanders said. “Two-thirds of the money comes from the federal government. A third comes from the states.”
Kramer also asked Sanders about his strategy in New York, and his hope to cut into Clinton’s support in the black community.
“The bottom line is I think we have the message. And the message is that it’s too late for Hillary Clinton’s brand of establishment politics and establishment economics,” Sanders said. “We need real change in this country. We need the people in this country to stand up and tell Wall Street, and tell the 1 percent, you know what? They can’t have it all anymore.”
Later at his rally at St. Mary’s Park in Mott Haven, the Bronx, Sanders said if he wins the primary, he will win the White House.
Sanders said voter turnout in April 19’s primary could affect the trajectory of his campaign. The Empire State has 247 delegates up for grabs, the second largest haul in the primary season.
At the rally, Sanders also blasted Clinton for her quarter-million-dollar speaking fees to private Wall Street groups.
“It must a brilliant speech,” Sanders said. “It must be an earth-shattering speech written in Shakespearean prose.”
Sanders was joined at the rally Thursday night in the Bronx by actress Rosario Dawson, director Spike Lee and singer Residente. They spoke of Bernie’s support for women and for Puerto Rico in its debt crisis.
Sanders drew on his experience growing up in Brooklyn. He reiterated his positions on fighting income inequality, creating a single-payer healthcare system and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Sanders supporters were enthusiastic well before their candidate arrived.
“We’re worried for our futures here,” Columbia University student Alma Perez told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
“How are we going to look forward to our futures if jobs are so hard to find, the taxes we’re having to pay and the interest we’re having to pay for our student loans are already putting us in debt before we even go out there into the job market — you know?” she said.
Stephen Cho, 26, said he is not sure if he could vote for Clinton in November.
“If she becomes the nominee, she’s going to try really hard to win back the support of Bernie supporters,” he said.
He said Clinton is just another politician.
Sanders also appeared Thursday night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” as a mystery guest on the Colbert’s “Wheel of News” segment. On the program, he called for Democratic superdelegates to consider switching their allegiance to him from Clinton, saying he is the stronger Democratic candidate.
Clinton will be upstate in Syracuse on Friday, while Sanders will be in Harlem with actress Rosario Dawson for a roundtable on criminal justice reform.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)