Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that 2016 Democratic presidential rival Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont did not seem to understand the logistics behind breaking up big banks, which has been one of Mr. Sanders’ central campaign themes.
She said a recent Sanders interview with the New York Daily News “raised a lot of really serious questions.”
“I look at it this way: The core of his campaign has been ‘break up the banks,’ and it didn’t seem in reading his answers that he understood exactly how that would work under Dodd-Frank,” Mrs. Clinton said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“Exactly who would be responsible, what the criteria were, and that means you can’t really help people, if you don’t know how to do what you are campaigning on saying you want to do,” she said.
In the interview with the Daily News editorial board, a transcript of which was published online this week, Mr. Sanders, for example, said it would be the banks’ decision as to what they would want to do and how they want to reconfigure themselves if something like that happened.
“How you go about doing it is having legislation passed, or giving the authority to the secretary of treasury to determine, under Dodd-Frank, that these banks are a danger to the economy over the problem of too-big-to-fail,” Mr. Sanders said.
Mr. Sanders also said he suspects there are statutes a prosecutor could have used to bring indictments in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse.
“I believe that that is the case. Do I have them in front of me, now, legal statutes? No, I don’t,” he said. “But if I would … yeah, that’s what I believe, yes. When a company pays a $5 billion fine for doing something that’s illegal, yeah, I think we can bring charges against the executives.”
Mrs. Clinton said Wednesday Mr. Sanders hadn’t done his homework.
“And he’d been talking for more than a year about doing things that he obviously hadn’t really studied or understood, and that does raise a lot of questions,” she said. “And really what it goes to is for voters to ask themselves, can he deliver what he’s talking about? Can he really help people? Can he help our economy? Can he keep our country strong?”
“Well obviously, I think I’m by far the better choice,” Mrs. Clinton said.
“I think that what he has been saying about the core issue in his whole campaign doesn’t seem to be rooted in an understanding of either the law or the practical ways you get something done,” she said. “And I will leave it to voters to decide who of us can do the job that the country needs, who can do all aspects of the job — both on the economic, domestic issues and on national security and foreign policy.”