- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton pitched herself as a pragmatic progressive in Thursday night’s Democratic debate, repeating the meme Democratic candidates “should not make promises they can’t keep” in so much as it further alienates those already disfranchised from politicians and the government.

“It is absolutely fair and necessary for Americans to vet both of our proposals, to ask the really hard questions about what is it we think we can accomplish why do we believe that and what would be the results for the average American family,” Mrs. Clinton challenged the average American.

Mrs. Clinton’s aim was to make Mr. Sanders’ proposals seem pie-in-the-sky, saying in order for many of his plans to work, like making public universities free, Governors like Republican Scott Walker would need to pitch in $23 billion in order to make it work.

“I’m a little skeptical about your Governor actually caring enough about higher education to make any kind of commitment like that,” Mrs. Clinton said, looking directly to the audience.

Mrs. Clinton highlighted her role in her husband’s administration crafting health care legislation before the Affordable Care Act passed, saying she has first-hand experience at how hard it is to push legislation like that through.

“The reason I’m stanch supporter of the Affordable Care Act is because I know how hard it was to get that done,” Mrs. Clinton explained. “If it’s Medicare for All then you no longer have the Affordable Care Act.”

She added, she and other progressive analysts have looked at Mr. Sanders universal health care plan, and the numbers don’t add up.

“That’s a promise that can not be kept,” Mrs. Clinton said. “It’s really important now that we’re getting to the rest of the country that both of us are held to account for explaining what we are proposing. Especially about health care, this is not about math, this is about people’s lives.”

After being hit on both his health care and higher education plan, Mr. Sanders warned Mrs. Clinton: “You’re not in the White House yet.”

He added if the country was ready to elect a progressive like him, it would be as historic as putting a women in the White House.

• Kelly Riddell can be reached at kriddell@washingtontimes.com.

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