AMES, Iowa — Facing a narrowing primary contest, Hillary Clinton ripped into rival Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, saying the Vermont senator was offering unrealistic policies and overstating his anti-establishment credentials.
For days, Clinton has cast Sanders as a less forceful advocate for gun control, homing in on a 2005 vote he cast that gave immunity to gun manufacturers. On Tuesday, she broadened her critique, arguing that if Sanders wouldn't combat the National Rifle Association, he can't be trusted to take on other special interests.
"If you're going to go around saying you stand up to special interests, then stand up to that most powerful special interest — stand up to the gun lobby," she said, as she accepted the backing of a major gun control advocacy group.
Clinton added: "Don't talk to me about standing up to corporate interests and big powers. I've got the scars to show for it."
The fresh critique marks an effort by Clinton to undermine the central argument of Sanders' campaign— that the Vermont senator is an outsider offering liberals a "political revolution." At one point, she alluded to his mantra, telling supporters, "If that's the kind of 'revolution' he's talking about, I'm worried, folks."
With a touch of sarcasm, Clinton said President Barack Obama's work to pass an overhaul to the nation's health care system was a major accomplishment and derided Sanders' plans for a single-payer Medicare-for-all system.
"I wish that we could elect a Democrat who could wave a magic wand and say, 'we shall do this and we shall do that.' That ain't the real world we're living in!" Clinton said.