US election: Hillary Clinton insists she is a progressive
- 4 February 2016
- From the section US Election 2016
Hillary Clinton has defended her progressive record after Democratic rival Bernie Sanders mounted an attack on her links to Wall Street.
"I'm a progressive who gets results and I will be a progressive president who gets results," she said.
The two Democratic contenders took questions from an audience in New Hampshire, which will pick its presidential nominees in a few days.
Iowa kicked off the state-by-state election earlier this week.
The former secretary of state, Mrs Clinton, was declared the winner in Iowa by a whisker after a prolonged count.
Mr Sanders, a Vermont senator with a big lead in New Hampshire polls, listed issues upon which he thinks Mrs Clinton was not liberal enough - trade agreements, Wall Street regulation, climate change and her backing for the war in Iraq.
"I do not know any progressive who has a super PAC and takes $15m from Wall Street," said Mr Sanders.
Mrs Clinton, who followed him on to the stage in Manchester, said she was not bothered by his accusation but it was not helpful because they shared the same aspirations.
Under the senator's definition, President Barack Obama would not be a progressive, she said.
The former first lady was also on the defensive for her speaking fees paid by big businesses, which amount to $9m, according to the Associated Press news agency.
When asked by CNN's Anderson Cooper why she was paid $675,000 for one event, she said: "I don't know. That is what they offered."
'Format brought out the best' - BBC's Kim Ghattas in New Hampshire:
The tone is definitely rising between the two Democratic opponents. All day, by e-mail, on Twitter, they sparred about who is the real progressive.
On Tuesday, Mr Sanders had said that his opponent was a progressive ''on some days''. Mrs Clinton called it a low blow. And they went at it again in the evening, during the town hall.
This isn't just about semantics: it's about who has the ability not only to build on President Obama's legacy, but to take it much further and, by doing so, inspire voters frustrated by the slow pace of change.
Mr Sanders is promising a revolution and dismissing those who say that's pie in the sky. Change always happens bottom up, he said, during the town hall.
Mrs Clinton, who comes across mostly as a pragmatic doer, hasn't yet managed to capture the imagination of young voters and she admitted she had work to do on that front.
This was a format that brought out the best in both candidates - they took turns on stage, and interacted with voters who asked very considered questions. The candidates gave thoughtful answers.
This was probably one of Mr Sanders' best performances so far - he did less shouting and arm-waving than usual.
Prodded by questions about faith and humility, Mrs Clinton opened up in a way she usually reserves for small settings, not national television, but which always works well with voters.
Earlier on Wednesday, in response to the same accusation about not being a progressive, Mrs Clinton listed her accomplishments in helping minorities and the disadvantaged.
She mentioned her efforts in expanding access to children's health insurance and her push to support women's rights and gay rights.
The tensions between the two come as they prepare to debate each other on stage together on Thursday night, five days before the New Hampshire primary vote.
Both Republican and Democratic parties will formally name their presidential candidates at conventions in July.
Americans will finally go to the polls to choose the new occupant of the White House in November.
More on the Democratic race
- Three things Hillary says What Clinton most often speaks about on campaign trail
- No jubilation in Hillary camp The mood the morning after a narrow win in Iowa
- Why are Americans so angry? The underlying forces that explain rise of Trump, Cruz and Sanders
- How a US election works The difference between a primary and caucus, and other questions answered
- Special report: The BBC's full coverage of the race to the White House