Clinton unveils Nevada argument against Sanders: Economic policy won't solve everything

Story highlights

  • Hillary Clinton is stepping up attacks against primary opponent Bernie Sanders ahead of Nevada's caucuses
  • Part of Clinton's attack is painting the Vermont senator as a one-issue candidate
  • She previewed her message on the campaign trail Saturday during a Reno, Nevada, event

Henderson, Nevada (CNN)Hillary Clinton stepped up her efforts to cast Bernie Sanders as a single-issue candidate on Saturday in Nevada, firing up a largely union audience by arguing Sanders' economic message wouldn't fix a host of issues.

Clinton and her close aides, after losing in New Hampshire, plan to step up their attacks against Sanders ahead of Nevada's caucuses and South Carolina's primary, two critical contests where the former secretary of state needs victories to stem the Vermont senator's momentum.
"Not everything is about an economic theory, right?" Clinton rhetorically asked the crowd. "If we broke up the big banks tomorrow, and I will, if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will. Will that end racism?"
This call-and-return continued, with Clinton growing more and more impassioned as the audience shouted "no" after every question.
"Will that end sexism? Will that end discrimination against the LGBT community? Will that make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight?" Clinton asked. "Would that solve our problem with voting rights and Republicans who are trying to strip them away from people of color, the elderly and the young?"
Clinton concluded by using a similar argument her campaign has made this week: She is the most comprehensive candidate in the race.
"I am the only candidate who will take on every barrier to progress. I am the only candidate that has a record of taking on those barriers. I am the only candidate who will stand with you in every single fight, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes," she concluded. "That is why I need you, my friends, more than ever."
Clinton and Sanders are currently drawing their focus to Nevada, a state where voters will decide who to caucus for next Saturday.
After an event in Reno, Sanders said Clinton's tactic of casting him as a single issue candidate was "stunning" and that he thought the Clinton campaign was coming "unraveled."
Sanders does, in fact, have positions on a host of issues, including climate change, criminal justice and trade, but Clinton's campaign argues that his routine pivot at debates and in town halls is to economic issues and Wall Street, not the substance of the issue.
Clinton's campaign published a video on Saturday that goes to that point. Titled "Single Issue," the video features Sanders pivoting to Wall Street, billionaires and the economy when asked about race, criminal justice and national security.
"In the Democratic race, both candidates have answers on Wall Street," reads a slate on the video. "But for Senator Sanders, it's part of his answer for everything."