Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L)  and Bernie Sanders (R) participate in the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina.. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Bernie Sanders (R) participate in the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina.. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP
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Story highlights

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders traded jabs Tuesday over the decision by progressive groups like Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign to endorse Clinton

(CNN) —  

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders traded jabs Tuesday over the decision by progressive groups like Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign to endorse Clinton.

In an interview on MSNBC on Tuesday night, Sanders responded to a question about Clinton’s endorsements with a broad criticism of the “establishment,” explaining, “What we are doing in this campaign – and it just blows my mind every day, because I see it clearly, we’re taking on not only Wall Street and the economic establishment, we’re taking on the political establishment.”

“And so I have friends and supporters in the Human Rights Fund, in Planned Parenthood,” Sanders continued. “But you know what, Hillary Clinton has been around there for a very, very long time and some of these groups are, in fact, part of the establishment.”

“Look, I’m going to do well and hopefully not win because of establishment support.”

Clinton called out Sanders on Twitter, signing a tweet with her initial meaning it came from her and not campaign staff.

“Really Senator Sanders?” Clinton tweeted, citing the Twitter handles for Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign. “How can you say that groups like @PPact and @HRC are part of the ‘establishment’ you’re taking on? –H.”

The heated exchange comes as the Democratic primary has become increasingly competitive. A new CNN/ORC poll shows Sanders widening his lead in the important early primary state New Hampshire, where he leads Clinton 60% to 33%.

Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign both responded on twitter Wednesday morning to Sanders’ criticism.

“We respect @SenSanders. Disappointed to be called ‘establishment’ as we fight like hell to protect women’s health,” Planned Parenthood wrote.

And the Human Rights Campaign wrote, “We share @PPact’s disappointment in Sanders’ attacks. @HRC has proudly taken on the establishment & fought for LGBT people for over 30 years.”