Clinton Strikes New Tone Toward Sanders as Iowa Caucuses Near

PHOTO: Pictured (L-R) are Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton in Osage, Iowa, Jan. 5, 2016 and Sen. Bernie Sanders in Las Vegas, Dec. 28, 2015.PlayAP Photo
WATCH Hillary Clinton Barely Ahead of Bernie Sanders in Iowa

As she made her final pitch to voters in a coffee shop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Monday night, Hillary Clinton reflected on the tight race between her and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“People come to my events and they’ll say, ‘You know, I’m undecided. I’m trying to make up my mind, and I can’t decide, and sometimes I’m for you, and sometimes I’m for Senator Sanders, and then I’m for you.’ And I feel like a lot of voters are in the pinball machine, you know? They’re getting knocked around, going back and forth,” Clinton told the crowd of roughly 250.

She then described a young man who recently told her that choosing between her and Sanders was akin to choosing between “my head versus my heart.”

Since the beginning of the year, Clinton has changed her tone toward her presidential rival as polls show the two neck-and-neck with voters.

On a recent Friday, Clinton – who for months would not mention Sanders by name – called into MSNBC's “Hardball” program to attack Sanders on his gun record. "You know, maybe it's time for Sen. Sanders to stand up and say I got this one wrong," Clinton said.

One week later, at a campaign event last week in Indianola, Iowa, she was more aggressive – hitting her opponent on health care and foreign policy and for ideas that “sound good on paper but will never make it in the real world.”

But then she toned it down. And in the days since, it appears that Clinton has found a middle ground in how she should approach her Democratic opponent.

“Look, I am really proud of the campaign we on the Democratic side we have run. We have tried to stay on issues, we tried to draw a contrast, but to do it based on policy compared to what you see happening on the other side,” Clinton said Sunday at a campaign event. “But we do have differences, and as you start moving toward the caucus I want you to know where they are.”

Clinton, however, isn’t holding back from hitting Sanders on the topic of electability.

When asked for her reaction to Sanders’ new TV ad featuring Simon and Garfunkel, she had an answer that both complimented her opponent and challenged him, too.

“I think that’s great, I think that’s fabulous. I loved it,” she said about the ad. But, she added, “Look. You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose.”