Hillary Clinton Knocks Bernie Sanders Over Response to Donald Trump’s Abortion Comments

Clinton had her sights on Sanders during a rally at SUNY Purchase in New York.

ByABC News
March 31, 2016, 4:47 PM

— -- Let the New York primary begin.

While campaigning in her home state today, Hillary Clinton had her sights not so much on the GOP field (although she did go after them, too). But rather, on Bernie Sanders, who she chided for his response to Donald Trump’s controversial comments on abortion on Wednesday.

“Last night, Senator Sanders agreed that Donald Trump’s comments were shameful but then he said they were a distraction from, and I quote, 'a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America,’” the Democratic presidential candidate told the crowd of roughly 700 people at an event here in Purchase, New York -- prompting boos from some in the crowd.

"To me, this is a serious issue. And it’s a very serious discussion,” she continued. “Look, I know Senator Sanders supports a woman’s right to choose, but I also know Planned Parenthood Action and NARAL endorsed me because I have led on this issue. I have fought on this issue. And I know, given what’s happening in states across our country, we need a president who is passionate about this."

On Wednesday, Trump said during a forum on MSNBC that women who undergo abortions, if there were a ban on the procedure, should be punished. He later walked back his comment in a statement, but the remark drew backlash from leaders in both parties.

Sanders called the remark “shameful” and “beyond comprehension.” He then referred to it as “another stupid remark” by Trump that, Sanders suggested, is a distraction from “serious issues facing America.”

Clinton’s jab at Sanders came shortly after a small group of Sanders supporters interrupted her remarks at State University of New York at Purchase by shouting, “She wins, we lose.”

"The Bernie people came to say that, we’re very sorry you’re leaving,” Clinton, who rarely responds to hecklers, said back to the protesters as they walked out.

"What I regret is they don't want the contrast between my experience, my plans, my vision, what I know I can get done and what my opponent is promising,” she said. “I'll give you one example. He goes around telling young people he's going to give them free college. I wish it were so, but you go and read the fine print, which anybody should do anyone makes a promise about something being free. You read that fine print and said, yeah, it will be free if the governors of America put in about $28 billion.”

Sanders, who was born in Brooklyn, and Clinton are both bracing for a more heated than usual Democratic primary in New York.

Both candidates are expected to barnstorm the state in the coming weeks.

A new Quinnipiac poll shows Clinton leading Sanders in the state by 12 points, 54 to 42.