Sanders Confident He’ll Debate Clinton Before New York Primary

“There will be, I suspect, a very spirited debate," Sanders said.

ByABC News
April 3, 2016, 11:05 AM

— -- Bernie Sanders said Sunday morning he was confident that he and Hillary Clinton would debate in New York before the primary in the state later this month.

Despite an escalation in tone and finger-pointing between the two campaigns over the weekend, Sanders told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos he thought both sides would reach an agreement on a time and date.

“The people of New York deserve to hear us discussing the important issues facing that state and facing the country. I suspect it will work out,” Sanders said on "This Week." “There will be, I suspect, a very spirited debate.”

During the interview, Sanders also said he agreed with Clinton and her recent comments about abortion, specifically that a fetus does not have any constitutional rights.

“All I know is that I will fight as strong as I can to defend a woman's right to choose,” Sanders began in response to a question about the topic. “I believe that it is an outrage that Republicans who tell us how much they hate the government now want to tell every American woman what she can and cannot do with her body, and I do agree with the Secretary. I don't believe there's any constitutional protection for the unborn.”

Sanders said any restrictions to abortion should be decided by a woman, her family and her physician and again reiterated his promise to “take on” Republican governors who try to add restrictions.

Earlier this week Clinton accused Sanders on not taking Trump’s comments about abortion seriously enough. Sanders said plainly on ABC’s ‘This Week’ that Roe v. Wade would be another litmus test for any potential Supreme Court nominee, in addition to opposition to Citizens United.

Sanders is poised to do well in the next primary coming up on Tuesday in Wisconsin, and after winning five of the last six contests, a victory in the Badger State could change the momentum ahead of the contest in delegate-rich New York on April 19. Responding to jabs from Clinton last night in Milwaukee that she was the true Democrat, Sanders argued the fact that he was the longest-serving independent in the Congress made his candidacy "even stronger."

"You've got a lot of independents out there,” he said. "So I think we can get virtually all of the Democratic vote. I think we can get a lot of the Independent vote. I think we've got a lot of young people's vote, working class people's vote. I think we're on the way to a victory if we can win the Democratic nomination.”