Democratic Contenders Battle it Out as Nomination Grows Closer

Clinton appeals to Obama supporters in the latest debate while Sanders doubles down on policy campaign.
2:37 | 01/19/16

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Transcript for Democratic Contenders Battle it Out as Nomination Grows Closer
To the democratic side tonight, where there is also a bitter fight for Iowa this evening. Hillary Clinton and Bernie sanders now neck and neck. The Clinton camp desperate to avoid a repeat of 2008 in the first key state. Sanders last night railing against Clinton's speaking fees from the big banks. Clinton saying she's the only one who won't raise taxes on middle class families. And when sanders was asked whether president Clinton's past should matter? Here's what sanders said. ABC's Cecilia Vega on the campaign trail tonight. Reporter: Today, Bernie sanders saying those attacks on the debate stage last night -- nothing personal. Hillary Clinton and I have different opinions. It's called democracy. But I'm not into personal attacks. Tell me why. Reporter: But the sharp words in South Carolina -- Let me give you an example. Reporter: A sign of just how tight this race is and the bitter battle ahead. For Hillary Clinton, the strategy boiled down to one word. President Obama has led our country out of the great recession. That is one of the greatest accomplishments of president Obama. I'm going to defend president Obama for taking on Wall Street. Reporter: She referenced president Obama 13 times, trying to tap into his pop ewe lawyerty with the democratic base. Last night, Clinton also making a big push for african-american voters, supporting black lives matter and addressing that water crisis in Flint, Michigan. I think every single American should be outraged. We've had a city in the united States of America, where the population, which is poor in many ways, and majority african-american, has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water. Reporter: Sanders coming down hard on Clinton with his key issue -- Wall Street's hold on Washington. Secretary Clinton, and you're not the only one. So, I don't mean to just point the finger at you. You've received over $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year. Reporter: Promising not to throw any personal punches at her husband, but when asked if bill Clinton's past should matter -- I cannot walk down the street, secretary Clinton knows this, without being told how much I have to attack secretary Clinton. We've been through this. Yes, his behavior was deplorable. Have I ever once said a word about that issue? No, I have not. I'm going to debate secretary Clinton, governor O'Malley on the issues facing the American people, not bill Clinton's personal behavior. Reporter: And Hillary Clinton was asked last night, what kind of role her husband would play in her administration, she said, his place in the white house would start with her right at the kitchen table and they would figure it out from there. David?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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