Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (C) greets Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane Sanders at the end of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa October 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
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Bernie Sanders sharpened the contrast with Hillary Rodham Clinton on a bevy of liberal causes, casting himself as a principled progressive before thousands of Iowa Democrats in an appearance that could set the tone for the leadoff presidential caucuses in February. Sanders, the independent Vermont senator, never mentioned Clinton by name Saturday night at the high-profile fundraising dinner but implicitly criticized her delayed opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Keystone XL pipeline as well as her vote in favor of the Iraq war and passage of the Defense of Marriage Act during her husband's administration that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages approved under the laws of other states.Clinton did not respond in kind, making the case that she would be best equipped to take on the Republicans.Clinton and Sanders sit atop a Democratic presidential field that was effectively pared down to two after Vice President Joe Biden announced this week he would not seek the nomination.The speech marked a more aggressive turn by Sanders, who struggled at times to scrutinize Clinton's record during the first Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas earlier this month.Clinton placed third in the Iowa caucuses in 2008 behind Barack Obama and has since built a formidable organization to power her to victory here.
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