As Republicans gird themselves for an increasingly likely contested convention, Hillary Clinton is confident Democrats won’t face the same fate.
The Democratic front-runner is not preparing for a scenario where she or primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders fail to reach the Democratic National Convention with the delegates needed to lock up the nomination, Clinton told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview aired Sunday on “State of the Union.”
“No, I intend to have the number of delegates that are required to be nominated,” Clinton said in the interview, taped in Brooklyn, where Clinton is campaigning ahead of New York’s April 19 primary.
Clinton’s comments come as Sanders launched several verbal volleys in the last week against Clinton, saying that he has doubts about what kind of president Clinton would be and suggesting that Clinton is unqualified to be president.
Clinton declined to knock Sanders when pressed about the Vermont senators’ comments.
“I don’t have anything negative to say about him,” Clinton said, though she had signaled in recent days that she is ready to dispatch with Sanders and turn her attention to the general election.
ISIS, Israel and Gaza
The Democratic front-runner – who has suffered a spate of losses in recent primaries but maintains a firm pledged delegate lead over Sanders – did, however, fire back after his campaign manager Jeff Weaver said Clinton supported a foreign policy that gave rise to ISIS.
“That is beyond absurd,” Clinton said. “They’re saying a lot of things these days and I’m going to let them say whatever they choose to say. But ISIS was primarily the result of the vacuum in Syria caused by Assad first and foremost. Aided and abetted by Iran and Russia, so I think that let’s put responsibility where it belongs.”
Clinton as senator voted in favor of authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, a vote Sanders has consistently criticized throughout the campaign. Sanders voted against going to war in Iraq.
Clinton also addressed comments Sanders made in a CNN interview in which he described Israel’s response to rocket fire from the Gaza strip as “disproportionate.”
Clinton said she support’s “Israel’s right to self-defense” and said that she learned in negotiating the cease fire between Israel and Hamas in 2012 that “Hamas provokes Israel.”
Sha also said because Hamas fighters blend in with the civilian population it is a “difficult undertaking for Israel to target” fighters.
“When you are being attacked with rockets raining down on your people and your soldiers are under attack you have to respond,” Clinton said.
Sanders, in a separate interview with Tapper aired Sunday, said he was “amused” by Clinton’s support for raising the minimum wage to $15 in some states. That’s because while she championed the move in New York, she supports raising it to just $12 an hour nationally, leaving it up to states and cities to increase it from there.
Clinton defended her position.
“There are a lot of places that are not well off around the country they’re required to have $7.25 wage to go from that to $12 is big leap,” Clinton said. “Now I want to encourage every place that can go to $15 the New York cities, Los Angeles, Seattle and California raised its minimum wage, but it also took into account different geographic areas with different economic circumstances.”
Clinton was also pressed about her husband’s fiery defense of in the face of a group of Black Lives Matter protesters confronted the former president during a campaign rally this week over the former first lady’s use of the term “super predator” in the 90s in reference to gang members.
“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out on the street to murder other African-American children,” former President Bill Clinton said Thursday.
Hillary Clinton has said that she regrets using that term and insisted Sunday that she has “been listening” to the concerns of activists since launching her campaign.
Clinton added that she strongly supports efforts to combat the negative consequences of the U.S.’s tough-on-crime approach that she had supported under her husband’s administration, such as high incarceration levels.
Clinton also noted that the former president was particularly passionate in his rebuttal because it was more than just policy he was defending.
“Well, he’s not only a former president, he’s my husband, and he does take defending and protecting me very seriously and I appreciate that,” Clinton said in the Sunday interview.