POLITICS
02/04/2016 10:20 pm ET Updated Feb 05, 2016

Hillary Clinton Accuses Bernie Sanders Of Smearing Her Over Wall Street Donations

"You will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation."

Hillary Clinton on Thursday accused Democratic rival Bernie Sanders of trying to smear her by suggesting donations from Wall Street interest groups had influenced her views.

Clinton, in her most aggressive defense yet of Sanders' criticism that she has received speaking fees from Goldman Sachs and other financial groups since leaving the State Department, denied money caused her to change her position on anything.

"I think it's time to end the very artful smear that you and your campaign have been carrying out in recent weeks," Clinton told Sanders during the Democratic debate in New Hampshire, as Sanders protested and shook his head.

Clinton said Sanders' attack suggests "anyone who ever took donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought."

"And I just absolutely reject that, Senator," Clinton said. "And I really don't think these attacks by insinuation are really worthy of you. And enough is enough. If you have something to say, say it directly. But you will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation that I ever received."

Sanders argues the government's failure to regulate the banking and pharmaceutical industries, and its lack of action on climate change, has been influenced by heavy industry lobbying and campaign contributions.

"Let's talk about why, in the 1990s, Wall Street got deregulated," Sanders said. "Did it have anything to do with the fact that Wall Street provided and spent billions of dollars on campaign contributions? Well, some people might think yeah, that had some influence."

Clinton said she has been attacked by some of the special interest groups Sanders named as her contributors and was proud of standing up to them.

Sanders has frequently criticized Clinton for taking donations and speaking fees from Wall Street. Asked on Wednesday about why she accepted such high fees, Clinton said, "That's what they offered."

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