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Sanders in Democrats’ crosshairs ahead of debate

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Bernie Sanders says his policies will work in the US as they have worked elsewhere Senator Bernie Sanders is under attack from rival US Democrats as he cements his position as a frontrunner to take on Donald Trump in November’s election.Seven candidates will debate in South Carolina on Tuesday,…

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Bernie Sanders says his policies will work in the US as they have worked elsewhere

Senator Bernie Sanders is under attack from rival US Democrats as he cements his position as a frontrunner to take on Donald Trump in November’s election.Seven candidates will debate in South Carolina on Tuesday, just days before the state becomes the fourth to vote on the party’s nominee.Several have launched fresh attack ads on Mr Sanders, who they see as too left-wing to win against Mr Trump.The current frontrunner identifies himself as a “democratic socialist”.Ahead of the 10th debate of the 2020 election cycle, Pete Buttigieg, Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden all released advertisements targeting Mr Sanders decades-long record in the US Senate.Some of Mr Sanders’s signature campaign policies – such as government-provided healthcare, universal childcare and free university education – have been condemned by critics as too expensive and likely to alienate US voters.What are the candidates saying?Mr Bloomberg, a former New York City mayor, claims in a 90 second-advert that the National Rifle Association (NRA) “paved the road to Washington” for Mr Sanders. “He spent the next three decades making sure they got a return on their investment. We deserve a president who is not beholden to the gun lobby,” the ad says, referring to the gun-rights group that is strongly disliked by many liberal Democrats.The ad also spotlights the Vermont senator’s mixed record on support for gun control, including his vote against a 1993 bill that made background checks required for most gun sales.

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Joe Biden campaigning in South Carolina on Monday

In response, a group supporting Mr Sanders – People for Bernie – released video clips of Mr Bloomberg praising disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been convicted of rape.On Monday, former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg attacked Mr Sanders plan for government-provided healthcare in an ad that declares “instead of polarisation, progress”.
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Media captionA family split over Bernie SandersFormer Vice-President Joe Biden accused Mr Sanders of attempting to thwart the 2012 re-election attempt by President Barack Obama.The Big Tent Project, a newly formed Democratic group that seeks to derail Mr Sanders’s candidacy, has been distributing flyers in South Carolina, before voters go to the polls on Saturday.

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Pete Buttigieg was among those attacking Mr Sanders ahead of the debate

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