Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday slammed Hillary Clinton for turning down a final Democratic primary debate.
In a “Today” show interview, Sanders said he was “disappointed” Clinton did not agree to a 10th Democratic debate on the eve of California’s June 7 primary.
“She is really insulting the people of the largest state in our country who have a right to hear a vigorous debate on her views,” Sanders told NBC.
“So I am disappointed, though not surprised,” he added.
Within hours of Clinton’s decision to sit out a final debate, Sanders’ attack became an applause-ready line in his stump speech.
At a rally Monday evening, the senator told a crowd that Clinton was failing to address issues facing California voters.
“I think it’s a little insulting to the people of California – the largest state,” Sanders said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“She is not prepared to have a discussion with me about how she is going to help California address the major crises we face,” he added.
A debate, however, would be unlikely to improve Sanders’ odds in the last phase of the primary race.
Clinton maintains a virtually insurmountable lead in pledged delegates, so-called superdelegates, and popular votes, and she is leading in the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls of Democratic primary voters in the Golden State.
FiveThirtyEight calculated that along with modest wins in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Clinton needs to win only a little more than 40% of the Democratic primary vote in New Jersey, where she leads in surveys by wide margins, to clinch the nomination before the polls close in California on June 7.