Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders turned up the heat Thursday night during their first head-to-head debate after a close Iowa caucus race earlier this week.
On the offensive after Sanders tied her campaign fundraising to Wall Street, Clinton called out the Vermont senator for conducting a "very artful smear" campaign.
She objects to Sanders' inference that money from the financial sector has ever influenced her past policy positions, that "anyone who's ever taken donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought."
"I just absolutely reject that, Senator," said Clinton, whose paid speeches to firms like Goldman Sachs have been used in attack lines by Sanders before. "And I really don't think that these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you. And enough is enough."
"If you've got something to say, say it directly," she challenged. "But you will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation that I ever received."
In response, Sanders fired back that corporate money in elections does indeed work towards "undermining American democracy."
He pointed generally to campaign contributions from ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers as reasons Republicans deny climate change, and campaign cash flows from investment banks for the reasons Wall Street became deregulated in the 1990s.
"That is what goes on in America," Sanders said. "There is a reason why these people are putting huge amounts of money into our political system."
Asked later in the debate whether she would publicly release the transcripts of her paid speeches to corporations, Clinton replied: "I will look into it."