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Candidates Back On Campaign Trail After New York Delivers Rowdy Night Of Politics

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The candidates were back on the campaign trail Friday after a rowdy New York night of politics ahead of the state's Tuesday presidential primary.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported, many candidates stayed in New York, but one left the country.

Campaigning Friday morning in East Harlem, Hillary Clinton visited Corsi Senior Center, playing games of dominos, speaking to about 75 people and touring a public housing apartment in the building.

"Today, too many New Yorkers are struggling to pay rising rents. They're being priced out of communities where they've been for years," she said.

Sanders arrived Friday in Rome for a Vatican City conference on social and economic justice, which he said was too meaningful to pass up. At the conference, he issued a global call to action to address "immoral and unsustainable'' wealth inequality and poverty.

"Widespread financial criminality on Wall Street played a direct role in causing the world's worst financial crisis since the Great Depression," Sanders said.

Clinton and Sanders aggressively challenged each other's judgment to be president at a raucous Democratic debate in Brooklyn Thursday night over Wall Street banks, minimum wage, gun control and foreign policy.

PHOTOS: Democrats Debate In Brooklyn

"Do we really feel confident about a candidate saying she is going to bring change to America when she is dependent on big money interests? I don't think so," Sanders said.

"This is a phony attack that is designed to raise questions when there is no evidence or support," said Clinton.

The Vermont senator took a biting and often sarcastic tone as he sought to chip away at Clinton's credibility on issue after issue. He went as far as to suggest that her labeling of certain criminals as "superpredators'' when she was first lady was "a racist term and everybody knew it was a racist term.''


The Democratic debate was the first for Clinton and Sanders in five weeks, and a lively crowd cheered their candidates loudly and occasionally booed their foes. At one point Clinton said with a smile, "I love Brooklyn.''

Viewers of the debate had mixed reviews of the event, 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported.

One New Jersey woman expressed disappointment, saying that the back-and-forth banter took away from the key issues.

"I thought this would help me decide," she said. "It's just a bunch of politicians."

Keith, who also watched the event, said the Democratic debates shine in comparison to the Republican standoffs.

"It's much more engaged than anything close on the GOP side," he said.

None of the Republican candidates was in the city on Friday, but all three were in Manhattan for a gala on Thursday.

"Who the hell wants to talk about politics all the time, right?" Donald Trump said.

All three Republican candidates are campaigning Friday in upstate New York.

John Kasich held a town hall in Watertown and will hold another Friday afternoon in Utica. Ted Cruz held three events, including a rally in Rochester. Trump held a rally in Plattsburgh and an evening rally in Hartford, Connecticut.

Thursday night, the tone among Republicans was somewhat more subdued as they threw sharp elbows at a Manhattan gala.

As protests raged outside the state GOP dinner, Trump delivered an impassioned defense of the city he calls home.

He praised the city's response to the nation's deadliest terrorist attacks in remarks designed to jab Cruz, who has repeatedly condemned "New York values'' in his push to defeat the New York real estate mogul.

"In our darkest moments, as a city we showed the world the very, very best in terms of bravery, heart and soul of America,'' Trump charged. "These are the values we need to make America great again.'' 

Cruz touted his primary wins against Trump and shared his views on the state of the nation, WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported.

"We're bankrupting our country, our constitutional rights are under assault each and every day and America has receded from leadership in the world," Cruz said.

Cruz has been optimistic about his chances.

"We have been winning state after state after state, and it's why I believe that we're going to earn a majority of the delegates, win the nomination, and beat Hillary Clinton," Cruz said.

Kasich has also been touting his own numbers.

"I don't know if you know this; I'm the only Republican that consistently beats Hillary Clinton in the polls," he said.

On the sidewalks outside, Trump was the target of rowdy protesters who hung an effigy of the billionaire businessman and chanted, "How do you spell racist? T-R-U-M-P.''

A large group of protesters even got inside Grand Central Terminal, holding signs and chanting. Police kept close tabs on the demonstrators and about two dozen people were arrested outside the GOP gala.

The latest CBS News poll finds both Trump and Clinton, the two party's front-runners, are also the most disliked candidates among overall registered voters. 

It found that 63 percent of voters view Trump unfavorably while 54 percent view Clinton unfavorably. Cruz came in at 48 percent followed by Sanders at 34 percent and Kasich at 21 percent.

The poll was taken before Thursday night's Democratic debate.

According to a new Marist poll, Clinton still leads over Sanders 57 percent to 40 percent, WCBS 880's Kelly Waldron reported. Clinton is leading by 26 points in New York City and 24 points in the suburbs, the poll shows.

There will be 95 delegates up for grabs for Republicans in the New York Primary, and 247 for the Democrats.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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