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Clinton wins rival’s backing over email scandal

Washington: Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won unexpected support from her main rival Bernie Sanders on email controversy that has dogged her campaign when the Vermont Senator said it is time to discuss main issues affecting American people.

“Let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the Secretary (Clinton) is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails,” Sanders said during the first Democratic presidential debate when asked about Clinton’s email controversy.

Republicans and her political opponents have accused 67-year-old Clinton of using a private server for her emails when she was the Secretary of State.

“Let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, talk to a whole lot of people. Middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs,” Sanders said,

“The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens Union. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America,” he said.

Such a response from Sanders drew applause from the audience.

Clinton said she takes responsibility of the mistake she did. She said her decision to not use a government email address was a mistake, but she emphasised that she wanted to focus her energy on policy issues that were more important to voters.

“I’ve taken responsibility for it. I did say it was a mistake. What I did was allowed by the State Department, but it wasn’t the best choice,” she said.

“I intend to keep talking about the issues that matter to the American people. You know, I believe strongly that we need to be talking about what people talk to me about, like how are we going to make college affordable? How are we going to pay down student debt?” she said.

Another Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley also supported backed Clinton.

“I believe that now that we’re finally having debates, that we don’t have to be defined by the email scandal, and what the FBI’s asking about. Instead, we can talk about affordable college, making college debt free, and all the issues,” he argued.