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Homeland Security

Clinton, Sanders Support Plans to Close Guantanamo

by VOA News February 23, 2016

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders voice their support Tuesday for President Obama's push to close the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

At a CNN town hall forum in the southeastern state of South Carolina, former Secretary of State Clinton said there is no reason for the United States to still use the facility, calling it a continuing recruitment ad for terrorists. She said the decision on where to transfer the remaining detainees 'should be a matter of negotiation.'

Sanders, a senator from Vermont, said locking up people in Guantanamo has had repercussions around the world for the U.S., making the country 'look like hypocrites and fools.'

Democrats vote Saturday in South Carolina's presidential primary with Clinton leading by more than 20 points in a number of polls in the state. The contest is the last before next Tuesday's so-called Super Tuesday when about a dozen states will vote at the same time.

Sanders also weighed in on the situation with the U.S. Supreme Court, which has a vacancy due to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans say President Barack Obama should not be allowed to appoint a new justice in his final year in office, while Democrats insist it is the president's duty to do so.

Sanders called the Republican position an example of the 'continuous and unprecedented obstructionism' that Obama has faced during his term. He mentioned questions about Obama's heritage, saying that despite having a Polish father nobody has ever asked to see his own birth certificate.

Clinton responded to criticism of her paid speeches to companies, particularly those on Wall Street, by saying she is open to releasing transcripts of those remarks, but only if all the other candidates do so.

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