Sanders likely to sharpen Clinton attacks during Democratic debate

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Bernie Sanders Needs to Dent Hillary Clinton on Character and Foreign Policy

When Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders take the stage in a presidential debate on Saturday, Sanders is likely to be more aggressive than in their first debate as he highlights their differences on issues like reducing income inequality.

When they faced off last month, Sanders was restrained in challenging Clinton and got a grateful handshake from her when he said voters were "sick and tired" of the controversy over her use of private email as secretary of state.

SEE MORE: US postal workers union endorses Bernie Sanders for president in 2016

This encounter will be different.

"He's not necessarily looking for a fight, but he does have some differences with her on issues and he intends to talk about those," said Tad Devine, a senior adviser to Sanders.

Sanders has turned up the heat on Clinton on the campaign trail, questioning her sincerity and trustworthiness after she reversed course to join ranks with him and other opponents of the Asian trade pact and Keystone XL pipeline.

See Sanders and Clinton at the first Democratic debate:

26 PHOTOS
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton duking it out during Democratic debates
See Gallery
Sanders likely to sharpen Clinton attacks during Democratic debate
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt and Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton interrupt each other during the Univision, Washington Post Democratic presidential debate at Miami-Dade College, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton argues a point as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate at the University of Michigan-Flint, Sunday, March 6, 2016, in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton makes a point as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, reatcs during a Democratic presidential primary debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
MILWAUKEE, WI - FEBRUARY 11: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and Hillary Clinton participate in the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidate debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on February 11, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.The debate is the final debate before the Nevada caucuses scheduled for February 20. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gestures towards Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a democratic presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, left, speaks at the NBC, YouTube Democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Charleston, S.C. To the right is Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton and Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. speak during a break at the NBC, YouTube Democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
DURHAM, NH - FEBRUARY 04: Democratic presidential candidates former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during their MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate at the University of New Hampshire on February 4, 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the New Hampshire primaries. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton, right, speaks to Bernie Sanders during a break at the Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Bernie Sanders, left, offers an apology to Hillary Clinton during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Bernie Sanders, left, speaks to Hillary Clinton after a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Bernie Sanders, left, makes a point as Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, walks by Bernie Sanders during a commercial break at a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2015, file photo, Bernie Sanders makes a point during a Democratic presidential primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa. The Democratic presidential candidates are meeting for their third debate on Dec. 19, with tensions suddenly boiling between Hillary Clinton and her chief rival, Sanders. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley appear before a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, speak during the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Democratic presidential candidates from left, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee take the stage before the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, left, and Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, participate in the first Democratic presidential debate at the Wynn Las Vegas resort and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. While tonight's first Democratic presidential debate will probably lack the name-calling and sharp jabs of the Republican face-offs, there's still potential for strong disagreements between the party's leading contenders. Photographer: Josh Haner/Pool via Bloomberg
Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont,, left, and Hillary Rodham Clinton laugh during the CNN Democratic presidential debate, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton shake hands at the end of a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: (L-R) Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - October 13: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton pictured at the 2015 CNN Democratic Presidential Debate at Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, NV on October 13, 2015. Credit: Erik Kabik Photography/ MediaPunch/IPX
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

But with Clinton well ahead in polls, the Vermont senator is preparing to engage her on other policy differences as well. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, told the Boston Globe last week that he disagrees with the more moderate Clinton on "virtually everything."

Devine said he "wouldn't be surprised" if Saturday's debate was more testy.

"He really wants to have a debate on the issues," Devine said, citing campaign finance, college affordability and climate change as other topics where he could draw distinctions with Clinton.

SEE MORE: Ronda Rousey feels the Bern, endorses Bernie Sanders for president

"But if there is conflict, if anybody questions him or goes after him on an issue, he'll be prepared to engage," he said.

The debate in Des Moines, Iowa, will be televised by CBS News and begins at 9 p.m. EST. Clinton, Sanders and Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor, will participate.

Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb dropped out after the first debate.

The encounter follows a good month for Clinton. A strong performance in the first debate and a forceful 11-hour appearance before a congressional panel probing the Benghazi attack calmed Democratic fears after a summer of controversy over her emails.

SEE MORE: Bernie Sanders' latest marijuana comments are turning heads -- literally

Clinton also was buoyed by Vice President Joe Biden's decision not to launch a White House bid against her.

Polls show Clinton now has a commanding double-digit lead over Sanders nationally and in Iowa, which holds the first nominating contest on Feb. 1. O'Malley trails well behind, registering in single digits.

(Editing by Christian Plumb)

SAP is the sponsor of this coverage which is independently produced by the staff of Reuters News Agency.

More from AOL.com:
US soccer says no to heading for kids (and it's about time)
Orangutan mother and baby rescued after being stoned by humans
Campbell Soup recalls 355,000 cans of SpaghettiOs

Read Full Story

People are Reading