Sanders calls out Clinton for using 'racist term'

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Bernie Sanders Slams Hillary Clinton For Using A 'Racist Term' In 1996

The gloves came off early when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders duked it out at Thursday night's heated CNN Democratic debate in Brooklyn.

Sanders went after Clinton's past use of the term "superpredators," a word she used while championing her husband, former President Bill Clinton's, 1994 crime bill. Sanders bluntly stated "It was a racist term and everybody knew it was a racist term."

Clinton quickly responded by saying, "I shouldn't have used those words, and I wouldn't use them today,"

Click through images from the CNN Democratic debate:

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Sanders calls out Clinton for using 'racist term'
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Democratic Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) debate during the CNN Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard on April 14, 2016 in New York City. The candidates are debating ahead of the New York primary to be held April 19. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Senator Bernie Sanders speak simultaneously during a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) gestures towards rival candidate Senator Bernie Sanders as she speaks during a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Bernie Sanders both gesture during a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Members of the audience watch as Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and Senator Bernie Sanders discuss issues during a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) looks on as rival candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton demonstrate before a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders demonstrate before a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders shout slogans outside the Brooklyn Navy Yard ahead of the CNN Democratic Debate on April 14, 2016, in New York. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders take their increasingly acrimonious battle for the Democratic White House nomination to a debate stage in Brooklyn on April 14th ahead of the key New York primary. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders demonstrate before a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
The Williamsburg Bridge stands past the media row before the start of the Democratic presidential candidate debate in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, April 14, 2016. While Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have tussled over energy policy, immigration, and gun control, it's the back-and-forth over Wall Street that has been most persistent through weeks of campaigning in the state. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A member of the media takes a photograph with a mobile device before the start of the Democratic presidential candidate debate in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, April 14, 2016. While Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have tussled over energy policy, immigration, and gun control, it's the back-and-forth over Wall Street that has been most persistent through weeks of campaigning in the state. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees hold signs in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, before the start of the Democratic presidential candidate debate in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, April 14, 2016. While Sanders and Hillary Clinton have tussled over energy policy, immigration, and gun control, it's the back-and-forth over Wall Street that has been most persistent through weeks of campaigning in the state. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's supporters shout slogans outside the Brooklyn Navy Yard ahead of the CNN Democratic Debate on April 14, 2016, in New York. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders take their increasingly acrimonious battle for the Democratic White House nomination to a debate stage in Brooklyn on April 14th ahead of the key New York primary. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shout slogans outside the Brooklyn Navy Yard ahead of the CNN Democratic Debate on April 14, 2016, in New York. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders take their increasingly acrimonious battle for the Democratic White House nomination to a debate stage in Brooklyn April 14th ahead of the key New York primary. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gather outside the Brooklyn Navy Yard before Clinton faces Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, in the CNN Democratic Presidential Primary Debate there on Thursday, April 14, 2016 in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The stage stands before the start of the Democratic presidential candidate debate in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, April 14, 2016. While Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have tussled over energy policy, immigration, and gun control, it's the back-and-forth over Wall Street that has been most persistent through weeks of campaigning in the state. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Earlier in the debate Clinton apologized for what she called unintended consequences of that particular crime bill. "My husband has apologized. He is the one who signed it. I'm sorry for the unintended consequences," she continued. "I've seen the results and impact it has had on families and communities."

The crime bill and the former secretary of state's controversial use of the term "superpredators" jumped back into headlines after former President Clinton had an explosive confrontation with a group protestors while stumping for his wife in Philadelphia.

"This is what's the matter," the former president said, while being heckled during his speech. "I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent 'em out onto the street to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She didn't."

"Tell the truth, you are defending the people who caused young people to go out and take guns," the 42nd president continued.

Thursday night's debate was first time the pair has clashed since the primary has heated up in the form of more personal and biting attacks between the two politicians. The intensity of the contest continues to grow increasingly contentious as the April 19th New York primary draws closer.

Thursday's CNN debate was the last meeting between both candidates currently on the schedule.

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