Vying to earn the Democratic nomination as the party's presidential candidate for the November 8 election, Clinton and Sanders sparred over trade and auto bailout along with foreign policy issues, during yesterday's debate in Michigan.

"Excuse me, I'm talking. Can I finish, please?" the Vermont senator said, drawing boos from the crowd after Clinton tried to cut in during their heated exchange over support for the USD 700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Sanders' harsh tone and remarks came after one of the toughest attacks on him by the former secretary of state.

"If everybody had voted the way he did, I believe the auto industry would have collapsed, taking four million jobs with it," said 68-year-old Clinton who seems set to be the first woman presidential nominee of a major party and is leading so far in both the delegate count and the number of states won.

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Contrary to general expectations that Clinton would have a smooth run during the nomination process, Sanders has emerged as a strong opposition to her White House ambitions.

"Your story is voting for every disastrous trade agreement, and voting for corporate America. Did I vote against the Wall Street bailout? When billionaires on Wall Street destroyed this economy, they went to Congress and said, 'please, we'll be good boys, bail us out'.

"You know what I said? I said, 'let the billionaires themselves bail out Wall Street'. It shouldn't be the middle class of America," said 74-year-old Sanders.

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