Washington: With the 2016 US presidential race hotting up, Democratic and Republican frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are trading barbs over issuing ranging from women to campaign funds.
"Mr. Trump insults, he dismisses women ... he has been throwing a lot of heat my way," Clinton said at a campaign event in New Hampshire, one of the nominating states from where the primary process begins.
She also mocked the real estate mogul`s claims that he would be a champion for women`s rights and that he "cherishes" women, saying: "If it`s all the same to you, Mr. Trump, I would rather you stop cherishing women and start respecting women."
Hours later, Trump fired back on Twitter saying, "Hillary Clinton made a speech today using the biggest teleprompter I have ever seen. In fact, it wasn`t see through glass, it was black."
"Hillary said such nasty things about me, read directly off her teleprompter...but there was no emotion, no truth. Just can`t read speeches!" said another tweet Six minutes later.
He then took aim at Clinton as well as Republican establishment favourite Jeb Bush, for accepting donations suggesting that makes them beholden to special interests and lobbyists.
"Remember that I am self-funding my campaign. Hillary, Jeb and the rest are spending special interest and lobbyist money.100% CONTROLLED"
Meanwhile, self-proclaimed socialist senator Bernie Sanders, who is drawing big crowds at campaign events and fast closing the gap in poll numbers with Clinton, openly suggested that the former secretary of state`s campaign is "getting nervous."
"In last few months, we have amassed huge amounts of enthusiasm and huge amounts of energy," Sanders said during a swing through Iowa, the first nominating state in the primaries.
"So obviously, I think the secretary`s people are getting nervous about the kind of energy and enthusiasm our campaign is bringing forth."
But Clinton, who leads Sanders by just 7 points in Iowa, according to a poll released last week, told reporters Saturday she welcomes the competition in the Democrats` primary process.
"I`ve always thought this was beginning to be a competitive primary. And I welcome that. I think that this is a contest. It`s a contest of ideas, of policies, of how we present ourselves to the American people," she said.
Meanwhile, a new twist was added to the Clinton email saga with Clinton confirming that her family personally paid the State Department staffer who managed their private email server.
Bryan Pagliano, an IT specialist who was retained separately from his job at State to manage the server, has declined to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi and other Congressional inquiries into the server.
The FBI, which is investigating whether Clinton`s use of a private server led to the mishandling of classified material, took possession of the server last month.