Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton used Thursday night's debate to reiterate their support for plans that would make public higher education free (under the Sanders plan) or debt-free (under the Clinton plan). But Clinton drew attention to one feature of her plan that isn't in the Sanders plan. Both plans anticipate a federal-state partnership, but the Clinton plan has provisions for public colleges in states where the governors and legislatures refuse to provide their share of the match. The debate was held at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Clinton said she doubted that Governor Scott Walker, a Republican who has pushed for deep cuts in state support for higher education, would participate.
"Senator Sanders’s plan really rests on making sure that governors like Scott Walker contribute $23 billion on the first day to make college free. I am a little skeptical about your governor actually caring enough about higher education to make any kind of commitment like that," Clinton said, to applause. In his response, Sanders reiterated (also to applause) his commitment to free tuition in public higher education, but he did not respond to Clinton's specific criticism, except to note that the United States earlier evolved to make universal K-12 education free.
A transcript of the debate is available from The New York Times.