First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
The Democratic race takes a nastier turn
The 2008 Barack Obama-vs.-Hillary Clinton presidential race was combative, competitive, and polarizing for Democratic voters. ("Shame on you, Barack Obama"; "You're likeable enough, Hillary.") But one thing that never happened was either Obama or Clinton directly saying that their rival wasn't qualified to be president. Yet that's exactly what happened last night at Bernie Sanders' event in Philadelphia. The dispatch from NBC's Danny Freeman: "'Now the other day, I think, Secretary Clinton appeared to be getting a little bit nervous,' began Sanders in front of thousands at Philadelphia's Temple University Wednesday night. 'And she has been saying lately that she thinks that I am, quote-unquote not qualified to be president,' he said as the raucous crowd booed. 'Well let me just say in response, to Secretary Clinton, I don't believe that she is qualified if she is…through her Super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds," Sanders declared… 'I don't think that you are qualified if you get 15 million dollars from Wall Street through your Super PAC,' said Sanders. 'I don't think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don't think you are qualified if you've supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement, which has cost us millions of decent paying jobs.'" Wow. So long for the days when Clinton and Sanders were shaking hands on the debate stage, huh?