For the first time Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both publically responded to the feud between Apple and the FBI, but neither candidate gave a clear stance to voters as to whether or not the private technology company should have to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.
"I am very fearful in America about big brother," Sanders said at the MSNBC/Telemundo Democratic town hall in Las Vegas on Thursday evening. When asked about the Apple court case. He later stated that he also strongly worries about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the United States.
The Vermont Senator added, "Count me in as someone who is a very strong civil libertarian who believes that we can fight terrorism without undermining our constitutional rights and privacy rights."
As the feud between Apple and the FBI has taken the national media spotlight, neither Democratic primary candidate had previously weighed in on the issue. On the campaign trail Clinton and Sanders both advocate cracking down on homegrown terrorism but have shied away from speaking about surveillance.
When asked about the same issue the former secretary of state tiptoed around giving a concrete answer, claiming that "this is a very hard dilemma" and that "I don't know what the judge is going to do."
"I see both sides," Clinton added. "I think most citizens see both sides. This is why you need people in office who can try to bring folks together to find common ground."
As the Democrats trade vague opinions about surveillance and national security, they both continue to compete for Nevada's vote as the caucus is on Saturday. According to the most recent CNN poll, Sanders and Clinton are practically tied in the state at 48-47.