Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton upended the 2020 race for her party’s nomination this week, dropping several juicy quotes against U.S. senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont that have the potential to upend his candidacy at a pivotal moment in the race.
“He was in Congress for years,” Clinton said of Sanders. “He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”
Asked by Rose this week whether her assessment of the 78-year-old socialist politician still held, Clinton replied in the affirmative.
“Yes, it does,” she said.
In fact, Clinton took it one step further in her interview with Rose – declining to say whether she would “endorse and campaign for (Sanders)” in the event he were to win the Democratic nomination.
“I’m not going to go there yet,” Clinton said. “We’re still in a very vigorous primary season. I will say, however, that it’s not only him, it’s the culture around him. It’s his leadership team. It’s his prominent supporters. It’s his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women. And I really hope people are paying attention to that because it should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture – not only permitted, [he] seems to really be very much supporting it.”
Clinton’s comments came just one week after one of Sanders’ top rivals for the Democratic nomination – Elizabeth Warren – accused him of telling her during a December 2018 meeting that he did not believe a woman could win the White House.
(Click to view)
(Via: Bernie Sanders/ Facebook)
Clinton claimed Sanders (above) “winked” at attacks by his supporters against female candidates like Warren and U.S. senator Kamala Harris of California.
“I don’t think we want to go down that road again where you campaign by insult and attack and maybe you try to get some distance from it, but you either don’t know what your campaign and supporters are doing or you’re just giving them a wink and you want them to go after Kamala or after Elizabeth,” Clinton continued. “I think that that’s a pattern that people should take into account when they make their decisions.”
She then proceeded to specifically address the recent dust-up between Warren and Sanders, calling it “part of a pattern.”
“This argument about whether or not … he did or didn’t say that a woman couldn’t be elected, it’s part of a pattern,” Clinton said. “If it were a one-off, you might say, ‘OK, fine.’ But he said I was unqualified. I had a lot more experience than he did, and got a lot more done than he had, but that was his attack on me. I just think people need to pay attention because we want, hopefully, to elect a president who’s going to try to bring us together, and not either turn a blind eye, or actually reward the kind of insulting, attacking, demeaning, degrading behavior that we’ve seen from this current administration.”
(Click to view)
(Via: The White House)
That’s right, people … Clinton basically just compared Sanders to U.S. president Donald Trump (above), who scored a surprise upset over her in the November 2016 election (and has since become the bane of Democrats’ existence).
Compounding the damage? The controversial comparison comes just weeks before voters in Iowa and New Hampshire head to the polls to cast the first votes in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Sanders is narrowly trailing former U.S. vice president Joe Biden in Iowa, and narrowly leading Biden in New Hampshire.
Warren and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg are both clustered with Biden and Sanders in the two early-voting states.
Our guess? The Warren and Clinton broadsides are coordinated … with the intention of doing maximum damage to Sanders’ standing with female primary voters as they prepare to cast their ballots in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Kidding … sort of.
Is this how the Clintons return favors?
Bigger picture: This news outlet has written extensively of late regarding emerging rifts within the Democratic electorate.
“While we believe Democrats’ monolithic hatred of Trump should be sufficient to unite the party behind any candidate it nominates this spring, these fissures cannot be ignored,” we noted earlier this month.
Most of our focus has been on the widening rift between hardcore “progressives” (including socialists like Sanders) and more moderate Democrats (i.e. Biden voters) … however it certainly appears as thought the far left of the party (a.k.a. the “lunatic fringe,” as our founding editor Will Folks likes to call it) is also rife with division.
Again, we are not suggesting these divisions will necessarily play a deciding role in the 2020 general election … but they are worth watching for sure.
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