Bernie Sanders says it’s clear that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has turned negative now that he’s won seven of the last eight contests in the race for the Democratic nomination. And former President Bill Clinton’s assertion that Sanders is only questioning her qualifications because she is a woman, he says, is proof of that negative tone.
“Of course you wouldn’t have made the same charges if she were a man,” Bill Clinton said of Sanders. “I think there are some different standards for women — some of them are subconscious.”
“I appreciate Bill Clinton being my psychoanalyst. It’s always nice,” Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union” in an interview that aired Sunday. “But the reality is that ever since Wisconsin, when that became the sixth out of seven states that we have won in either caucuses or primaries, I think the Clinton campaign has made it public, basically, they told the media, that here in New York they’re about to become very negative, about to beat us up.”
The self-described democratic socialist said he’s not about to take it lying down.
“I just want them to understand that we have tried to run an issue-oriented campaign but that we are not going to be attacked every single day,” Sanders said. “Our record is not going to be distorted. We are going to fight back.”
Sanders, though, would not take the bait when asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper to comment on Bill Clinton’s controversial response to a Black Lives Matter protester at a rally in Philadelphia last week.
“Sorry, Jake,” Sanders said. “Not going to go there.”
The protest stemmed over Hillary Clinton’s use of the term “super predators” to describe some African-American criminals in the 1990s.
“I think the secretary has said that she would not use that term again,” Sanders said. “I think it has race connotations at that period. And I think Secretary Clinton said that is not a phrase she would use again.”
But Sanders did slap the Democratic frontrunner over her suggestion that she feels “sorry” for his young supporters who she said “don’t do their own research” on the race.
“I think that’s a little bit condescending,” Sanders said. “These are young people who want to be involved in shaping the future of this country. They’re proud of this country. They want to make it a better country. I think they do a whole lot of research and I think that the Internet has opened up the opportunity for them to do a lot of research. And I’ll tell you, one of the reasons I think we’re doing so well is a lot of those people are going to the Internet and hearing what we have to say.”
Sanders did not question Clinton’s qualifications, only saying he has “doubts about what kind of president she would make.” But the Vermont senator indicated he would support her if she becomes the Democratic nominee.
“I think she and I would agree — and I hope that is her view — that we would do everything possible to prevent this country from seeing Donald Trump or some other Republican in the White House,” he said. “That would be a disaster for this country. And I will do everything I can to prevent that.”