Four years after her bitter primary fight against Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton is leveling fresh criticism against the Vermont senator, calling him an ineffectual lawmaker and refusing to commit to supporting him if he wins the 2020 Democratic nomination.
In an upcoming Hulu documentary, Clinton claims Sanders has no allies in Congress.
“Nobody likes him,” Clinton says. “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.”
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter published Tuesday, Clinton was asked if that assessment still holds.
“Yes, it does,” she replied.
“It’s not only him,” Clinton continued. “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.”
She added: “I really hope people are paying attention to that, because it should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture — not only permitted, [but he] seems to really be very much supporting it.”
Sanders, who battled for the 2016 nomination almost until the end of the primaries, endorsed Clinton two weeks before the Democratic convention, and spent weeks campaigning for her before the November election. But Clinton believes his support was too late and less than wholehearted — factors that cost her the election.
When reporters at the Capitol asked Sanders about Clinton’s statement that no one likes him, he said, “On a good day, my wife likes me, so let’s clear the air on that one.” When asked why he thought his former primary opponent was still talking about 2016, he replied, “That’s a good question. You should ask her.”
In the interview, Clinton refused to commit to endorsing or campaigning for Sanders if he emerges as the 2020 Democratic nominee.
“I’m not going to go there yet,” she said. “We’re still in a very vigorous primary season.”
At a debate last week, Sanders disputed Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s account of a conversation in which he allegedly told her a woman couldn’t beat President Trump. He invoked Clinton in his response.
“Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million votes,” Sanders said. “How could anybody in a million years not believe that a woman could become president of the United States? And let me be very clear. If any of the women on this stage or any of the men on this stage win the nomination — I hope that’s not the case, I hope it’s me — but if they do, I will do everything in my power to make sure that they are elected in order to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country.”
Justice Democrats, the progressive group that supported Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and other progressive Democrats in their races, launched a petition Tuesday afternoon urging Clinton to support the Democratic nominee.
“Secretary Clinton's statement is unacceptable, out-of-touch, and dangerous,“ executive director Alexandra Rojas said in a statement. “We're calling on her to do the right thing and immediately say that she'll do everything she can to support whoever becomes the Democratic nominee."
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