Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would not commit to endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) if he wins the Democratic nomination, calling him an unpopular “career politician.”
“He was in Congress for years. 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,” she said in a new four-part documentary set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 25.
Sanders emerged as Clinton’s chief rival during her failed presidential run in 2016. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the former secretary of state refused to pledge her endorsement if Sanders captures the nomination to run against President Trump in 2020.
“I’m not going to go there yet,” Clinton said when asked about campaigning for Sanders. “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.”
She accused Sanders of condoning attacks against his primary rivals, pointing to Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.).
“And 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 [Harris] or after Elizabeth [Warren],” Clinton said. “I think that that’s a pattern that people should take into account when they make their decisions.”
Clinton also threw her support behind Warren’s accusation that Sanders told the senator that a woman could not be elected president. Sanders has denied that he has ever made such comments, but Clinton said the anecdote reflected a “pattern.”
“Then this argument about whether or not or when he did or didn’t say that a woman couldn’t be elected, it’s part of a pattern,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The interview is not the first time the conflict between the former primary rivals has spilled over into the 2020 primary. In 2019, Vox reported that former Hillary Clinton staffers were speaking to the media publicly and anonymously to criticize Sanders.
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