A senior Hillary Clinton aide riding on the candidate’s decisive win in New York told a Politico reporter, “F**k Bernie Sanders” when asked about the future of the Democratic nomination process.
“We kicked his a** tonight. I hope this convinces Bernie to tone it down. If not, f*** him.”
The comment from Hillary’s aide was collected as her supporters celebrated a win in New York that they took as a final sign of Bernie’s impending loss. Associated Press now puts Clinton’s pledged delegate count at 1,428 to Sanders’ 1,151.
— POLITICO (@politico) April 20, 2016
Hillary’s aide seems to be referring to an increasingly antagonistic relationship between Bernie and Clinton’s campaigns. In the past few weeks, both Democratic hopefuls have attacked each other frequently, culminating in a Brooklyn debate that was easily the most acrimonious yet. There, Sanders sharpened criticism about Hillary’s relationship with Wall Street.
“The obvious decision is when the greed and recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street brought this country into the largest recession since the Great Depression, the obvious response to that is that you have a bunch of fraudulent actors who have to be broken up. Now, Secretary Clinton was busy giving speeches to Goldman Sachs for tens of thousands of dollars a piece.”
Some within the Democratic party have expressed concern over such remarks as each candidate moves closer to a face-off with a Republican in November. Hillary’s aides, as well as some prominent statisticians like Nate Silver, have declared the Democratic race mathematically tied-up — a charge that the Sanders campaign has vehemently denied. Jeff Weaver, Bernie’s manager, appeared on MSNBC as the New York results rolled in to explain why Bernie’s efforts were still viable — pointing to big prizes in California and Pennsylvania and noting that Sanders had picked up extra delegates in caucus processes.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 20, 2016
These assertions have been shot down by some of the most prominent pollsters of the election. In Nate’s Five Thirty Eight blog, he called Hillary’s lead on Bernie almost impossible to beat. Silver argued that Sanders would have to take huge victories against Clinton in key states where she is currently polling significantly ahead. He did, however, also say that Bernie has indeed made a gain on Hillary in national popularity.
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) April 20, 2016
Still, Nate said, Hillary’s key demographics are reflected more than Bernie’s in many later states.
“About 65 percent of the remaining delegates are in California, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland — all states where Bernie trails Hillary in the polls and sometimes trails her by a lot. To reach a pledged delegate majority, Sanders will have to win most of the delegates from those big states. A major loss in any of them could be fatal to his chances. He could afford to lose one or two of them narrowly, but then he’d need to make up ground elsewhere — he’d probably have to win California by double digits, for example.”
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) April 20, 2016
Not everyone is taking a page from Clinton’s aide. A recent column from The Huffington Post, published before New Yorkers voted, proposed many of the same arguments as Sanders’ campaign manager. As extra delegates from states like Nevada, Colorado, and Missouri roll in, the editorial argued that Bernie has actually closed in on Hillary’s lead, claiming that media was falsely inflating her delegate count.
“For as we’ve already seen over the past two weeks, delegate leads can evaporate far faster than the even the media intelligentsia can track. The actual delegate count is 1,299 to 1,105 today, but who knows what it’ll be by mid-week, if Sanders supporters ignore the mainstream media’s computational disabilities and turn out to vote?”
What do you think Hillary Clinton’s aides’ comments toward the Bernie Sanders campaign?
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]