Outspoken Bernie Sanders backer and actress Rosario Dawson brought up Monica Lewinsky on Saturday, when she said she stands with the former White House intern for her battle against bullying and suggested that the Clinton campaign is behaving similarly to intimidate supporters of the Vermont senator, reports CNN.
During her address at a rally for Sanders at Wilmington, Delaware, Dawson went on to praise Lewinsky briefly, who was at the center of a sex-scandal involving former President Bill Clinton during his tenure in the White House.
Before introducing Sanders, the actress quoted Mr. Clinton’s former mistress and said she agreed with her that “bullying is bad.”
“We are literally under attack for not just supporting the other candidate… Now I’m with Monica Lewinsky with this: bullying is bad. She’s actually dedicated her life now to talking about that.”
She alleged that Sanders supporters are being bullied as a campaign strategy.
“And now as a campaign strategy, we are being bullied and somehow that is okay and not being talked about with the richness that it needs to (be).”
Tensions have soared to a new high in recent weeks between Clinton and Sanders, and Sanders has repeatedly argued that he is playing defense.
The actress and activist spoke on a wide range of subjects, including what she calls a “media blackout” of coverage of Sanders and the latest revelations that a super PAC supporting Clinton, Correct the Record, is correcting Reddit threads.
Earlier this week, super PAC Correct the Record announced more than a million-dollar project called “Barrier Breakers 2016,” which they describe as a task force partially designed to help Clinton supporters “push back on online harassment.”
Responding to Dawson’s criticism, Elizabeth Shappell, communications director for Correct the Record, defended their campaign and said they’re just doing their job.
“This is the farthest thing from bullying — posting positive graphics about Hillary is our job. The Bernie supporters are intimidated by a graphic that says ‘Love & Kindness’ or #ImWithHer?”
However, Berney Sanders himself didn’t condemn his surrogate Rosario Dawson for bringing up Monica Lewinsky, according to Daily Mail. Instead, when he was asked by Jake Tapper on CNN’s Sunday show State of the Union if it was appropriate for a surrogate to talk about Bill Clinton’s White House mistress on the trail, he appreciated her for doing a “great job” for them.
“She’s been a passionate fighter to see that we increase the voter turnout, that we fight for racial, economic, environmental justice… Rosario is a great actress, she is doing a great job for us.”
Sanders pleaded ignorance when Tapper asked again him about Monica, whose affair with President Clinton almost got him removed from office.
“I have no idea in what context Rosario was talking about her.”
Sanders said he hopes his surrogates would focus more on the “real issues” and urged Tapper and the media to spend more time discussing the “planetary crisis of climate change.”
Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, also refused to comment on Dawson’s remarks.
The septuagenarian Democrat also said that he still had a path, although a narrow one, to the Democratic nomination.
“Well, I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy. But I think we do.”
With Sanders’ loss in New York primary last week, a double-digit thumping that made the possibility of him surpassing Clinton in pledged delegates less realistic, Clinton allies are trying to pressure Sanders’ campaign to lay off so she isn’t heavily damaged by general election time.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign press secretary, Nick Merrill, said their campaign will “absolutely not” address Sanders’ surrogate’s swipe by citing Monica Lewinsky and accusing them of bullying. However, he suggested that the media ask Sanders’ campaign the reason for staying silent.
“You could ask the Sanders campaign why they encourage this vitriol in the vicinity of their candidate by staying silent.”
[Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]