Bill Clinton apparently has a message for Bernie Sanders supporters who feel the system is rigged against their candidate.
In a speech in South Dakota today, the former president offered this assessment of the Democrat presidential nomination contest between his wife Hillary Clinton and the Vermont senator.
“As Democrats our job is to come together and say we’re about the future and not the past. And we want a future we can all share… More than 90% of the people who served with both of them have endorsed Hillary. If you believe they did that just because they’re all part of some corrupt political establishment, and there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats, you shouldn’t vote for her.”
The bad blood between Team Sanders and Team Clinton has become more pronounced after last weekend’s chaos at the Nevada Democratic Convention in which, among other things, Bernie Sanders delegates were disqualified, as well as Hillary’s narrow (and disputed) win in the Kentucky Primary, reinforcing Bernie’s supporters’ belief that the establishment has stacked the deck against the 74-year-old self-described socialist who is running for president as a Democrat.
“All of it seems to have come to a head in recent days, as bitterness on both sides has boiled over and prompted new worries that a fractured party could lead to chaos at the national convention and harm Clinton’s chances against Trump in November. Two realities seem to be fueling it all: The nomination is, for all intents and purposes, out of Sanders’s reach yet his supporters are showing no signs of wanting to rally behind Clinton,” the Washington Post observed, asserting that Clinton supporters “are growing increasingly irritated by Sanders’s ever-presence in the race — and nervous that he is damaging Clinton.”
Over the course of the campaign, Sanders has repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton for her close ties to Wall Street, particularly all the massive speaking fees she has raked in from financial institutions.
Last month, Bill Clinton joked that supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would “shoot every third person on Wall Street” if they could.
Only a few weeks ago, the media chattering class was almost giddy with the prospects of a brokered or contested convention on the GOP side. After vanquishing his last two rivals after a string of primary victories, Donald Trump has his party’s nomination virtually locked up, while Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are still battling it out state by state. Sanders has vowed to continue through the June 7 California Primary, if not after, which could undermine party unity as many observers see it.
“Defiant and determined to transform the Democratic Party, Senator Bernie Sanders is opening a two-month phase of his presidential campaign aimed at inflicting a heavy blow on Hillary Clinton in California and amassing enough leverage to advance his agenda at the convention in July — or even wrest the nomination from her,” the New York Times noted.
Hillary Clinton has apparently backed out of a debate with Sanders on Fox News that was supposed to take place prior to the primary in the Golden State.
According to most estimates, Clinton is mathematically assured of becoming the Democrat presidential standard-bearer with the assistance of so-called super delegates, made up of party insiders who receive an automatic vote at the upcoming nominating convention.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton reaffirmed to CNN’s Chris Cuomo that it’s a done deal. “I will be the nominee for my party, Chris. That is already done, in effect. There is no way that I won’t be.”
According to The Hill, liberal websites have begun to turn against Bernie Sanders because, as alluded to above, his insurgent campaign could undermine Hillary Clinton’s chances against Trump in the November general election.
“Bernie Sanders is suddenly facing a barrage of criticism from liberal commentators. As the fallout from last weekend’s Nevada Democratic convention spreads, sharply critical pieces about the White House hopeful and his campaign have appeared in progressive outlets such as Mother Jones, Talking Points Memo and Daily Kos within the past 48 hours…Meanwhile, Democrats outside Sanders’s orbit argue the jabs show that even influential writers on the left — who tend to take more progressive positions than Democratic leaders in Washington — are concluding that the senator is hurting the party.”
Democrat power brokers have similar concerns, Politico explained in an article published today.
“A majority of Democratic insiders are worried about the party’s ability to unite its factions before this summer’s national party convention and pivot quickly to defeating Donald Trump in the general election. That’s according to The POLITICO Caucus — a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 10 battleground states — which found that nearly a quarter of Democrats are ‘very worried’ about their party’s chances to unify in light of recent spats between Bernie Sanders’ supporters and the Democratic establishment, which is mostly lined up behind Hillary Clinton.”
According to a separate report by the Inquisitr, the Democratic National Committee wants to change the convention rules to short-circuit any dissent during the proceedings in Philadelphia. The DNC has gone as far as warning Sanders supporters to “behave” at the convention, while calling on the senator to instruct his supporters to fall in line behind Clinton and keep silent about allegations of voter suppression, disenfranchisement, and alleged cheating during primaries and caucuses.
Last month, a prominent Democrat strategist claimed that at least 40 percent of disaffected Bernie voters would vote for Donald Trump in the general election.
“Mr Sanders’s claim that the Democrats have fixed their rules in Mrs Clinton’s favor is, in this context, especially damaging. It is just the sort of attack Mr Trump, a fellow outsider who hopes to win over many disgruntled Sandernistas, will use against Mrs Clinton in November…To leave an enduring mark on American politics, as opposed to the primaries, however, Mr Sanders might do better to try boosting his opponent’s chances against Mr Trump…Yet the longer he continues to fight and castigate her, as a representative of the unfair ‘status quo,’ the harder this will be,” The Economist asserted.
Do you think that Bill Clinton has inadvertently validated the Bernie-or-bust movement?
[Photo by Julio Cortez/AP]