Bernie Sanders was hit with a charge of sexism by a New York Times reporter for his unwillingness to drop out of the presidential race against Hillary Clinton.
“Is that a serious question?” Sanders wondered and laughed, sounding a bit hoarse from around-the-clock speechmaking, when the journalist — possibly out of turn — posed the question at a press conference at the Hilton Garden Inn located at Emeryville, California, this afternoon about whether staying in the campaign was sexist.
Sanders, 74, a self-described socialist running for president as a Democrat, has already vowed to continue his candidacy through the remaining primaries after California tomorrow and all the way to the July nominating convention in Philadelphia.
Given the numbers, it remains to be seen if the Sanders presidential campaign has a future it can really believe in, however.
Originally, Sanders was unwilling to recognize Yamiche Alcindor of the Times, shouting “excuse me” multiple times when he tried to call on another reporter in a cringeworthy exchange.
Finally, the senator relented and gave her the chance to ask the question.
“What do you say to women who say that you staying in the race is sexist because you’re standing in the way of what could be the first female president?”
Once Sanders verified that it was a serious question, he responded.
“Your question implies that any woman — that any person — any woman who is running for president is by definition the best candidate…so any woman who runs…To say that is sexist — so if Hillary runs for president, is your point that it is sexist for any man to oppose her?”
When the reporter fired back that her point was that Hillary Clinton has won more convention delegates in the primary season than Sanders, the Vermont senator acknowledged that was a separate issue, but he still rejected the sexism label, particularly since he thinks he has a better chance in the November general election against the GOP standard-bearer.
“I don’t think it is sexist. I think the issue is, first of all, our focus right now is on running and winning right here in California. And the second point that I have made is that it is absolutely imperative that we defeat Donald Trump…as a candidate for president of the United States. I believe that I am the stronger candidate.”
The reporter’s question also prompted a backlash on social media, as this Twitchy compilation indicates.
“The issue is, who is the better candidate..and to defeat Trump…our goal is to get as many delegates as we possibly can and to make the case to superdelegates…that I am the strongest candidate,” Sanders declared later in the press conference.
Sanders suggested that superdelegates (the term for unelected Democrat insiders who can vote at the convention which is sometimes spelled as two words) should take notice of evidence that he polls better against Trump than Hillary Clinton, has a more effective grassroots organization, and can generate the larger voter turnout against the controversial New York real estate mogul.
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 6, 2016
“Sanders’ only hope of victory involves an unlikely scenario. He will need to prevent Clinton from reaching the 2,383 threshold for pledged delegates by the end of the primaries and then sway Clinton superdelegates to his side before the Democratic Party’s convention. While Sanders faces an almost impossible uphill battle, few have suggested that it is sexist for him to stay in the race. Stubborn, perhaps, but not sexist,” The Daily Caller explained.
According to an AP story published this evening, however, Hillary Clinton already has secured enough pledged delegates plus the superdelegates to win her party’s presidential nomination, so it may be too late for Team Sanders.
MNSBC’s Chris Matthews predicted last week that the media would declare Hillary Clinton the nominee even before the California voting concludes tomorrow, so AP seems ahead of the game.
“It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer,” a Sanders representative told Politico after the AP story broke.
— Independent US (@IndyUSA) June 6, 2016
“Mr. Sanders and his supporters called out the media over the weekend for ‘bias’ against him and for calling Ms. Clinton the Democrat nominee before the super delegates have even voted at the Democratic convention,” The Independent detailed.
Yesterday, former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s spouse, bragged in a campaign appearance that some Bernie Sanders hecklers would be “toast” on Election Day in the Golden State.
Do you think that Bernie Sanders is sexist for continuing his insurgent, anti-establishment campaign for president against Hillary Clinton?
[Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AP]