On Monday, supporters and critics of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is running in the Democratic presidential primary, took to Twitter and caused #MyBernieStory to trend nationwide.
Some took aim at Sanders’ behavior following his loss in the 2016 primary against would-be nominee Hillary Clinton. Sanders was notably reluctant to say whether he would support Clinton should she have won the party’s nomination in 2016, per a report from New York Magazine. Sanders recently reiterated that he believed the primary was “rigged.”
“An actual Democrat would have stopped torpedoing the nominee and worked to defeat Trump but Bernie had books to sell,” one user said on Twitter.
Others attacked Sanders’ record on gun law reform and noted that the presidential candidate had, as a member of Congress, voted against the Brady Bill five times. As Politifact notes, the Brady Bill required that anyone attempting to buy a handgun would have to wait five days while local law enforcement conducted a background check. Sanders voted against several versions of the bill while serving in the House.
“It’s the story of a guy in bed with the NRA, but pretends he isn’t,” one person tweeted.
However, as Vox noted, Sanders has seemingly changed his stance on gun control legislation since 2016. The presidential hopeful has now said he supports expanding background checks and bans on assault rifles.
In an interview with CBS’s Face The Nation, the Vermont senator called for gun control legislation following the recent mass shooting events in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio.
According to a tweet from Sanders, the hashtag seemed to have been started by the candidate himself.
This campaign is not just about me. It's about us. Together we will defeat Trump and transform the country.
Download the BERN app and record a #MyBernieStory to tell us why you're part of this movement!
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 12, 2019
Despite the negative comments from critics, the trending hashtag also had many positive comments about Sanders and his campaign.
One Twitter user shared a video that listed reasons why she was a fan of the presidential hopeful. She spoke about her experience with the U.S. health care industry, which Sanders has pledged to reform by introducing Medicare for All.
Another user tweeted that because he is gay, poor, and a Type 1 diabetic, he supported Sanders. This user stated that he believed Sanders has been fighting for him since before he was even born.
Another Twitter user said that Sanders was their candidate of choice because of his “comprehensive” education reform plan. According to CNN, Sanders rolled out an education reform policy in May of this year. The 10-point proposal would eliminate for-profit charter schools and would create a national base salary for teachers.
Sanders, who serves in the U.S. Senate as an Independent, currently polls third place behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the crowded 2020 Democratic Primary race for president, according to RealClearPolitics.