Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently endorsed California congressional candidate Cenk Uygur, the founder of The Young Turks. Just one day later, Uygur tweeted that he would not be accepting endorsements, and not long after, Sanders retracted his support of Uygur, Yahoo! News reports.
“Cenk has been a longtime fighter against corruption,” Sanders tweeted on Friday.
“However, our movement is bigger than any one person. I hear my grassroots supporters who were frustrated and understand their concerns. Cenk today said he is rejecting all endorsements for his campaign, and I retract my endorsement.”
Along with Sanders, California Representative Ro Khanna and Sanders campaign national co-chair Nina Turner endorsed Uygur. But according to a Twitter statement from Khanna, Uygur asked the trio to retract their endorsements.
The retraction comes after Sanders received some backlash for the endorsement due to Uygur’s past controversial comments, including calling women “genetically flawed.” Uygur has since apologized for his remarks and disavowed them. During an appearance on CNN, Uygur told host Chris Cuomo that the comments do not reflect who is is now and notes that he deleted the statements 15 years ago not because he “got caught” but because he no longer held the same beliefs.
Progressive commentator Kyle Kulinski expressed his disappointment with Sanders’ decision.
“I love you Bernie but the movement gets nowhere if you throw people under the bus based on bad faith out of context smear jobs. Extremely disappointed.”
Journalist Tim Pool suggested that the attacks on Uygur are due to the platform of his congressional bid, which promotes progressive policies like Medicare for All and aims to take at corporate money.
“They tolerated Cenk but now that he has challenged the machine personally they have come for him.”
Young Turks host John Iadarola echoed Poole. Iadarola said the attacks against Uygur are in “bad-faith” and reflect the battle the 49-year-old commentator has been fighting against the Democratic establishment throughout the duration of his career.
This is weird: Christy Smith—a fmr Republican who is now running against Cenk Uygur for the CA-25 congressional seat and has the full backing of Dem establishment—has been virtually silent on social media about anti-black racism, BLM, police violence, etc.— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) December 13, 2019
She has thanked cops. pic.twitter.com/Oq8o1ItAbg
Uygur is running against state Representative Christy Smith to replace Katie Hill in California’s 25th Congressional District. He currently has the support of numerous prominent California Democrats, including Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Uygur claims that he swore off endorsements so that the California voters in the 25th district are the only ones who influence him. The 49-year-old added that he “will not be beholden to” lobbyists, corporations, or special interest groups.