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Friday, April 8, 2016

Bernie's Negativity

Bernie still won't take responsibility for his negative campaign against Hillary Clinton. He even admits that his criticisms of Hillary are disingenuous. He claims he has been trying to run a positive campaign, but the truth is that he's been pursuing negative tactics for a long time.

On Charlie Rose, Bernie said he doesn't like his behavior: the negative campaigning and the "tit for tat" strategy that he is employing. He said he wishes he could stop, but he's not going to stop. That's sad. It's sad that he paints himself as a victim, refusing to take responsibility with a childish "they started it" argument. And it's sad that you're not going to find his supporters acknowledging that fact.

Remarkably, Bernie has admitted that his criticisms of Clinton are disingenuous.  He flat out admitted that he does not stand by his claim that Clinton should apologize for Iraq. One day he says she should apologize, the next he says, "Do I hold her accountable? No." And even though he has repeated the claim that she is "not qualified" to be President, he says he will absolutely support her candidacy for President. He made it clear that he would say she was qualified if she said he was qualified first. I guess the lesson is: Don't trust the negative things Bernie says about Hillary.

Another remarkable fact: Bernie has not identified any attacks by Clinton or her campaign. He's just making that part up. Bernie says he only claimed Hillary should apologize for Iraq because he was asked to apologize for Sandy Hook.  In fact, it was the families of Sandy Hook victims, and they wanted him to apologize for taking the side of gun manufacturers. The media gave them a voice, and he responded by changing the subject to Iraq and going negative against Hillary.  That is not "tit for tat." It's just negative campaigning. And with regard to the "not qualified" remarks, she never said it.  She did a great job of avoiding the question altogether and focusing instead on more legitimate questions we should be discussing--concerning readiness to lead and ability to solve particular problems.

Bernie says he's been trying to run a positive campaign, but the media won't let him. As absurd and childish as the "they won't let me" argument is, there is scant evidence that he's been trying to run a positive campaign. Sure, as he says, he helped shift the conversation away from her emails. However, he is also on record saying that the email controversy raises important questions, and he still does not criticize his surrogates when they try to use the email scandal against her. So he's not free of blame when it comes to that topic. More importantly, however, Bernie's been turning other people's questions into attacks against Hillary for a long time. Whenever he's asked about foreign policy, no matter the context, he brings up his 2002 Iraq vote--which is only a way to redirect the heat towards Clinton. Every time he brings up that 2002 vote out of context, he is passive-aggressively attacking Hillary Clinton's character by invoking his claim that she lacks judgment. And let's not forget all the times he has suggested that she is hiding some secret agreements with Wall Street, or his decision to randomly bring up her association with Henry Kissinger, fueling the Republican's witch hunt with insinuations that she is inherently dishonest and corrupt. There is no question that Bernie has been fostering negativity for a long time. He started passive-aggressively, with insinuation and innuendo, allowing his surrogates and supporters to wage more openly hostile attacks against Clinton. He's not getting more negative now. He's just getting more careless.