Politics

Democratic Campaign Turns Negative As Clinton Super PAC Attacks Sanders

| by Will Hagle
Bernie sanders making a pointBernie sanders making a point

With Bernie Sanders leading the polls in New Hampshire and trailing closely in second place in Iowa, the Clinton campaign is starting to get worried. Correct The Record, a pro-Clinton Super PAC, recently disseminated a negative email attacking Sanders. According to the Huffington Post, the email compares Sanders to the UK’s new Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as well as former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. It basically criticizes him for being a socialist, an insult which is typically used by the Republican side of the political spectrum.

Sanders may have been attacked by a Super PAC, but the Senator himself doesn’t have one. His campaign has operated at the grassroots level; his website accepts donations of $10 or lower. Sanders’s decision not to use Super PACs has been a symbolic stance against what he refers to as “the billionaire class.” He doesn’t think money should control Washington. He doesn’t think the Koch brothers or other wealthy families should be able to control politicians. That only makes it even more ironic that a Super PAC supporting a prominent member of Washington’s wealthy elite was the one to attack him.

“It is disappointing that Secretary Clinton’s super PAC is spreading disinformation about Bernie,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said to the Huffington Post. “This is exactly the kind of politics that Bernie is trying to change. To equate bringing home heating oil to low-income Vermonters with support for the Chavez government is dishonest.”

It’s even more disappointing that Sanders was attacked by a Super PAC that supports a member of his own party (Sanders is an Independent in the Senate, but seeking the Democratic nomination for president). He’s mostly refrained from insulting Clinton, only bringing up things like the fact that she voted for the Iraq War or has refused to take a stance on the Keystone XL pipeline. To Clinton’s credit, she’s mostly refrained from insulting Sanders as well.

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Sanders has, however, been one of the most bipartisan candidates in the election. He focuses on political issues rather than the petty attacks with which the rest of the have involved themselves. He recently gave a speech at Liberty University, a Christian school, in which he straightforwardly explained how he feels differently than the audience about issues like gay marriage and abortion. He then explained how the issue of income inequality is more pressing than any divisive social issues than either party manipulates as a way to win votes.

Although Clinton was not directly involved in the attack on Sanders, it certainly makes her campaign look worse. Especially considering Sanders’s response, this whole scenario could result with voters taking his side. If he maintains his integrity, he won’t respond with any sort of counterattack. He’ll let the issues speak for themselves. Hopefully Clinton supporters will listen.

Sources: Salon, The Huffington Post

Image Source: Mother Jones