Why Bill Clinton called Bernie Sanders supporters 'sexist'

At a campaign event for his wife Sunday, Bill Clinton slammed Bernie Sanders, calling his supporters 'sexist' and pointing out Sanders's own ties to the finance sector. 

John Locher/Associated Press
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a rally at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters International Training Center, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Las Vegas.

In the closing hours leading up the New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton still has one more card up her sleeve – her husband Bill. And he’s not going easy on their opponent, Bernie Sanders.

Ms. Clinton barely scraped by in the Iowa Caucuses last week, and polls show her trailing, though close, in New Hampshire, the Vermont senator's backyard. So, at an event in Milford, N.H., Sunday, the former president railed against Mr. Sanders, accusing him of hypocrisy and of having sexist supporters, among other things.

“When you’re making a revolution you can’t be too careful with the facts,” Bill said to the audience of about 300, poking fun at Sanders’ rhetoric of political revolution. I want you to laugh, because when you’re mad you can’t think.”

He goes on to tell the account of a liberal blogger who has had to use an online pseudonym when defending Hillary Clinton because she’s been repeatedly verbally attacked by a segment of Sanders supporters known as the “Bernie Bros.”

“She and other people who have gone online to defend Hillary, to explain why they supported her, have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist, to repeat,” Clinton said.

Although he didn’t explicitly name the "Bernie Bros,” Sanders himself had previously denounced the group of misogynists.

The 42nd president also called Sanders a hypocrite over fundraising, because while the self-described democratic socialist has given Clinton flak for her ties to Wall street, he himself has raised considerable cash from finance lobbyists at Democratic Party retreats in Palm Beach and Martha’s Vineyard.

“I practically fell out of my chair when I saw it,” he said.

“Anybody who takes money from Goldman Sachs couldn’t possibly be President,” Clinton added, mockingly. “He may have to tweak that answer a little bit, or we may have to get a write-in candidate.”

Sanders’ universal healthcare plan and free college proposal were other points of attack for Clinton, who casts doubt on how such legislation could be funded. “It is good for America, I don’t think so. Is it good for New Hampshire? I don’t think so,” he said. “The New Hampshire I knew would not have voted for me if I had done that,” Politico reported.

In 1992, Bill Clinton's second-place win in the New Hampshire primary marked a turning point his campaign. He was dubbed the “Comeback Kid” and would go on to secure the nomination.

On Sunday, Clinton also chided Sanders for the data breach at the Democratic National Committee, where some of his campaign workers gained access the Clinton campaign’s voter file. “It was your campaign that made 25 separate inquiries in the mere space of 30 minutes trying to [loot] information out of computers,” he said, furious.

In response to the former president’s verbal assaults, Sanders’ senior adviser, Tad Devine, told The New York Times that it was “disappointing that President Clinton has decided to launch these attacks.”

Adding that his candidate would continue to focus on his economically focused campaign against finance corruption and income inequality, he said, “Obviously the race has changed in New Hampshire and elsewhere in recent days.”

As reported by Politico, Bill Clinton’s staffers have long maintained that he won’t be too involved with his wife’s campaign and will instead invest himself in work for the Clinton Foundation. But on Sunday, he demonstrated an extensive knowledge of the campaign – he was even able to recite the names of the regional newspapers that has endorsed Hillary.

“When it’s all said and done, all that matters is whether people are better off, whether young people have a better future,” he concluded.

“The rest of this is all background noise. All of this back and forth, it will blow away like smoke in the wind.”

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