At this late stage of an election process, candidates, campaigns and their supporters repeat negative frames against their opponents by rote — browse any anti-Hillary thread and you’ll see the same shop-worn talking points repeated with numbing consistency. But something strange keeps happening: every few months, Bernie blows apart one of those major anti-Hillary talking points.
Heads exploded when Bernie famously said that Americans are “sick and tired of hearing about Hillary’s damn emails.”
If people kept listening carefully, they’d hear Bernie busting anti-Hillary myths with regularity. Following are three major talking points that Bernie has undercut.
According to the New York Times, and quoting top aides, Bernie considers the attack on Hillary’s speech transcripts a character assault: “Mr. Sanders, hunched over a U-shaped conference table, rejected it as a personal attack on Mrs. Clinton’s income — the sort of character assault he has long opposed. She has the right to make money, he offered.”
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Bernie was confronted with his assertion that Hillary “should apologize for Iraq war deaths.” When asked by Rose if he really blames her, Bernie conceded that he was simply engaging in a “tit for tat” (quite stunning on an issue of such gravity), and said the following: “Of course she doesn’t bear responsibility… Do I hold her accountable? No.”
One of the most honorable things Bernie has done in the 2016 race is to step up and call out gender bias when others lack the courage: “I think for a variety of reasons, Hillary Clinton has been under all kinds of attack for many, many years. In fact, I can’t think of many personalities who have been attacked for more reasons than Hillary Clinton. And by the way, let me be frank and I’m running against her: Some of it is sexist.I don’t know that a man would be treated the same way that Hillary is.”
If you tune in to Bernie’s actual words, you’ll see that he often makes a strong case in Hillary’s defense. Considering he is her chief rival, that makes him arguably her most credible defender.
But is anyone listening?
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)