Hillary Clinton blasts Sen. Bernie Sanders in a new documentary, saying “nobody likes him” and declining in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to say whether she would endorse and campaign for him if he’s the Democratic 2020 nominee.
“He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done,” Clinton says in the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”
The comments in the documentary are aimed directly at his core campaign appeal – that he’s a political outsider pitching revolutionary change.
The new round of lacerating attacks come less than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, which Clinton narrowly won in 2016 and where Sanders is locked in a tight four-way race this year. They also have the potential to reignite a divisive, four-year-old fight that has never fully faded from Democrats’ minds. More recently, and in comments since her loss to President Donald Trump, Clinton has blamed Sanders for damaging her campaign.
In response to Clinton’s remarks, Sanders said in a statement that his focus was President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
“Together, we are going to go forward and defeat the most dangerous president in American history,” Sanders said.
In the THR interview, Clinton also pointedly questions the “culture” around Sanders’ campaign, from “his leadership team” to “his online Bernie Bros.”
“It’s not only him, it’s the culture around him. It’s his leadership team. It’s his prominent supporters. It’s his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women,” Clinton said, before suggesting that Sanders himself was complicit in promoting those voices.
Sanders recently denied telling Elizabeth Warren, his friend and longtime political ally, that he did not believe a woman could win the presidency. Warren has said publicly that Sanders told her this during a 2018 meeting.
The back-and-forth between the campaigns and their supporters led to a contentious exchange between the candidates after the most recent debate in Iowa.
Clinton said Sanders’ conduct was part of a pattern.
“Then this argument about whether or not or when he did or didn’t say that a woman couldn’t be elected, it’s part of a pattern,” she told the THR. “If it were a one-off, you might say, ‘OK, fine.’ But he said I was unqualified. I had a lot more experience than he did, and got a lot more done than he had, but that was his attack on me.
She continued, “I just think people need to pay attention because we want, hopefully, to elect a president who’s going to try to bring us together, and not either turn a blind eye, or actually reward the kind of insulting, attacking, demeaning, degrading behavior that we’ve seen from this current administration.”
Sanders and Warren appeared arm-in-arm at a march to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, appearing to have put the controversy behind them.
But the ill will from 2016 does not figure to subside so quickly – if ever. Shortly after the THR interview posted, Sanders supporters on social media were slamming Clinton, who less than two months ago launched a similar round of broadsides against the Vermont senator during an appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show.
This story has been updated with a response from Bernie Sanders and additional background information.