The Hillary Clinton team is now accusing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democrat presidential candidate again in 2020, of Russian collusion.
Now that he has decided to run for president again, and Clinton has not, her former staffers are taking the gloves off.
Many of them believe that the hard feelings Clinton voters have toward Sen. Sanders would have him defeated by President Donald trump in 2020, Politico reported.
“I would say — and for all I know, the Sanders people might take this as a compliment — among a lot of the major donors in the party, there’s concern that he could emerge,” David Brock, who ran a PAC for Clinton in 2016, said.
“There are some very dyed-in-the-wool Democrats that wouldn’t at all be enthusiastic about supporting him in a general election,” he said.
Brock said Sanders would be hard-pressed to unite the different wings of the Democratic Party, and his ability to raise vast sums of money through small donations could ultimately result in him staying in the race past the point when he can win, which “is not necessarily good for the eventual nominee and therefore could be helpful for” President Trump.
It’s a familiar grievance, one that many Clinton allies lodged against Sanders in 2016, when he refused to concede even after it appeared he had little mathematical chance of winning the party nomination.
Jeff Weaver, a top adviser to Sanders, shot back that Sanders’ grassroots army of supporters “could make him the nominee” — and dismissed the notion that the absence of large donors would hurt him in a general election.
Will President Trump win in 2020?
“It is not a secret that people who would hang out with David Brock would be putting their class interests ahead of the party and the country,” Weaver said.
“We have got to nominate somebody who is going to energize and excite the grassroots, not a handful of billionaires,” he said.
For his part Sen. Sanders has begun the process of uniting the party by sending an email asking his fans to not be abusive of other Democrats online.
“As we engage with our opponents in the Democratic primary, we will forcefully present our views and defend ourselves against misrepresentations,” Sanders said.
“But, let us do our very best to engage respectfully with our Democratic opponents ― talking about the issues we are fighting for, not about personalities or past grievances,” he said.
“I want to be clear that I condemn bullying and harassment of any kind and in any space,” he said.
Brock said the major party donors were concerned about Sanders for two reasons: “electability” and a difference in ideology.
“As a self-described democratic socialist, that’s just a step too far for a lot of people,” adding they “worry that he would end up losing to Trump.”
Perhaps the biggest attack launched by ex-Clinton staffers so far came recently in POLITICO, where a number portrayed him in unflattering terms for using private jets while campaigning for Clinton after she won the Democratic nomination.
While Sanders’ team contends the senator kept to a rigorous schedule of 39 rallies in 13 states in the homestretch of the 2016 campaign, the argument isn’t convincing in some pro-Clinton quarters.
“I’m not shocked that while thousands of volunteers braved the heat and cold to knock on doors until their fingers bled in a desperate effort to stop Donald Trump, his Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders would only deign to leave his plush D.C. office or his brand new second home on the lake if he was flown around on a cushy private jet like a billionaire master of the universe,” Petkanas said.
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