Former presidential contender Hillary Clinton isn’t Sen. Bernie Sanders’ biggest fan, and she’s reportedly making her discontent with the Vermont lawmaker clear in the Hulu docuseries Hillary, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him,” Clinton reportedly said in the documentary. “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.” When asked if the description still holds true about Sanders, Clinton didn’t back down. “Yes, it does,” she said. The assessment sparked an immediate response on social media, with Hillary Clinton trending through much of the morning Tuesday, only to be topped by #ILikeBernie, which garnered more than 63,000 tweets by late afternoon.
Abdul El-Sayed, a progressive Democrat and Sanders supporter, likened Clinton to a political bully in his use of #ILikeBernie Tuesday. “How many know what it’s like when bullies say ‘nobody likes’ them,” he tweeted. “I do. It’s a marginalizing tool of elites—on the schoolyard or in politics. Well, I like @BernieSanders. He’s my friend + millions of others. Why? Rather than say nobody likes us, he’s fighting for us.” Activist Shaun King pointed out the latest data from Morning Consult that showed 76% of voters view Sanders positively, more than any other Democratic presidential candidate. Former Vice President Joe Biden came in second with a favorable approval rating of 71%, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, took third place with 65%, according to the data.
BREAKING: @BernieSanders has the HIGHEST favorable approval rating of ANYBODY running for President.
76%. Highest in years.
That's a whole lot of NOBODIES.
Now, don't just be a fan -donate, organize, volunteer.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) January 21, 2020
The Kenyan poet Shailja Patel tweeted: “I like universal public healthcare I like housing as a human right I like radical internationalism I like universal voting rights I like the Green New Deal I like free college for all I like anti-imperialism I like anti-capitalism I like ending wars I like feminism #ILikeBernie”
In a video tweeted by Sanders supporters from the political organization Our Revolution Contra Costa, Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor under then-president Bill Clinton, defended Sanders against critics who said he was ineffective in Congress. “I saw how effective Bernie actually was,” Reich said. “He was tenacious.” Reich said Sanders doesn’t have “a huge ego,” so he didn’t hold out for his name to be on every piece of legislation he advocated for. “But he did hold out for amendments and for changes that almost in every case, virtually in every case, helped working people and helped the poor,” Reich said.
— Our Revolution CCC (@ORContraCosta) January 21, 2020
Clinton, however, criticized Sanders and “the culture around him” for its treatment of political opponents, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women,” Clinton said. “And I really hope people are paying attention to that because it should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture — not only permitted, [he] seems to really be very much supporting it.”
The issue became the focus of a debate question last week among top Democratic presidential contenders, who were asked about the idea of a woman becoming president. When facing allegations that Sanders said a woman couldn’t win the presidency, he vehemently denied them, according to CNN. “Anybody who knows me, knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman could not be president to the United States. Go to YouTube today,” he said. “They have some video of me 30 years ago talking about how a woman could become president of the United States.”
Sanders has also been held to task for failing to respond to a Latina strategist’s allegation that she was made to endure sexual harassment during his 2016 campaign, according to The New York Times. Giulianna Di Lauro told the Times a campaign surrogate touched her hair in a “sexual way” and continued to “push my boundaries” when she drove him to various campaign activities. She told the Times when she told Bill Velazquez, a manager on her team, about what she had experienced, his response was: “I bet you would have liked it if he were younger.”
More recent responses from a segment of Sanders supporters calling themselves “Bernie Bros” seem to be triggering a related sentiment that Sanders isn’t doing enough to reject demeaning and sexist language targeting women. While NBC News THINK contributor Kurt Bardella said in an opinion piece that “certainly, Sanders hasn’t encouraged the ugliness that his supporters display,” he is expected to “vehemently denounce the tactics being deployed on his behalf, in his name, in real-time.” “Calling for civility and respectful dialogue requires more than the occasional comment, it will take vigilant admonition,” Bardella said.