I started out wanting to talk about Clinton’s Sandy Hook comments about Bernie Sanders (which went all kinds of bad), but suddenly I was distracted with Clinton’s camp bemoaning the negativity of the Sanders campaign, and the media’s blazing headlines that Bernie was so very mean to her and that he will be so, so sorry that he called Clinton “unqualified.” We’ll talk about the substance of that in a minute, but first, where was the media outrage when Clinton surrogate Chelsea Clinton said Bernie Sanders wanted to take healthcare and the CHIP program away from Americans? Where was the media outrage when Clinton cavalierly trotted out Sandy Hook families to essentially paint Bernie as wanting to arm mass killers? Where was the media outrage when Clinton accused the Sanders camp of lying about her record on fossil fuels? Where was the media outrage when Clinton said that most of New York’s guns come from Bernie Sanders’ state of Vermont (which even a delegate admitted was a lie – in fact, according to the ATF, only 55 out of the 7,686 firearms recovered and traced in New York in 2014 were from Vermont), when she has tried valiantly to paint him as damn near an NRA enthusiast? Where was the media outrage when Clinton said that Bernie was against the auto bailout? Where was her media backlash for such completely unforgivable lies? Right after Clinton lost Wisconsin by double digits to Bernie Sanders, after losing 6 prior primaries, the Clinton camp (after pledging party unity), decided that its patience was at an end with this dogged, persistent, winning opponent, and decided that party unity could be ditched until later so they could launch attacks now. Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, warned Clinton about destroying party unity in order to satisfy her ambition to become president (and of course, that statement was met with cries of “sexist”).
And here comes the media, with its headlines decrying Bernie Sanders for “going negative” by calling Hillary Clinton unqualified, despite the fact that (in a move similar to her 2008 camp leaking the rumor that then-candidate Obama was a Muslim and refusing to deny outright that he wasn’t) Clinton refused to say in a national interview that Bernie was qualified. Although asked three times, Clinton refused to acknowledge that Bernie Sanders was qualified to be president – and yet, the Washington Post fact-checker dude insisted that Bernie was “putting words in Clinton’s mouth” by claiming she said he was not qualified. Here’s the exchange:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: We’ve been talking about Bernie Sanders’s New York Daily News interview. I want to start with that and ask you, in light of the interview, in light of the questions he had problems with, do you believe this morning that Bernie Sanders is qualified and ready to be president of the United States?
CLINTON: Well, I think the interview raised a lot of really serious questions and I look at it this way. The core of his campaign has been break up the banks and it didn’t seem in reading his answers that he understood exactly how that would work under Dodd-Frank, exactly who would be responsible, what the criteria were. And you know, that means you can’t really help people if you don’t know how to do what you are campaigning on saying you want to do.
SCARBOROUGH: So is he — so is he …
CLINTON: And then there were other very …
SCARBOROUGH: Is he — I know there are a lot of examples of where he came up short and the interviewers were having to repeat questions. So the question, and I’m serious, if you weren’t running today and you looked at Bernie Sanders, would you say this guy is ready to be president of the United States?
CLINTON: Well, I think he hadn’t done his homework, and he’d been talking for more than a year about doing things that he obviously hadn’t really studied or understood, and that does raise a lot of questions. And really what it goes to is for voters to ask themselves can he deliver what he’s talking about, can he really help people …
SCARBOROUGH: What do you think?
CLINTON: Can he help our economy? Can he keep our country strong? Well obviously, I think I’m by far the better choice and …
SCARBOROUGH: But do you think he is qualified? And do you think he is able to deliver on the things he is promising to all these Democratic voters?
CLINTON: Well, let me put it this way, Joe. I think that what he has been saying about the core issue in his whole campaign doesn’t seem to be rooted in an understanding of either the law or the practical ways you get something done. And I will leave it to voters to decide who of us can do the job that the country needs, who can do all aspects of the job, both on the economic domestic issues and on national security and foreign policy.
For the cheap seats, refusing to acknowledge that Bernie Sanders is qualified, while simultaneously highlighting his perceived shortcomings, is another way of saying what she didn’t have the balls to say outright (and Bernie, in fact, did): “No.” But the media wasn’t having it, oh, no. She didn’t really say that, therefore he shouldn’t blast her!
Chicago Tribune: “With charge of being unqualified, Sanders takes the wrong swipe at Hillary Clinton”
Business Insider: “Bernie Unloads on Clinton: I don’t think you’re qualified”
TPM: “Not good, not good at all”
CNN: “Is Bernie Sanders taking the low road?”
RealClearPolitics: “McCaskill: Calling Hillary Clinton unqualified is like fingernails on a black board to most women”
As noted by the Washington Post,
Warren Gunnels, a senior adviser to Sanders, justified the phrasing by pointing to two items: a Washington Post headline and a quote in a CNN article.
The Washington Post article had this headline: ‘Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president.’
The CNN report included this sentence: ‘The campaign’s deputy communications director, Christina Reynolds, argued that Sanders is unqualified.’ The sentence appeared before a description of a campaign missive that Reynolds had written, drawing attention to a problematic interview that Sanders had with the editorial board of the Daily News.
‘Senator Sanders believes there are serious differences in this race that show who is best qualified to be president,’ Gunnels said. ‘It’s remarkable that Secretary Clinton could suggest Senator Sanders isn’t qualified to be president in the morning and then fake outrage at her own statements that same evening.’
Gunnels also expressed outrage at an email Reynolds sent to supporters drawing attention to Sanders’s ‘not qualified’ comments. ‘This is exactly why so many Americans do not trust Hillary Clinton or her campaign,’ he said.
Hillary Clinton is one of the most devious politicians of our time. She levels attacks then cries foul on her opponent. She pretends to be a victim while hurling slings and arrows. Her 2008 campaign against then-candidate Obama was a disgrace. Her campaign, to date, against Bernie Sanders – despite his refusal to attack her on her email scandal or the Clinton Foundation and its trail of dirty money – has been rife with blatant lies, mocking taunts, and barely veiled innuendos designed to smear him while purportedly leaving her hands clean. We are not fooled. We know who she is. And we’re cheering Bernie Sanders on, because it’s become glaringly apparently that he’s sick and tired of her. She’s showing herself to be the snarling, vicious person we always knew she was – and when her back’s against the wall, she’s like a cornered possum.
Nothing in her background qualifies her to be a progressive, people-minded president; Bernie Sanders is right. She took oodles of Wall Street money, which has left her beholden, and refuses to disclose her speeches. She has lied about fossil fuel money and refuses to take the pledge against it. She feigns interest in the black community when her history screams the opposite. She drags victims of tragedies around with her on the campaign trail to portray herself as caring. She rushed to Flint, Michigan, and its cause until she lost the state and lost interest. She’s a grifter, and unqualified to lead this nation. Her unfavorability ratings are second only to Donald Trump, with good reason. And, not surprisingly, she is, at least peripherally, tied to the Panama Papers through more than one cozy connection.
Where there’s dirty money and dirty politics, there’s a bread crumb trail leading to Hillary Clinton’s doorstep. “Unqualified” barely scratches the surface of this deplorably dishonest woman.