Emotions Run High for Sanders and Clinton
For much of the past few months, Republicans have dominated the airwaves, when it comes to throwing punches, and using unsavory language. Now, though, the Democrats are beginning to rumble as well, with campaign stresses running on high. Because Sanders won five of the last six contests, many are claiming he has momentum on his side. Still, it’s going to be hard for him to cut into Clinton’s over 200 delegate lead. Both candidates have reason to be worried about where they stand.
Last Thursday, Hillary Clinton burst out in anger when a Greenpeace activist questioned her about how she could deal with climate change if she were taking donations from the fossil fuel industry. Clinton responded with fire: “I’m so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me.”
While Clinton and Sanders alike accept donations from energy sector employees, neither is allowed to accept money from corporations. Linking Hillary directly to the industry, then, is unfair. Still, the Sanders camp fired back. Adviser Jeff Weaver said, "If the Clinton campaign wants to argue that industry lobbyists giving thousands of dollars to her campaign won't affect her decisions if she's elected, that's fine. But to call us liars for pointing out basic facts about the secretary's fundraising is deeply cynical and very disappointing."
Clinton later jabbed at Sanders. She highlighted that she was a Democrat for her entire adult life, whereas Sanders has identified as a socialist and democratic socialist as well as an independent. She put it simply and sharply: “I think that is kind of important if we are selecting someone to be the Democratic nominee of the Democratic Party.”
The drama continues as Sanders and Clinton bicker over when, where, and how to do a New York Debate. Sanders challenged Clinton to a debate in Clinton’s home state “on the important issues facing New York and, in fact, the country.” According to Hillary’s camp, Bernie has rejected three proposed dates, though Clinton is still confident a debate will happen. Sanders claims that the dates proposed by the Clinton camp have not made sense. They wanted, for instance, a debate in New York on the night of the NCAA finals—“ludicrous.” Clinton and Sanders have gone back and forth on seven dates at this point, with no set date in sight yet. Their responses? Sanders spokesperson: “The Clinton campaign should stop playing games.” Clinton spokesperson: “The Sanders campaign needs to stop with the games.”
Sanders has been criticized for changing his brand and beginning to attack Hillary Clinton, whereas at the beginning of the race he insisted on staying positive and focusing on the issues. As Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon said, “The Sanders campaign needs to stop using the New York primary as a playground for political games and negative attacks.”
What’s the takeaway here? As polished as they are as politicians and debaters, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are both only human. They’re under a lot of stress, they’re probably not getting much sleep, and it’s about time one of them goes hoarse from yelling. They have every right to lose their cool every once in a while. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end up as dirty as the Republican side.