Former Clinton adviser: Sanders has 'gotten off the hook' for his supporters' behavior

A former adviser to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonState polling problematic — again 4 reasons why Trump can't be written off — yet 'Unmasking' Steele dossier source: Was confidentiality ever part of the deal? MORE said Thursday that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP lawmaker: Democratic Party 'used to be more moderate' 4 reasons why Trump can't be written off — yet Progressives lost the battle for the Democratic Party's soul MORE (I-Vt.) has “gotten off the hook” for his supporters’ negative behavior. 

Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball pressed Richard Goodstein on if Clinton was also responsible for her voters and their behavior, specifically during the 2008 election process. 

“Of course not,” he answered.

“But Bernie is responsible for his supporters, but she’s not responsible for hers?” Ball asked. 

Goodstein said Clinton’s supporters eventually “went crazy in support” of 2008 nominee Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama2020 Democratic Party platform endorses Trump's NASA moon program Davis: My recommendation for vice president on Biden ticket Statehood for Puerto Rico and the obstruction of justice MORE, which wasn't true of Sanders’s supporters in 2016.

“Really I think Bernie has gotten off the hook by virtue of the fact of the way he and his supporters kind of behaved there, before and after — sorry,” he said.

Both four years ago and in the 2020 primary, Sanders has repeatedly faced criticism for the way his backers behave online. 

“Harassment of all forms is unacceptable to me, and we urge supporters of all campaigns not to engage in bullying or ugly personal attacks,” Sanders said last month after the Nevada Culinary Workers Union said it had faced aggressive attacks online from his supporters over its opposition to "Medicare for All."

Goodstein said that Clinton’s 2008 supporters also differed from how Republicans, including other candidates, treated President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE during the 2016 campaign. He specifically cited when Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamNavarro: 'Don't fall for' message from TikTok lobbyists, 'puppet CEO' Graham defends Trump on TikTok, backs Microsoft purchase The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - At loggerheads, Congress, White House to let jobless payout lapse MORE (R-S.C.) called Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot” among other remarks.

“So it never got there, right?” he said. “So are those people just as horrible as the Hillary people you’re talking about?”

Sanders is locked in a tight race for the Democratic White House nomination with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Biden2020 Democratic Party platform endorses Trump's NASA moon program Don't let Trump distract us from the real threat of his presidency Abrams: Trump 'doing his best to undermine our confidence' in voting system MORE, who currently leads him the delegate count, 596 to 531, although some Super Tuesday delegates still need to be distributed.