Sanders to Clinton: 'This is not the kind of rhetoric that we need'

Sanders to Clinton: 'This is not the kind of rhetoric that we need'
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats redefine center as theirs collapses Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE (I-Vt.) responded further to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe 'Palmetto Promise': South Carolina will decide the race Alabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Worries grow as moderates split Democratic vote MORE’s comments that “no one likes” him, saying that the remark is not reflective of the kind of rhetoric Democrats are seeking. 

“I am sorry for what Secretary Clinton had to say. I know she said that nobody likes me, right? I mean, this is not the kind of rhetoric that we need right now when we are trying to bring the Democratic Party together to defeat the most dangerous president in American history,” the presidential contender told CBS News.

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Sanders was responding to a broadside from Clinton earlier this week in which she said in an interview that "nobody likes" him. Sanders ran against her in the 2016 Democratic primary.

"He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. 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," Clinton said.

The latest criticism of Sanders by Clinton, who maintains a loyal following, raised fears among progressives that the former secretary of State would not urge moderates to throw their support behind Sanders should he win the 2020 nomination and fracture an already divided party.

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The 2016 primary battle between Clinton and Sanders was particularly contentious, with some Sanders supporters saying he lost the race only because of bias against him within the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The acrimony between the two camps was further fueled after Sanders waited several months to endorse Clinton.

Sanders maintained earlier this week he would not get sidetracked by Clinton’s remarks, saying his focus remained on defeating President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE and the ongoing impeachment inquiry. 

“My focus today is on a monumental moment in American history: the impeachment trial of Donald Trump," he said in a statement. "Together, we are going to go forward and defeat the most dangerous president in American history."