SPONSORED:

Clinton: Sanders and supporters did not do enough to unify party in 2016

Clinton: Sanders and supporters did not do enough to unify party in 2016
© Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE accused Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike House set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package On The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst MORE (I-Vt.) and his supporters of not doing enough to unify the party behind her White House bid in 2016 and said that their behavior affected the general election.

“All the way up until the end, a lot of people highly identified with his campaign were urging people to vote third party, urging people not to vote,” she said in an interview on the podcast “Your Primary Playlist.” “It had an impact.”

Clinton accused Sanders’s supporters of drawing out the nominating contest by refusing to come around to her presidential campaign all the way through to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

ADVERTISEMENT

“So fast forward. I mean, you had, unfortunately, a very different outcome in the 2016 primary, where I won by 4 million votes. I won overwhelmingly in delegates,” said Clinton. “There was no question about who was going to be the nominee.”

“But unfortunately, you know, his campaign and his principal supporters were just very difficult and really, constantly not just attacking me, but my supporters," she added. 

Clinton also drew a sharp contrast between Sanders’s alleged lackluster efforts to back her and her efforts to support Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaArtist behind golden Trump statue at CPAC says he made it in Mexico Obama opens up about singing 'Amazing Grace' after Charleston shooting: 'I've used up all my words' Exclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren MORE after his primary victory over her in 2008, saying the difference was “night and day.”

“That cannot happen again,” Clinton added. “I don’t care who the nominee is. I don’t care. As long as it’s somebody who can win, and as long as it’s somebody who understands politics is the art of addition, not subtraction.”

The comments Friday come after and expand on a recently reignited feud between Clinton and Sanders.

The former secretary of State raised eyebrows recently when she said in an interview that “nobody likes” Sanders.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 comments sparked concerns from progressives that Clinton, who still holds sway over moderate voters, would not back Sanders should he emerge as the nominee. Clinton later clarified that she would back whoever wins the Democratic nomination later this year.

Sanders has consistently polled as a top-tier candidate since launching his campaign, but he has enjoyed a surge of support in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire in particular in the lead up to the caucuses and primary in the two states.

Heading into the primary season, Clinton urged Democrats to focus on candidates who could beat President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE in crucial swing states in November.

“I think people need to have to really think hard about who can beat Trump. And it’s not the popular vote, as I learned to my own grave disappointment,” she said. “Those are going to be tough states to win. So I just want us to be really focused on winning. That’s all I care about.”