Sanders brushes off Clinton criticism: ‘Look forward and not backward’
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday brushed off Hillary Clinton’s criticism of him in her new book about the 2016 presidential election, saying he’s not interested in playing the blame game.
“My response is that right now it’s appropriate to look forward and not backward,” Sanders told The Hill.
“I’m working overtime now to see we overturn Trump’s decision on DACA, pass a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and next week I’ll be offering a Medicare-for-all single-payer system,” he said.
Sanders said he wants to focus on the legislative challenges at hand and not debate who is to blame for President Trump’s stunning electoral upset of Clinton, the Democratic nominee, in November.
“Our job is to go forward,” he said.
Sanders made the comments after attending a Democratic press event responding to Trump’s decision Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Obama implemented in 2012 to shield from deportation immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
In her new book “What Happened,” due out later this month, Clinton casts blame on Sanders for inflicting “lasting damage” on her campaign during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, which she believes helped Trump win.
Clinton argues that Sanders laid the groundwork for Trump’s “crooked Hillary” campaign attack by using “innuendo and impugning my character,” according to reported excerpts of her book.
“His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election,” she wrote of Sanders.
Clinton also faults Sanders for what she saw as copying her ideas and then super-sizing them to make himself more appealing to liberal voters, describing him as a serial over-promiser.
“We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger,” she wrote.
When pressed on these specific allegations, Sanders shot back: “I’ll let the people decide.”