Bernie Sanders Rejects Negative Campaigning, Says He Likes Hillary Clinton

Bernie sanders cnn state of the union

During a Sunday interview on CNN, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)  discussed the issues he will be championing during his 2016 presidential campaign. Significantly, the Vermont Senator also revealed that he plans to run a positive campaign, by praising rather than trashing his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. During the interview, Sanders stated:

I’ve never run a negative political ad in my life…I believe in serious debates on serious issues. I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. Maybe I shouldn’t say this. I like Hillary Clinton. I respect Hillary Clinton.

Will the media, among others, allow us to have a civil debate on civil issues? Or is the only way you get media attention by ripping apart somebody else?

Although Senator Sanders disagrees strongly with Hillary Clinton on a number of important issues, he has set a positive tone for his campaign. He is more concerned with addressing the substantive issues than in tearing down his opponent.

Sanders’ political strategy contrasts with the conventional approach to modern campaigning, where negative attacks against one’s opponents are often a core part of a winning strategy. Sanders is also charting a very different course than that adopted by other recent left-wing insurgent candidates for president.

For example, although Sanders is an Independent Senator, he chose to run in the Democratic primary rather than in the general election as a third-party candidate. This strategic decision ensures that, unlike Ralph Nader in 2000, Sanders will not be running as “a spoiler” candidate, who can enable a Republican to win by siphoning votes away from the Democratic candidate. Ralph Nader’s Green Party presidential bid in 2000 arguably cost Democrat Al Gore the states of Florida and New Hampshire, making it possible for George W. Bush to eke his way into the White House.

Nader, whom Bernie Sanders once called “one of the heroes of contemporary American society”, not only played spoiler, but during the 2000 campaign, he also expended the bulk of his energy attacking Al Gore, the Democratic candidate. In the final days before the election, Nader campaigned vigorously in crucial swing states. His intent appeared designed to inflict maximum damage on Al Gore’s presidential chances, even if that meant giving George W. Bush an easier path to victory.

By shunning the negative tactics of so many modern candidates, Bernie Sanders is running a refreshingly atypical campaign. In addition, Sanders is attempting to debate the issues, by challenging Hillary Clinton from the left while also acknowledging that she is a strong candidate who he respects and admires. This is a wise strategy because Sanders recognizes that if he does not secure the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton will make a much better president than any of the GOP candidates. Sanders is running an honorable campaign, and more importantly, he is running a campaign that isn’t committing political suicide for the progressive left.

15 Replies to “Bernie Sanders Rejects Negative Campaigning, Says He Likes Hillary Clinton”

  1. That’s all well and good. The republicans are doing the same. No one’s bad-mouthing anybody in-house just yet. The Republicans will need to start thinning the herd soon. There’s absolutely no advantage for Bernie to attack Hillary. He knows that.

    Makes me wonder though: Who might Hilary’s running mate be? Don’t say a personal computer server. Though handy and easy to destroy, VP’s have to animate real beings.

  2. By the way: please have a native speaker of English rewrite this sentence for you:

    “Though handy and easy to destroy, VP’s have to animate real beings.”

  3. Hey Bernie, you’re never gonna get interviewed on FOX News unless you’re willing to sling a bunch of mud at Clinton.

  4. It is convenient to call Nader a “spoiler” in 2000, but Gore lost the entire South, including his home state of Tennessee. Don’t blame Ralph for Al’s own shortcomings.

  5. This interview was covered by Jason three days ago. When I watched it on video elsewhere it was entirely about Hillary. He went on tv and they didn’t ask about him they asked how he related to her.

    Keith says above:

    “Sanders disagrees strongly with Hillary Clinton on a number of important issues”

    What are the issues that they strongly disagree on? I can’t find any (except for his gun stance) and I want to know.

    Keith also says: “Sanders recognizes that if he does not secure the Democratic nomination”

    You have a sense of humor, I see.

  6. To be exact, Florida was not the only state with voting irregularities. The whole South had problems! Strangely enough , most of the state’s now use Diebold machines! Since then the state’s been solidly Red( Except Hattiesburg which almost rioted and no longer has machine voting, or seperate Id for voting!

  7. Foreign Policy is an ever changing dynamic.

    I would go with her, without specificity, on that subject.

    Unless Vermont gets attacked. (wink, joke)

  8. Call me a crazy Canuck (others have!) but I’m wondering if Hillary and Bernie didn’t get together and decide that, while she was obviously going to win the nomination, she needed Bernie’s supporters (and they are legion) to underline her appeal to the progressives. By agreeing not to throw mud at each other during the primaries, they reinforce each other’s positions and she ceases to get tarred by the Wall Street/elitist label.
    Bernie goes along with it because he’s helping turn the entire Democratic Party to left of centre and makes the choice between the Dems and the extreme reichwing GOP much easier. And while the media like to refer to the US as right of centre, there are plenty of studies which suggest otherwise.

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