During an interview on ABC’s This Week, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders busted the media for trying take credit away from his campaign by turning his success into Hillary Clinton’s failure.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC CORRESPONDENT: Our thanks to John. Let’s go to straight to Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator, good morning. You saw those new poll numbers. Is Hillary Clinton’s campaign in trouble?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I don’t know if her campaign is in trouble but our campaign is doing great. You know, it’s not just in Iowa; it’s in New Hampshire; it’s all across this country, Martha. I think people are responding to our message that something is wrong when the middle class of this country continues to disappear, people are working longer hours for lower wages, and almost all of the new wealth and income is going to the top 1 percent. That is not the type of country, not the type of economy that the American people want or deserve, and I think they’re prepared to support somebody who’s going to take on the billionaire class and make an economy for ordinary people, not just for the people on top.
RADDATZ: Well, Senator Sanders, Hillary Clinton has lost about a third of her supporters since May, but the polls don’t show those supporters, a significant number, are not heading your way. Why not, given what you’ve said?
SANDERS: Well, the polls that I saw said that there was massive enthusiasm for the message that we’re delivering, and that the vast majority of the people who are voting for me in that Iowa poll — and I think it’s true all over this country — are not necessarily anti-Hillary Clinton. They’re pro-Bernie Sanders, and they want a candidate who is not dependent upon super-PACs, a candidate who is prepared to take on and overturn this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, help have the United States lead the world in combating climate change, make college affordable to all people.
I have to tell you, Martha, I think the gains that we are seeing, and the enthusiasm and the huge crowds that we are seeing, this is not anti-Hillary Clinton: this is pro-Bernie Sanders and pro a message that says enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of very wealthy people.
Bernie Sanders caught Martha Raddatz red handed. She was pushing the conventional media spin that pro-Sanders people are anti-Clinton. The Des Moines Register poll of Iowa Democrats revealed that 96% of Sen. Sanders’ supporters are not anti-Clinton. Only 2% of Sanders supporters are doing so because they are anti-Clinton.
There are two reasons why the media is trying to take credit away from Bernie Sanders. First, the mainstream press has convinced themselves that the United States is a conservative country. The corporate press can’t comprehend that a liberal candidate is popular based on his ideas. Bernie Sanders doesn’t fit their pro-conservative bias, so they feel compelled to explain his success in a way that fits their model.
The media views elections as a zero sum game. It is impossible for many in the press to accept that Democrats don’t have to hate Clinton to support Sanders. The supporters of Bernie Sanders don’t hate Hillary Clinton as much as the press does, but the media is trying to use the success of Bernie Sanders to push their anti-Clinton message.
Bernie Sanders is successful because of his message. The fact that he isn’t running a campaign that attacks Clinton is only making Sen. Sanders more popular.
Not only is Sen. Sanders gaining supporters, but he is also challenging media bias and shattering the press’s horserace election coverage mentality.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association