Robert Gehl reports that in the wake of the biggest and most unexpected election loss in American history, Democrats are still scrambling to pick up the pieces, explain why, and assess blame.
Nobody is better at blaming other people than Hillary Clinton, and in her upcoming book What Happened, Hillary repeats the claim that runner-up Bernie Sanders “stole” ideas from her while on the campaign trail.
The Socialist Vermont Senator did not like that, and he told that to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
Hayes set up the question by quoting from Clinton’s book.
“No matter how bold and progressive my policy proposals were … Bernie would come out with something even bigger, loftier and leftier, regardless of whether it was realistic or not …”
He then quoted the book: “Jake Sullivan, my top policy advisor, told me it reminded him of a scene from the 1998 movie There’s Something About Mary. A deranged hitchhiker says he came up with a brilliant plan. Instead of the famous ‘eight-minute abs’ exercise routine, he’s going to market ‘seven-minute abs.’ It’s the same, just quicker.”
Bernie angrily responded:
“i.e. – Bernie Sanders just stole all of Hillary Clinton’s ideas. Does anybody really believe that?” Sanders asked.
“The truth is and the real story is that the ideas that we brought forth in that campaign – which were so crazy and so radical – have increasingly become mainstream. I talked about a $15 minimum wage. Hillary did not. You know what? We got 31 co-sponsors on legislation … we talked about improving our infrastructure. We talked about making health care a right of all people through Medicare for all. Medicare for all is becoming mainstream within the Democratic party.
“So many college … making public colleges tuition free … talk to the governor of the state of New York. He’s pretty proud of his accomplishment.
“So what I’m saying here, Chris, is that many of the ideas that we talked about, that Secretary Clinton and others said were too far out – they are the ideas that are sweeping America – ideas that most Americans now support.”
Breaking this down: Universal health care is not a Bernie Sanders idea alone. It’s been around for decades in the United States. Hillary was tasked by her husband when he was president to spearhead universal health care in the 1990s. Yet the idea existed before then here in the U.S.
Free tuition at all public colleges and universities isn’t a Bernie idea, but it certainly is one that wasn’t immediately endorsed by Hillary. At first she dismissed the idea as financially untenable (it is), but did later endorse the idea after Bernie kept pushing it.
And Bernie’s right – Hillary Clinton initially rejected the idea of a national $15 per hour minimum wage (wisely, I might add, since it’s destroying areas where it’s been implemented). She came out and said that she supported a $12 minimum wage, but later came out in support of the “Fight for $15” movement.
So in many of these ideas, Bernie is correct. Hillary Clinton was pushed farther and farther left by Bernie’s populist – and socialist – ideas.
Maybe that contributed to her loss. Of course, we’re not blaming her, mind you. We’re blaming Bernie.
What do you think? Do you blame Bernie for Hillary’s loss? Or was Hillary just a terrible candidate? Sound off below!