Bernie Sanders is trying to end the discussion of qualifications and return to the issues. In a recent interview on the “Today Show,” he expressed an admiration for Clinton and her credentials, and stressed that he would prefer to move the campaign away from attacks and towards the issues.
In a speech last week, Bernie Sanders called Clinton unqualified based on her special interest influence and foreign policy decisions. He has since walked this rhetoric back, saying that he only made such statements out of retaliation to similar attacks from the Clinton campaign. Sanders attempted to end the attacks and return to policy differences by saying:
“Here’s the truth. I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I respect Hillary Clinton. We were colleagues in the Senate, and on her worst day she would be infinitely better than either of the Republican candidates.”
Sanders appears to blame the media for overemphasizing the more aggressive moments of the election. When asked to clarify again that the Secretary was qualified, he replied:
“Of course. But the point is I would hope we could get away from these attacks, which by the way, the media likes very much, and start focusing—maybe we can do this today—on the real issues.”
Many Democrats are concerned about the effects of an increasingly nasty primary, and how that might affect an eventual general election result. The so-called “Bernie or Bust” movement among Bernie supporters has many in the party concerned that Bernie Sanders supporters will not transfer their support over to Secretary Clinton if she becomes the nominee.
When asked if the Democratic primary will continue to become more aggressive like the Republican race, Senator Sanders said:
“I hope we can get past this.”
The interview is a comfort for a Democratic Party that will need unity to defeat an especially awful pair of Republican opponents. In an election where the front-runner on the right plans to build a wall, censor the Internet, and deport 11 million people, the stakes are too high for the eventual nominee not to have the party’s full support.
Featured image via Getty/William Thomas Cain.