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Bernie Sanders to Andrea Mitchell: ‘Do not moan to me about Hillary Clinton’s problems’

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Fresh off his win in West Virginia’s Democratic primary, a feisty Bernie Sanders told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday not to “moan” to him about Hillary Clinton’s current challenge of fighting off both primary and general election rivals.

“Isn’t the bottom line about you versus Hillary Clinton, and who would be the stronger candidate, that she is now fighting a war on two fronts?” Mitchell asked Sanders.

She noted that Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, is “getting beaten up by Donald Trump on a daily basis.” In contrast, she pointed to some of Trump’s embrace of Sanders’ earlier attacks.

“I don’t accept that proposition,” Sanders said. “Last I heard, Hillary Clinton is running for president of the United States. I am running for president of the United States. Trump is running for president of the United States. And what a candidate does is make his or her best case to the American people.”

Mitchell argued that Clinton is “fighting two candidates and you’re fighting one.“

“Andrea, Andrea — oh really. Oh, really? Hah,” Sanders replied. “Andrea, in every state that we have one, in 19 states, we have had to take on the entire Democratic establishment. We’ve had to take on senators and governors and mayors and members of Congress. That’s what we have taken on.”

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Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Salem, Ore., on Tuesday. (Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

The Vermont senator added: “So please do not moan to me about Hillary Clinton’s problems.”

Sanders, who trails Clinton by 283 pledged delegates, reiterated what he said during a Tuesday night victory speech after winning the West Virginia primary: that he’s “in this race to win.”

“We have a shot,” Sanders told Mitchell. “It is a steep hill to climb, but we’re going to fight for every last vote that we can get, every delegate that we can get. And that’s what I intend to do in the next month, five weeks.”

He also repeated his intention to woo so-called superdelegates who have already pledged their support for Clinton. He pointed to recent polls that show he would fare better against Trump in a general election.

“The point that we’re going to make to the superdelegates is a very simple one,” Sanders said. “Over 400 superdelegates came on board Secretary Clinton’s campaign before anybody else was in the race, before anybody else was running. That’s pretty crazy. And that talks about the weakness of this whole superdelegate system.”

Also read: Hillary fights two battles as Bernie wins another primary

“No. 2, the point that we’re going to make loud and clear is that, in virtually every national poll that’s been out there in the last month or six weeks, and in almost every state poll, Bernie Sanders runs stronger against Donald Trump than does Hillary Clinton,” he continued. “And I think what every delegate to the Democratic National Convention wants, most importantly, is to defeat Donald Trump. The case we’ll make is that I am the stronger candidate.”

Though Trump has focused most of his fire on Clinton, who he calls “Crooked Hillary,” the real estate mogul unveiled a nickname for Sanders earlier in the day on Wednesday: “Crazy Bernie.”

“I don’t want to hit Crazy Bernie Sanders too hard yet because I love watching what he is doing to Crooked Hillary,” the presumptive Republican nominee tweeted. “His time will come!”

But Sanders — who issued his sharpest attack on Trump to date during his stump speech Tuesday night — doubled down on his assessment of the brash billionaire.

“I think the people of America, the more they see Mr. Trump, understand that he’s a total phony,” Sanders said. “That he is a pathological liar, and that he gets a lot of media attention for attacking people, but that is going to wear thin.”

During his MSNBC interview, Sanders also rejected another question about his Democratic primary foe, telling Mitchell that he was not interested in weighing in on Trump’s recent use of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

“The media loves that kind of stuff, and that’s why Trump is doing so well,” he said. “That is the kind of ugly stuff that I do not go near. No, I debate Hillary Clinton on the important issues facing working people. The media loves every ridiculous remark that Donald Trump makes. But we are going to stay focused on the issues.”

“Those are the issues that I talk about, not Bill Clinton’s personal life, not Hillary Clinton’s emails, not the Clinton Foundation,” Sanders added. “That is what Trump will talk about; that’s what the media will talk about. I will focus on the issues facing working families in this country, and I hope the media will allow that discussion to take place.”

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