Taking the gloves off to support Hillary: The former president campaigns for his wife at Milford Junior High School in Milford, N.H. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Bill Clinton launched a scathing attack on Bernie Sanders at a rally for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on Sunday, saying the Vermont senator’s call to start a “political revolution” is “hermetically sealed” from reality.
“When you’re making a revolution, you can’t be too careful with the facts,” the former president said in Milford, N.H, declining to mention Sanders by name. “You’re either for me or against me.”
Bill Clinton mocked Sanders’ critique of the support his wife’s campaign has received from Wall Street.
“It’s a hermetically sealed box,” Bill Clinton said. “It’s very effective. The system is rigged against you by the big banks, and both parties are in the thrall of the big banks. Anybody who takes money from Goldman Sachs couldn’t possibly be president.”
“If she were really so weak on Wall Street, would there really be two hedge fund managers setting up two super-PACs and spending millions of dollars to attack her?” he continued. “No, they’d be attacking her opponent. But they’re not; they’re attacking her. Because they know that she’s got a stronger plan and they know that when she says she’s going to do something, she’s going to do it.”
The former president called Sanders’ plans for free college tuition and health care both unrealistic and unnecessary.
The Clintons meet with customers at the Chez Vachon restaurant in New Hampshire. (Photo: Matt Rourke/AP)
“You can’t offer a health care program [if] you don’t know what it costs,” Bill Clinton said. “And we don’t need to do it — just implement the law we’ve got, fix the payment systems and get the drug prices down.”
“Is it good for America? I don’t think so. Is it good for New Hampshire? I don’t think so,” he said. “The New Hampshire I knew would not have voted for me if I had done that.”
“Free college for everyone sounds better than what I said,” Bill Clinton added. “[But] we can’t afford everything.”
And he blasted Sanders’ young male backers — the so-called Bernie Bros — who have engaged in cyberbullying against the former secretary of state’s female supporters.
“People who have gone online to defend Hillary and explain — just explain — why they supported her have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane — not to mention sexist — to repeat,” he said.
Sanders has condemned such behavior.
“Look, we don’t want that crap,” Sanders said in an interview with CNN Sunday. “Anybody who is supporting me that is doing the sexist things is — we don’t want them. I don’t want them. That is not what this campaign is about.”
Bill Clinton’s attack on Sanders comes just two days before the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary. Recent polls show the self-described democratic socialist holding a large lead over Hillary Clinton.
It’s not the first time Bill Clinton has taken the gloves off in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. In 2008, the former president went after Barack Obama in an unsuccessful attempt to derail his bid for the White House.
The Sanders campaign called Bill Clinton’s recent attacks “disappointing” but was not surprised.
“It is disappointing that President Clinton has decided to launch these attacks,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement. “Obviously the race has changed in New Hampshire and elsewhere in recent days. Bernie will continue to focus on his message — that America has a rigged economy that sends most new wealth to the top and is held in place by [a] corrupt system of campaign-finance. The voters in New Hampshire and in America deserve a campaign that focuses on the real issues.”