Is Hillary Terrified of Bernie?
Hillary Clinton's debate performances have been wooden and terrible, a combination of her robotic tone, anti personality, and feeble explanations for her cozy relationship with Wall Street. Predictably, Democratic audiences have responded by casting votes for her rival, septuagenarian socialist crackpot Bernie Sanders. So it's no surprise that after Bernie's big weekend sweep, Team Clinton is terrified, and they're plugging the leak. For the time being, Hillary has decided to avoid debating Bernie until he...can behave himself?
Hillary Clinton's chief campaign strategist laid into Bernie Sanders' camp on Monday for its insistence upon a debate before the April 19 primary in New York, remarking that the Vermont senator has reneged on his promise to avoid running a negative campaign and therefore does not get to dictate the terms of any future debates.
Appearing on CNN, Joel Benenson was asked about comments from the Sanders campaign over the weekend calling for another debate before the New York primary, though he said he did not see that as the most notable story out of the weekend. Instead, he referred to a Washington Post story in which Sanders' campaign discussed possible efforts to sharpen rhetoric against the former secretary of state. "They’re talking about running harsher negatives now," Benenson said, responding that he was not distracting from the issue but explaining the campaign's stance.
“Because I think the real question is what kind of campaign is Sen. Sanders going to run going forward," Benenson remarked. "He pumped $4 million in the weekend before March 15, and he lost all five states on March 15. They spent about $4 million running negative ads.”
This is likely a power move made by a frontrunner who knows she can't afford any more disastrous debate performances. Still, it's a bad sign for the general election. Recall that Sanders basically squandered any advantage he might have over Clinton in this primary when he almost immediately stated that the American people were "sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!" Since then, he's only crossed into "Brooklyn loud" territory when Hillary has blatantly lied about his record. Overall, Sanders tenor has been so milquetoast that you wonder if he's running nothing more than a protest/issue candidacy.
This begs the question: if Hillary is afraid to face lightweight Bernie Sanders in a debate, will she even show up when it's time to take on the brash New York billionaire who's likely to be the Republican nominee?