Former staffers for Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ respective 2016 campaigns are duking it out in the pages of Politico.
After Sen. Sanders (I-VT) lost the Democrat primary in 2016 and endorsed Clinton for president, he began traveling across the country to campaign for the former Secretary of State. But according to former Clinton staffers who spoke to Politico, Sanders “repeatedly requested and received the use of a carbon-spewing private jet for himself and his traveling staff when he served as a surrogate campaigner for Hillary Clinton,” in stark contrast to his “climate change is a menace” persona.
After the 2016 presidential election, anti-“millionaires and billionaires” Sanders continued to use private jets when traveling — to the tune of $342,000.
The 2016 Democrat primary was no more contentious than the 2008 Democrat primary, which carried on for months longer than the Republican Party’s primary and left the Democrat Party split into two groups: those who supported Clinton and those who supported then-candidate Barack Obama.
But now some Democrats claim Sanders caused Clinton to lose to President Donald Trump in 2016, forgetting that despite the brutal primary in 2008, Obama went on to win.
And now those Democrats are trying to bring Sanders down four years after 2016 (well, three years now) by pointing out his hypocrisy on climate change and income inequality.
“I’m not shocked that while thousands of volunteers braved the heat and cold to knock on doors until their fingers bled in a desperate effort to stop Donald Trump, his Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders would only deign to leave his plush D.C. office or his brand new second home on the lake if he was flown around on a cushy private jet like a billionaire master of the universe,” former director of rapid response for the Clinton campaign, Zac Petkanas, told Politico.
Six former Clinton staffers told Politico that Sanders’ private flights were “a point of tension” for the campaign, though it seems like Sanders may have had no choice when it came to the tight schedules required of him to appear for Clinton.
Sanders cost the Clinton-Kaine campaign $100,000 for three separate trips via a private plane at the end of the 2016 campaign. The campaign felt Sanders could have flown commercial when not hopping “from city to city in a particular state.”
Sanders spokespeople responded bitterly to the assertions by the former Clinton staffers. Arianna Jones told Politico that many of the places where Sanders campaigned for Clinton were in places with limited availability for commercial air travel.
Sanders’ former 2016 campaign spokesman, Michael Briggs, scoffed at the claims from the former Clinton staffers.
“You can see why she’s one of the most disliked politicians in America. She’s not nice. Her people are not nice,” he told Politico. “[Sanders] busted his tail to fly all over the country to talk about why it made sense to elect Hillary Clinton and the thanks that [we] get is this kind of petty stupid sniping a couple years after the fact.”
Sanders travelled to 39 rallies in 13 states to campaign for Clinton. In the last week of the campaign, he traveled to 17 rallies in 11 states.