An article recently in the Des Moines Register has Bernie Sanders describing Hillary Clinton’s campaign as “nervous” and “panicky,” Her camp has been taking shot after shot lately, a clear sign they are becoming desperate.
Sanders defended himself against the Clinton campaign, which on Friday said Sanders was at odds with President Barack Obama’s recent executive orders on gun safety because of his 2005 vote to protect gun manufacturers against liability in gun deaths. Clinton repeated the refrain Sunday morning on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“It’s the only industry in our country where we have given that kind of carte blanche to do whatever you want to do with no fear of legal consequences,” Clinton said. ” You know, President Obama and I and Senator Sanders were all in the Senate at the same time. Two of us voted against what the NRA says was the most important piece of legislation in 20 years for the gun lobby.”
But the Sanders camp fired back with the damning facts about Clinton’s history on gun safety.
“Senator Sanders strongly supports the president’s executive actions on gun safety,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. Throughout his career in Congress, Sanders has voted for strong gun safety measures, including a ban on assault weapons, improved background checks and eliminating the gun-show loophole. As the senator has said before, he thinks Congress should re-examine a law on manufacturers’ liability, Weaver added.
“Bernie has been a consistent supporter of gun safety legislation since he lost his first bid for Congress in a campaign in which he supported an assault weapons ban. The National Rifle Association has given him grades of D- and F.
“Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has a record of flip flops on – among other issues – gun safety,” Weaver added. “Today she’s attacking Bernie on guns. Eight years ago she attacked Barack Obama on guns.”
When she was a candidate for the Senate in 2000, she said she favored licensing everyone who buys a gun and establishing a registry of all handgun sales. But by the time she was running president in 2008, she said that federal “blanket rules” on guns no longer made sense to her.
At one point in that 2008 campaign, she even attacked then-Sen. Barack Obama as “elitist and out of touch” over what she called his “demeaning remarks” about gun owners. In fact, she even sent out a pamphlet attacking Obama for being too strong on gun control. He reacted to her over-the-top rhetoric by accusing her of acting like “Annie Oakley … packin’ a six-shooter.”
“Maybe Secretary Clinton should apologize for attacking the president in 2008 because he was too strong on gun control,” Weaver said. “As is the case with so many issues on which she has flip flopped, voters have to ask themselves which Hillary Clinton is asking for their vote,” Weaver added.
The mail ad below from Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign asked of her Democratic primary opponent’s position on guns.
The reason for the desperation in the Clinton camp are the growing numbers in the polls.
Bernie Sanders gives Democrats the best chance to win the White House in 2016 because he performs significantly better than Hillary Clinton against Republican presidential candidates.
“Sanders runs markedly better than Clinton” against Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the leaders in their party’s field of candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to a memo by Sanders’ pollster Ben Tulchin.
The analysis of public polling on the White House race also yielded these key points:
- Sanders is viewed more favorably by Americans than any other candidate for president from either party.
- He is regarded as the most honest and trustworthy candidate of either party.
- Sanders is popular with independents while Clinton fares poorly with that bloc of critical swing voters in general elections.
- He is very popular with younger voters and can galvanize them to turn out, helping Democrats up and down the ticket.
- Republicans favor Sanders far more than Clinton.
Sanders popularity is largely due to his positive reputation. “Sanders enjoys the most positive profile of any 2016 contender and would begin a fall campaign with room to grow,” according to Tulchin. His memo cites a new Field Poll in California which found Sanders’ favorability was greater than Clinton’s by a margin of 15 points.
While most voters view Sanders as honest and trustworthy, two recent polls found that Clinton is distrusted slightly more than Trump. A December Quinnipiac University poll found Trump was distrusted by 58 percent of voters. Fifty-nine percent distrusted Clinton. The Economist/YouGov poll from the same time found Trump distrusted by 50 percent of voters and 52 percent distrusted Clinton.
Sanders also is the strongest Democrat against the leading Republican candidates. “The main factor responsible for Sanders’ superior performance against Trump is that the senator from Vermont performs much better with independents,” according to Tulchin. The Quinnipiac University poll found Sanders beating Trump by 14 points with independents, while Clinton beat Trump by only 2 points with independents, a critical bloc in general elections.
Young voters remain a key to Sanders’ strength. Notably, Tulchin wrote, Quinnipiac found that voters under age 35 view Sanders favorably by a 44-point margin (58 percent favorable to 14 percent unfavorable) while CNN found he was viewed favorably by voters in that age group by a 32-point margin (55 percent favorable to 23 percent unfavorable).
In a new Fox News poll released on Friday, Sanders is ahead of Hillary Clinton 50 percent to 37 percent among New Hampshire Democratic primary voters. Sanders lengthened his lead since November, when he was up by just one point (45 percent to 44 percent). Sanders outpolled Clinton in head-to-head matchups against the leading Republican candidates in another new poll in New Hampshire released on Friday by Public Policy Polling. Sanders averaged nine points better than Clinton in the general election match ups. He defeated Trump by 20 points.