While professing concern about a negative turn in the White House campaign, Hillary Clinton launched a new television commercial on Thursday that distorts Bernie Sanders’ record with not-so-veiled insinuations and fails to offer her own positive vision for the future.
“Clinton has stepped up the attacks on Sanders in the last two weeks,” as CNN said in a report Thursday on her new TV commercial.
“We were disappointed but not surprised that Secretary Clinton has decided to broadcast a television ad in Iowa that completely distorts my record,” Sanders said.
The new Clinton ad insinuates that Sanders’ Medicare-for-all proposal would undo the Affordable Care Act. In fact, Sanders helped write the Affordable Care Act but says more remains to be done to provide better health care at less cost for all Americans, including the 29 million Americans still without health insurance and millions more who are underinsured. Sanders’ proposal would save the typical family more than $5,000 a year.
Her ad claims she would “break through the gridlock, not add to it.” In fact, Sanders has worked with Republicans in Congress to pass major legislation. He worked with Sen. John McCain, for example, to pass a $15 billion bill to improve health care for veterans. McCain praised Sanders’ “record of advocacy for veterans,” but added, “I don’t see how any veteran … could possibly have any good things, nor could support, her quest for being commander in chief.”
Clinton insinuated that Sanders attacked Planned Parenthood. In fact, Sanders has a 100 percent lifetime voting record for Planned Parenthood and defended the group against Republican attempts to cut its budget.
Clinton’s ad says she would “stand up to the gun lobby, not protect it.” Sanders has a D- lifetime rating by the National Rifle Association, supports President Barack Obama’s gun safety initiatives. Sanders’ advocacy for gun safety dates back to his 1988 congressional campaign, which he lost by 3 points after calling for a ban on assault weapons. Clinton has flip-flopped on gun issues throughout her career. Once an advocate for registering handguns, she became a gun-friendly candidate in 2008 when she tried to portray Obama as too hard on gun owners.
In another dig at Sanders, her ad suggests that she would “lead on foreign policy, not ignore it.” On the major foreign policy issue of the era, however, she voted for the war in Iraq. Sanders opposed it. He supported President Obama’s overture to Iran which resulted in an agreement with world powers to stop Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal. She called President Barack Obama “naïve” for even talking to Tehran. She wants a no-fly zone in Syria. He disagrees and instead wants Middle East nations to take the lead in fighting the Islamic State to prevent U.S. forces from being drawn into a perpetual conflict.
Clinton’s new ad does not offer any proposals for the future. She doesn’t say how she would strengthen Social Security. She doesn’t detail a way to combat climate change. She doesn’t say why she won’t support the leading bills by Democrats in Congress to provide paid family and medical leave. She doesn’t detail her own plan to expand health care for Americans.
“Secretary Clinton is spending a lot of time saying what she’s not going to do. Bernie is spending his time telling Iowa voters and people across the country where he intends to lead the nation as president,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. “Bernie Sanders will build on the achievements President Obama has made and build for the future.”