Bernie Sanders fires back at Bill Clinton after Tea Party comparison

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has responded to comments made by Bill Clinton that were widely interpreted to be critical of him.
Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has responded to comments made by Bill Clinton that were widely interpreted to be critical of him.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Bill Clinton's latest comments on the race for the Democratic nomination were widely interpreted as a criticism directly aimed at Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. He minced few words when given a chance to respond.

"I do understand-obviously-he's trying to do his best to get his wife to win the nomination," Sanders told Bloomberg's programme, 'With All Due Respect'. "But we should not be making silly remarks."

At a rally for Hillary Clinton in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday (Feb 15), Bill Clinton never mentioned the Vermont senator by name. But he said the Tea Party succeeded at the ballot box by deciding to "just tell people what they want to hear," before quickly adding that Democrats have also begun "rewarding people who tell us things we know they can't do because it pushes our hot button."

Sanders, who won the New Hampshire primary by a large margin and is gaining on Hillary Clinton in early polling of the next contest in Nevada, rejected the comparison between the Tea Party and the rise of his candidacy during an exchange with Mark Halperin, the co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics.

"Is there a comparison?" Halperin asked. 

"No," Sanders shot back. "There's no comparison."

Halperin followed up: "Just on the question, and we've discussed this with you before this, on the skepticism that you are telling people things that they want to hear."

Sanders' voice intensified. "Yeah, I am telling people what they want to hear! People want jobs. They want health care. They want educational opportunities for their kids. They want to deal with climate change. They want the wealthiest people to pay their fair share of taxes. Yeah, that's what I'm telling people. And on every one of those issues, that is exactly what the American people want."