Dear Hillary… Fire Robby Mook and John Podesta

Wednesday's debate was the first debate after a surprising loss for Hillary Clinton in Michigan, and the former Secretary of State was particularly critical of Sanders on the debate stage in Miami.

But many of the attacks she launched are either only partially true, or outright lies.

And if she keeps up this tactic of trying to smear Bernie's voting record to portray him as a friend of conservative causes, it's going to cost democrats the general election.

Back in January, Hillary claimed that Bernie Sanders voted for the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, or CFMA, and I wrote that it was the most disingenuous attack from Clinton yet.

That's because Bernie had voted against the CFMA originally, but bit the bullet and voted for the CFMA when it was shoved into an omnibus spending bill at the last minute and everybody in Congress except Ron Paul and three others voted for it.

She made that attack back before the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, and the claim that Bernie voted for the CFMA and contributed to the financial crisis seemed to simply fade away.

Then, during the March 6th democratic debate in Flint Michigan, Hillary tried to cast Bernie as an enemy of the American auto-industry.

Except that Bernie Sanders strongly supported the auto bailout, what he opposed was the larger $700 billion bailout to prop up Wall Street and the Big Banks.

Politifact rated her claim as only "Half-True", and the Washington Post and the New York Times both published articles describing how Hillary is intentionally deceiving voters with this claim.

As Amber Phillips over at the Washington Post wrote after the debate in Flint, "It seems like she's willing to take the gamble that fact-checkers may call her out for her tactic Sunday, but that voters won't."

The Washington Post published that before Tuesday's Michigan primary, when Bernie won an historic upset over Hillary Clinton after the polls projected a 20-point loss for Sanders.

The Clinton campaign could have looked at that loss as evidence that she lost Michigan because voters were turned off by her deceitful portrayal of Bernie's voting record, but apparently that's not how her campaign interpreted the results.

The New York Times Editorial Board wrote that "Mrs. Clinton's candidacy speaks eloquently of embracing the people, values and thinking that make this nation a leader in the world. But her campaign tactics, particularly in Michigan, did not live up to this mission."

And based on the polls, her attacks on Bernie really aren't helping her in the eyes of voters.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, Clinton's margin over Sanders has shrunk by over half of where it was in January before the first primary votes were cast.

The New York Times Editorial Board wrote bluntly before Wednesday's debate that "If she hopes to unify Democrats as the nominee, trying to tarnish Mr. Sanders as she did in Michigan this week is not the way to go."

Clinton must not have gotten that memo.

The same day that the New York Times called for the campaign to stop trying to attack Sanders on the auto bailout, Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook was telling CBS News and Mother Jones: "That is an important distinction between Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders. We think it's important that voters know that information."

So it doesn't seem like the campaign is going to stop muddying the waters with half truths about the auto bailout anytime soon.

And based on what we saw in the debate in Miami, she's expanding her range of half-true attacks against Bernie Sanders.

To be clear, Bernie Sanders never supported the "Minute Men".

Bernie Sanders did not support indefinite detention, in fact, Senator Sanders voted for the National Defense Authorization Act when it prevented indefinite detention, but that bill was tampered with by members of the House.

Sanders didn't vote against small business in Florida when he voted to end the Export/Import bank, but he did vote for ending some of the corporate welfare that Boeing and General Electric get from the US government.

When Hillary says that Bernie wants to "delay" the Clean Power Plan, she really means that it might take a little bit longer to fully implement because Bernie's plan is more ambitious than Hillary's or Obama's.

Hillary is trying to make it look like Bernie Sanders talks progressive but votes conservative, and it's not working.

It's not working because we live in the internet age where facts can be checked and the record corrected nearly instantaneously.

And it's not working because the "Clinton" name isn't synonymous with honesty in American politics, it's synonymous with half-truths, distorted facts, and nitpicking "Depends on what your definition of the word 'is' is" semantics.

Hillary says it's time for the party to rally behind her so that the Democrats can start working to win in November, but she's spent the past week trying to tarnish Bernie's image with voters.

And after Bernie's win in Michigan, it should be clear that he's not quitting any time soon.

Hillary Clinton needs to fire Robby Mook and John Podesta (assuming these top guys in her campaign are the source of this terrible advice), and she needs to cut ties with David Brock and the rest of the inside-the-beltway conventional wisdom establishment strategists who want her to keep attacking Bernie's record with half- truths and twisted facts.

Democrats won't win in November if Hillary keeps twisting the truth about Bernie's record and alienating his supporters in the process.

If Hillary Clinton wants a strong, energized, and unified Democratic party backing whoever the democratic candidate is in November, she needs to re-orient her campaign to a positive message and stop trying to tarnish Bernie Sanders.


The Glenn Beck Review's picture
The Glenn Beck ... 8 years 15 weeks ago

Bernie is not going to win unless there is enough leverage applied in the coming month. Leverage? Yes; his supporters need to convey, either nominate Bernie or you're on your own in November. That's the Bernie or bust pledge.

wslifko 8 years 15 weeks ago

Hillary's conduct throughout the campaign process has never given the feeling that it has anything to do with anyone but her. It appears she's more interested in furthering a personal agenda along with being a 'first'. There is no substance to her platform. It's littered with platitudes, rhetoric and as you mentioned Thom, lies. I'm afraid that she would not be able to hold up against any Republican candidate because she is so horribly untrustworthy by both Liberals and Conservatives. And if we don't choose wisely this time around, I don't see the possibility of having another shot at the political revolution Bernie is offering anytime in the future. Our country will continue on the same path of giving handouts to the wealthy and their corporations while further weakening the middle-class and reducing the poor to serfdom.

Intermittent Instigator's picture
Intermittent In... 8 years 15 weeks ago

How about:

Secretary Clinton,

Please step aside for the good of the nation...


It's not often that I find myself in disagreement with Thom, but that impassioned caller referencing the Iraq war vote was absolutely correct....

...people were marching in the streets all over the world protesting that impending war (crime), yet she didn't know any better?

As PNAC neocon Robert Kagan suggested, she's a neocon... in addition to being dishonest, untrustworthy, unlikeable, and unelectable.

There's no way I'll ever vote for Hillary Clinton.

Go Bernie.

wslifko 8 years 15 weeks ago

With you on that. No vote for Hillary. I'll write in Bernie if it comes to that if for no other reason that to make my vote a statement.

IM Jussayin 8 years 15 weeks ago

What are you? A closet conservative? You won't be punishing Hillary by deserting the party in November. You'll be helping to thrust the country into a period of Christian rule (and I do mean rule) that may last for the rest of your life. Idiotlogue Democrats are as bad as idiotlogue Republicans.

Presidents aren't elected by morons on the left or the right, but by moderates with a lot more common sense than you seem to have. Standing on your principles and voting your conscience this year, with what's at stake is plain stupid. If you think Hillary is unsympathetic to your causes, why not vote for Cruz or Trump. That'll teach her a lesson. Next time she runs maybe she'll listen more carefully to you and Thom and Bernie.... Oh wait. THERE WON'T BE A NEXT TIME! Maybe in 2020 Jill Stein will have 20 times the votes she'll get this year.... Oh wait. That STILL won't be enough! Check and see how President Nader or President Perot are doing.

So take your high minded ideals and stick 'em up, uhmmm....on the shelf. If we can keep the nuts from the REAL enemy camp out of The White House, I'll be happy to help you with any cause you like. But this is not the time to stand on principle. It's time for a reality check. The Glenn Beck indeed!

cccccttttt 8 years 15 weeks ago

Lawyers are trained to say whatever will achieve their objective.

Hillary is a lawyer.


2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 15 weeks ago

Hillary is using Fox News tactics on Bernie. This sort of misinformation is precisely why we have voters supporting Teapublic Party candidates. If you have to lie your way into power, what's next after you get that power?

Bill Clinton compares Bernie supporters to Tea-baggers. However there's a huge difference between the two. Bernie supporters aren't vulnerable citizens falling for the richman's lies. We're citizens armed with economic, environmental, and social truth, and have gravitated to Bernie because he offers solutions to the injustice that needs to end. He's not in it for power and fame, he truly wants what's best for this country and the planet. An individual like him only comes along when most needed for the time and place. Now is his time! As president he will lead a political revolution by speaking truth to power....and the world will follow that lead. We have no choice, good government is the only thing that can save us now....we in fact may already be past the tipping point.

Alkalite's picture
Alkalite 8 years 15 weeks ago

While I do not like the Bernie or Bust pledge, particularly because by busting most mean they will not vote, (in some cases it could mean a write-in for Bernie), I really think a lot of these Bernie supporters have a good point. We need to rally behind Bernie Sanders, he's the more electable candidate at this point imo, and he's definitely got some good ideas that really need to be made to the ENTIRE public not just democrats and independents. Also, polling supports his backing (though that's not much of a support...errhhhmmm Michigan). The moderate democrats are fooling themselves when thinking they are voting for a moderate democrat. Definitively she is to the left of every republican candidate, but if we measure her by democratic ideals, she falls to the right (taking campaign contributions from Wall Street doesn't help).

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 15 weeks ago

YEAH Thom, Hillary the liar! Still gonna depict her as the "next FDR"? (tsk tsk)

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 8 years 15 weeks ago

Sorry! If this malevolent, corrupted, evil liar in the form of HRC ever gets POTUS our world is in real trouble

WW 3 here we go!

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 8 years 15 weeks ago

Come to think of it Trump is just as likely to fall for the "bankers" love and joy

Jake smiley's picture
Jake smiley 8 years 15 weeks ago

Hillary is not going to break up the to large to fail banks. She is not going to stop the endless wars. She not going to stop the NSA from spying on you. If she becomes president and TPP makes it to her desk, she will sign it. She is the status quo. I don't understand why republicans don't like her, she is one. The only thing she would be better than a republican is Supreme Court appointments. She will say anything to get elected, we can't trust her to do it once she is in office.

Brachland's picture
Brachland 8 years 15 weeks ago

Tom, I couldn't believe when I heard you blaming Hillary's attacks on Bernie on her campaign advisors. Sure, they may have done the research but it is she who is making the decision to use that tripe in the debates. In my humble opinion, this further exemplifies her poor judgement on important issues. It is truly sad to see her costing herself the election at the expense of trying to win the nomination. And yes, of course I will vote for her if she wins the nomination, but I am 63. She is costing herself the under 30 vote and won't make it to the white house without it. When / if that happens I will no longer be sad, but truly angry and disgusted. I hope I am wrong but am sure your were today. It was the first time in 7 years I have ever had to turn your program off.

jeffnvegas's picture
jeffnvegas 8 years 15 weeks ago

I am glad to read that I am not alone in sensing the last best hope for this country to survive and flourish resides in the election of Bernie Sanders. I hope and pray enough people wake up and refuse to let the bought off DNC establishment shove another Clinton down our throats. Political expediency and the idea of a lesser of two evils will not suffice this time around. If Bernie is not the nominee the two alternatives left will be the death of the middle class and the enviroment.
Besides the lies, distortions and half truths spewing from all of the other candidates on both sides showing the world first hand the successful dumbing down of America, the most disappointing thing for me this whole election cycle is the fact that when given the opportunity to step up to the plate Elizabeth Warren has remained on the sidelines when she could have catapulted Bernie to the nomination with an endorsement before the Massachussetts primary. I would have voted for her had she ran but no more. Considering Debbie Schultzes efforts to derail Warrens CPA the only thing I can think of is that someone in the DNC is making backdoor deals for VP or??????

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 8 years 15 weeks ago

Alkalite: Hillary is Left of Republicans on social issues, but when it comes to the money, she is a self-proclaimed "fiscally conservative" which means she is no different than any other Republican and, if elected, would take us farther down the path of New World Order, fascism and an corporate oligarchy. I have NO IDEA why Thom is supporting her; she's a nightmare waiting to happen.

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 8 years 15 weeks ago

THOM: sHillary Wall Street Clinton is an Establishment cohort. We, the People are fed up with fascism and want a return to the days of FDR. HRC is a Republican underneath her DINO moniker of Democrat. She thinks and acts like a Republican. John Boehner said, right out on the Senate floor, "We Republicans don't let facts get in our way." sHillary's half-truth and full bore lies against Bernie Sanders only prove Boehner's declaration and sHillary's Right-wing fiber. For Democrats to support her is a mistake. She's an elitist Trojan Horse and I've always said so, even when she ran against Obama. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. sHillary Clinton will not be president, and I bless the American public for their wisdom in going with Sanders. Now, maybe, we can begin the process of getting this country out of the weeds.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 8 years 15 weeks ago

John Podesta's been a bad actor for a long time. I think he may be a Republican mole. The problem in trying to make Hillary presentable is to get all the establishment figures out of her campaign. A long time ago, I heard that she hired a Monsanto lobbyist for some high position, and since that time, the procession of corporatists has continued in, around, and through her inner circle. I see no way to make her salvageable.

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