Top aides for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign are convinced the Vermont senator can beat front runner Hillary Clinton. In fact, they say, Hillary would make a great vice president.
When asked by Bloomberg Politics reporter John Helleman to respond to Clinton critics who claim Hillary is a “craven hypocrite,” Sanders’ aides wouldn’t go there.
“A craven hypocrite?” campaign manager Jeff Weaver replied, grinning slyly. “That’s a little bit harsh, don’t you think? Look, she’d make a great vice president. We’re willing to give her more credit than Obama did. We’re willing to consider her for vice president. We’ll give her serious consideration. We’ll even interview her.”
But the Sanders campaign is preparing for the later stages of the primary campaign and noting that things may get more aggressive in the coming days. As of now, Sanders hasn’t gone on the attack so much — and in fact famously defended Clinton when during the first Democratic debate in Las Vegas earlier this month, he blocked moderator Anderson Cooper from probing her about her email scandal.
“Enough of the emails!” Sanders had blurted out, saying with all the pressing issues facing the country, everyone was sick of hearing about “your damn emails.”
Sanders’ aides told Bloomberg they’re going to aim to focus voters on the differences between the two candidates on policy positions, and that personal attacks are not his style.
“If we can make it about his message and his record versus her message and her record, we can beat her,” campaign coordinator Tad Devine told Hellemann. “We’d much rather win that way, because if we beat her and she collapses and we’re standing there, the whole institutional establishment party could rise up against us.”
Still, a lot depends on the upcoming debate on November 14 — and also how much of an attack stance the Clinton camp takes.
“All she has to do is open the door to him [during the next debate],” Devine told Bloomberg. “And she opened so many doors that last debate that he didn’t walk though. If she’s going to sit there and say, ‘I went to Wall Street and told them to cut it out,’ I mean, come on! She had a great debate, but against a great debater she would have been killed.”