Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday did not seem fazed by the latest round of criticism directed at him by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“On a good day, my wife likes me, so let’s clear the air on that one,” Sanders told NBC reporter Geoff Bennett when asked about Clinton’s assertion that “nobody” likes him.
In a new documentary set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this week, Clinton suggested the Vermont senator is virtually friendless in Washington.
“He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him,” Clinton said in the four-part documentary, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney, and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”
Clinton would also not commit to supporting Sanders if he’s the ultimate Democratic nominee for president. “I’m not going to go there yet,” she said. “We’re still in a very vigorous primary season.”
This is not the first time Clinton has been critical of Sanders, who was her top challenger for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. After Clinton became the nominee, Sanders campaigned for the former secretary of state across the US.
But supporters of Clinton continue to blame Sanders and his supporters, in part, for her ultimate defeat in the general election against Donald Trump. They feel Sanders should’ve dropped out of the race earlier, and that his refusal to do so contributed to divisions in the Democratic party that boosted Trump’s campaign.
Clinton touched on these sentiments in an interview with Howard Stern last month. Stern asked Clinton if she was “upset” over how long it took Sanders to endorse her in 2016.
“No, disappointed,” Clinton said at the time. “And I hope he doesn’t do it again to whoever gets the nomination.”
“Once is enough. We have to join forces,” Clinton added. “He hurt me. There’s no doubt about it, he hurt me.”
Along the 2020 campaign trail, Sanders has repeatedly stated that he would campaign for whoever the ultimate Democratic presidential nominee is, but has frequently added that he hopes it’s him in the end.
When asked by Bennett on Tuesday why he thinks Clinton is still discussing 2016, Sanders said, “That’s a good question. You should ask her.”
In an earlier statement on Clinton’s remarks, Sanders signaled his current priority is Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.
“My focus today is on a monumental moment in American history: the impeachment trial of Donald Trump,” Sanders said. “Together, we are going to go forward and defeat the most dangerous president in American history.”
Recent polling from Morning Consult on the approval rating of senators within their states ranked Sanders as the most popular senator in the US.
Sanders has consistently placed in second in national polls for the 2020 Democratic primary, trailing former Vice President Joe Biden. But he’s been dominating the field in terms of fundraising, and surging in polls in early voting states in recent weeks.