Though Hillary Clinton started out her campaign to become the Democratic presidential candidate by ignoring Bernie Sanders, she has switched gears after her overwhelming defeat in the state of Washington. She is now attempting to attack Sanders through a variety of questionable means. Hillary Clinton’s latest political attack has greatly backfired, and some of her supporters are evening considering leaving her campaign after this insensitive comment.
In the past few days, Hillary Clinton has been trying to claim that she supports gun control while Sanders is supposedly in collusion with gun manufacturers. Though this line of attack had been showing some success, it all changed last night. In the late afternoon yesterday, Clinton tweeted, “@BernieSanders prioritized gun manufacturers’ rights over the parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook.” By the evening, there was massive public outcry over her statement.
Many people see Hillary Clinton’s tweet as a disgusting attempt to gain popularity by callously using a public tragedy as a political argument. At first, the comment thread was just Sanders’ supporters pointing out that the statement was both insensitive and inaccurate. As the tweet gained momentum, more and more Hillary Clinton supporters made their disapproval clear. Some commentators merely suggested that Hillary Clinton “run your best campaign” instead of trying to get advantages from a tragedy, but other people made it clear that this selfish tweet had cost Hillary Clinton support. One person said “I refuse to vote for you no matter what happens,” and another claimed “my mother is disgusted by this and switched to Bernie today.”
Family members of the victims who were killed in the Sandy Hook shooting have also spoken out against Hillary Clinton’s attempt to criticize Sanders. In a heartbreaking Facebook post, a cousin of 6 year old Allison Wyatt asked that Clinton stop “[using] my cousin or other Sandy Hook victims for your political agenda and stop smearing Bernie Sanders good name.”
Not only were people annoyed by Hillary Clinton’s insensitivity, but they were also upset that her statement was blatantly hypocritical and false. Clinton has been a bigger help to gun manufacturers than Sanders, since she helped to create a deal where American weapons were sold to Middle Eastern dictatorships for billions of dollars. In fact, she has even called the Iraq war a “business opportunity” for corporations. Apparently, Hillary Clinton is only outraged by people who help gun manufacturers when it suits her political goals.
In contrast, Sanders has a long history of being at odds with people who want to indiscriminately sell guns to everyone. The National Rifle Association gives people letter grades based on how well they support the NRA’s goals. Since 1992, Sanders has primarily gotten an “F” grade, and the highest grade he ever received was a single “C-.” In addition to this proof that Sanders does not get along with the NRA, many Sanders supporters linked to past opinion articles where Sanders has called for stricter gun control and more mental health care.
This subject will probably be revisited again when Sanders and Hillary Clinton have a debate in New York on April 14. The state is going to be hotly contested, since Hillary Clinton was the senator for the state and Sanders was born and raised within Brooklyn. Many experts predict that whoever wins the New York primary election will become the Democratic candidate. Since Clinton’s tweet backfired so profoundly, she will hopefully avoid trying to use Sandy Hook victims as political props again.