Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s remark caught on audiotape stigmatizing young Bernie Sanders supporters as jobless voters “living in their parent’s basements” was enough to ruffle her former Democratic competitor’s feathers on Sunday and stir harsh criticism from her GOP rival, Donald Trump.
Clinton’s comments were leaked from a 49-minute recording of a fundraiser she had in February, when she expressed that she felt sorry for young voters supporting Sanders, who she viewed as people who do not see any economic opportunities. She then rationalized their support of the self-proclaimed socialist.
“If you’re feeling like you’re consigned to being a barista … then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing,” the former secretary of state told a young African American voter, according to Fox News – as recorded on an audiotape that was purportedly found in a hacked email that was first given to The Washington Free Beacon.
Not stopping there, the then Democratic primary candidate dubbed young Sanders supporters “children of the Great Recession” and went on to insinuate that they were essentially homebound freeloaders who cannot land a job.
“And they are living in their parents’ basement,” Clinton continued in the seven-month-old recording taped in McLean, Virginia, according to The Associated Press. “They feel that they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves.”
When asked whether the former first lady’s disparaging remarks about his young supporters bothered him, Sanders resolutely indicated that they did, while holding back his conjecture of the woman he is now endorsing for president.
“Of course it does,” Sanders expressed on CNN’s State of the Union. “We have real differences.”
Critics are saying that this latest leak going against Clinton can hurt her chances, come November, as it is contended that she – like her rival Trump – must pull in the youth vote in order to win the election. The 68-year-old Democratic nominee has already had her share of problems garnering the support of the youth voting bloc – a segment of voters that includes millions of typically Left-leaning college students, who were instrumental four and eight years ago in helping Barack Obama win the presidency.
Trump weighing in
Coming off last week’s first presidential debate, Trump was quick to release a statement about Clinton’s latest disparaging remarks – that went against Sanders instead of him this time.
“Hillary Clinton thinks Bernie supporters are hopeless and ignorant basement dwellers,” the GOP White House hopeful expressed in a statement his campaign released before his Saturday night rally in Pennsylvania.
Earlier in the day, Trump took to social media to share his thoughts on Clinton’s degrading comments.
“Crooked H is nasty to Sanders supporters behind closed doors,” the 70-year-old businessman posted on Twitter to his 12 million followers. “Owned by Wall St and Politicians, HRC is not with you.”
Trump’s strong response was partially fueled by a denigrating comment she made about his own supporters last month, when she contended that half of them were bigots.
“You can put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton declared at a September fundraiser. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it.”
In response to Trump’s tweet and to do a bit of damage control, Clinton Spokesman Glen Caplin tried to turn the latest knock against the campaign into a positive thing.
“As Hillary Clinton said in those remarks, she wants young people to be idealistic and set big goals,” Caplin proclaimed, according to The Associated Press.
Caplin’s attempt to change Clinton’s tone when it comes to young Americans was made to make sure that the divide between her and the youth vote would not continue to widen as more information about her February fundraiser hit the airwaves and Internet.
“At the fundraiser, Clinton said she had spoken with frustrated young millennials and understood where they were coming from,” AP’s Catherine Lucey reported. “She questioned the idea of a political revolution, calling it a ‘false promise,’ though she said that wasn’t the right message for ‘idealistic young people.’ She argued that she too was promising big ideas around health care, education and climate change.”
Clinton’s oratory caught on tape was also found to take smaller jabs at conservatives on the far Right and liberals on the far Left.
“At another point in the February fundraiser, Clinton spoke about the extremes on both sides of the political aisle, noting a ‘populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory kind of approach’ from many in the Republican field and then said that for many Democrats, there is a yearning for ‘free college, free healthcare,’ and to ‘go as far as, you know, Scandinavia,’” Lucey continued in her description of the recording.
More criticism from the Right
In addition to Trump’s harsh words against Clinton for her attack on the Vermont Senator’s supporters, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), who is serving as one of Trump’s advisers during his presidential campaign, said that the leading Democrat’s comments just add to her recent remark that half of Trump supporters are “deplorables.”
He played on the theme that she is continuing to isolate herself from everyday Americans.
“If you are not part of the Northeast elite, she has nothing to do with you,” Christie insisted, according to Fox News.
It’s going to be close …
Trying to pull in more of the college vote, Clinton has touted her plan for the youth generation to be more pragmatic and achievable than Sanders’. Not getting the results she hoped for by the end of the Democratic primary, Clinton resorted to adapting her existing policies to woo young Sanders supporters – including her new agenda to make college more affordable.
Even though Clinton appears to be slipping in the polls of late, a September 14 Quinnipiac University poll indicated that she was had 55 percent of 18- to 34-year-old’s votes, next to Trump’s 34 percent. The university’s poll in August indicated that Clinton had 64 percent of the vote – to Trump’s 29 percent, indicating that the billionaire is continuing to close in.
Overall, however, the presidential race appears to be about as tight as it can get, as Clinton’s former double-digit lead over Trump has slipped to a slight single-digit lead, according to most recent polls.
Some major national polls, on the other hand, such as one released by the Los Angeles TimesFriday, shows Trump in the lead with 47.3 percent of the vote, compared to Clinton’s 41.7 percent. In addition, the California daily revealed that Trump has an even greater lead with young voters between 18 and 34 years of age, with the billionaire registering 45 percent of their vote and Clinton receiving just 37.5 percent.
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