Hillary Clinton lackey David Brock refused to apologize to Bernie Sanders on Tuesday for an email his super PAC sent out comparing the Vermont senator to radical British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and deceased Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Brock characterized the email, which his super PAC Correct the Record sent out on Monday, as “standard opposition research.”
The email marks the first direct shot across the bow between Clinton and Sanders, who is mounting a surprise challenge to the former secretary of state. In it, Correct the Record pointed to “similarities” between Sanders and Corbyn, who has expressed support for Osama bin Laden and Chavez.
The Brock-backed group drew a line between Chavez and Sanders by pointing to the lawmaker’s support for a 2006 deal between his state and Venezuela’s national oil company to provide fuel to low-income Vermonters. The state was the sixth to agree to the deal, and Sanders said at the time it was not partisan.
The email drew a sharp response from Sanders on Tuesday. In an email to supporters, Sanders called it “the kind of onslaught I expected to see from the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson” — a reference to the wealthy Republican donors.
“What is it that makes you guys think it’s now time to start comparing him to some of these people that you’re comparing him to and associating him with some of these very unsavory folks?” Bloomberg anchor John Heilemann asked Brock.
Brock acknowledged that both Sanders and Clinton agree on a number of issues, but defended his group’s attack, saying “you’re going to have to draw some contrasts, this is a political campaign.
Asked if he believes that Sanders resembles Chavez, Brock replied, “the research doesn’t say that, no.”
“The research is factual, it’s fact-based, it’s out there, people can take it for what it’s worth,” he added.
Heilemann pressed Brock, asking “Do you see it as your role now to basically do the dirty work for the Clinton campaign that they don’t want to do against Bernie Sanders directly?”
“There’s no dirty-work involved here. It’s just putting out facts,” said Brock, who became a die-hard Clinton supporter after spending the 1990s criticizing them in conservative media.
Besides Correct the Record, Brock operates Media Matters, a left-wing media watchdog. His dogged support for Clinton’s campaign is the source of much controversy, but it is allowed under federal election law.
“That’s just part of the process. I think it’s a healthy, democratic…process that we’re going to go through,” Brock said of his attack on Sanders.
Mark Halperin, another Bloomberg anchor, jumped in to ask Brock what contrast between Sanders and Clinton he hoped to draw with the email.
“We’re pointing out parts of Senator Sanders’ record,” Brock responded, adding that he believes it’s his job “to sometimes do the media’s homework for it.”
“What was that message you are trying to send about Bernie Sanders?” Halperin asked.
“I’m not going to talk about the framing or the thought behind it,” Brock responded.
Asked, finally, if he planned to apologize to Sanders, Brock responded, “Gosh, no.”
“This is just standard opposition research.”