As the Democratic race heats up, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is actively campaigning as a continuation of the Obama years and trying to paint Bernie Sanders’s agenda as a sharp rebuke to the current president.
Correct the Record, a pro-Hillary Super PAC ran by Clinton ally David Brock, released an ad Monday titled “Bernie Sanders: President Obama’s Harshest Critic.”
The advertisement features Fox News hosts in 2011 talking about a Sanders primary challenge to Obama and quotes from Bernie that include, “I think Obamacare is a good Republican-Romney type program.”
At the most recent debate, Clinton repeated this line of attack in hitting Sanders’s single-payer plan. “If it’s Medicare for all, then you no longer have the Affordable Care Act,” she said.
Voters also view Clinton as the continuation of Obama as 68 percent of Iowa Democrats saw her as the candidate best positioned to generally continue Obama’s policies. Only 28 percent thought that of Sanders. (RELATED: Five Trends The Iowa Exit Polls Reveal)
Sanders is a lifelong independent who caucused with the Democrats while in the Senate, so attacking him as not falling within the party line is certainly effective. Painting Sanders as being against Barack Obama could also potentially help Clinton with the black vote.
The Vermont senator has notably not backed down from criticizing the president. At last Thursday’s debate he said “relations between the races” haven’t gotten better under Obama and that in his administration they “absolutely” would.
In an effort to rebuke Sanders’ arguments against the current campaign finance system, Hillary has brought up the fact that Obama himself received millions from the financial sector. She has said, “but ask yourself: President Obama had a lot of donations. Did that stop him from signing Dodd-Frank, the toughest regulation against the financial sector?”
Clinton has also said she doesn’t expect someone seeking the Democratic nomination to be criticizing Obama like Sanders is.