Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday night that Hillary Clinton is not “qualified” to be president, remarks which the former secretary of state’s campaign is calling “a new low.”
“She has been saying lately that she thinks that I am ‘not qualified’ to be president,” Sanders told the audience. “Well, let me, let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton: I don’t believe that she is qualified, if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds. I don’t think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC.”
Despite Sanders’ claim, Clinton has not directly said that she thinks her 74-year-old challenger is unqualified to be president. But she did suggest earlier on Wednesday that he might not be.
“I think he hadn’t done his homework and he’d been talking for more than a year about doing things that he obviously hadn’t really studied or understood,” Clinton said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” adding that that “does raise a lot of questions.”
Sanders added several other factors which he believes disqualifies Clinton from taking the White House.
“I don’t think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don’t think you are qualified if you have supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement which has cost us millions of decent paying jobs,” he said. “I don’t think you are qualified if you’ve supported the Panama free trade agreement, something I very strongly opposed and, which as all of you know, has allowed corporations and wealthy all over the world people to avoid paying their taxes to their countries.”
During the 2008 Democratic primary both Clinton and then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama acknowledged — albeit reluctantly — that the other was qualified to hold office.
Brian Fallon, Clinton’s press secretary, responded to Sanders shortly after his speech, asserting that Clinton never said her opponent was not qualified to be president.
The pair will debate on April 14 in Brooklyn. The New York primaries are on April 19.