Bernie Sanders wouldn’t definitively say he would stick to his pledge never to run negative ads and defended his criticism of Hillary Clinton’s qualifications in an interview Thursday.
When Sanders started his campaign, he pledged not to run any negative advertisements, which has put him in a bind, since whenever he criticizes Clinton, her campaign complains he is reneging.
The Washington Post asked Sanders whether he would stick to this pledge.
“I’ve never run a negative TV ad in my life, and that is my hope, that I never will,” he replied.
The Democratic primary race has recently heated up as both candidates have questioned each other’s qualifications to be president. He acknowledged to the Post that the escalation of rhetoric will make the Democratic Party harder to unify.
“Yes, I come from a small state, and this is my first effort at national politics, but we will not accept lies and distortions of my record or personal attacks lying down. We will respond accordingly, and the Clinton campaign has got to understand that,” Sanders said. “I hope that we can get out of this mode, but we’re not going to be attacked in very negative ways without responding accordingly.”