September 7, 2017

‘Go Forward, Not Back’: Dismissing Clinton Jabs, Sanders Says He’s Focused on Issues at Hand

Bernie Sanders, United States senator from Vermont, speaks at the Hay Festival on June 3, 2017. (Photo: David Levenson/Getty Images)

Sanders more interested in opposing Trump, raising wages, and obtaining Medicare for All than in relitigating the 2016 Democratic primary.

By Jake Johnson / 09.06.2017

“Our job is to go forward.”

That was Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) terse response Wednesday when asked about leaked excerpts of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s highly anticipated 2016 election memoir, which both paint Sanders’ policy ideas as unrealistic and heap blame on him for hampering Clinton’s chances against Donald Trump in the general election.

Speaking to The Hill, Sanders insisted he is not interested in relitigating the 2016 Democratic primary or “playing the blame game,” particularly given the significance of the issues facing the United States in the present moment.

“I’m working overtime now to see we overturn Trump’s decision on DACA, pass a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and next week I’ll be offering a Medicare-for-all single-payer system,” Sanders said.

“Right now,” Sanders concluded, “it’s appropriate to look forward and not backward.”

Since excerpts of Clinton’s memoir What Happened, set to be released next Thursday, began to emerge earlier this week, progressives and Democratic lawmakers have questioned the political wisdom—and the accuracy—of Clinton’s attacks on Sanders, warning that they could intensify divisions between the mainstream of the Democratic Party and its burgeoning progressive wing at a time when Republicans control Congress and the presidency.

Responding to excerpts in which Clinton claims Sanders’ criticism of her Wall Street speeches did “lasting damage” to her general election chances, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) wrote: “Please Hillary, don’t go there.”

“I supported you,” Huffman added. “Bernie showed restraint and class and ran an aspirational campaign.”