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Déjà Vu, Team Clinton Unhinged

Sean Spicer - January 20, 2016

With Team Clinton in such a panic over their campaign’s struggles I wanted to make sure to put things into perspective here.

When Hillary Clinton launched her campaign last May, who would have thought she would be tanking in the polls against a 74 year old socialist from Vermont and blaming GOP tweets for their problems in unhinged press releases two weeks out from the Iowa caucuses?  Does this also sound like a candidate ready to take over the Oval Office one year from today?
 
Do we want to run against Sanders? Sure, but we’ll gladly take Clinton any day of the week.  Both are flawed candidates I don't think we would have trouble defeating either a gadfly Socialist or someone under FBI investigation. The problem for team Clinton isn’t that Republicans may want to run against Sanders, but that the trends sure make it seem like a lot of Democrats would rather have Sanders run against us.
 
Let’s be clear, this isn’t the behavior of a confident campaign and it’s not like this is the next JFK that has sent Team Clinton into an erratic tailspin. This was supposed to be a different campaign that had learned from the mistakes of 2008. Instead, it seems we’re living it all over again. Don’t believe me? Just watch this video: http://bit.ly/1PpHTKe
 

Hillary for America Statement on Republicans Aiding Sanders Candidacy

Today, Hillary for America Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri released the following statement on Republicans – including the RNC and GOP super PACs – aiding Senator Sanders’ campaign:
                           
“While Senator Sanders tries to make a case on electability based on meaningless polls, Republicans and their super PACs have made clear the candidate they’re actually afraid to face. The Sanders argument falls apart when the GOP spokesman is trying to help him and the Republicans run ads trying to stop Hillary Clinton in the primary. Now he’s taking his cues from them, using a Karl Rove attack to go after her. Both Sanders and the Republicans know that Hillary is the candidate who can take them on and ensure the White House isn’t in Donald Trump or Ted Cruz’s hands.”
 
BACKGROUND
 
Republicans Are Defending Bernie Sanders:
America Rising released a web video of clips attacking Chelsea Clinton’s campaign statements.

RNC Spokesman Sean Spicer: I #feelthebern #demdebate”

RNC Spokesman Sean Spicer: “Uggggghhh....phone a friend @berniesanders -- #iran is the number sponsor of terror.....come on we are trying to help u #demsdebate” 
 
RNC Spokesman Sean Spicer: Most people agree, @Berniesanders won https://gop.com/what-they-are-saying-sanders-blowout/ … #demdebate” 
 
RNC Spokesman Sean Spicer: “Post #demsdebate what they are saying https://gop.com/what-they-are-saying-sanders-blowout/ … Pretty clear @berniesanders was the big winner” 
 
RNC HEADLINE, 1/17/2016: “What They Are Saying: A Sanders ‘Blowout’!”
 
RNC HEADLINE, 10/14/2015: “Why Bernie Sanders Won Last Night’s Democrat Debate” 
 
Republican Senator Tom Cotton: “For many months, I’ve been strongly in favor of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.” 

Bloomberg: Republican Operatives Are Trying to Help Bernie Sanders

“During Sunday night’s Democratic debate, the Republican National Committee made the unusual move of sending no fewer than four real-time e-mails to reporters defending the self-described democratic socialist from attacks by Hillary Clinton or echoing his message against her… Sean Spicer, the chief strategist and spokesman for the RNC, spent much of the evening tweeting Sanders-friendly commentary on the debate, often with the pro-Sanders hashtag #FeelTheBern. At one point, Spicer gently chided Sanders for what he deemed a poor response to a question and added, ‘come on we are trying to help u.’… After the debate, the Republican political action committee America Rising promoted the narrative that Sanders won the debate... Meanwhile, American Crossroads, a group co-founded by Karl Rove, is airing an ad in Iowa bolstering a core tenet of Sanders’ case against Clinton… The efforts indicate that Republicans aren’t buying recent polls that show Sanders out-performing Clinton in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups against GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump. One reason may be that, unlike Sanders, Clinton has been through the wringer of Republican attacks... Republican candidate John Kasich indicated in a debate last week that he’d love to face Sanders. ‘We’re going to win every state,’ he said, ‘if Bernie Sanders is the nominee.’”
 
Senator Sanders Is Taking Cues From Republican Attacks on Hillary Clinton, Adding the Latest Rove Attack to His Stump Speech:
 
Karl Rove’s American Crossroads released an ad attacking Hillary Clinton for Wall Street ties. [American Crossroads YouTube, VIDEO, 1/17/16]
 
 Politico: Like Rove, the Sanders camp has identified Clinton’s Wall Street connection as one of her biggest weaknesses among Democratic primary voters.”
 
Claremont McKenna College political scientist: “In Iowa, American Crossroads is helping Bernie Sanders by depicting Hillary Clinton as a Wall Street insider.”
                                                                                                       
ABC News, 1/18/2016: “Bernie Sanders stood by and escalated his attacks on Hillary Clinton over her taking speaking fees from corporate banks.”
 
CNN’s Dan Merica: “Difficult to see how this lives up to Sanders’ no-negatives pledge http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/bernie-sanders-doubles-critique-hillary-clintons-speaking-fees/story?id=36364560 via @maryaliceparks”
 
 Politico’s Gabe Debenedetti: “‘Without naming any names, Goldman Sachs also provides some very, very generous speaking fees to some candidates. Very generous.’ – Sanders”
 
CNN: “Sanders did show a new willingness to attack Clinton on personal matters. Twice, he hit her for delivering paid speeches to Goldman Sachs -- a move intended to undermine Clinton’s credibility on Wall Street reform and call into question her commitment to reforming the political system more broadly.”
 
In the debate, Sanders said Clinton was the only Democratic candidate who had received $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs: “Secretary Clinton — and you’re not the only one, so I don’t mean to just point the finger at you, you’ve received over $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year.”
 
CNN: Sanders “was far more comfortable in attacking Clinton than in his previous debate encounters… [He] took a swipe at Clinton over the lucrative months she spent on the speaking circuit after she left the State Department. ‘I don't take money from big banks, I don’t get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs,’ Sanders said.”
 
Politico: Sanders “came with more planned personal attacks in his pocket than he has in the past… Sanders was the first to launch in, delivering a pointed critique of Clinton’s relationship with Wall Street. ‘The first difference is I don’t take money from big banks,’ he said, drawing some boos from the audience. ‘I don’t get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs.’
 
And the Media Has Taken Note of Republicans Propping Up Sanders:
 
NYT’s Jonathan Martin: “America Rising close to being an in-kind giver to Bernie.”
 
MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald: “Republican super PAC spending: - $5 million targeting Clinton - $0 targeting Sanders http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/gop-super-pacs-give-bernie-sanders-pass
 
Roll Call columnist Jonathan Allen: Strange political bedfellow: @BernieSanders and @KarlRove. Gotta love politics! pic.twitter.com/6FZBdkjcRH
 
MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin: “RNC is sending out a fact check defending Bernie Sanders from HRC’s attacks on single payer health care. this feels weird.”
 
MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin: “RNC up to 3 emails attacking clinton and handing out copies of 13 hours at debate. nothing on sanders. wonder who they want to win....” 
 
The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff: “The RNC immediately forwards along Bernie Sanders’ email blast about how he did”
 
Yahoo’s Hunter Walker: “The RNC just sent out an email touting the Sanders 'blowout' in the debate. Yes, you read that right, the RNC.”
 
Yahoo’s Hunter Walker: “More of the RNC cheering a Bernie #demdebate win.”
   
Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur: “The RNC is sending reporters multiple rapid response emails defending Bernie Sanders from Clinton's attacks. Very unusual.”
  
The Root’s Jason Johnson: “RNC apparently sending out talking points defending @BernieSanders Clinton also sending rapid response emails #DemDebate
 
Reuters’ Amanda Becker: “NEXT DEM DEBATE IN WISCONSIN: **RNC will send cheerleaders in Sanders gear **”
 
The Guardian on Sanders: “GOP operatives have cheered him on social media… Among top GOP operatives, RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer has repeatedly tweeted pro-Sanders messages about ‘feeling #thebern’ or with slogans like ‘#gobernie’ and writing ‘I have to favorite’ a tweet that noted Sanders’ improvement in the polls… Colin Reed, the executive director of America Rising, a Republican Super PAC which specializes in opposition research, has also gone out of his way on Twitter to express his wonderment at the crowds that Sanders is attracting and the ‘Bernie-mania’ he is inspiring.”
 
Huffington Post: The American Crossroads ad “reveals that Rove’s operation believes Clinton is a more formidable general election candidate than her progressive challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt). But it just might end up helping Sanders win the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus on Feb. 1.”

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