Stop the Hillary-Bernie mud wrestle

By Ellen Ratner

The Hill promoted an article headlined, “New York savors the political spotlight.” It said, “They’re doing their best to fit in – Hillary Clinton is riding the subway, John Kasich is sampling delis, and Ted Cruz is rolling matzo – but it’s near impossible to avoid missteps and mockery with every move magnified beneath the bright lights of the nation’s media capital.”

As I wrote last week, many eyes from across the world are watching these elections. It did not contribute to the world’s view of our democracy that one of the tabloid newspapers mocked Sen. Cruz by saying he could take the FU subway train. Sen. Cruz raised the ire of New Yorkers by talking about “New York values.” He dug himself a bigger hole this week when he said, “Let me be very clear. The people that I was talking about are the liberal New York Democrats who have hammered this state. It is people like Mayor Bill de Blasio. It is people like Governor Cuomo.”

Sen. Cruz tried to make amends and showed up to make Passover Matzah, and the report by the New York Times said, “Then Mr. Cruz grabbed a pizza-peel-style utensil and lifted the dough toward an oven in the corner of the room. He asked about differences between this oven and a pizza oven, and began discussing Passover with some of his hosts.”

The report went on: “‘Next year in Jerusalem,’ Mr. Cruz said at one point, uttering the phrase that comes at the conclusion of a Seder.

“He was told that, because Passover had not yet come, the appropriate phrase would be ‘this year in Jerusalem’ at this stage.

“‘Well, next year in Jerusalem,’ he said, ‘hopefully I’ll need a bigger plane to get there.'”

Senator Cruz clearly has presidential aspirations as he remarked on having a bigger plane next year. He believes he will come out the winner and that people will eventually support him over Donald Trump and John Kasich.

There is certainly nastiness that we now expect between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz; however, this week’s battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders takes Democrats into an entirely new arena.

Rancor between Clinton and Sanders concerned which one was qualified to be president. It took up a lot of ink and voice from the news media. However, the writings of the two campaigns are actually even worse than arguments over who is “qualified” going back and forth this week.

Bernie Sanders sent out a fundraising letter saying:

“Another truth is this: If America wants a president who will truly do everything in his or her power to dismantle our corrupt system of campaign finance, then we need a president who can get elected without the help of Wall Street, fossil fuel lobbyists, and the billionaire class.

“Our campaign doesn’t owe anything to big banks, to campaign bundlers, or to lobbyists. The only people to whom I am beholden is our political revolution. Let’s keep it that way.”

Hillary Clinton sent out her own letter on Bernie Sanders saying:

“Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager says that even if they lose the popular vote AND the pledged delegate count, they might try to contest Hillary’s nomination at the convention by trying to sway superdelegates to their side. Here’s what he said:

“Q: Jeff, help us understand. Are you saying that even if Hillary Clinton has more delegates, more pledged delegates secured, and more votes than Bernie Sanders, if she doesn’t go over the magic number, you guys will consider that to be an open convention and go through the roll call and be fighting for the votes?

“A: 100 percent. Absolutely. Absolutely, yes.

“Bernie Sanders claims he wants to fix a rigged system – but this would amount to rigging the system to overturn the will of the voters. We can’t let that happen.”

In the battle for Democrat votes and money, both campaigns are bringing out the knives. It is a shame and does not edify our election process.

One thing is clear, if there is a “unity” event at the convention in Philadelphia between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, no one is going to believe them.

They are both risking losing the general election by winning the nomination at all costs. The reason John Kasich is so popular with the unaffiliated voter is because he is not stooping to the levels of Clinton and Sanders or Cruz and Trump. No one knows how the Democratic Party nomination will turn out. But they can’t win in November by wrestling in the mud of words. Clinton and Sanders need to keep it clean and stop trying to hurt each other; it will only hurt Democrats in November.

Media wishing to interview Ellen Ratner, please contact [email protected].

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