Hillary Clinton takes aim at former Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders in her soon-to-be-released campaign memoir, accusing him of “paving the way” for the relentless “Crooked Hillary” attacks she endured from Donald Trump in the general election.
According to excerpts that have surfaced online, Clinton accused Sanders of resorting to “innuendo and impugning my character” during the contentious primary because the Democratic socialist “couldn’t make” a policy argument against her.
“Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign,” Clinton wrote.
Clinton’s book -- "What Happened” – isn’t set for release until Sept. 12. But several supporters who obtained the book have published early purported excerpts on social media.
In the book, the former Democratic presidential nominee compared Sanders to the “deranged hitchhiker” in the 1998 Ben Stiller movie “There’s Something About Mary.”
“A deranged hitchhiker says he’s come up with a brilliant plan,” Clinton wrote, describing a scene in the movie. “Instead of the famous ‘eight-minute abs’ exercise routine, he’s going to market ‘seven minute abs.’ It’s the same, just quicker. Then the driver, played by Ben Stiller, says, ‘Well, why not six-minute abs?’”
Clinton added: “That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would propose a bold infrastructure plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept proposing four-minute abs, or even no-minute abs. Magic abs!”
Clinton lamented in the book how she was pressured – including by President Obama – not to “hit back against Bernie’s attacks.”
“My team kept reminding me that we didn’t want to alienate Bernie’s supporters,” Clinton wrote. “President Obama urged me to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could. I felt I was in a straitjacket.”
She also accused some of Sanders’ supporters – “the so-called Bernie Bros” – of harassing her supporters online and being “more than a little sexist.”
“I don’t know if that bothered Bernie or not,” Clinton writes. “He certainly shared my horror at the thought of Donald Trump becoming president, and I appreciated that he campaigned for me in the general election. But he isn’t a Democrat—that’s not a smear, that’s what he says. He didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party.”
She added, “I am proud to be a Democrat and I wish Bernie were, too.”
Clinton is planning to embark on a tour across the United States and Canada to promote “What Happened.” The steep ticket prices for these live events have not gone unnoticed in the publishing industry.
For $2,375.95 (or $3,000 in Canadian dollars), Clinton fans in Toronto can obtain a “VIP platinum ticket” for her Sept. 28 talk, for example. That ticket includes two front-row seats, a photo with Clinton backstage and a signed book.