Thursday 8 December 2016

Sanders laughs off 'sexism' questions about Hillary battle

Rachel Revesz New York

Published 08/06/2016 | 02:30

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses supporters in San Francisco (AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses supporters in San Francisco (AP)

Bernie Sanders laughed out loud when he was asked if he was "sexist" for staying in the presidential race, as he was making it harder for the US to elect its first woman president.

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"Is that a serious question?" he asked the female reporter.

"Yes, it is a serious question," she replied.

"Your question implies that any woman, that any person, any woman who is running for president is by definition the best candidate," he said.

"So, if Hillary Clinton runs for president, is your point that it is sexist for any man to oppose?"

The reporter responded that her point was that Ms Clinton has more delegates and super-delegates than Mr Sanders and is therefore more likely to win the nomination. Mr Sanders said the issue of delegate maths was a separate issue.

"I don't think it is sexist," he said. "Our focus right now is running and winning right here in California, and the second point that I have made is that it is absolutely imperative that we defeat Donald Trump as a candidate for president of the United States. I believe that I am the stronger candidate."

Mr Sanders and his supporters called out the media over the weekend for "bias" against him and for calling Ms Clinton the Democrat nominee before the super delegates have even voted at the Democratic convention.

His comments on sexism come the day before the California primary, which is crucial for Mr Sanders to gain more delegates and stop Ms Clinton from securing the party nomination.

Ms Clinton has previously criticised Mr Sanders for his comments on abortion. He claimed his comment that the media should focus on "the real issues" was taken out of context, as he was referring to reporters' fixation on Mr Trump's remarks on the subject.

She has lessened her attacks on Mr Sanders in recent weeks, however, and is now focused on Mr Trump.

Mr Sanders indicated he's still prepared to contest the race through the July nominating convention in the hopes of winning over super-delegates, the more than 700 party officials, members of Congress, and others who aren't bound by the results of primaries and caucuses and mostly have rallied to Clinton.

"Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination," the Vermont senator said in a statement. "She will be dependent on super-delegates, who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then."

Ms Clinton, who conceded the Democratic Party's nomination to President Barack Obama exactly eight years ago, clinched her 2016 bid yesterday after adding to her delegate total with victories over the weekend in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Irish Independent

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