Paul Krugman: Bernie Sanders' increasingly "ugly" campaign is a sad finish to what was supposed to be a "positive and idealistic" race

Sanders successfully created the impression that he was "above the fray," but was playing dirty all along

Published April 5, 2016 2:58PM (EDT)

Paul Krugman                              (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)
Paul Krugman (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)

Paul Krugman's made it clear that he's not Bernie Sanders' biggest fan, but in a blog post on Tuesday he suggested that the Vermont independent may be doing the Republicans a service by legitimizing unfounded charges against Hillary Clinton.

"As I see it," Krugman writes, "the Sanders phenomenon always depended on leaving the personal attacks implicit. Sanders supporters have, to a much greater extent than generally acknowledged, been motivated by the perception that Clinton is dishonest, which comes — whether they know it or not — not from her actual behavior but from decades of right-wing smears."

He accused the candidate of allowing his supporters to attack Clinton while "he himself seemed to stay above the fray," and chalked up her continued success to the fact that minority voters are more keenly aware of "how the disinformation machine works" to "fake scandals":

So now, in a last desperate attempt to beat the arithmetic, the Sanders campaign is turning the implicit character attack explicit, and doing so on the weakest possible ground. Clinton, who has said that coal is on its way out, is a tool of the fossil-fuel industry because some people who work in that industry gave her money? Wow...

Read the rest at the New York Times...

By Scott Eric Kaufman

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2016 Democratic Primary Bernie Sanders Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton Paul Krugman