Bernie Sanders defends Hillary Clinton over leaked fundraiser audio

Sanders said Clinton was “absolutely correct” to say many of his supporters were living in their parents’ basement

By Sophia Tesfaye
Published October 3, 2016 3:13PM (EDT)

Bernie Sanders defended Hillary Clinton after leaked audio from a closed-door fundraiser revealed the eventual Democratic presidential nominee's unflattering description of the young voters who backed her rival during the primary, however, previously scheduled Clinton campaign events featuring her former rival were suddenly postponed this week.

The recording, from a February 16 fundraiser at the home of former U.S. Ambassador Beatrice Welters, was acquired by hackers and first published by the Washington Free Beacon last week.

“They’re children of the great recession," Clinton said of Sanders' young supporters in the audio. "And they are living in their parents’ basement, they feel that they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves, and they don’t see much of a future,” she explained to room of wealthy donors.

The Vermont senator defended Clinton Sunday during appearances on ABC and CNN, arguing that the two largely agree -- even though Clinton dismissed some of Sanders' policy positions as "false promises."

"Well, I agree with her, what she is saying," Sanders said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"If you listen to the whole discussion that she had, a very important point that she made is that a lot of young people who went into debt, worked very hard to get a good education, can't find a job commensurate to the education that they received," Sanders told CNN's Jake Tapper.

Asked whether Clinton’s remarks at the fundraiser amid their hotly contested Democratic primary bothered him, Sanders admitted, “Of course it does.”

"Secretary Clinton and I do disagree on issues. But what she was saying there is absolutely correct,” Sanders told George Stephanopoulos. “And that is you’ve got millions of young people, many of whom took out loans in order to go to college, hoping to go out and get decent-paying, good jobs and you know what? They are unable to do that. And, yes, they do want a political revolution.”

Sanders was set to campaign on behalf of Clinton on Monday. But amid the uproar the leaked tapes created over the weekend, the Clinton campaign announced late Sunday that Sanders will now be on the campaign trail Wednesday in Iowa and Wisconsin instead.

Clinton's new rival, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump attempted to seize on the leaked audio to hit Clinton in a tweet over Saturday:

But by Saturday night, Trump was also attacking Sanders during his rally in Manaheim, Virginia, saying he had “much bigger crowds than Bernie Sanders ever had” and labeling Sanders as “crazy.” 

*UPDATE: The article has been changed to more accurately reflect the change in Sanders' campaign schedule. An earlier version of the story incorrectly asserted that Clinton and Sanders were set to campaign together on Monday. 

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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