"It's so phony": New book reveals what Bernie Sanders really thought of Hillary Clinton's campaign message

Sanders and several Democrats inside and outside the Clinton campaign reportedly knew there was a messaging problem

By Taylor Link
April 18, 2017 7:54PM (UTC)
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(Star Shooter/mediapunch/ipx AP/Matt Rourke)

A new book by two veteran political reporters offers an exclusive look into Hillary Clinton's failed presidential campaign, including what rival Bernie Sanders really thought of her "I'm with her" campaign slogan.

"It's so phony!" Sanders allegedly said when asked to repeat the line during an ad for Clinton after endorsing the Democratic presidential nominee. According to "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign," by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, Sanders refused to say the "I'm with her" in the script for an ad that highlighted Clinton's focus on eduction and health care, The Hill reported.


"It's so phony!" Sanders said of Clinton's infamous campaign slogan. "I don't want to say that."

Sanders did not end up reading the line in the ad, which ultimately never aired because Clinton staffers believed the Vermont senator was delivering the message as himself as opposed to a surrogate for the campaign.

According to the account in "Shattered," even former-Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau expressed frustration with the Democratic nominee's campaign.


Parnes and Allen's new book revealed that Favreau was tapped to help write Clinton's speech announcing her presidential bid. The former speechwriter for the prior two presidential campaigns, Favreau reportedly dropped out of the announcement speech because the campaign did not have a "common purpose."

From the new book, per Axios:

Jon Favreau, brought in to help with the announcement speech, "thought Clinton's campaign was reminiscent of John Kerry's, where he had gotten his start in 2004 — a bunch of operatives who were smart and accomplished . . . but weren't united by any common purpose larger than pushing a less-than-thrilling candidate into the White House . . . Frustrated with the process and the product, Favreau dropped out."

Favreau, who now co-hosts the podcast "Pod Save America" with other former-Obama staffers, seemed to be hinting at the Clinton campaign when he was offering politicians advice on Monday's episode.


"Politicians, do not sound like you are reading a fucking consultant's script from an ad when you speak to your constituents," Favreau said. "But also, don't try to be cool. Because when you try to be cool, sometimes the results are even worse than being stiff."

"Bernie Sanders is the model, right?" Tommy Vietor, a former-Obama spokesman, asked.


"Yes," Favreau affirmed.

Listen to the podcast below, courtesy of Crooked Media:

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