Clinton assails Trump, Sanders in new book


Hillary Clinton accepts some blame for her shocking loss in the 2016 presidential election, but she also takes shots at now-President Trump, according to a copy of her new book obtained by CNN’s Jeff Zeleny. 

In, “What Happened,” which comes out Sept. 12, Clinton gives a previously undisclosed level of detailed about her thought process during the campaign, and reflection since then. Zeleny disclosed the following passage:

“Still, in terms of fighting the previous war, I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t realize how quickly the ground was shifting under all our feet. I was running a traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions, while Trump was running a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans’ anger and resentment.”

But Clinton also assails rival Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, in her new book, casting him as unrealistic and partly blaming him for President Trump’s surprise win, according to leaked passages shared on social media.

The former secretary of state didn’t hold back about what she thinks of her her old rival Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton, in an excerpt of the book leaked on Twitter this week, painted the Vermont senator as lacking in original ideas and woefully impractical, to the point that he resorted to tainting her image and caused “lasting damage” in the 2016 election cycle. 

In one passage, Clinton said her top policy adviser Jake Sullivan likened Sanders’ optimistic policy proposals to a movie scene about “magic abs” commercials, and Clinton said a Facebook post about Sanders offering a pony to everyone in America summed up her situation. 

“Jake Sullivan, my top policy adviser, told me it reminded him of a scene from the 1998 movie There’s Something About Mary. A deranged hitchhiker says he’s come up with a brilliant plan. 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?” That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would propose a bold infrastructure investment 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!”

Because the two agreed on so much, Sanders “had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character,” Clinton claimed, according to the leaked passage. Those attacks inflicted “lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” campaign. But Clinton said she didn’t know if that bothered Sanders.

“I don’t know if that bothered Bernie or not. 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.”

That leaked page ends with a scathing, “I am proud to be a Democrat, and I wish Bernie were, too.”

Sanders ultimately endorsed Clinton in the general election cycle, but only after a brutal primary season that left the Democratic Party working to unify itself instead of focusing on the Republican opponent. 

Clinton has hinted that her new book will offer an unprecedented level of access to her thoughts.

“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down,” the book’s introduction reads. 

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