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Clinton slams Sanders, supporters for 'lasting damage' in new book

In What Happened, she takes Bernie and his bros to task for her defeat.
Hillary Clinton Book What Happened
Photo: Getty Images

Hillary Clinton feels your pain.

If you're bitter at Bernie Sanders and his supporters for hurting her chances in the 2016 election, that is.

In the new Hillary Clinton book, What Happened, due to be released on September 12, the thwarted presidential candidate swats Sanders for his attacks on her during the Democratic primary, claiming that he caused "lasting damage" and inspired "Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' campaign."

According to excerpts from the book posted on Twitter by a group of Hillary supporters, Clinton expresses frustration about Sanders's unrealistic promises, and the political advice she received to hold back from defending herself against his attacks.

"Throughout the primaries, every time I wanted to hit back against Bernie's attacks, I was told to restrain myself," she writes. "Noting that his plans didn't add up, that they would inevitably result in raising taxes against middle-class families, or that they were little more than a pipe dream — all of this could be used to reinforce his argument that I wasn't a true progressive. My team kept reminding me that we didn't want to alienate Bernie's supporters. President Obama urged me to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could. I felt like I was in a straitjacket."

The often-derogatory "Bernie bro" movement did not escape her notice. "Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist," she writes.

The excerpts, posted by pro-Hillary Twitter and Facebook accounts, show Clinton with the gloves off. "When I finally challenged Bernie during a debate to name a single time I changed a position or a vote because of a financial contribution, he couldn't come up with anything," writes Clinton. "Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' campaign."

The blunt snippets stand in direct contrast to a candidate who always came off as measured and careful — too much so, some said. "She says a lot in this book, and some of it is going to surprise people. People should buy it, read it, and consider what she constructively lays out. It's a great read," an unnamed Clinton aide told CNN.

 
 
 
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