CHARLESTON, South Carolina — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his surrogates would not, or could not, explain what he meant in his recent condemnation of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a platform for “bigotry.”
On Sunday, Sanders said he would not attend AIPAC’s annual policy conference last month, adding that it provided a platform “for leaders who express bigotry.” He did not explain what he meant. AIPAC responded: “Senator Sanders has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment.”
The moderators at the Democrat debate Tuesday night asked Sanders to explain his comment, but he did not except to accuse Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being a “reactionary racist” — which the Democratic audience applauded.
In the spin room, Breitbart News and other reporters — including Jackson Richman of the Jewish News Syndicate — asked Sanders surrogates Jeff Weaver and Nina Turner to explain his comment; they could not.
Richman asked Turner specifically about Sanders’s association with anti-Israel radicals like Linda Sarsour, who has also been accused of antisemitism for excluding pro-Israel Jews from the Women’s March, and various hostile comments.
Turner responded that because Sanders was Jewish, he did not consider Sarsour antisemitic, nor could she be.
“Let me tell you something. Senator Bernie Sanders is a Jewish man. And so his opinion of Linda Sarsour is different from other people’s opinion of Linda Sarsour. She’s an activist, and she is a woman of the people.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.