Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wave to supporters as Sanders endorsed Clinton during a rally in Portsmouth, N.H., July 12, 2016.
Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP

Sanders backs up Clinton following closed-door recording

For much of the political media covering a campaign, few things are as enticing as behind-the-scenes audio recordings. Candidates, especially those seeking national office, are usually quite careful in their public interviews, and their stump speeches are memorized and carefully scripted.

But when a candidate is speaking behind closed doors to supporters, he or she is often far more candid and far less guarded. Leaked recordings of these events are therefore golden: there’s no better way to learn what a politician is really thinking.

It’s a bit of a letdown, however, when a candidate’s public and private comments are practically identical.

Late Friday, a recording surfaced of Hillary Clinton talking to supporters in February about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) backers. Several news outlets, a little too eager to pounce, said the recording showed Clinton “mocking” young progressives. The truth was far different: the audio actually featured sympathetic remarks about Sanders’ core base, in which she explained why she understands their frustrations. (Politico, after initially getting the story wrong, found it necessary to rewrite its headline and lede.)

Sanders himself backed up Clinton during his Sunday show appearances yesterday.
“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, get out of school and can’t find jobs commensurate with the education that they received,” Sanders said. “There’s a lot of unhappiness about young people and this is an issue that we must address.”

The conservative outlet Washington Free Beacon posted the recording of Clinton on Friday and said it obtained the audio from a campaign worker’s hacked email.
The Vermont senator made similar comments on ABC, saying Clinton’s comments about disaffected young liberals were “absolutely correct.”

Donald Trump’s campaign and other Republicans aren’t exactly being subtle about their plans: the right desperately wants to convince Bernie Sanders’ progressive supporters to help make Trump president by abandoning the Democratic ticket.

This latest attempt, however, is pretty weak tea.

Sanders, meanwhile, is picking up the pace on his on-the-trail activities. The senator campaigned on Clinton’s behalf in New Hampshire last week, and he’s scheduled to appear at events in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota this week.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Sanders backs up Clinton following closed-door recording