CNN anchor Dana Bash poked fun at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) for dodging a question about Bill Clinton’s sexual improprieties on Sunday.
In recent weeks, Republican candidate Donald Trump has revived a familiar story from the 1990s about Clinton’s sexual liaisons with a White House intern—and other, darker allegations of sexual assault by multiple accusers.
Wife Hillary Clinton, now Sanders’ main competition for the Democratic nomination, emerged as a vocal defender of her husband at the time, downplaying accusations against him and sometimes attacking the credibility of his accusers.
Sanders changed the subject when he was asked whether this issue was fair game in a presidential election.
“I think that Donald Trump might want to concern himself with the fact he’s dead wrong when he says we should not raise the minimum wage. He’s dead wrong when he says that wages in America are too high. He’s dead wrong when he thinks we should give huge tax breaks to billionaires like himself. He’s dead wrong when he thinks the climate change is a hoax when the entire—virtually the entire scientific community thinks it’s the great environmental crisis,” Sanders said.
“Maybe Trump should worry about those issues rather than Bill Clinton’s sex life,” Sanders said.
Bash ribbed Sanders for dodging the question.
“Only Bernie Sanders can segue from the sex life of Bill Clinton to climate change,” Bash said.
Sanders later said that the allegations against Bill Clinton, and presumably his wife’s response to them, were not fair game.
Sanders’ discomfort with sexual lines of questioning is perhaps understandable. The senator was embarrassed in the early months of his campaign when reporters dug up sex columns he had written for an alternative newsletter in the 1970s.
Sanders’ columns included a lurid fantasy about rape—which Sanders has dismissed as fiction similar to the bondage sex novel Fifty Shades of Grey—and the claim that cancer could be caused by lack of orgasms.