Bernie Sanders supporter and health care activist Dr. Paul Song caused a firestorm Wednesday night when he said the country could not achieve universal health care if it kept electing "corporate Democratic whores," an apparent reference to Hillary Clinton.
"While I agree with Secretary Clinton that Medicare for all will never happen if we have a president who never aspires for something greater than the status quo, Medicare for all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to Big Pharma," he said at a large rally in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.
Song denied that it was meant to refer to Clinton, although he apologized on Twitter for using the foul language.
I am very sorry for using the term "whore" to refer to some in congress who are beholden to corporations and not us. It was insensitive.
— Paul Y. Song (@paulysong) April 14, 2016
NBC's Andrea Mitchell noted that Song made his remarks before Sanders arrived at the event. Sanders also tweeted the comment was inappropriate, and Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) condemned the remarks in an interview Thursday morning.
Dr. Song's comment was inappropriate and insensitive. There's no room for language like that in our political discourse.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 14, 2016
Song is the husband of CNN journalist Lisa Ling, whose sister was held in 2009 by North Korea before being freed through efforts by Bill Clinton.
Health care has marked a key dividing line between Clinton and Sanders in their increasingly contentious fight for the Democratic nomination. While both have praised the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Clinton has charged that Sanders wants to dismantle the law and start over.
Sanders desires a Medicare-for-all system.