Hillary Clinton flack David Brock refused on Tuesday to apologize for his recent attacks on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).
The pro-Clinton super PAC Correct the Record released an email on Monday that compared Sanders with the United Kingdom Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s controversial remarks about Hugo Chavez. The attack noted Corbyn’s praise for the Venezuelan dictator, with whom Sanders negotiated to get discounted fuel for Vermont’s poorest citizens. Brock also suggested Sanders would be soft on Hezbollah in the email.
Bloomberg anchors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann repeatedly pressed Brock to explain why he thought it was necessary to connect Sanders with nefarious characters. The two also took exception with Brock’s methods after he admitted that Sanders does not resemble Chavez.
"Do you see it as your role to do the dirty work for the Clinton campaign that they don't want to do against Bernie Sanders directly?" Heilemann asked.
Brock insisted he was merely presenting the facts for people to make their own determinations with, calling his work "standard opposition research." Heilemann alleged that by raising the comparison, Correct the Record was making a statement with the purpose of causing insinuation.
"What was that message you are trying to send about Bernie Sanders?" Halperin asked Brock after he previously ducked similar questions. "What are those lists of names, those associations, what do you want people to take away from that?"
Sanders, who has refused to attack Clinton thus far, did not take kindly to the attack. The Vermont socialist turned Clinton’s attack as an opportunity to portray the election about "who has the best ideas, not who has the biggest donors."
"It was the kind of onslaught I expected to see from the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson, and it’s the second time a billionaire Super PAC has tried to stop the momentum of the political revolution we’re building together," Sanders’ campaign sent out in an email to supporters.
Most super PACs are not allowed to coordinate directly with the campaigns they aim to support, but due to a loophole in campaign finance laws, that is not the case for Brock and Correct the Record. Brock found an "internet exemption" that allows Correct the Record to accept unlimited anonymous donations while still coordinating with Clinton’s campaign.