Politics

Clinton Press Secretary to Sanders: Don’t Be a Ralph Nader

On CNN Tuesday morning, Brian Fallon, the press secretary for Hillary Clinton's campaign told Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) to stop being a Ralph Nader.

Fallon was making the comparison to the Green Party presidential candidate in the 2000 election, activist Ralph Nader. Nader took many votes that many believe would have otherwise gone to Democratic nominee Al Gore. Gore lost narrowly in some states to Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who won the election. Nader has since been considered a spoiler candidate, particularly for Democrats.

"And one week ago today, in this very chair, Tad Devine from the Sanders campaign was sitting her talking to you and you asked him, you know, ‘Why didn't Sen. Sanders decide to run as an independent, why did he decide to run through the Democratic primary,’ and Tad Devine said, that for a very simple reason he decided to run as a Democrat, he did not want to be a Ralph Nader," Fallon said.

"He did not want to be a spoiler. If he didn't win the Democratic nomination, he didn't want to spoil the chances for the Democrats to retain the White House.

"I'm afraid that if the attacks in the style of yesterday's baseless accusation continue, that that's exactly what he'll be doing. And this has been an extraordinary effort that the Sanders campaign has embarked upon.

"They've brought so many people into the process. But yesterday, the tone of the attacks was suggesting that if the Democratic Party doesn't see fit to nominate Bernie Sanders, then it's not a party worth supporting.

"And that is poisonous rhetoric that would seriously impair our party's ability to come together in these closing weeks."

When asked by host Carol Costello about the New York primary, Fallon weighed quickly in on the race and gave another rebuke to Sanders.

"While we expect to have a spirited contest throughout the remaining weeks with Sen. Sanders, we need to watch the tone; we need to watch the rhetoric," Fallon said. "I think Sen. Sanders needs to remember why he decided to run as a Democrat in the first place. In the words of his own adviser, it was to not be a Ralph Nader-type spoiler in this Democratic primary."