Former Clinton Adviser: Sanders and His Followers Are 'Detrimental to the Democratic Party'

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders / Getty
August 1, 2017

A former top Hillary Clinton adviser made it clear on Monday that he will not come around to welcoming Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and his supporters into the Democratic Party.

In an 11-tweet rant, Peter Daou, a strategist and internet director for Clinton's presidential run in 2008, railed against Sanders and his followers, writing that they are "detrimental" to the Democratic party.

Daou began with a jab at Sanders' popularity before diving into the latest actions that provoked his ire. The Clinton supporter accused Sanders of being a "destructive force." He added that Sanders and his "diehard followers" are targeting rising stars in the Democratic Party, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Cory Booker (D., N.J.).

Daou also accused Sanders supporters of continuing to use "rightwing" talking points against Clinton.

The self-described political analyst then dove deeper into the "destruction" caused by Sanders. He said that the Vermont senator spent "two years on a rampage" against Democrats.

Daou then returned to the issue of Sanders' popularity—apparently a sticking point for him. He references a so-called "highly misleading" Harvard-Harris poll, which claimed that Sanders is the most popular active politician in the United States.

Daou disagreed with the polls' results due to his observation that Sanders is not "compared to all politicians," but rather "just a handful."

In an effort to explain why Sanders being the "most popular" politician is—in his view—absurd, Daou said that Sanders did not face nearly the scrutiny that Clinton did during the 2016 campaign. He then gave props to Clinton for her fortitude, commenting on how despite the "smears," her numbers after leaving the Department of State were better than Sanders' are now.

Close to wrapping things up, Daou called for Democratic leaders to "let go" of the notion that Sanders could turn Trump voters to vote for the Democratic party. He said that Democrats have an "exciting field developing" and Sanders is "not one of them."

In a final tweet, Daou clarified that he does not see his actions being in any way like Sanders'. He said that as soon as Sanders and his supporters "stop slamming Dems," he will  "stop fighting back." 

Prior to Monday's tweetstorm, Daou was an outspoken critic of Sanders.

On Nov. 30, weeks after Clinton lost the presidential election to Donald Trump, Daou tweeted that Sanders had "absolutely no business determining the course of the Democratic Party after the harm he did to us."

On Jan. 6, he repeated those sentiments regarding the "damage" Sanders caused.