Hillary Clinton Can’t Name One Position Bernie Sanders Got Her to Change On

June 8, 2016

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton could not name one issue Wednesday that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has caused her to change her position on or to embrace during the presidential primary.

Speaking with NBC News anchor Lester Holt, Clinton complimented Sanders for the energy he has brought to the Democratic Party this campaign season but refused to say that the Vermont senator changed her views in any single policy area.

Clinton told Holt that she spoke with Sanders on Tuesday night after winning the California and New Jersey primaries "to really congratulate him on the extraordinary campaign he’s run."

"I really appreciate all that he’s contributed to the Democratic Party and our country and the issues that we’re going to be focusing on in the general election. And I really look forward to working with him to unify our party," Clinton added.

Clinton virtually locked up the Democratic nomination with her primary wins on Tuesday, which gave her an insurmountable lead in pledged delegates to add to her big lead with superdelegates, prominent party members who do not formally vote for a candidate until the Democratic convention this summer in Philadelphia.

Holt then asked Clinton, "Can you name one idea that he’s [Sanders has] put forward that you want to embrace, that he has really changed your position on?"

"Well, it’s not that so much as the passion that he brought to the goals that his campaign set," Clinton responded. "I share the goals. We have different approaches about how to get there."

Clinton then listed policy goals that she and Sanders share, such as universal health care coverage and stricter regulation on the financial industry.

"So his passionate advocacy for a litany of important goals for our country I think has really ignited a lot of people, particularly young people," Clinton said. "And we share so much more in common than we certainly have at all with Donald Trump."

Commentators and analysts have noted that Clinton has switched her position on a number of issues to more align with Sanders’ views during the primary in an apparent effort to appease the Democratic base. Sanders himself has criticized Clinton for flip-flopping on several policy issues.

"You can’t be a moderate, you can’t be a progressive. You can’t be for the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and against the TPP, for the Keystone pipeline, against the Keystone pipeline," Sanders told MSNBC’s Morning Joe back in January, referencing specific areas on which Clinton has changed her position.

Clinton received scrutiny for coming out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership after announcing her bid for the White House. The TPP is a trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, that has not made it through the U.S. Congress.

Clinton had previously said while serving as secretary of state that "this TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world’s total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment."

Sanders has consistently opposed the agreement, however, along with much of the Democratic Party, including prominent lawmakers like Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.).

After announcing her candidacy last spring, Clinton refused to take a clear position on the deal and said she needs more time to study the text of the agreement.

Clinton officially came out against TPP in October 2015, telling PBS that, "as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about [TPP]." She also said, "I have said from the very beginning that we had to have a trade agreement that would create good American jobs, raise wages and advance our national security and I still believe that is the high bar we have to meet," and added, "I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set."

PolitiFact rated Clinton’s change in position as a "Full Flop."