NEW YORK, April 14 (UPI) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has disavowed a comment made by a supporter speaking at a large New York City rally on Wednesday, who referred to Sanders’ opponents as “corporate Democratic whores.”
The comment, made by Dr. Paul Song, came during a rally at New York’s Washington Square Park, which the Sanders campaign said drew 27,000 supporters.
“Medicare-for-all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores, who are beholden to Big Pharma and the private-insurance industry instead of us,” Song said.
Many took it as a direct swipe at Sanders’ opponent, Hillary Clinton, who opposes a Medicare-for-all health care system, saying it would be too expensive and politically divisive. Instead, she advocates for making improvements to President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The remark drew sharp rebukes on Twitter from Clinton supporters who created the hashtags #Democraticwhores and #whoyoucallingawhoreBernie.
Sanders’ wife, Jane, was seemingly caught off-guard when asked about the stinging language the following morning during a CNN interview. She said she did not hear the remark, but agreed it crossed the line.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear it at all. Strange choice of words. I can’t imagine that anybody was speaking about Secretary Clinton that way. I don’t know who said that,” Jane Sanders said. “All the campaigns really need to take some responsibility for what surrogates say.”
A short time later, Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to address the matter.
“Dr. Song’s comment was inappropriate and insensitive. There’s no room for language like that in our political discourse,” he wrote.
Song also apologized for the remark and said it was not intended to be directed specifically at Clinton.
“I am very sorry for using the term ‘whore’ to describe some in Congress who are beholden to corporations and not us. It was insensitive,” he said.