Bernie Sanders has a lot to apologise for. Namely the fact that he so smeared Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primary that his supporters refused to vote for her, essentially handing Donald Trump the presidency.
Or, if we're going to go a bit closer to home, what about the fact that he basically insinuated that Elizabeth Warren a liar just the other week, leading Bernie Bros to flood her with snake emojis, Taylor Swift-style? (Because obviously men stand up for themselves, while women are just evil temptresses betraying people.)
Anyway, none of this seems to be worthy of an apology in Sanders' mind. What does, however, is a random op-ed written by one of his supporters which stated that Joe Biden has "a corruption problem".
The crux of the argument is that Biden takes money from corporate donors (the credit card industry, insurance and big pharma, fossil fuel...) and then winds up supporting legislation which would benefit them. Is this corruption or just the way the gross capital-centric nature American politics functions? Or both? You decide. Either way, Sanders apparently felt so so bad about the implication that he seemed compelled to set the record straight.
Speaking to CBS News, he not only said he didn't agree with the op-ed, but that he wished it hadn't been published at all, which feels like an eerily Trumpian take. He said:
It is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way. And I'm sorry that that op-ed appeared.
It was prompted by the fact that the Sanders campaign mentioned the piece in its press release, which was tweeted out by NBC political editor Mark Murray.
The tweet went viral and caused a lot of backlash against Sanders.
Primaries present a difficult balancing act for those vying for the nomination, as they fight to make Democrats see them as the best option, but without coming for their opponents so very much that they risk making a potential winner unelectable.
This is likely what Sanders was getting at, but saying he wished the op-ed hadn't been elevated by his campaign is pretty different to saying he wished it hadn't "appeared" at all. It also shows how differently he views his two main competitors, as we have yet to hear from him regarding the aforementioned Warren debacle.
Biden graciously accepted the apology, tweeting that such "attacks" have no place in the primary.
If he feels attacked by an academic pointing out his problematic funding practices, one wonders how he'd handle the onslaught of abuse Warren has faced.
Should he win, would he be the second most thin-skinned president of all time? And if Sanders wins, will he tell newspapers what kind of op-eds should and should not "appear"?