Sanders: Clinton 'condescending' to young voters

Story highlights

  • Sanders is hitting Clinton over her belief that young people who link her to the fossil fuel industry "haven't done their research"
  • The Vermont senator's comments came during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper

Washington (CNN)Bernie Sanders is hitting Hillary Clinton over her belief that young people who link her to the fossil fuel industry "haven't done their research," saying it's "condescending" to young voters.

The Vermont senator's comments came during a wide-ranging interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" in which he also discussed Bill Clinton's recent comments about "subconscious" double standards in the campaign, Israel's response during the 2014 Gaza conflict and General Electric. And it continues his criticism of Clinton after causing an uproar last week when he said she wasn't "qualified" to be president.
    Sanders also said Sunday, "in terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking," during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."
    Tapper asked Sanders to address a comment Clinton made on "Meet the Press" last Sunday, when she was asked about her belief that the senator's campaign was "lying about my record" regarding donations from the fossil fuel industry.
    "I feel sorry sometimes for the young people who, you know, believe this," Clinton told host Chuck Todd. "They don't do their own research. And I'm glad that we now can point to reliable, independent analysis to say, 'No, it's just not true.'"
    Sanders, however, disagreed with Clinton's characterization.
    "I think that's a little bit condescending," Sanders said. "I'll tell you my experience with young people. ... I see them every day because they're coming out to our rallies. These are young people who want to be involved in shaping the future of this country."
    Sanders, who is polling better with millennial voters than Clinton, defended young people, saying they're concerned about politics.
    "They're proud of this country. They want to make it a better country. I think they do a whole lot of research and I think that the Internet has opened up the opportunity for them to do a lot of research," he added. "And I'll tell you, one of the reasons I think we're doing so well is a lot of those people are going to the Internet and hearing what we have to say and what Bernie Sanders believes in."

    Bill Clinton ... psychoanalyst?

    On Friday, former President Bill Clinton suggested attacks on his wife's White House qualifications were attributable to "subconscious" double standards.
    "I appreciate Bill Clinton being my psychoanalyst," Sanders told Tapper. "It's always nice, but the reality is that ever since Wisconsin, when that became the sixth out of seven states that we have won in either caucuses or primaries, I think the Clinton campaign has made it public, basically, they have told the media that here in New York, they're about to become very negative, about to beat us up."
    The interview was taped before Sanders beat Clinton in Wyoming Saturday afternoon.
    Sanders again called into question Hillary Clinton's qualifications to be president.
    "A candidate like Secretary Clinton, who voted for the disastrous war in Iraq, who has supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement that has cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and receives incredible amounts of money -- we're talking about tens of millions of dollars through a super PAC, from every special interest that you can think of, from the billionaire class -- I have my doubts about what kind of president she would make," Sanders said.

    A 'balanced' view on Israel

    Sanders -- the first Jewish candidate to win a presidential nominating contest -- believes Israel's response in the 2014 Gaza war was "disproportionate."
    "Was Israel's response disproportionate? I think it was," Sanders said. "Israel has a 100% -- and no one will fight for that principle more strongly than I will -- has the right to live in freedom, independently, and in security without having to be subjected to terrorist attacks. But I think that we will not succeed to ever bring peace into that region unless we also treat the Palestinians with dignity and respect, and that is my view."
    Sanders, a secular Jew, said he hopes to provide a "balanced" view on issues related to Israel and Palestine.
    "It is interesting ... that the first Jew in American history to win a delegate, much less a primary, is taking this position with Israel," Tapper told Sanders. "Usually in American politics, everyone just supports Israel whatever Israel wants to do, but you are taking a more critical position."
    "I'm taking a more balanced position," Sanders replied.

    Taking on General Electric

    Last week, Sanders engaged in a public dispute with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt after accusing the corporation of shutting down American factories, shipping jobs to China and Mexico and minimizing its tax bill. The company is "destroying the moral fabric" of America, Sanders claimed.
    "In fact, the guy who was head of General Electric before Jeff Immelt, he basically said that, you know, he'd like to see his manufacturing plants on a barge so they can move to the cheapest labor," Sanders told Tapper. "They have, in a given year, paid nothing in federal income taxes, you know. They are part of lobbying efforts in Washington to protect the interest of the wealthy, yeah, so I think my comment was valid."
    Tapper asked Sanders about Apple, which also manufactures many of its products outside the U.S.
    "Apple does manufacture a lot of their products in China, and I sure as heck would like to see them, and if I have anything to do with it, and I will as president, to try to bring back manufacturing to the United States of America," Sanders said. "But I think General Electric is a company which is well known for negotiating contracts with its workers which call for concessions, sending jobs outside of this country and not paying their fair share of taxes. And that, I think, (is) a greedy corporation."