Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is being criticized by many who saw his response to questions about sexual harassment during his 2016 presidential campaign as tone-deaf and dismissive.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked the Senator Wednesday if he knew about the allegations of sexual harassment and pay disparity on his failed campaign for the democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
“Just to be clear,” asked Cooper, “you seem to indicate that you did not know, at the time, about the allegations, is that correct?”
“Ah, yes I was a little bit busy running around the country, trying to make the case,” replied Sanders.
“I certainly apologize to any woman…”
Many on the left pounced at the curt response, though they ignored his much more complete answer prior to the dismissive statement.
“I’m wondering where you aware of those allegations during the campaign,” asked Cooper.
“I am very proud of the campaign that we ran in 2016,” said Sanders. He went on to explain how the campaign grew exponentially in a such a way that prevented him from assuring that all harassment claims were attended to correctly.
“I am not going to sit here and tell you that we did everything right in terms of human resources,” Sanders said, “in terms of addressing the needs that I am hearing from now that women felt disrespected, that there was sexual harassment, which was not dealt with as effectively as possible.”
“What I will tell you is that when I ran for re-election in 2018 in Vermont,” he continued, “we put forward the strongest set of principles in terms of mandatory training, in terms of women if they felt harassed, having an independent firm that they could go, and I think that’s kind of, you know, the gold standard for what we should be doing.”
“So I certainly apologize to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately,” he concluded, “and of course, if I run, we will do better next time.”