Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said during the first Democratic debate he was “sick and tired of hearing about [Hillary Clinton’s] damn emails.” For the entire primary season, which is now coming to a close, the senator avoided and danced around using the email or Benghazi issues against Secretary Clinton.
However, following the release of a bombshell internal audit conducted by the Office of Inspector General at the State Department that no longer appears to be the case. That said, the report did prove the statements made by the former secretary of state in her defense were categorically false.
“The Inspector General just came out with a report, it was not a good report for Secretary Clinton. That is something that the American people, Democrats and delegates are going to have to take a hard look at,” he said. “But for me right now, I continue to focus on how we can rebuild a disappearing middle class, deal with poverty, guarantee health care to all of our people as a right.”
The report faulted Mrs. Clinton for cyber security risks and found she did not comply with the Federal Records Keeping Act and administration rules, the very issue the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is currently probing.
But with a week to go before the final round of Democratic primaries–in California, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota–Mrs. Clinton is only 72 delegates shy (adding total superdelegates) of clinching the nomination. Sen. Sanders said he believes superdelegates are paying attention to the IG report.
“They will be keeping it in mind. I don’t have to tell them that,” Sanders said. “I mean, everybody in America is keeping it in mind, and certainly the superdelegates are.”
But Southern Democratic primary voters, not superdelegates, are the real hurdle for Mr. Sanders. Fueled by minority voters, Mrs. Clinton handily won states in the South by margins that gave her an almost insurmountable lead, though the party has almost no chance of carrying them in the fall. Nevertheless, he continued alleging the system was rigged over the weekend and into the new week.
“But we won states — you know — like Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire in landslide victories,” Sanders said Saturday during an interview for CBS “Face the Nation.”
“And I do believe that the super delegates, whether it’s Clinton’s or mine–states that we won–super delegates in states where a candidate wins a landslide victory should listen to the people in those states and vote for the candidate chosen by the people,” he continued.
Still, it is true that she may not get enough pledged delegates to secure 2,382 needed to win outright. Mrs. Clinton currently leads Sen. Sanders on the PPD polling average in the Golden State, though recent polls show the race has tightened.