In a candid interview with Tim Teeman, a straight-shooting Jane Sanders talks superdelegates, her husbands temperament, the need for party unity, and missing her family.”>
Jane Sanders, in an interview with The Daily Beast on Wednesday, said they would hope Bernies supporters would follow their lead.
Conversely, if Bernie Sanders secured the nomination, Sanders said she hoped Clinton and her supporters would support him.
In a wide-ranging, candid interview, Jane Sanders also said the superdelegate systemcurrently weighted significantly in Clintons favorwas unfair, yet predicted that she is hopeful that a number of those superdelegates, and their thousands of votes, could be convinced to switch their support from Clinton to her husband.
The Daily Beast spoke to Mrs. Sanders with just hours to go before Bernie Sanderss rally in New Yorks Washington Square, and just a week until New York Democrats pick a primary winner.
I know Donald Trump has complained about the system, she said. Were not going to complain about it. We knew the rules going in. We dont like the rules. We dont think its good for democracy. I think its crazy that in New York anybody who wanted to vote for Bernie had to make a change last October to say they were in the Democratic Party. Anybody who is independent cannot vote.
Jane Sanders said her husbands campaign was trying to reinvigorate the party, and we are. We are bringing many, many more people in across the country and yet in New York theyre slamming the door on those people. They cant have a voice. That seems counterproductive to what the Democratic Party wants to accomplish in terms of winning not just the presidency, but to win governors seats and seats in the House and Senate.
She dismissed Clinton campaign claims that Bernies camp was attempting to rig the election by flipping the votes of superdelegates. How could we be rigging it? Were not in charge of anything, she said, laughing.
Superdelegates, first off, I think, are silly. Theyre 30 percent of the vote that a candidate needs to become the nominee. How fair is that? I am a voter. I have one vote, yet youre a superdelegate and count for thousands and thousands of votes. That doesnt make any sense at all. One person, one vote is what democracy is supposed to be about.
The rigging claims did not make sense, Mrs. Sanders said.
In 2008, many superdelegates had signed up for Hillary Clinton, very early, before Barack Obama.
The same was true this year, though this time the opponent was Bernie Sanders, she said.
In the end in 2008, the superdelegates moved to Barack Obama. This year, the superdelegates have not been counted yet, their votes have not been cast. Some are saying now they support Hillary Clinton. About half.
If the superdelegates are using their judgment, my hope is that they are looking at what is happening in this racethat he [Bernie Sanders] has won eight of the nine most recent races, that he has far better polling numbers against all the Republicans, that he can get not just Democrats but Independents.
Even in his last Senate race, 25 percent of Republicans in our state voted for himand we can do that nationally as well. Hes in a much better position to be the Democratic Party candidate. Superdelegates will make up their minds. It has nothing to do with rigging, but it could happen just like it happened in 2008.
On the more rancorous exchanges between the Sanders and Clinton campaigns, Jane Sanders said, I think if you compare it to the Republicans, its nothing. I think its been difficult for us to have distortions of the record, when really what we want to focus on is a clear choice between the two candidates.
For her, there is a stark difference between her husband and Hillary Clinton in a number of areas. Thats what we should be talking about, thats good for democracy, thats what people need to hear.
When asked if she ever advised her husband to moderate his tone, Jane Sanders said he was being criticized over a statement he made in response to the Clinton strategy to disqualify and defeat him, and worry about uniting the party later.
Mrs. Sanders was referring to an unnamed top Clinton advisers battle plan, as conveyed to CNN last week.
Then we watched surrogate after surrogate and Secretary Clinton herself on the air attempting to disqualify him, which means to make [him seem] unqualified, Jane Sanders said.
She said that her husband, in response, had said, Lets talk about the issues, about what makes somebody unqualified.
His attempt may not have been as articulate as we might have preferred, but his attempt was to turn the page to say, Lets look at trade: Secretary Clinton is pro-free trade, pro-NAFTA, pro permanent trade relations with China, and pro-TPP [the Trans-Pacific Partnership], until the very end, after it was too late.
Her husband, she added, had noted that Clinton had voted in favor of the Iraq War, having seen the same information that had led Bernie Sanders to vote against it.
Jane Sanders said, Secretary Clinton has a regime change policy that was borne out of Libya. Bernie does not believe in regime-change policy. He was trying to say, OK, if youre looking at whos qualified, lets look at the qualifications youre looking for as a voter. I think the media has made more of it than either candidate.
This reporter asked her if she was concerned that voters in both the Clinton and Sanders camps were so partisan they would not vote for the other Democratic candidate in a general election. She replied that they [Democrat voters] were feeling annoyed at both sides. If Bernie wins, hopefully Secretary Clintons supporters will support him, and if she wins we hope our supporters will support her. Its nowhere near as rancorous as it was between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton back then.
Would her husband support Clinton if she became the candidate?
I think both of them will support the other, said his wife.