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Bernie Sanders tries to clarify comment on Planned Parenthood: "I didn't say it well"

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a town hall forum hosted by CNN on Monday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a town hall forum hosted by CNN on Monday.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Bernie Sanders tried to clean up a comment he made about Planned Parenthood being part of the "political establishment," calling it poor wording at a Democratic town hall aired on CNN Monday night.

Sanders made the initial remark about Planned Parenthood on MSNBC after the group endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. His critics seized on the comment, questioning his commitment to the women's reproductive rights group.

"They are a fantastic organization — count me in as somebody who strongly supports them," Sanders said Monday night. "This was simply a question of endorsement policy."

Sanders's explanation for the controversy over his comments

At the town hall, Sanders explained to the audience that his remarks on MSNBC attempted to draw a distinction between the membership of Planned Parenthood and its leadership.

"What I said on a television program — and I didn't say it well — is that sometimes the base of an organization looks at the world a little bit differently than the leadership," Sanders said.

Clinton's campaign pounced on Sanders for the remarks, with the former secretary of state saying it was wrong to call Planned Parenthood part of the establishment.

On Monday, however, Sanders said that his support for the organization should not be in doubt.

"I have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record," he said. "...We should expand funding for Planned Parenthood."