clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sanders subtweets Clinton: “You cannot be a moderate and a progressive"

Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders offered some of his harshest criticisms of Hillary Clinton yet in a tweetstorm Wednesday, arguing that her September self-identification as a "moderate" is both accurate and incompatible with the idea that she is a progressive.

Sanders followed up that basic observation with a series of specific, issue-focused criticisms. He hit her on financial ties to Wall Street:

And on trade:

And on the environment:

And perhaps most notably on foreign policy, where Clinton has often been out of step with liberals but where Sanders has sometimes seemed a little uncomfortable discussing his own views:

These are all pretty standard from-the-left hits on Clinton. But the overall framing in terms of a progressive versus moderate dichotomy is also a reminder of exactly what makes a lot of Democratic leaders — including very progressive ones — nervous about Sanders.


There are enough self-identified conservatives in the United States that a Republican can win a presidential election while losing self-identified moderates. But a Democrat needs to win the votes of self-identified moderates by a healthy margin in order to have a chance, so Democrats who want to win need to bridge a divide between liberal and moderate self-conceptions.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.