Bernie Sanders’s willingness to take money from a company engaged in the very anti-labor practices he rails against could give the Clinton campaign a potent line of attack.
“I want you to know being out on a picket line and standing with workers is something I have been doing for my entire life,” he told the union workers. “I did it when I was mayor of the city of Burlington, did it in Congress, did it in the Senate. This is what I do.”
Campaign contributions from Sanders’s recent past, however, paint a slightly different picture. During his 2012 reelection race, Sanders accepted $10,000 from a Midwestern sugar conglomerate that was at the time locked in a long, bitter battle with its labor force — a fight that ultimately left more than 1,000 union workers out of a job.
Unlike his chief Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, Sanders derives much of his appeal from the notion that he is above politics, beholden to no one, and unwavering in his support of liberal values. That he took money from a union-busting company might give his fans pause, expose him to charges of hypocrisy, and harm his uphill battle to secure critical union endorsements.
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