News (USA)

Bernie vs. Barney: Sanders campaign clashes with Clinton’s champion

Former congressman Barney Frank brought his barbs and bristle to the Boston studio where he took part in an old-fashioned, “Crossfire”-like caustic exchange with Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager.

The former Massachusetts representative scolded campaign manager Jeff Weaver when Wednesday’s conversation on MSNBC’s Hardball turned to the tone of Sanders’ campaign: Frank said he felt the runner-up was overly critical of his candidate, Hillary Clinton, and should instead focus on presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump.

“I haven’t seen any of [Sanders] ads being critical of Trump. I didn’t say he ‘never’ criticized him…”

“You should read the media accounts, Mr. Frank,” interrupted Weaver.

“I’m sorry, I think you should not interrupt me. Let’s all be civil.” As he attempted to finish his sentence, Weaver interrupted again, “That could start with you, sir.” Host Chris Matthews spoke up, saying, “One at a time.” Frank appeared bewildered by Weaver’s remark: “I haven’t interrupted you. Why the chip?”

If Weaver did indeed have a chip on his shoulder, perhaps it was over the issue of Frank’s role at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next month. Last week, the Sanders campaign filed a request to have him removed from the rules and platform committees, along with Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, because of their support for Clinton, and alleged animus toward Sanders.

Weaver called Frank “a very hostile and attack surrogate” for Clinton, because Frank has insulted Senator Sanders as “dumb,” a “McCarthyite” and “unrealistic.”

Frank acknowledged he’d been critical of Sanders, but then fired back, “I am somewhat surprised to hear a Sanders representative complain about divisive rhetoric. It seems to me that both he and I have been very willing to speak out and be critical of other people.”

The former congressman also found time to snarkily slam his fellow New Englander as a hypocrite while at the same time touting his own generosity in previously supporting Sanders’ campaigns as the U.S. senator from Vermont.

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