Joe Biden called on Bernie Sanders to accept greater accountability for tactics and rhetoric of his staunchest supporters and do more to discourage it, after what he called the “outrageous” threats on a prominent union that criticized his healthcare plan.
Representatives of the powerful Culinary Workers Union, which represents 60,000 workers supporting Nevada’s gaming and hospitality industries, said this week that supporters of the Vermont senator had “viciously attacked” its members after its leadership warned about the risk to their negotiated health plans under a Medicare for All system.
In an interview with PBS, Senator Bernie Sanders disagreed with the notion that his health care plan would not benefit Culinary Workers Union members. “I think our health care plan for them and for every person in America would expand the health care that we have,” adding that his plan would do away with premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Sanders further promised that under his plan, no American would spend more than $200 a year on prescription drugs.
The candidate also dismissed reports that some of his supporters had gone after members of the union on social media for their decision not to endorse him: “Obviously, that is not acceptable to me. And I don’t know who these so-called supporters are. You know, we are living in a strange world on the internet….Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement.”
Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline, for instance, has come under attack for her Nicaraguan heritage, and union spokeswoman Bethany Khan was accused of being paid off by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Democratic establishment types. In tweets, the union and its leadership have been referred to as “bitches,” “whore,” “fucking scab” and “evil, entitled assholes.”
In one email, which the union provided to the Independent, Culinary leaders are referred to as “corrupt mother fuckers” and says that it’s “time for people like me to go after you.”
“Apologize and fix your mistake or else you will pay … I know tens of thousands of Bernie supporters and we will come after you fascist imbeciles,” it continues. “#Bernie2020 #NotMeUs.”
Watch Joe Biden’s interview with F! Chuck Todd on Meet the Press.