Hillary Clinton mocked supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders at a February fundraiser, calling them “children of the Great Recession” who are “living in their parents’ basement,” according to audio released this week by the Washington Free Beacon. In that fundraiser, she also described Sanders’ ideas as “indefensible,” and mocked the socialism of Scandinavian countries like Denmark.
When asked if Sanders could win a general election, Clinton described his chances as “very low” and went on to explain why.
His ideas are indefensible, the amount of taxes that would be raised on middle-class families is quite significant. He says we need to be a lot like Scandinavia. OK. Denmark, the top tax rate for middle-class families is 55 percent with a 25 percent vealue-added tax on top of that.
Clinton explained that if Republicans were to show Sanders’ socialist ideas in a TV ad, they would destroy him. Now, those very ideas are part of the official Democratic Party platform, due to lobbying from Sanders and his supporters at the Democratic National Convention in July.
The former secretary of State did not just mock Sanders’ ideas, however — she also attacked his supporters. As reported by Politico, she described them as basement dwellers who support socialism, but “don’t know what that means.”
There is a strain of, on the one hand, the kind of populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory kind of approach that we hear too much of from the Republican candidates. And on the other side, there’s just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we’ve done hasn’t gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don’t know what that means, but it’s something that they deeply feel.
Clinton added that she did not want to be a “wet blanket on idealism,” but she then attacked supporters of Sanders as political newbies unable to understand why the economy has fallen short of their expectations.
“Some are new to politics completely. They’re children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement,” she declared. “They feel they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves. And they don’t see much of a future.”
The former secretary of State went further to Clinton-splain the Sandersnistas: “If you’re feeling like you’re consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn’t pay a lot, and doesn’t have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing.”
Next Page: Why this audio leak comes at a particularly bad time for Clinton.
The leak sent #basementdwellers trending on Twitter. Users compared her attack on millennials to the infamous description of half of Trump supporters as fitting in “a basket of deplorables.”
Blacks -Super Predators
Hispanics -Taco Bowls
Trump Supporters – Deplorables
Bernie fans – #BasementDwellers
Hillary's inner circle laughs
— 𝓛𝓲𝓼𝓪 (@Rockprincess818) October 1, 2016
Some attacked her as “trashing” Americans.
Others wondered if the comment would make it into the second presidential debate.
Then there’s the irony of her insisting the economy is doing well, while saying millennials live in their parents’ basements.
Funny thing about Hillary's #BasementDwellers comment is that she implies economy is great, yet says they're stuck in parent's basements.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 1, 2016
The audio leaked at a particularly inopportune moment for Clinton, who has sent Sanders out to recruit millennial voters, who have been falling away from her campaign in recent weeks. A bevy of think-pieces shortly before the debate warned millennials that if they back Johnson or Stein in November, Trump will win.
A post-debate poll showed Clinton leading Trump (and Johnson) among millennials by wide margins, but the former secretary of State’s attacks on young people as basement dwellers and recession kids who just want a little “revolution” might make her youth outreach that much more difficult. Millennials still have over a month to decide whether or not to favor the woman who attacked Sanders’ ideas as “indefensible” before adopting them herself.