The Clinton campaign had 71 PAGES of 'hits' ready to be deployed against Bernie Sanders hacked emails show
- Hillary Clinton's campaign deeply researched Bernie Sanders' policy proposal and voting record for weaknesses she could exploit
- Between the first and second Democratic debate Clinton's campaign research director sent out a 71-page document of potential attacks
- An email sent to 12 campaign aides previewed some of the attacks, which included hitting him on guns, gay rights and certain political donations
Hillary Clinton's campaign prepared 71 pages of 'hits' against Bernie Sanders to be used against the Vermont senator in the debates last fall and into the Democratic primary contests.
Emails from her campaign chairman John Podesta's hacked inbox, leaked online by Wikileaks today, show campaign research director Tony Carrk debuting new attacks to use against Sanders on Oct. 28, 2015, between the first and second Democratic debates.
The documents show that the Clinton campaign was ready to wage some policy-heavy attacks against the U.S. senator, from floating that he's not as union friendly as he seems, to pointing out that he voted for legislation that exempted regulation of credit default swaps and derivatives.
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Hillary Clinton (left) had her campaign ready 'hits' against Sen. Bernie Sanders (right) between the first and second Democratic debate last year
The campaign was also looking for something that could damage Sanders reputation with Iowans, so Clinton could come strongly out of the gate, as the state holds the first presidential caucuses.
'Per HRC’s request, we are doing a deeper dive on Sanders’s agriculture record to see if there is anything that could be problematic to Iowa,' noted Carrk, referencing the first state where the Democrats would compete.
In the email explaining the documents to 12 different Clinton aides, including Podesta, Carrk includes 12 bullet points naming issue areas where Sanders could be weakened using his research.
For one, Sanders was viewed 'as a champion of labor unions,' Carrk writes, before noting how the Vermont senator accepted support from a company that had been involved in a 22-month labor dispute.
Sanders took $10,000 in contributions from American Crystal Sugar, while the company was trying to double employees' out-of-pocket health care costs.
At the same time, the company was lobbying members of congress to save a favorable sugar commodity program, which Sander voted for after taking the money, the documents said.
In another instance, Carrk pointed out to the Clinton staff that Sanders had voted for the controversial 1994 crime bill, which Bill Clinton signed into law.
Sanders' team had suggested they were going to use the crime bill against Hillary Clinton, even though she wasn't in office.
The email points out that Sanders voted for the bill, which many point to as the catalyst behind mass black male incarceration in the United States, and then spoke glowingly of it when running for the U.S. Senate in 2006.
Many of the attacks mentioned in the 'hits' documents were used by Clinton throughout her primary campaign.
She went after Sanders on the issue of guns, because he stood politically to the right of her.
Sanders was called out for not being consistently good on gay rights.
The Clintons, including even Chelsea Clinton, attacked Sanders' plan to swap out Obamacare for single-payer health insurance. 'His proposal would cost roughly $15 trillion. Vermont tried to implement a single payer plan but scrapped it because it would cost too much,' the email noted.
And while Sanders was fairly successful in portraying Clinton as a politician in bed with her Wall Street donors, her attack line against him was almost too wonky to work.
The email articulated how Sanders had voted for legislation – the Commodities Futures Modernization Act – that exempted the regulation of credit default swaps and derivatives.
'Sanders himself blamed the CFMA for Lehman’s bankruptcy. Sanders’s spokesperson said he voted for the bill because it was part of a larger bill that would have shut down the government had it not passed,' Carrk wrote.
Clinton tried bringing up that point several times at debates.
The email concluded with two broad takeaways: that Sanders was not being straight to the American people on his tax plan, nor on how much he will spend in the White House.
The Clinton campaign hoped to capitalize on Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, not sharing any reals details on how expensive his plans would be.
'Sen. Sanders has not told the American people how much he is going to raise taxes and who is going to pay for them. When confronted on details of his tax plan, he simply says "it’s coming,"' Carrk pointed out.
'Sen. Sanders has not told the American people how much his plans will cost and how he will pay for them. When asked for specifics, he demurs,' Carrk noted.
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