Former President Barack Obama was criticized for making partisan comments at Rep. John Lewis’ funeral. However, less noticed was former President Bill Clinton’s decision to take a shot at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during his eulogy for Lewis.
Clinton began his speech by mentioning other dignitaries in attendance, saying, “I thank President and Mrs. Bush, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, thank you and Rep. Hoyer.”
Clinton praises Clyburn for endorsing Biden over Sanders
“And Rep. Clyburn,” the former president continued, adding after a long pause, “who I really thank, for with the stroke of a hand — ending an intra-family fight within our party, proving that peace is needed by everyone.” Watch below:
That was a reference to how Clyburn gave former Vice President Joe Biden his endorsement ahead of the South Carolina primary contest.
“I’ve known for a long time who I was going to vote for,” NPR quoted Clyburn as saying in late February. “I’m voting for Joe Biden. South Carolinians should be voting for Joe Biden.”
“We know Joe,” the veteran congressman said in a campaign video that also referenced his late wife. “But more importantly, he knows us. We often talked about the leadership of this country, and there is nobody who Emily loved as a leader in this country more than she loved Joe Biden.”
Frustration among Sanders supporters
Those words were considered by political observers to be a critical factor in Biden’s South Carolina victory, something that led to a sharp turn-around for his previously flagging campaign. Shortly thereafter, other Democratic contenders proceeded to drop out and throw their weight behind the former vice president, allowing him to ultimately squeeze Sanders out of the race.
Sanders was perceived by many in the party to be too radical to be elected in the general election, which likely explains Clinton’s gratitude to Clyburn for his role in eliminating the self-described socialist.
However, not everyone in the party shares this sentiment, and there are indications that Sanders’ supporters may not show up for the party on election day.
“If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination or it goes to a second ballot at the DNC convention, f–king Milwaukee will burn,” Jurek can be heard saying.