Bernie Sanders jokes that in Senate, ‘we starve little children’ on Sarah Silverman show
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., attends a press conference on July 24, 2018 in Washington. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis, Getty Images)
WASHINGTON – Sen. Bernie Sanders is taking heat for a joke he made during an interview with comedian Sarah Silverman.
During an episode of her Hulu show, “I Love You, America,” Silverman met with the 77-year-old Vermont independent she calls “the voice of the Millennial generation” in his Senate office in Washington.
After Silverman yelled, “Bernie!” as the senator entered, Sanders urged her to tone it down.
“This is in the United States Senate,” he said. “We do things very calmly.”
Later, Sanders continued: “And we can’t even use dirty words. This is the United States Senate. We just starve little children. We go bomb houses and buses of children. And we give tax breaks to billionaires, but we don’t use dirty words.”
A Fox News panel on “America’s Newsroom” weighed in on what an anchor characterized as Sanders “slamming America.”
“You know, he was kind of joking here but it shows also what he thinks,” said Chris Bedford, editor in chief of conservative site The Daily Caller. Bedford inferred that Sanders’ crack was a reference to an incident in Yemen last month in which a coalition led by American ally Saudi Arabia bombed a bus, killing about 40 children.
Bedford said that situation in Yemen was “serious” and that the conflict there shows “how just and how careful the United States is when we conduct any kind of operations.”
Washington Post reporter Philip Bump said while Sanders was clearly joking, he has become the “voice of the fast left” and cautioned that “those sorts of jokes are going to land a lot differently now than they would have three years ago simply by virtue of his heightened position.”
“Joking or not, it’s these kinds of statements that I think are damaging to the Democratic Party and people point to and say, ‘This is why we don’t believe the Democrats are supportive of America,” said Capri Cafaro, a former Democratic member of the Ohio Senate. “It’s an easy soundbite to point to.”
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Many Sanders’ devotees, for their part, were more upset that the senator met with Silverman, who said his followers who did not plan to vote for Hillary Clinton were “being ridiculous” at the 2016 Democratic Convention.
Sanders did not seem to see anything wrong with his joke, encouraging Twitter users to watch the full video in a post on Monday.
I sat down with my friend @SarahKSilverman to explain what democratic socialism means to me. Watch the full interview here: https://t.co/F7Y6yvg166pic.twitter.com/nmXLAIV020
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