CNN Corners Jane Sanders: ‘Was Hillary Clinton Playing the Women Card’ on Bernie?


A few months back, Hillary Clinton pointed out the sexist undertones of an exchange she had with Bernie Sanders at a debate, and on Friday morning, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota revived the incident to set a clever trap for prospective First Lady Jane Sanders. Camerota first asked Mrs. Sanders to respond to Donald Trump’s assertion that Hillary is “playing the women card,” to which Sanders of course responded to with a defense of Hillary. When Camerota followed up by asking about that debate exchange, in which Bernie accused gun reform advocates of “shouting” about gun control, Mrs. Sanders quickly had to pump the brakes:

Camerota: So when she says that calling shouting is like, you know, a dog whistle for a sexist term, was she playing the woman card?

Jane Sanders: You know, I’m not going to get into that. The fact is that everybody uses different strategies. I don’t agree with some of Secretary Clinton’s stances or strategies. I’m not going to comment on those, though.


The Sanders defense, that he says “shouting” all the time on the campaign trail, ignores the fact that the most prominent activists on the front lines of the gun control movement are, in fact, women, and also that when he said it at that debate, he was, in fact, speaking to Hillary Clinton just after she had rather emphatically made a point by raising the volume of her voice. Here’s the full exchange:

Just because you say something all the time doesn’t remove its connotation in every context, and where Camerota errs is in calling this a “dog whistle,” because this kind of sexist language isn’t about intentional messaging, it’s about ingrained attitudes. I don’t hear anyone complaining about Bernie Sanders “shouting” about millionaires and billionaires, or Donald Trump “shouting” about everything, because when people want to make a point, sometimes they raise their voices.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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