After months of taking hits for not disclosing the identity of the foreign policy expert advising him, Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders said today his go-to person is former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
“Secretary Clinton has been an invaluable member of my team,” says Sanders, senator of Vermont who’s been surging in the polls since winning the New Hampshire primary. “She has shared her experience to help me understand the nuances of Middle East politics, South Asia power struggles, and the challenges of keeping Russian aggression in check.”
Clinton was secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term and is now running for the Democratic nomination for president.
Sanders has been criticized for putting little emphasis on foreign policy, and during the last Democratic debate, in Milwaukee, Clinton accused him of sidestepping requests to identify his foreign policy advisors. “Who are your advisors?” she asked during the debate.
To that question, Sanders said, “Well, it ain’t Henry Kissinger.”
The remark refers to a point made earlier in the debate about Clinton consulting with Henry Kissinger, secretary of state during the Nixon administration, on foreign policy matters. Many people blame Kissinger for escalating the war in Vietnam.
Now, with Clinton identified as his chief foreign policy advisor, the Sanders camp is hoping to end charges that he’s light on foreign policy. “No one can doubt that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has the expertise and the experience to be a top advisor to Sen. Sanders on all the important global issues,” says Sanders campaign spokesperson Deb Learner. “It’s clear Sen. Sanders takes foreign policy seriously and he has the best in the business on his team.”
Clinton, after learning she was his advisor, agreed his lack of attention to foreign policy should be put to rest. “Without a doubt I am one of the best advisors he could have, so we really should put this issue behind us,” she says. “That said, I still believe I have the better experience and insight on foreign policy. I think we can agree to that.”
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