Hillary Clinton Blames Bernie Sanders for 2016 Election Defeat in New Book

Hillary Clinton's new book about the 2016 election, What Happened, isn't set to be released until September 12, but a number of excerpts from it have recently been made public by people who received advanced copies. On Monday night, the founder of CauseWired, Tom Watson, tweeted a page that contains some of Clinton's views on Senator Bernie Sanders, his impact on her campaign and the election more generally. 

In the passage Watson shared, Clinton seemed to blame Sanders for many people viewing her as too cozy with Wall Street. 

"Because we agreed on so much, Bernie couldn’t make an argument against me in this area on policy, so he had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character," Clinton wrote. "When I finally challenged Bernie during a debate to name a single time I changed a position or a vote because of a financial contribution, he couldn’t come up with anything. Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign."

Clinton also discussed the fact Sanders isn't a Democrat, something he has openly acknowledged on several occasions despite of running for president as a Democratic candidate, and used this to characterize him as a disrupter. 

"[Sanders] didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party," she wrote. 

The former secretary of state is evidently frustrated about Sanders's effect on the election and seems to have ongoing questions about his motives for running. 

With that said, Clinton applauded Sanders for mobilizing young people and getting them excited about politics, and said he was right to say Democrats need to spend more time focusing on working families.

But, in the end, Clinton thinks Sanders "was fundamentally wrong" about the Democratic Party and wishes he was a "proud Democrat" like her. 

Whether Clinton is correct to at least partially blame Sanders for her ultimate defeat in the general election is open to debate, but it's hard to point to any single factor for the result of the 2016 election. It was a complex, unpredictable affair that will likely be analyzed for many years to come. 

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