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Politico: EMILY’s List throws elbow at Sanders

April 13, 2016

Politico: EMILY's List throws elbow at Sanders

By Gabriel Debenedetti

Bernie Sanders has touted his 100-percent rating from liberal groups — including abortion-rights organizations — on the campaign trail in 2016. But EMILY’s List ripped him on Wednesday anyway.

Shortly after the presidential candidate started sending out fundraising emails on behalf of three House candidates on Wednesday morning, the group that supports pro-choice Democratic women candidates — which is an active supporter of Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ primary opponent — took issue with how it’s portrayed in one of the missives.

Shortly after the presidential candidate started sending out fundraising emails on behalf of three House candidates on Wednesday morning, the group that supports Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights — which is an active supporter of Hillary Clinton — took issue with how it’s portrayed in one of the missives.

In his email for Lucy Flores, a House candidate in Nevada, Sanders writes that her story “will probably anger you, but hopefully, it will also inspire you to take action in support of” Flores. The Vermont senator writes that EMILY’s List endorsed Flores when she ran in 2014, calling her an “inspiring community leader.” But, he said, that changed in the 2016 cycle: “But then Lucy Flores endorsed our political revolution before the Nevada caucus, and everything changed. EMILY’s List decided to endorse a different person in Lucy’s House race this time around. So I want to support Lucy like she’s supported us, because we stand together,” writes Sanders.

But EMILY’s List does, in fact, back some candidates who have endorsed Sanders. And that includes Pramila Jayapal, a House candidate in Washington who also got a round of fundraising emails from Sanders on Monday — though with a message that didn’t mention EMILY’s List. The group also backs Vermont gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter, another Sanders supporter.

“Bernie Sanders believes the political revolution is built by calling women leaders ‘unqualified’ and calling abortion a ‘social issue.’ So it’s not surprising at all that he doesn’t get what we do and has resorted to these false, disingenuous attacks,” said Marcy Stech, the group’s communications director. “Perhaps if Sanders stuck to issues, not insults, he’d realize that electing pro-Democratic women is, in fact, revolutionary. The key difference is, we don’t just talk about it — we know how to get it done.”

While it operates independently of the campaign, EMILY’s List is very close to Clinton — its president, Stephanie Schriock, has been an active campaign surrogate, and Anne Caprara, a former EMILY’s List official, is now the executive director of Priorities USA Action, the main pro-Clinton super PAC. The group hosted former President Bill Clinton at its gala in Washington on Tuesday night.