February 23, 2016
Dear Senator Sanders,
I’m writing today to urge that you and your campaign immediately halt all negative campaigning against our party’s prospective candidate for the Presidency, Secretary Hillary Clinton.
After first pledging to wage a positive campaign for President, you and your campaign have for weeks now engaged in a relentlessly ugly barrage of false character attacks against Mrs. Clinton, including running negative TV advertising of the sort you promised you never would.
Following the Nevada caucuses, you had the opportunity to live up to the self-professed ideals of your own campaign by delivering an aspirational message of systemic change, but instead you chose to ramp up spurious negative attacks against the winner of those caucuses.
These attacks –- ranging from baseless insinuations that Mrs. Clinton is somehow compromised in her ability to support meaningful reform in the financial sector, when her record shows the opposite, to unfairly impugning her reputation as a true progressive, despite her 40 years of committed, passionate advocacy – must cease.
Your continued suggestions that Mrs. Clinton is untrustworthy and even corrupt – when nothing could be further from the truth – are a threat to our party’s standing, up and down the November ballot.
With Mrs. Clinton now universally recognized as the leading candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, at this juncture, by staying negative, all you are doing is helping Karl Rove and his ilk do their general election dirty work. In fact, Rove and his wealthy right-wing backers have already spent millions of dollars echoing the smears you and your campaign have unfortunately directed at Mrs. Clinton.
Senator Sanders, I speak for many Clinton supporters in applauding you for raising important issues in this campaign and for helping to engage a new generation of Democratic voters. You and Mrs. Clinton agree on many priorities and goals, and the comparing and contrasting of your respective policies and programs has spurred a robust, healthy debate about how to achieve those critical aims. You can play a constructive role in the party by continuing this substantive dialogue and staying positive for the duration of your campaign.
You and I both know that the stakes for our country are just too high this November – with the Presidency, and control of the Senate and the Supreme Court hanging in the balance – for you to continue to spend your energy and resources on destructive attacks that stand to hurt all Democrats.