Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ignited social media when he referenced Sen. Bernie Sanders’ hardline supporters.
The former vice president reportedly warned of “an increasingly negative campaign” he expects in the coming months during a phone address to donors on Friday, Politico reported.
Biden urged Democrats not to let the primary race become a “bloodbath” but predicted strong opposition, pointing out aggressive Sanders’ supporters known as “Bernie Bros,” though Biden reportedly called them “Bernie Brothers” instead.
“What we can’t let happen is let this primary become a negative bloodbath,” he told the donors who were reportedly meeting at a private home in Bethesda.
“I know I’m going to get a lot of suggestions on how to respond to what I suspect will be an increasingly negative campaign that the Bernie brothers will run,” he added. “But we can’t tear this Party apart and reelect Trump. We have to keep our eyes on the ball, in my view.”
The remarks set off social media where “Bernie Brothers” started to trend on Twitter where the formality of Biden’s comment sparked countless comments.
looolloloool it’s been a long, awful week but the full spelling out of “Bernie Brothers” by Biden is what finally broke me https://t.co/W081T6az3B
— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) March 7, 2020
“Bernie Brothers” sounds like the title characters in a Double Dragon-style beat ‘em up. https://t.co/he1LpzqJaK
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) March 7, 2020
My name is Peter.
I’m fighting for the kids in cages and people without healthcare.
I stand with #NotMeUs.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) March 7, 2020
I used to get all my new suits from Bernie Brothers https://t.co/ywuH2ZY1O8
— Lon Harris (@Lons) March 7, 2020
Some Twitter users suggested the term could be printed on T-shirts and Biden aide Andrew Bates posted an image of the Democrat hopeful with the caption, “Deal with it.”
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) March 7, 2020
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who dropped out of the Democratic primary race this week, addressed the online bullying by Sanders supporters during an MSNBC interview.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren went directly to Bernie Sanders & addressed the bullying behavior of his supporters. Cantankerous Sanders is tone deaf & obstinate, particularly when it comes to any constructive criticism of him or his presidential campaign. #Maddow pic.twitter.com/u5EBkYL76K
— Stephanie Kennedy (@WordswithSteph) March 6, 2020
“It’s not just about me,” Warren told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow after suspending her 2020 campaign. “I think that’s a real problem with this online bullying and sort of organized nastiness. … I’m talking about some really ugly stuff that went on.”
She went on to recount the online harassment of union leaders in Nevada before that state’s caucuses last month as the issue of Medicare-for-all was challenged.
“They didn’t just disagree,” she said. “They actually published the phone numbers and home addresses of the two women, immigrant women, and really put them in fear for their families.”
Sanders was asked to disavow the “Bernie bro behavior” of his supporters during a CNN town hall last month.
“I will condemn, absolutely anybody, including my campaign or any other campaign, that makes vicious personal attacks against people. What our people are involved in, we are a campaign which believes in compassion, which believes in justice,” the Vermont lawmaker responded to an audience question about the infamous behavior.
Sanders countered, however, that the problem of online bullying by supporters was not just limited to his own campaign as he called the internet the “wild west.” Former opponent Michael Bloomberg addressed the issue in a campaign advertisement last month before he dropped out of the race and Biden has previously called on Sanders to “take accountability” for the behavior of his supporters.
Biden calls for Bernie to babysit his supporters better https://t.co/xXMNXaD62h
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 16, 2020
“You know me well enough to know if any of my supporters did that, I’d disown them. Flat disown them,” Biden told NBC host Chuck Todd at the time.
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