The senior campaign adviser for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) admitted this week that the lawmaker and Democratic presidential hopeful fell flat at the “She the People” forum, where he repeatedly sidestepped questions about issues impacting women of color.
Nina Turner appeared on Sunday’s edition of MSNBC’s AM Joy and joined co-panelists Marcus Ferrell, an ex-Sanders campaign adviser, and MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson in discussing last week’s train wreck of an event.
Sanders, who entered the race for president back in February, faced boos and jeers from forum attendees who took issue with him dodging specific questions about racial minorities. An audience member had asked Sanders how he would address the rise of white supremacist violence as president, to which the senator responded with a ramble about health care.
Bernie Sanders was asked by a woman of color in the audience what he would do about the rise of white supremacist violence as President.
Instead he started talking about minimum wage and Medicare For All.
The audience claps when the moderator clocks him.
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) April 24, 2019
After blowing it on several questions asking for specifics, Sanders brought up the fact that he marched once alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., drawing audible groans from the crowd.
Last week, Turner criticized attendees of the Black women’s forum for having the gall to heckle and boo a “hero” who marched with civil rights icons.
“In what world do people boo that?!” she said at a rally in Fort Worth, Texas.
— Tormund XtopHodor, First of His Name (@tommyxtopher) April 25, 2019
On Sunday, Turner faced more criticism, however, said she wished the senator would’ve better “articulated” his thoughts.
“He has, and he does … and certainly I wish he had articulated those things in a deeper way,” Turner, a former Ohio state senator, replied after host Joy Reid asked why Sanders seemed ill-prepared to answer specific questions about issues that are important to Black women.
Her answer did not seem to satisfy Reid, who pointed out that Sanders had barely answered any of the questions at all. Turner responded by citing the positive impacts of Sanders’ policies on Black women voters and added that, on the campaign trail, Sanders “talks about more black doctors, [and] more black dentists.”
“For him, I think in terms of pivotal moments in him life that really led him to be a champion for justice, it was being at the March on Washington,” she continued. “So the opportunity to wrap that into a larger vision for Black women …”
“With all due respect, Nina,” Reid butted in, “in the moment when he could have articulated that in front of black women, if that is the case, and he has this larger vision to wrap around, why didn’t he just do that?”
Turner said she was unsure what was happening with Sanders in that moment but said she’s seen that he’s committed to issues affecting minorities.
“[Sanders] does have a larger vision, and being able to take what was a pivotal moment in his life, and then connect that to why he has been such a justice warrior, that would have been certainly the moment to do that,” she said.
Watch more in the video below.