Sanders, during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said “the Clinton people” were pursuing a similar strategy with him to the one they followed with President Obama in 2008 when Clinton and Obama were competing for the Democratic nomination
“If you go back to 2008, this is exactly what the Clinton people were doing to Senator Barack Obama,” Sanders said. “They were attacking him. He didn’t have the experience, etcetera, etcetera. I am absolutely confident that if elected president, we will have a very strong foreign policy for the American people.”
Addressing the same issue during a separate appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sanders said he has been impressed with Obama’s foreign policy. He also dismissed the notion that he is less sure-footed on foreign policy than on economic issues as “a media narrative that goes around and around and around.”
Sanders’s comments come in the wake of some critical reviews of his performance on foreign policy in Thursday’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire and a stinging assessment Saturday by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright.
Albright, a vocal Clinton supporter, told NBC that she has “been very concerned about [Sanders’s] lack of knowledge” and questioned his attendance at foreign policy briefings on Capitol Hill.
“I have been to briefing after briefing after briefing,” Sanders said Sunday on “Meet the Press.” He said part of a recent meeting he had with Obama at the White House was also devoted to foreign policy, including the situation in Iran.
Sanders acknowledged, as he has before, that Clinton has more foreign policy experience than he does. But he suggested he has better judgment, pointing to his vote against the Iraq War in 2002. Clinton, as a New York senator, voted to authorize force, which she has since said was a mistake. The Clinton campaign has criticized Sanders’s campaign for dwelling on that vote when asked about his prescriptions for the Middle East and combating the Islamic State terrorist organization.
In a response to a question from host Chuck Todd, Sanders also named a couple of people and organizations with whom he’s met recently on foreign policy, including J Street, a liberal pro-Israel advocacy group.
During his appearances on “Face the Nation,” and also one on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sanders said it would ultimately be up to Clinton to decide whether to release transcripts of paid speeches she gave to private companies and organizations before she launched her presidential bid.
Sanders has been critical of Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs, which paid her $675,000 for a series of three speeches.
“I think it would be a positive thing for the American people to know what was said behind closed doors to Wall Street, but ultimately that is her decision,” Sanders said.