Washington: US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said on Sunday that American voters and superdelegates should take a hard look at the recent report criticising his rival Hillary Clinton for her controversial emailing practice while taking the helm at the US State Department.
“The inspector general just came out with a report. It was not a good report for Secretary Clinton. That is something that the American people, Democrats and delegates, are going to have to take a hard look at,” Xinhua news agency quoted Sanders as saying in an interview on CBS News’s Face the Nation aired on Sunday.
A report released by the State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) last week said Clinton, during her tenure as secretary of state under President Barack Obama, failed to comply with the department’s email rules by exclusively relying on a private email account and server for business.
The report provided new ammunition to Clinton’s critics to attack her for not being honest and trustworthy at a time when she is nearly clinching the Democratic Party’s nomination.
When asked about the effects of the OIG report, Sanders said he believed superdelegates would keep it in mind, referring to a group of about 700 Democratic party leaders who could vote for any candidate in the Democratic convention in July.
“I don’t have to tell them that. Everybody in America is keeping it in mind, and certainly the superdelegates are,” said the Vermont senator.
“The point that I’m going to make to the superdelegates, many of whom, again, came on board long before I was in the race, came on board Clinton’s campaign, is, your job to make sure that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly,” Sanders said, noting that he would be the strongest Democratic candidate to defeat Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, in the general election.
In another interview on NBC’s Meet the Press aired on Sunday, Sanders said his campaign will not necessarily be over if he does not win the California primary on June 7.
“Obviously, if we don’t do well in California, it will make our path much much harder. No question about it. But I think we have a good chance to win in California, maybe win big, and maybe win four or five of the other states that are off on June 7th,” he said.
Sanders has vowed to remain in the race even though Clinton has a large delegate lead, hoping that eventually he could go into the Democratic convention with a majority of pledged delegates.