WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., among the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, said a Politico story on his wealth that called him “cheap” was anti-Semitic.
“Call that what it is, an anti-Semitic article,” Sanders said Saturday in an interview with the progressive political online show, “The Young Turks.”
One of the show’s hosts, Cenk Uygur, ask Sanders what he thought of the negative media coverage he gets and cited last week’s Politico article. The Hill reported the exchange on Monday.
The article carried a headline reading “The Secret of Bernie’s Millions” and suggested his socialist politics were at odds with his personal wealth. It includes an illustration of Sanders next to a tree whose leaves are $100 bills.
Politico drew condemnation for the article from Sanders’ fellow Democrats and from the Anti-Defamation League, and for a since-deleted tweet that said: “Bernie might still be cheap, but he’s not poor.” Politico deleted and apologized for the tweet, but did not offer an explanation.
Sanders was more measured in addressing another controversy earlier this year, when a Democratic freshman, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said that support for Israel in Congress was driven by campaign donations. He defended Omar against some of the Republican attacks on her as anti-Semitic but also told Fox News Channel, “I think that Ilhan has got to do maybe a better job in speaking to the Jewish community.”
Sanders in 2016 ran in the Democratic primary and was the first Jewish candidate to win major-party nominating contests, although he lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton.
This year, he and former Vice President Joe Biden are leading a crowded field of candidates.