WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday he wasn’t concerned about potential 2016 rival Hillary Clinton’s ongoing controversy surrounding her use of a private email account for official matters as secretary of state.
“What Hillary Clinton did with her email is, frankly, not one of the great issues I face,” the independent senator from Vermont told reporters at a news conference on Capitol Hill about upcoming budget negotiations.
Sanders, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, dismissed the issue as a media phenomenon that few regular Americans care about.
“There is great deal of interest on this subject from people in the media here on Capitol Hill. Not a whole lot of interest from people back home,” he said. “The people back home are precisely interested in what we’re talking about — how do you create a million jobs, how do you make college affordable, how do you make health care affordable?”
In a sign that the nine-day-old issue isn’t resonating with Democratic voters, none of the party’s 2016 presidential hopefuls have criticized Clinton, including former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal survey found that a whopping 86 percent of Democratic primary voters believe they could support her.
Clinton addressed the controversy at length for the first time on Tuesday after a speech to the United Nations conference on women. She said she decided to use only her private email out of “convenience” and insisted that she “fully complied with every rule” she was governed by.