Update: Sanders clarified his remarks on Friday during the "Today" show on NBC. When asked whether Secretary Clinton was qualified for the presidency, Sanders responded, "of course."
"On her worst day she would be infinitely better than any of the Republican candidates," he continued.
This will hopefully put all the talks of negativity to rest, and both campaigns can get back to focusing on the issues.
With the major, must-win state of New York approaching steadily, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have taken the gloves off and are gearing up for a battle.
After Clinton and her surrogates put out hit piece after hit piece on Sanders (questioning whether he was a Democrat, linking him to the Sandy Hook deaths, declaring he knew nothing about breaking up big banks or foreign policy after a hatchet job disguised as an interview) Sanders decided to tackle the accusations head-on.
A patronizing Washington Post headline read “Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president,” to which Sanders responded at a Philadelphia rally.
“[Clinton] has been saying lately that she thinks I am quote-un-quote not qualified to be president," Sanders told the crowd. “Let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton, I don’t believe that she is qualified if she is through her Super PAC taking tens of millions of dollars in special-interest money. I don’t think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC.
“I don’t think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don’t think you are qualified if you’ve supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement which has cost us millions of decent paying jobs," he continued.
In response, Clinton supporters on Twitter created #HillarySoQualified to demonstrate the ways in which they believed she was qualified to be president. However, it was hijacked shortly by Sanders supporters who pointed out the myriad of ways in which Clinton is unqualified to be president.
#HillarySoQualifed because she's the first candidate to run while being investigated by the FBI— King Kake (@IamBlac_Kake) April 7, 2016
#HillarySoQualifed ...because she knows how to charge $250,000 per campus speech and, at the same time rail on that college is too costly!— Incontemptible (@7kidchaos) April 7, 2016
#HillarySoQualifed She only takes a stance for something when is political advantageous for her political career.— Francisco Gomez (@Franci5coGomez) April 7, 2016
#HillarySoQualifed she can't be bothered with concern for children killed in drone strikes in Libya, the country she led invasion of.— Lisa Vikingstad (@LisaVikingstad) April 7, 2016
The FBI investigation, millions of dollars from corporate donors, complete inability to remain consistent on an issue, votes for the Iraq war and Wall Street bailout, and previous support for segregationist Barry Goldwater were only a few reasons the Sanders fans pointed out as the hashtag continued from Wednesday well into Thursday.
The same situation happened earlier this year when Clinton touted herself as a progressive and the hashtag "Hillary So Progressive" popped up, as Twitter users outlined her centrist, sometimes regressive takes on policy issues.
This social media war is only a small taste of what will be coming in the next few weeks as the heat turns up from both sides going into New York.
Banner Image Credit: Flickr, Mark Nozell