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Mitch Perry Report for 4.1.16 – Hillary Clinton’s Bob Dole moment

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Hillary Clinton had what I’m going to call her “Bob Dole moment” in the 2016 campaign Thursday in Purchase, New York, when she grew visibly angry when questioned by a Greenpeace activist about donations to her campaign from the fossil fuel industry.

The activist, Eva Resnick-Day, asked Clinton whether she would reject fossil fuel money in the future.

“I am so sick – I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I’m sick of it!”

Well, alright then.

It was sort of like 1988 New Hampshire all over again, when a very pissed off Bob Dole said about George H.W. Bush – “Stop lying about my record!”

The Sanders campaign fired back hours later.

“The truth is that Secretary Clinton has relied heavily on funds from lobbyists working for the oil, gas and coal industry,” said spokesman Michael Briggs. “According to an analysis by Greenpeace, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and her super PAC have received more than $4.5 million from the fossil fuel industry. In fact, 57 oil, gas and coal industry lobbyists have directly contributed to Clinton’s campaign, with 43 of them contributing the maximum allowed for the primary. Eleven of those 53 lobbyists are working as bundlers and have raised over $1.1 million in bundled contributions between them.”

The Clinton folks seem to be increasingly sensitive, but about what, exactly? As Hillary boasted yesterday after being interrupted by some Sanders activists, she’s received more than 2 million more votes than the Vermont Senator during this election cycle, and is still considered the strong front-runner to win the nomination for president.

At a different rally yesterday, actress Rosario Dawson, now on the “Feel the Bern” bandwagon, slammed Clinton for implying that Sanders didn’t care about women’s issues because of his response to Donald Trump‘s suggestion that women should be punished for getting illegal abortions. He called the proposal, which Trump later reversed, “shameful.”

“Shame on you, Hillary,” Dawson said, before correcting herself.

“Oh sorry hold on, let me watch my tone. Because we very much want a debate, which she already agreed to.” That was a dig at Clinton pollster Joel Benenson‘s laugh-out-loud comment on CNN on Monday, when he said, “Sanders doesn’t get to decide when we debate, particularly when he’s running a negative campaign against us. Let’s see if he goes back to the kind of tone he said he was going to set early on. If he does that, then we’ll talk about debates.”

I get the increasing friction between Sanders and Clinton supporters. It’s still is nowhere near the toxic level of the Obama-Clinton battle in ’08, but it’s getting close.

But really, what is Sanders saying that’s so negative? It is getting a bit redundant to hear him slam her for her $250,000 speeches to Wall Street firms, and his lame jokes about how incredible a speech it might have been. But hell, Bernie repeats himself a lot – Marco Rubio wasn’t the only candidate on the trail to be guilty of that offense.

In other news …

There is statistical information that a Texas law that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital has forced more than 100,000 women to have self-induced abortions there. While the U.S. Supreme Court reviews that law, the Florida Legislature just passed a similar measure.  Planned Parenthood is extremely concerned.

• • •

The #NeverTrump bandwagon just got more ammunition after UVA poli sci professor Larry Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” predictions project an electoral landslide if the presidential election were to take place today (for what it’s worth).

• • •

Marco Rubio wants the feds to scrutinize a potential Chinese company’s investment in the U.S. food supply.

• • •

And a poll of more than 2,500 Floridians shows that 62 percent support a pathway to legal citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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