Politico Magazine came under fire over the weekend for the images used for its profile of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Senior Sanders campaign adviser David Sirota and Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed the magazine for perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Can @politico explain to us how photoshopping money trees next to the only Jewish candidate for president and talking about how ‘cheap’ and rich he is *isn’t* antisemitic? Or are they just letting this happen because he’s a progressive politician they don’t like?”
Sirota, meanwhile, wrote, “So, @Politico deleted its wildly anti-semitic tweet, but it’s important for everyone to not forget this episode. At a moment when we have a president who called Nazis ‘very fine people,’ this newspaper promoted the ‘cheap Jew’ trope against that president’s opponent. Disgusting.”
The article, entitled “The Secret of Bernie’s Millions,” ran with images of Sanders in front of a tree made out of $100 bills and with homes for ears. At one point, as Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, it says Sanders “might still be cheap, but he’s sure not poor.”
The Anti-Defamation League weighed in, tweeting, “In this dangerous climate of rising #anti-Semitism, all media organizations have a responsibility to be careful not to perpetuate #anti-Semitic tropes, such as those about Jews and wealth.”
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Sanders over the weekend held his first home state rally of his 2020 campaign, telling a large crowd on the Vermont Statehouse lawn that his ideas that seemed radical to some in the last presidential election — such as health care for all and raising the minimum wage — are not so radical today.
Sanders on Saturday asked for support to help him to defeat President Donald Trump, who he called “the most dangerous president in the history of this country.”
“The principals of our government will be based on justice, economic justice, racial justice, social justice and environmental justice,” he told the cheering crowd. “Our campaign and our government is about bringing our people together, not dividing us.”
Sanders also said he is opposed to going to war with Iran as he was opposed to the Iraq War and the Vietnam War.
U.S. Rep. Peter Welch and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream co-founder Ben Cohen touted Sanders’ consistent message and his achievements in the state where the independent senator got his political start in a narrow victory in the mayor’s race in Vermont’s largest city of Burlington nearly 40 years ago.
Sanders was always for a higher minimum wage, equality, health care for all, and affordable, accessible and free higher education, said Welch, a Democrat.
“Bernie Sanders is a doer, he’s a healer, he’s a unifier and yes, he’s been consistent,” said Welch. “He’s been consistent in his friendships, he’s been consistent in his advocacy for Vermont and he has been consistent in his advocacy for the opportunities for all Americans and it is about time that we get a president of the United States who knows where he comes from and who he’s for.”
Sanders kicked off his previous presidential campaign in Vermont in 2015 but chose not to launch his 2020 run in his home state. He held his first campaign rally in Brooklyn in early March.
On Saturday, grammy-winning singer and songwriter Brandi Carlile performed.
Linda Grantham of Waterbury Center, Vermont, attended to see Sanders in person. “I like what he says but there’s so many,” she said of the more than 20 Democrats running. “I’ll be happy if any of them win.”
Taylor Miske Wood, of Barre, Vermont, said his prime concerns align with a lot of what Sanders addresses.
“He just sounds a lot more real and calm and addresses things that I want to hear about and want to see change in,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report