Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has
questioned Hillary Clinton's praise for Nancy Reagan as a leader in
the early years of the AIDS pandemic.
“I just don't know what she was
talking about,” Sanders said during an appearance Sunday on CNN's
State of the Union.
During an interview Friday with MSNBC
at Nancy Reagan's funeral, Clinton praised the former first lady's
“very effective, low-key advocacy.”
“Because of both president and Mrs
Reagan, in particular Mrs Reagan, we started a national conversation
when before nobody would talk about it,” Clinton said.
Clinton owned the mistake, saying on
Twitter that she had “misspoken” about the Reagans' record on HIV
and AIDS. “For that, I'm sorry,” she wrote.
“In fact, that was a very tragic
moment in modern American history,” Sanders said Sunday. “There
were many, many people who were dying of AIDS. And in fact there was
demand all over the country for President Reagan to start talking
about this tragedy, and yet he refused to talk about it.”
Clinton offered a lengthier apology on
Saturday, writing that she had said “something inaccurate when
speaking about the Reagans' record on HIV and AIDS.”
“To be clear, the Reagans did not
start a national conversation about HIV and AIDS. That distinction
belongs to generations of brave lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people, along with straight allies, who started not just
a conversation but a movement that continues to this day,” she
“I'm glad [Clinton] apologized,”
Sander said, “but the truth is it was not President Reagan and
Nancy Reagan who were leaders … quite the contrary … they didn't
get involved in it.”