Rashida Tlaib walks back boos aimed at Hillary Clinton at event for Sanders campaign
Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib walked back her actions after a viral moment showed her joining a crowd in booing Hillary Clinton during an event for 2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.
A top political surrogate for the Vermont senator, Tlaib posted a string of tweets on Saturday, apologizing for letting her “disappointment” in the former secretary of state get the best of her.
“I allowed my disappointment with Secretary Clinton’s latest comments about Senator Sanders and his supporters get the best of me,” Tlaib said. “You all, my sisters-in-service on stage, and our movement deserve better.”
The boos came after the moderator brought up recent critical comments of Sanders that Clinton levied in her new Hulu documentary, where she suggested that “nobody likes him,” referring to members of Congress.
Tlaib was joined at the Clive, Iowa, rally by her colleagues — who have also endorsed Sanders — Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who traveled to the Hawkeye state on Friday to participate in a panel discussion ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
Dionna Langford, the former director of the Des Moines school board and the panel’s moderator, attempted to settle the crowd, asking them to stay “classy” and not boo.
However, Tlaib instead insisted, “No, no, I’ll boo,” and proceeded do just that.
“You all know I can’t be quiet. No. We’re going to boo,” she said. “That’s all right. The haters will shut up on Monday when we win.”
The moment evoked a round of raucous laughter and cheers from the crowd — shining more of a spotlight on the incident.
In her Saturday morning tweets, she explained that her actions were a result of the protectiveness she feels of the Sanders campaign, and the movement they have created.
“I am so incredibly in love with the movement that our campaign of #NotMeUs has created,” Tlaib wrote, “This makes me protective over it and frustrated by attempts to dismiss the strength and diversity of our movement.”
She added, “I know what is at stake if we don’t unify over one candidate to beat [President Donald] Trump and I intend to do everything possible to ensure that Trump does not win in 2020.”
Tlaib said she would rather “strive to come from a place of love,” than react again with negativity.
Her actions follow several self-inflicted wounds created by Sanders’ campaign surrogates and supporters.
Two weeks ago, Sanders apologized for a surrogate’s op-ed that labeled Joe Biden as “corrupt,” and earlier in January he was quick to distance himself from talking points distributed to volunteers who were instructed to paint Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a candidate of the elite.
Sanders has yet to comment on Tlaib’s actions.
But the recent controversies come as Sanders gains traction in the polls.
In a recent New York Times Upshot/Siena College, Sanders leads his competition with 25% of the vote of likely Democratic caucus-goers, compared to former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg who polls at 18%, former Vice President Joe Biden, who came in at 17%, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who comes in at 15%.
According to a Monmouth University poll out of Iowa released on Wednesday, Sanders is also neck and neck with Biden, who have 21%, and 23%, respectively among likely Democratic caucus-goers.
During an interview on the “Your Primary Playlist” podcast on Friday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again criticized Sanders for, in her view, not rallying his supporters behind her after she became the Democratic nominee in the 2016 election.
She said she didn’t expect the reaction to her “nobody likes him” comments, as they were made over a year before the documentary was released. Still, she pressed that his campaign and supporters were “very difficult” during the last election.
“His campaign and his principle supporters were just very difficult and really constantly not just attacking me, but attacking my supporters,” Clinton said, later adding “It’s unthinkable to me that any caring, smart, concerned American citizen who considers him or herself on the left of our politics would want to see four more years of this kind of very destructive presidency.”
But when asked last week if she would support Sanders if he clinched the nomination, Clinton said on Twitter she would do whatever she could to support the Democratic nominee.
“I thought everyone wanted my authentic, unvarnished views!” Clinton wrote on Jan. 21. “But to be serious, the number one priority for our country and world is retiring Trump, and, as I always have, I will do whatever I can to support our nominee.”
ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan contributed to this report.