Sanders under fire for supporter's 'whores' remarks

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Sanders Supporter Under Fire for 'Whores' Remark

NEW YORK -- Bernie Sanders' campaign is under fire again for comments made by a supporter at a campaign event, this time after a speaker at Sanders' massive Manhattan rally Wednesday night decried "corporate Democratic whores."

The speaker, health care activist Dr. Paul Song, quickly apologized. "I am very sorry for using the term 'whore' to refer to some in congress who are beholden to corporations and not us. It was insensitive," he wrote on Twitter.

But the comment, which came during the early pre-program at Sanders' near-record-breaking 27,000 person rally, nonetheless drew quick rebukes from Hillary Clinton supporters, some of whom viewed it as a sexist attack aimed at the former secretary of state.

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Sanders under fire for supporter's 'whores' remarks
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Attendees await the start of a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Attendees await the start of a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/WireImage)
Attendees hold signs in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, at a campaign event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Sanders stepped up his feud with General Electric Co., denouncing the manufacturer as 'greedy' and accusing Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt of not being truthful in responding to the attacks. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Natalia Plaza (L) and Suzanne Tufan, with their faces painted, wait for a campaign rally with U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York, New York April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
An attendee wears a t-shirt in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, at a campaign event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Sanders stepped up his feud with General Electric Co., denouncing the manufacturer as 'greedy' and accusing Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt of not being truthful in responding to the attacks. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee holds a sign in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, at a campaign event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Sanders stepped up his feud with General Electric Co., denouncing the manufacturer as 'greedy' and accusing Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt of not being truthful in responding to the attacks. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Rosario Dawson speaks onstage at a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Film director Spike Lee attends the Bernie Sanders rally in Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)
MANHATTAN, NY - APRIL 13: U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) campaigns at Washington Square Park in Manhattan, NY, on April 13, 2016. (Photo by Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses supporters at his campaign rally in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses supporters at his campaign rally in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign's communications director, called on Sanders to publicly denounce the remark. "Very distressing language to say the least," Palmieri wrote on Twitter, calling on Sanders to "disavow" the comment.

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Song, the executive chairman of the California-based Courage Campaign and the husband of journalist Lisa Ling, who supports Clinton, denies that he had Clinton in mind. "I have never said anything personal about her. Am deeply sorry for my poor choice of words. It was truly about congress," he added on Twitter.

The comment came in the context of Song calling for sweeping health care reform.

"Now Secretary Clinton has said that Medicare for all will never happen. Well, I agree with Secretary Clinton that Medicare for all will never happen if we have a president who never aspires for something greater than the status quo. Medicare for all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big pharma and the private insurance industry instead of us," he said from the stage of the Washington Square Park rally.

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It's hardly the first time a speaker at a Sanders event have created distractions. Actors Tim Robbins, Rosario Dawson, and Susan Sarandon have all been sources of controversy that threaten to overshadow Sanders' events.

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