Sen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur on Friday, less than 24 hours after making it, as allegations of sexism hit the former online talk show host.
.@cenkuygur has been a longtime fighter against corruption. However, our movement is bigger than any one person. I hear my supporters who were frustrated and understand their concerns. Cenk today said he is rejecting all endorsements for his campaign and I retract my endorsement.
Last month, Uygur announced he would run for the congressional seat in California’s 25th district vacated by California Democrat Katie Hill, who resigned after “revenge porn” photos revealed she had an affair with a subordinate.
On Thursday, Sanders became the only presidential candidate to endorse Uygur, whose YouTube program "The Young Turks” has nearly 30,000 subscribers.
"I'm endorsing Cenk because I know he will serve ordinary people, not powerful special interests. He is a voice that we desperately need in Congress and will be a great representative for CA-25 and the country," Sanders was quoted as saying in news release put out by Uygur's campaign.
With the attention Sanders’s endorsement generated, controversy followed. Critics pointed to Uygur’s long history of inflammatory comments.
“California Women's List is disappointed in Senator Sanders’ endorsement of Cenk Uygur, a candidate who has repeatedly used misogynistic, racist, and homophobic language,” Emily Zahn, board president of California Women’s List, told The Daily Beast. “This endorsement appears to go against Senator Sanders' platform and role as a leader in the progressive movement.”
There are no shortage of examples of Uygur’s disparaging remarks about women.
"Obviously, the genes of women are flawed," he wrote in a 1999 post online."They are poorly designed creatures who do not want to have sex nearly as often as needed for the human race to get along peaceably and fruitfully."
“There must be orgasm by the fifth date,” Uygur said in a 2002 post about the “rules of dating.”
Bernie Sanders through the years
Bernie Sanders through the years
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during an event in Iowa Falls, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. With a week to go until the Iowa caucuses and the Democratic presidential race there in a virtual dead heat, Hillary Clinton and Sanders are mapping out divergent paths toward winning the first votes of the nomination process. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Washington, UNITED STATES: Newly-elected senators meet with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (R), D-NV, in Washington, DC 13 November 2006. From left are: Senator-elect James Webb, D-VA, Senator-elect Bernie Sanders, I-VT, Senator-elect Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, and Reid. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
US Congressman Elliot Engel (L) takes pictures next to US Senator Bernie Sanders after being dressed as Bouale leaders by public notaries of the Kouadioyaokro village, 150 km from Abidjan, 09 November 2008. US Senators Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders visit comes ahead of a July 2008 certification deadline to ensure cocoa heading to the United States -- the third largest importer of Ivorian cocoa -- has not been produced with child labour. AFP PHOTO/ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - APRIL 25: Potential Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (R) (I-VT) delivers remarks at the South Carolina Democratic Party state convention April 25, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Sanders joined former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Sen. Lincoln Chafee in speaking to the convention. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in a 'Don't Trade Our Future' march organized by the group Campaign for America's Future April 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. The event was part of the Populism 2015 Conference which is conducting their conference with the theme 'Building a Movement for People and the Planet.'
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, greets supporters during a campaign rally in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Sanders said he had attracted 200,000 donors as of mid-June and his campaign had raised $8.3 million online through June 17, according to FEC filings by ActBlue, the fundraising platform that he and some other left-leaning candidates and causes use. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 6: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Cross Insurance Arena while campaigning in the Democratic presidential primary. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Supporters hold up signs at a campaign rally for Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Sanders said he had attracted 200,000 donors as of mid-June and his campaign had raised $8.3 million online through June 17, according to FEC filings by ActBlue, the fundraising platform that he and some other left-leaning candidates and causes use. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 6: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Cross Insurance Arena while campaigning in the Democratic presidential primary. Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters after speaking in Portland. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 18: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to the crowd at the Phoenix Convention Center July 18, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Democratic presidential candidate spoke on his central issues of income inequality, job creation, controlling climate change, quality affordable education and getting big money out of politics, to more than 11,000 people attending. (Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images)
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Bragging about his Mardi Gras exploits in New Orleans in 2003, Uygur wrote in a column about how he had “kissed over 23 different women, saw and felt countless breasts.”
In a 2013 episode of “The Young Turks,” Uygur rated women on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of how men viewed them in terms of desirability to perform oral sex on them.
On Friday, as his long history of questionable comments drew further scrutiny, Uygur announced that he was no longer “accepting any endorsements.”
"I can't tell you how much I appreciate the endorsements of Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna, Nina Turner and local progressive groups that gave me their support. Their stance took real courage in the face of the corporate media and Democratic establishment onslaught," Uygur said. "I want to be free of any influence other than the voters of CA-25. I will not be beholden to corporations, lobbyists, or special interest groups and I will not stand by while those groups attack my political allies. That's why I have decided that I will not be accepting any endorsements. My job is to represent the voters and the voters alone. The only endorsements I'll be accepting going forward is that of the voters of CA-25."
Uygur’s relationship with Sanders is not new. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Uygur regularly promoted the Vermont Senator’s campaign on “The Young Turks,” which gained a reputation for drawing an audience of so-called Bernie Bros., who regularly attacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Uygur frequently traveled with Sanders on the campaign trail, sometimes dining with him after rallies.