Politics

'Bernie Bros' Pose Problems in New Hampshire for Frontrunner's Campaign

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is done with the Bernie Bros.

The Vermont Senator is leading the polls in New Hampshire by a wide margin, but some rambunctious supporters, characterized by their generally uncouth, often sexist demeanor, have become a thorn in the campaign's side.

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On Sunday, Sanders appeared on CNN's "State Of The Union" to address the phenomenon that has garnered widespread backlash online, but has materialized here in the Granite State in recent days.

"It's disgusting, we don't want that crap," Sanders said.

Bernie Sanders on CNN's "State of the Union"

The divisive sect of Sanders supporters known as Bernie Bros have gained attention recently for berating Hillary Clinton supporters — especially women — on social media platforms like Twitter. Some Sanders supporters have claimed that the presence of a cohesive bloc of online, culture-drunk "Bernie Bros" is a fabrication concocted by Clinton supporters. But Sanders has nonetheless addressed his campaign's problem children.

Late in January, after a Democratic town hall event that birthed some of the higher profile instances of Bernie Bro action, Sanders' rapid response director Mike Casca addressed the issue, writing that supporters should "be respectful."

Karthik Ganapathy, a New Hampshire spokesperson for Sanders backed up the sentiment, tweeting that "no place for misogyny or vitriol."

"I think people recognize that Bernie has a long record of advocacy on issues that matter not just to women, but all voters, and I think that's what they'll focus on and pay attention to — not to what the trolls are doing online," Ganapathy told ATTN: in a phone call on Sunday.

Despite the Sanders campaign's messages, though, the sentiment seems to be sticking around. On Friday, at the annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Celebration dinner, a large Democratic gathering in New Hampshire, alleged Bernie supporters heckled elected officials who voiced support for Clinton.

"I have never been to an event where elected officials were heckled and drowned out when they were talking about who they were supporting," New Hampshire Senator and Clinton supporter Jeanne Shaheen told ATTN: in a phone call.

"If the Bernie Bros are responsible for that, then shame on them," she added.