Sen. Bernie Sanders apologized in a CNN interview after The New York Times published a report detailing the stories of women who say they were mistreated and received lower pay on Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.
According to The Times, some women on the campaign said their complaints of sexual harassment were ignored when they informed superiors. In other cases, female staffers were “taken aback” to learn how much less they made than their male counterparts.
In one instance, Giulianna Di Lauro, who worked as a Latino outreach strategist for Sanders, told The Times that she was made uncomfortable by a “handsy” campaign surrogate. When she reported the issue to the head of the Latino outreach team, she says he told her, “I bet you would have liked it if he were younger.”
In another instance, former state director Samantha Davis said she was paid $2,400 a month while a younger man who was initially told to report to her earned $5,000 per month. Davis said her salary was adjusted and she helped “at least a dozen women” request raises.
Sanders appeared on CNN Wednesday to apologize while insisting he was unaware of the issues because he was too “busy.”
Sanders said he knew nothing of the complaints because “I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case.”
Sanders went on to admit his campaign did not do “everything right, in terms of human resources” and apologized “to any woman who felt she was not treated appropriately.”
Campaign manager admits mistakes:
Jeff Weaver, who ran the Sanders campaign, admitted that there were problems with the campaign.
“Was it too male? Yes. Was it too white? Yes,” he said. “Would this be a priority to remedy on any future campaign? Definitely, and we share deeply in the urgency for all of us to make change.”
Campaign admits pay disparity:
“The senator’s campaign committee acknowledged that there were pay disparities but said salaries were based on experience or the nature of the job and ‘never determined based on any consideration of an individual’s gender or of any other personal characteristic,’” The Times reported. “During the campaign, the committee said, it conducted a review to try to standardize pay across the states and within headquarters.”
Ex-Sanders delegates demand he address sexism:
“Two delegates who supported Mr. Sanders two years ago recently told his staff that he can’t run for president again without addressing the sexism they believe surfaced in his last campaign,” The Times reported.
“There was an entire wave of rotten sexual harassment that seemingly was never dealt with,” one of the delegates wrote in an email obtained by The Times.