Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders retracted his endorsement of Democratic congressional candidate Cenk Uygur just one day after announcing it.
Uygur, founder of the left-wing media outlet “The Young Turks,” has come under fire for past comments, including one where he said certain kinds of bestiality should be legal. Despite this and multiple videos showing crude comments about women, the Vermont senator endorsed the congressional candidate Thursday.
“As I said yesterday, Cenk has been a longtime fighter against the corrupt forces in our politics and he’s inspired people all across the country,” Sanders said in a statement announcing his retraction Friday.
“However, our movement is bigger than any one person. I hear my grassroots supporters who were frustrated and understand their concerns,” he added.
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) December 13, 2019
“Here comes the controversial part I shouldn’t say,” Uygur said, according to one of the videos. “I believe that if I were the benevolent dictator of the world, I would legalize bestiality where you are giving, you are pleasuring the animal.”
Uygur was fired from progressive political action committee the Justice Democrats after sexist blogposts surfaced, Huffpost previously reported.
The congressional candidate said his past comments “do not reflect who I am today.” Uygur is “rejecting all endorsement for his campaign,” according to Sanders’ statement Friday.
Uygur is running for former Democratic California Rep. Katie Hill’s seat. She resigned in October after allegations that she slept with a congressional staffer and a campaign staffer.
Republican George Papadopoulos, who spent 12 days in prison, is also running for Hill’s seat. He was convicted of lying to the FBI about his contact with Russian-connected individuals during the 2016 presidential campaign.
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