Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clashed during a Democratic presidential candidate debate on Thursday when Sanders referred back to Clinton’s citing Henry Kissinger to defend her record during their last encounter.
“I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said. “I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger.”
Clinton drew some criticism when she said during a debate last week that she was “very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better than anybody had run it in a long time.”
“A full tally hasn’t been done, but a back-of-the-envelope count would attribute 3, maybe 4 million deaths to Kissinger’s actions, but that number probably undercounts his victims in southern Africa,” Greg Grandin wrote in The Nation. “Pull but one string from the current tangle of today’s multiple foreign policy crises, and odds are it will lead back to something Kissinger did between 1968 and 1977.”
Sanders seized on that record during his remarks, saying that Kissinger enabled the brutal takeover by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, which led to the deaths of 3 million people.
“Count me in as someone who will not be listening to Henry Kissinger,” the senator said.
Clinton responded by jabbing at Sanders, saying, “I know journalists have asked who you do listen to on foreign policy, and we have yet to know who that is.”
“It ain’t Henry Kissinger, that’s for sure,” Sanders shot back.