Unfiltered Tlaib and Other Bernie Surrogates Cause Messaging Woes for Campaign

‘Take your date to the polls, and do it in the booth for Bernie…’

Rambling Tlaib Demands Trump Impeachment: The Time for 'Strategy' Is Over

Rashida Tlaib / IMAGE: MSNBC via Youtube

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Bernie Sanders‘ presidential campaign has not given his surrogates—famous supporters who travel the country to vouch for him—-a script, leading them to speak freely and sometimes ruffle feathers.

Before the New Hampshire primary, Ben and Jerry’s co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield told students at Colby Sawyer College to prioritize voting for Sanders over dating, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“Feb. 11 is going to come around, and you are thinking: ‘Hey, I’ve got a chance for a hot date’ …Vote? Hot date? Vote? Hot date?” said Cohen. “Take your date to the polls, and do it in the booth for Bernie. Do it in the booth for Bernie! Do it in the booth for Bernie!”

But surrogates telling college students to have sex in voting booths has gotten the campaign in far less trouble than their criticisms of fellow candidates.

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While Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., was campaigning for Sanders in Iowa, she could not help but boo when Hillary Clinton‘s name was mentioned.

“No, no, I’ll boo,” she said.

Although it followed a recent attack on Sanders by Clinton, the Vermont senator—who was controversially frozen out of the 2016 nominating contest by the ex-secretary of State—rarely talks ill about Democratic rivals.

Thus, even though Tlaib has been known for her unfiltered outbursts, the comments were out of character for the Sanders campaign.

Then there’s Nina Turner, a Sanders staffer who criticized presidential rival Joe Biden of having “repeatedly betrayed” black Americans in an op-ed, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In an interview after the op-ed, Turner said that she does not have to follow the Sanders campaign lockstep.

“I’m a black woman in America, and I do have a thought outside of what I do for Sen. Sanders,” she said.

Meanwhile, surrogate Cornel West—who regularly incites divisions by race, class and gender—criticized the Democratic Party as a whole by saying that its ideology is “milquetoast neo-liberalism.”

Some political strategists believe that allowing surrogates to speak openly and honestly gives Sanders’ campaign an aura of authenticity.

“Bernie’s fiery, passionate surrogates are powerful because they have their own following of people who know they are going to speak their mind,” said Krystal Ball, a progressive strategist.

An advisor to Sanders’ 2016 campaign thinks that Sanders must tell his surrogates to stay on message.

“The more he consolidates his front-runner position, Bernie is going to have to realize he has to reach out to the rest of the party to be able to unify and lead it,” said Mark Longabaugh.