Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has retracted his endorsement of Cenk Uygur barely a day after he publicly backed Uygur in his bid to fill the California congressional seat recently vacated by Democratic Rep. Katie Hill.
Uygur, founder of the left-leaning media organization The Young Turks, has come under fire for past comments he made about women. As that criticism spilled over onto Sanders following his endorsement Thursday, it appears both candidates reconsidered.
“My job is to represent the voters and the voters alone,” Uygur wrote in a statement Thursday swearing off endorsements entirely. “The only endorsements I’ll be accepting going forward is that of the voters of CA-25.”
Uygur blamed “corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups” for attacking Sanders, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, over the endorsement.
Minutes after Uygur released his statement, Sanders issued one of his own, acknowledging the concerns of his supporters and retracting his earlier endorsement.
“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. However, our movement is bigger than any one person,” the statement read. “I hear my grassroots supporters who were frustrated and understand their concerns. Cenk today said he is rejecting all endorsements for his campaign, and I retract my endorsement.”
At issue are numerous blog posts Uygur authored as a conservative pundit from 1999 to the mid-2000s, in which Uygur used objectifying and misogynistic language to make some fairly incendiary claims.
In one 1999 post, for instance, Uygur blamed his inability to get laid on “flawed” female genetics, writing, “They are poorly designed creatures who do not want to have sex nearly as often as needed for the human race to get along peaceably and fruitfully.”
In another post from 2002 regarding the “rules of dating,” Uygur wrote that “there must be orgasm by the fifth date.”
Uygur has previously apologized for the writings, calling them “really insensitive and ignorant.”