A group of bros trying to get tight with US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders instead got slapped upside the head by the New Hampshire senator on national TV.
The so-called Bernie Bros have busted out on social network sites supporting Sanders. But their messages, aimed at Clinton backers, are often bullying, derogatory and misogynistic.
"I have heard about it," Sanders told ABC's Jake Tapper. "It's disgusting. Look, we don't want that c**p."
He added that the campaign does not want supporters who do "sexist things". "That is not what this campaign is about," Sanders concluded.
Days earlier a campaign spokesman responded to sexist remarks by the bros about Clinton, telling them to be "respectful when people disagree with you."
Often young and white, the Bernie Bros have grown in ranks through r/SandersforPresident, which has become one Reddit's most popular political groups.
Nearly 160,000 online supporters have helped raise money for Sanders' campaign, and organized phone banks to mobilize voters. But the hostile Bernie Bros appear to be growing increasingly powerful, and some supporters are worried that they could jeopardize the groundbreaking organizing that the larger group is doing online, reports Mashable.
They were labeled Bernie Bros in an Atlantic article discussing a group of male Sanders backers who pounce on Clinton supporters — or anyone who disagrees with Sanders, for that matter — with rude, sexist put-downs.
Sanders can't afford to alienate women, many of whom would love to propel the nation's first female president into office, no matter how much they may agree with the senator's politics. But younger women appear to be backing Sanders in larger numbers than they're supporting Clinton.
Sexual politics is bound to get increasingly heated in the neck-and-neck race between Sanders and Clinton. She has already raised the "sexism card," noting that women are held to a very different standard than men in political races.
But she also had her own sexist fire to put out. Supporters Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state in America, all but said women who vote for Sanders are self-hating females. "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other!" Albright said at a Clinton rally in New Hampshire, reported the New York Times.
Steinem said young women were backing Sanders because that's "where the boys are" — but, realizing that was a tad sexist, later apologized for her comments.
"Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before," she said on a Facebook post, admitting that she "misspoke."
Many female Sanders supporters took offence at the suggestion that they should vote for someone based solely on gender.
"Shame on Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright for implying that we as women should be voting for a candidate based solely on gender," Zoe Trimboli, a 23-year-old feminist from Vermont, wrote on Facebook. "I can tell you that shaming me and essentially calling me misinformed and stupid is not the way to win my vote."