BURLINGTON, VT – Senator Bernie Sanders is running damage control after a DNA test disproved his long-held claim that he’s of Salvadoran descent.
Sanders agreed to take the DNA test, provided by biotech company 23andMe, after President Donald Trump repeatedly referred to the presidential candidate as “Loco Chico Sanders” in a series of tweets, but many feel the move may have backfired, adding fuel to the President’s rhetoric.
The candidate, who has apologized to the Salvadoran people, defends his previous claims stating “look, my father Elias Ben Yehuda Sanders, rest his soul, always told me and my brother Larry that he fled El Salvador during the Salvadoran Peasant Massacre of 1932, and in Salvadoran tradition, we didn’t question him.”
In a 2011 ABC Channel 7 interview, the Senator reiterated his Salvadoran ancestry and claimed to have a multitude of photographs that reflect his Salvadoran heritage, but refused to release them publicly.
While Sanders maintains that he hasn’t used what he described as his latin roots to gain favorability in education or politics, evidence has surfaced that suggests otherwise. A poem entitled El Gran Despecho, submitted as Sanders’ own work and published in the Chicago Review’s “Voices of El Salvador,” was later revealed to have been penned by Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton, and the Burlington Free Press published an article in 1981 titled Burlington Elects First Hispanic Mayor, in reference to Sanders.
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin chastised the candidate, saying “the fact that Bernie Sanders has appropriated the Salvadoran culture for his own personal and political gain is quite frankly disqualifying. He needs to drop out now and resign from the Senate.”
Liberal pundits echoed Rubin’s statement, with CNN’s Chris Cillizza telling BeetPress “I wasn’t aware Sanders was still in the race, but given that he’s falsely engendered the myth that he’s Salvadoran is reason enough for him not to continue. Trump and the Republicans are going to have a field day with this.”
Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke also spoke out against Sanders, saying “to co-opt a culture of which you aren’t a part of is morally reprehensible, and I find, personally insulting. I’m looking forward bringing up this fact in the next debate, and if he starts speaking in ninth grade Spanish again, I’m going to lose my shit.”
BeetPress reached out to Senator Elizabeth Warren for comment, but as of press time, her campaign has not responded.