Bernie Sanders has never run a negative ad and has said he doesn't plan to start now.

Part of his appeal is that he is above dirty politics. His campaign said in the summer that "If we do a classic comparative ad, it's over," (though it left room open for implicit contrasts "embedded" in its messaging).

Bernie Sanders Pledged No Negative Ads

Sanders hasn't broken that pledge yet. But a New York Times report says the campaign has prepared an ad that "takes aim at a central vulnerability of Mrs. Clinton, her Wall Street ties, by contrasting Mr. Sanders’s vision for overhauling the financial industry with Mrs. Clinton’s." However, the campaign has not decided whether to run it.

The Clinton campaign clearly does not want Sanders to run it. Its opposition research arm "The Briefing" quickly posted an online ad that's effectively a brushback pitch, pillorying the Sanders campaign for even thinking about going negative and pressuring them to back down.

The video "Is Bernie Sanders about to run negative attack ads?" begins with a montage of Sanders making his positive campaign promises and expressing disgust with personal attacks.

Then it quotes the Wall Street Journal saying Sanders "has been edging closer to ... personal attacks." It shows TV pundit commentary declaring Bernie already has used personal attacks. One analyst levels a charge that goes at the heart of Sanders' reputation: "he's become a more traditionally combative candidate."

Clinton Campaign To Sanders Campaign: Don't Even Think About Going Negative

But all of that is just commentary. There are no actual negative ads yet. Only at the end of the Clinton video is the New York Times report of a possible negative ad cited.

The Clinton campaign is sending the Sanders campaign a warning: run that ad and we'll hammer you as just another politician. We'll see if the Sanders campaign is intimidated or not.

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