These #ToneDownForWhat Memes Are Fired Up
Riding high off his Western Saturday wins, Bernie Sanders looked to perpetuate his momentum by requesting an additional Democratic debate with fellow candidate and party front-runner Hillary Clinton. What Sanders got was pushback from Clinton's Chief Campaign Strategist Joel Benenson, who insinuated that the Vermont senator had broken his promise to stay positive on the campaign trail. Benenson stated that a debate wasn't out of the question, though it's a matter of Sanders changing his tone before Clinton will agree to such an event. Sanders supporters immediately fired back with a hashtag campaign that's erred on the humorous. The best #ToneDownForWhat memes highlight the more amusing nuances of such a request.
Speaking with CNN's Kate Bolduan, Benenson had this to say about Sanders' desire for a debate and whether Clinton's aversion points to a potential political risk in going head to head against Sanders in New York:
There's no risk. She's done very well in the debates. The debates have been very good, but Sen. Sanders doesn't get to decide when we debate, particularly when he's running a very negative campaign against us. Let's see if he goes back to the kind of tone he said he was going to set early on. If he does that, then we'll talk about debates.
Sanders supporters swiftly turned that request into a parody of the DJ Snake and Lil Jon smash hit Turn Down For What, crafting the ultimate meme mashup. Even Birdie Sanders — the bird that landed on Sanders' podium at a Portland rally — got in on the fun.
Whereas some Sanders supporters have used the #ToneDownForWhat hashtag to express concern over Clinton facing a candidate with an even more negative tone like Donald Trump, many Clinton supporters are decrying the very treatment of her campaign response. No matter the former secretary of state's reason, Clinton supporters state that it's frankly ridiculous for people to come down on her for a lack of interest in yet another debate. They point to Trump's disinterest in a proposed GOP Utah debate and the minimal flack he received.
The setting of this proposed debate is perhaps the most consequential detail of the request. New York is set to hold a crucial Democratic primary on Tuesday, April 19. A total of 291 delegates are up for grabs on the left. It only makes sense that Sanders would request a debate in The Empire State when trailing by hundreds of delegates. Clinton, who is beating Sanders by at least 701 overall delegates as of this writing, stands to gain very little from such an event. No matter what happens, at least supporters of both candidates can certainly get a laugh from #ToneDownForWhat memes.