Harvard’s Institute of Politics’ Campaign Managers Conference wrapped up a two-day look at the 2016 presidential campaign on Thursday, marking the end of a post-election forum that was hostile and heated.
CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker was on the receiving end of a lot of zingers, as the roomful of political operatives and journalists mocked the CNN boss for his network’s coverage of Donald Trump. Once everyone was finished bashing Zucker, a feud between Trump and Hillary Clinton campaign staffers broke out.
Harvard has held the event every election year since 1972, but this year it was particularly heated. Read 11 best zingers from the event below.
1. “I have to respectfully push back on the campaign managers who spoke here today, because frankly, respectfully, I think that’s bullshit. Donald Trump was on CNN a lot,” Zucker said in response to campaign staffers complaining that Trump received more time on the network. “That’s because we asked him to do interviews and he agreed to do them. We continuously asked the other candidates to come on and do interviews.”
2. “I don’t remember getting invited to call in, though,” Carly Fiorina deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores said.
3. “You showed hours upon hours of unfiltered, unscrutinized coverage of Trump,” Marco Rubio adviser Todd Harris shouted at Zucker. “You showed empty podiums.”
4. “Cable news in general, CNN in particular, should not be held responsible for the fact that Donald Trump said yes to those interviews,” Zucker responded.
5. “Ba dum bum,” was a simple-yet-effective remark by Kathleen Carroll of The Associated Press when Zucker was asked if Trump was good for CNN.
6. “Half the people want to blame us for Trump, and half the people want to say that we’re terrible to Trump,” Zucker said. “That’s how I always think we’re doing the right thing.”
7. When moderator Sasha Issenberg tried to change the subject from CNN to fake news, Ted Cruz campaign manger Jeff Roe yelled, “You just covered that.”
8. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway appeared to take it personal when Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri accused her of giving white supremacists a platform.
“Do you think you could have just had a decent message for white, working-class voters? How about, it’s Hillary Clinton, she doesn’t connect with people? How about, they have nothing in common with her? How about, she doesn’t have an economic message,” Conway said.
9. “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did,” Palmieri told Conway.
10. At one point Conway said, “Hashtag he’s your president … will you ever accept the election results? Will you tell your protesters that he’s their president, too?”
11. “You guys won, that’s clear,” Clinton’s chief strategist Joel Benenson said. “But let’s be honest. Don’t act as if you have a popular mandate for your message. The fact of the matter is that more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump.”