New Age “love guru” and Democrat presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is struggling to defend her decision to hire a former Bernie Sanders staffer fired after allegations of sexual assault.
Robert Becker was Sanders’ 2016 Iowa Caucus director and was slated to fill the role again. He was fired in early 2019 after POLITICO reported a female staffer accused him of forcibly kissing her and sticking his tongue in her mouth toward the end of the 2016 campaign.
As POLITICO reported Jan. 9, 2019:
On the final night of the Democratic National Convention in July of 2016, Bernie Sanders’ staffers went out to a Mediterranean restaurant and hookah bar in Center City Philadelphia to celebrate and mourn the end of the campaign.
Sitting at the bar sometime after midnight, convention floor leader Robert Becker — who oversaw Sanders’ Iowa campaign, then helped lead his efforts in Michigan, California and New York as deputy national field director — began talking with a female staffer who had worked under him with her boyfriend.
Becker, now 50, told the 20-something woman that he had always wanted to have sex with her and made a reference to riding his “pole,” according to the woman and three other people who witnessed what happened or were told about it shortly afterward by people who did. Later in the night, Becker approached the woman and grabbed her wrists. Then he moved his hands to her head and forcibly kissed her, putting his tongue in her mouth as he held her, the woman and other sources said.
Williamson’s decision to hire Becker complicates efforts by liberal activists to translate the “#MeToo” movement to the 2020 presidential campaign.
“I believe in forgiveness. I believe in redemption. I believe in people rising up after they’ve fallen down,” said Williamson at an Iowa event, defending the hire. “I had not read anything or heard anything that made me feel this was a man who never deserved to work again.”
“It just really sucks because no one ever held him accountable and he kept pushing and pushing and seeing how much he could get away with,” the woman, whom POLITICO did not name, told the outlet in January. “This can’t happen in 2020. You can’t run for president of the United States unless you acknowledge that every campaign demands a safe work environment for every employee and volunteer.”
While Williamson has attracted online attention for her bizarre debate performances, it hasn’t translated into support. She remains stuck at around one percent or less in polls, and liberal outlets like The Daily Beast have referred to her as a “dangerous wacko.”
“For 30 years, she’s been peddling dangerous, anti-scientific garbage: specifically, the warmed-over ‘New Thought’ teaching that you can manifest your own reality by thinking it to be so,” writes the Beast’s Jay Michaelson.
Michaelson takes specific aim at Williamson’s belief gay men could cure themselves of AIDS through meditation.
“For years, Williamson, (New Age guru Louise) Hay, and others told gay men that they could cure themselves if only they would properly visualize themselves getting well. Not just gay men, of course; people with cancer and other terminal illnesses, people struggling with obesity, people with chronic health conditions—to all of these, Williamson and her ilk said that they had the power to heal themselves, science be damned,” writes Michaelson.
“She’s endangering people’s lives, just like she did in the 90s,” writes Michaelson, referring to Williamson’s criticism of vaccinations.