Sen. Bernie Sanders distanced himself from a supporter who seemingly referred to Hillary Clinton as one of the "corporate Democratic whores."

The Sanders supporter's remark serves as the newest flashpoint in the Democratic presidential race that's heating up in New York.

Dr. Paul Song, a Sanders supporter and healthcare activist, addressed some 27,000 people gathered at a Sanders rally in New York, and made the comment before the socialist presidential candidate took the stage.

"Well, I agree with Secretary Clinton that Medicare for all will never happen if we have a president who never aspires for something greater than the status quo," Song said. "Medicare for all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to 'Big Pharma' and the private insurance industry instead of us."

Song later tweeted an apology for "using the term 'whore' to refer to some in Congress," even though his comment was interpreted as an attack on Clinton.

Sanders tweeted on Thursday morning that, "Dr. Song's comment was inappropriate and insensitive. There's no room for language like that in our political discourse."


Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a top Clinton campaign surrogate, also decried the comment on MSNBC on Thursday morning. Upon learning that Sanders had called the comment inappropriate on Twitter, McCaskill complained that Sanders should have responded sooner.


"Well good for him, but he should have done it from the podium the minute those words were issued," McCaskill said. "There was a huge cheer that went up when Hillary Clinton was called a corporate whore and that's when the candidate has to step in and go, 'Wait a minute guys, remember what the real enemy is here. It is the policies and values represented by Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.' We've got to be united in November."

Sanders and Clinton will square off in a Democratic presidential debate in New York on Thursday night where both candidates may have an opportunity to address the matter face-to-face.