Bernie Sanders on Feb. 15th, 2016 in Ypsilanti, Michigan (L); Hillary Clinton on Jan. 26, 2016 in Marshalltown, Iowa.
Bill Pugliano—Getty Images (L); Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
By Emily Straus
March 28, 2016
MOTTO
Emily Straus is TIME's associate partnerships editor.

First, male political pundits accused Hillary Clinton of being “shrill.” Now, a top Clinton aide objects to the tone Sanders is using in his campaign ads—a fact that has resulted in #ToneDownForWhat trending on social media.

The hashtag is the product of a conversation between Clinton’s top strategist, Joel Benenson, and journalist Kate Bolduan on CNN’s At This Hour. Bolduan asked Beneson about Sanders’ wish to debate Clinton before the New York primary, and Beneson said that his negative tone is one reason why Clinton will not agree to another debate.

“This is a man who said he’d never run a negative ad ever,” Benenson told Bolduan. “He’s now running them; they’re now planning to run more. Let’s see the tone of the campaign he wants to run before we get to any other questions.”

Sanders’ fans have taken to Twitter to criticize the Clinton campaign:

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Others bring up the point that Clinton may have to debate Donald Trump, whose tone is even more negative:

At least the criticism is directed at the candidates this time around—and not at their spouses or family members, as we’ve seen recently among GOP candidates.

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