At issue are comments he made privately at a fundraiser in San Francisco last Sunday. He was trying to explain his troubles winning over some working-class voters, saying they have become frustrated with economic conditions:
"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Vacuous, condescending, junk sociology comments from a Democratic candidate are not usually interesting. But the Code Orange hysteria generated by the young millionaire with a law degree from Harvard has some interesting content. He and his elite critics genuinely believe in wholesome effects of privileged, neoliberal license. Subsidized capital mobility and militarized protection for it are unalloyed goods in their world. "Bitterness" over the actual, real world effects of it are attributable to cretinous social values, bigotry, ignorance and personal inadequacies that can be compensated by owning weapons.
His crime was not saying anything that might allude to that elite point of view, however. His crime was the implicit recognition that things are not all rosy for the white working class. He broke the magic, and now he needs to be punished.
This is not his first flirtation with a public understanding that all is not well for people in the harvestable class and I think the hints he gives towards that understanding are attractive to the gentler-souled progressives. It's audaciously adorable to vouchsafe a qualm or two, with imploring eyes cast upwards towards a heaven where a kindly God (who looks remarkably like FDR) looks down in genteel dismay, and pleads with the recalcitrant inhabitants of His creation to be just a little bit nicer to each other. But not too nice, of course -- welfare was divisive.