“The men speaking on behalf of Bernie Sanders should do better,” tweeted Jess McIntosh, communications director for EMILY’s list, a women’s group that is supporting Clinton’s bid. That echoed a statement by EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock, who called the commentary “condescending insults by a team who knows better.”

In an interview on MSNBC Thursday, Sanders said some of the statements from his campaign were “inappropriate… clearly I have a lot of respect for Secretary Clinton.”

“If you look at my record in the Congress,” he argued, “you will find there are very few people who have a stronger pro-woman voting record, including a 100 percent record as an abortion rights advocate.”

Some Clinton allies pointed to the top ranks of Sanders’ campaign as the root of what they see as an insensitivity problem: Sanders’ campaign manager, communications director, field director, early state organizer, Iowa campaign coordinator and top strategists are all men (an aide to the Vermont senator noted that the team’s New Hampshire state director is a woman and Sanders’ chief of staff in the Senate, Michaeleen Crowell, who helps with some campaign duties like debate prep, is also a woman).