Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, riding off his big primary win in South Carolina, was on the Sunday show circuit doing a much-deserved victory lap. On one of his circuit stops–ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos–Biden made a notable dig against his chief opponent Bernie Sanders when he was asked whether Democrats should hand Sanders the nomination if he is leading in delegate count when the convention comes around.
Host Stephanopoulos :“Senator Sanders is likely to have a large delegate lead and it could open the possibility that he has the most pledged delegates going into the convention but not a majority. Why shouldn’t the candidate with the most pledged delegates going into the convention be the nominee?”
Biden:“For the same reason he[Sanders] didn’t think when Hillary[Clinton] had the most pledged delegates that she should be the nominee. The process is laid out….He wanted to make sure that the one with the most delegates didn’t become the automatic nominee when he was running against Hillary and all of a sudden he’s had an epiphany……”
The inconsistency Biden is pointing out is a very important one but you rarely hear it from the mainstream political punditry class. This is an especially important issue this year because there is a very good chance Democrats are headed for a contested convention. This idea usually put out there by Sanders’ surrogates in the media, that he must get the nomination if he is leading in delegates by the time the convention comes around or else there would be a “revolt”, needs some serious push back and Yours Truly was very happy to hear Joe Biden do exactly that.
Asked what argument he would use to convince super delegates to pick him over Sanders, Biden made yet another powerful argument that you rarely hear from the paid political punditry class and that is, Democrats also need to win down-ballot, and he’s the candidate best suited for delivering that outcome. Specifically, Biden said, “I can win the United States Senate as the candidate on top of the ticket. I can win the House and increase the number in the House. I can go into every state in the nation, I can go into purple states and we can win. I can win in places that I don’t think Bernie can win in a general election. In 2018…I went into 24 states, purple states for over 65 candidates they wanted me in and we won. They were asking me to come in. I don’t know if they asked Bernie, they may have, I doubt it, because they know I can be value added to their campaigns. I can pick up independents, I can pick up liberals, as well as moderate Democrats.”
Bottom line folks, this may sound rude/mean and will probably be interpreted as such by Bernie Sanders’ fans, but it is a fact that during the 2018 midterms, a lot of Democrats in purple states came to Biden and not Sanders for help with their campaigns, as Biden correctly pointed out. Democrats won big as a result. The question the paid political punditry class should be posing to Bernie Sanders’ surrogates is why Dem candidates, needing to win in purple states in 2018, never asked him for campaign help like they did Biden? The bigger question however should be why Bernie Sanders should be handed the nomination simply because he is leading in delegates by convention time, when he was totally opposed to that idea in 2016 when he was trailing Hillary Clinton? These are serious questions that Democrats need to address as the nomination contest heats up.
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