BIDEN ON SANDERS’ SUPPORTERS: ‘I’D DISOWN THEM’ AS SANDERS WINS IN IOWA, NEW HAMPSHIRE

Cartoon by Daily Kos shows (clockwise from above left) rich commentator, candidate Joe Biden, candidate Pete Buttigieg, rich commentator putting in emergency rescue call to Bloomberg

By STEVE PEOPLES and MICHELLE L. PRICE

February 15, 2020

(Excerpt)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — As early voting surged in Nevada’s nominating contest, former Vice President Joe Biden lashed out at Democratic rival Bernie Sanders on Saturday for not doing enough to control his most aggressive supporters.

Biden’s attack during an interview for NBC’s “Meet The Press” came as he fights to rescue his struggling presidential bid and Sanders works to strengthen his strong standing with the contest speeding into a new phase. Biden also sought to downplay expectations for next Saturday’s Nevada caucuses, telling reporters that he did not need to win.

In the interview, the former vice president seized on reports that Sanders’ supporters insulted and made online threats against leaders of an influential union that declined to endorse any of the eight candidates still in the Democratic race.

“He may not be responsible for it, but he has some accountability,” Biden charged. He continued: “If any of my supporters did that, I’d disown them …flat disown them.”

The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Biden’s assertion. But Thursday in an interview with PBS, Sanders distanced himself from such behavior. “Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement,” Sanders said, denouncing such behavior in all campaigns.

Earlier Saturday, the fiery progressive senator went on the offensive against his moderate competitors for accepting campaign cash from billionaires, although he declined to go after his opponents by name.

“Democracy is not candidates going to the homes of billionaires raising money,” Sanders charged during a rally at a suburban Las Vegas high school.

Both Biden and Pete Buttigieg have aggressively courted wealthy donors over the past year. Buttigieg met with donors behind closed doors in Seattle at roughly the same time Sanders made the comments.

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