Bernie Sanders did an Associated Press interview yesterday, the day after he endorsed Joe Biden on a Biden-produced livestream. While I’ve never supported Sanders in any way, I do appreciate the fact that he totally took the legs out of HIS supporters’ arguments. Too many Sanders supporters were hollering about not supporting Biden or waiting until their messiah told them what to do. And then Bernie endorsed Biden and told his supporters to do the same. It’s kind of beautiful to see all the wind go out of so many toxic sails. Anyway, Sanders told the AP that he believes it’s “irresponsible” for anyone to say that they refuse to vote or get involved just because they don’t agree with Biden on certain issues. So many bros just lost their Bernie boners. Some highlights from this interview:
On how his former national press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, said she wasn’t supporting Biden: “She is my former press secretary — not on the payroll,” Sanders noted. A spokesman later clarified that all campaign staffers were no longer on the payroll as of Tuesday, though they will get a severance check in May.
On supporting Biden: “Do we be as active as we can in electing Joe Biden and doing everything we can to move Joe and his campaign in a more progressive direction? Or do we choose to sit it out and allow the most dangerous president in modern American history to get reelected? I believe that it’s irresponsible for anybody to say, ‘Well, I disagree with Joe Biden — I disagree with Joe Biden! — and therefore I’m not going to be involved.’”
What’s happening to his campaign: Sanders said he would not actively campaign or spend money on advertising in the primary contests that are still on the calendar in the coming months. But he still encouraged Democrats in those states to vote for him, hoping to amass as many delegates as possible for leverage to shape the party platform and the direction of Biden’s campaign. “If people want to vote for me, we’d appreciate it,” Sanders said of the roughly 20 primary contests that remain where his name will appear on the ballot. He later added, “I think you’re going to see significant movement on the part of the Biden campaign into a more progressive direction on a whole lot of issues.”
Why he suspended his campaign & endorsed Biden so early: Sanders brushed away questions about why he was willing to back Biden so much sooner than he did Clinton, whom he waited until June to endorse. He said recent conversations with former President Barack Obama did not influence his decision. It came down to simple math, he said. In 2016, Sanders said he had a mathematical path to the nomination all the way until the California primary, which was held on the last day of voting in June. That simply wasn’t the case this year. “What would be the sense of staying in, of spending a whole lot of money, of attacking the vice president, giving fodder for Trump — what’s the sense of doing that when you can’t win? I will do everything I can to help elect Joe. We had a contentious campaign. We disagree on issues. But my job now is to not only rally my supporters, but to do everything I can to bring the party together to see that (Trump) is not elected president.”
So he basically suspended his campaign because he was getting his ass whooped by Biden in nearly every state after New Hampshire and Iowa. And even then, the primary states’ votes looked so different from 2016 to 2020. As loud as the Sanders’ supporters are online, Sanders’ actual base of support with real, physical supporters coming out to vote from him has steeply declined from 2016 to 2020. So that too was why he stepped down so “early” (relatively speaking). As for what he says about hoping people still vote for him so he can influence the Biden campaign… eh. Whatever.
Sanders also did a live thing with Cardi B, and she’s now voting for Biden.
During their Instagram live, @iamcardib, who has long been a Sanders’ fan announced that she would support Joe Biden. She then asked Sanders: “I want you to tell my platform why you are endorsing him. Like why should we vote for him?” pic.twitter.com/npme7UTiBB
— Annie Grayer (@AnnieGrayerCNN) April 15, 2020
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.