Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday criticized former Vice President Joe Biden’s record on trade, war and Wall Street bailouts, after Biden scored a string of Democratic primary wins last week on Super Tuesday and amassed a delegate lead over Sanders.
Sanders made the rounds on the network and cable talk shows Sunday morning, where he knocked Biden’s votes as a U.S. senator, including to authorize the Iraq War and renew the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for most abortions. He also criticized Biden for supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement and permanent normal trade relations with China, as well as bailouts for Wall Street.
With six states set to hold nominating contests on Tuesday, Sanders said he was focused heavily on winning the primary in Michigan, a state he won against Hillary Clinton in 2016. He touted the endorsement of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who campaigned with him there Sunday.
“Michigan is an enormously important state,” Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Days ago, Sanders had canceled a rally planned for Mississippi, which is also holding a primary on Tuesday. He told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Mississippi is a “going to be a tough state for us.”
“Everybody knows there is limited amounts of time,” he said on CNN. “You have to adjust the schedule at every moment.”
With the Democratic primary now a two-man race, Sanders said the differences between him and Biden would emerge in sharper focus.
“And also, with two people in the race,” Sanders said, “we have the opportunity to contrast our voting records, our vision for the future.”
“People have a right to know what our record is, and what our vision is for the future and now that there are two people in the race, we’re going to have the opportunity to make that debate.”
Biden leads Sanders in total pledged delegates, 665-573, according to The New York Times. A candidate needs 1,991 total delegates to clinch the nomination.
Sanders vowed to support Biden if he became the nominee: “I’ll support Joe if he wins, and he’ll support me if I win.”
Asked on ABC’s “This Week” if he would try to stay in the race if it was clear he was not headed for a plurality of votes, Sanders said: “Look, we will fight for every vote that we can, as we’re — as we try to win this election. I’m not a masochist who wants to stay in the race that can’t be won. But right now, that’s a little bit premature. Let’s not determine what will happen on Tuesday, what will happen in the future.”
Sanders laid blame on the “establishment” for the consolidation of the moderate vote that occurred when two candidates — Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and former South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg — dropped out of the race before Tuesday’s contests in 14 states and threw their support behind Biden. On Wednesday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also endorsed Biden.
“One of the things that I was kind of not surprised by is the power of establishment to force Amy Klobuchar, who had worked so hard, Pete Buttigieg, who, you know, really worked extremely hard as well, out of the race.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sanders said: “If they had not withdrawn from the race before Super Tuesday, which was kind of a surprise to a lot of people, I suspect we would have won in Minnesota, we would have won in Maine, we would have won in Massachusetts. The turnout may have been a little bit different.”