Democratic presidential hopeful Bernard Sanders compared primary front-runner Joseph R. Biden to Hillary Clinton over the weekend, saying he fears that Democrats could make the same mistake they did in 2016 by choosing a low-energy candidate to take on President Trump.
Mr. Sanders, who is trailing second behind Mr. Biden by about 18 percentage points, told “The Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur that he stands the best chance at defeating the “worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country” over the former vice president because of his ability to excite people.
“We’re going to need a lot of excitement, we’re going to need a large voter turnout, we’re going to have to bring young people, black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian-American, into the political process,” Mr. Sanders said. “I think that we are the strongest campaign to do that. To get that excitement, to get that energy, to increase voter registration among young people.”
The Vermont senator argued that Mr. Biden would have a hard time resonating with people, particularly in the Midwest, because of his policy record.
“Why do I think we can do a good job in defeating Trump? Because of the issues that Trump beat Hillary Clinton on — trade,” Mr. Sanders said. “You go to the Midwest and you say, ‘Hey, I voted for NAFTA, and I voted for permanent normalized trade relations with China,’ which is what Joe Biden did, you think that’s going to resonate terribly well in the Midwest? I don’t think it will. I lead the opposition against those disastrous trade agreements.
“You think going around the country and telling people, ‘I voted for the war in Iraq,’ which is what Joe did, you think that’s going to resonate well with people? I don’t think so,” he continued. “It was probably the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country. I led the opposition against the war in Iraq. So I think for those reasons, nationally and especially in the battleground states, I think we are the campaign that could rally young people, that could rally working people, people of color, to win this election.”
Mr. Uygur then asked the candidate whether the Democratic Party would be making “the same mistake” by picking Mr. Biden that it did in choosing Mrs. Clinton to be the nominee back in 2016.
“I fear that it could be, I really do,” Mr. Sanders responded. “I fear that you would have a campaign without a lot of energy, without a lot of excitement.
“Could Joe beat Trump? Yeah, I think he could. I’m not saying he can’t,” he added. “But I think we don’t want to make the same mistake that we made last time. And sometimes this is where the establishment talks to itself. I think that what the American people want right now is not only defeating Donald Trump, they want a candidate to speak to the pain that millions of people are feeling right now, and to get those people involved in the political process to stand up and fight back so that we can improve the lives of all people in this country.”
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