Feb 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden: Sanders and Buttigieg won't win the long game in 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden shake hands as the take the debate stage in NH
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden opened the Democratic debate on Friday night by reiterating that while Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg came out on top in the Iowa caucus, they will face problems down the 2020 road.

Thought bubble... Per Axios' Alayna Treene: Biden is playing straight to voters biggest concern with his answer to the first question: Which candidate can best take on Trump on the debate stage and beat him in the general election? Biden says Trump will label Sanders as a socialist, and given the fact that he is one, Republicans will eat him alive

"In regards to Sen. Sanders, the president wants very much to stick a label on every candidate. We're going to have to not only win this time, we're going to have to win the Senate. Bernie has labeled himself, not me, a Democratic socialist. That's the label that's going to weigh on everybody's mind with Bernie if he's a nominee."
"And Mayor Buttigieg is a great guy, and you're a patriot. He's the mayor of a small city who has done some good things, but has not demonstrated his ability to —and we'll soon find out— to get a broad scope of support across the spectrum including African Americans and Latinos."

Go deeper: Buttigieg responds to Biden's electability criticism

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