Apr 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden: "Not the time" to call for Sanders to drop out

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at the March Democratic debate. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden was asked by an attendee at a virtual fundraiser tonight whether he had any updates on Bernie Sanders' campaign and if he's going to drop out.

  • What they're saying: "Now’s not the time for me or anyone to call for him to drop out," Biden said. "I know firsthand what a personal decision that is."

Why it matters: If Biden becomes the nominee, he'll need Sanders to do everything he can to help him win — and that'll be a lot easier if he's hands-off about whether and how Sanders exits the race.

Biden's team and Sanders' team are talking with each other about the future of the race. "I have to be very blunt with you: Our staffs have been talking — Bernie’s staff and mine," Biden said. "I don't know where it’s going to go, but I have enormous respect for him."

  • "Whether Bernie gets out or stays in remains to be seen," Biden added, saying that the coronavirus “is making things more complicated for him and everyone else.

Between the lines: The question was centered around unifying the Democratic Party, and that's a big concern for Democrats as they try to defeat President Trump and void a party divided like in 2016 between Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

  • "If I’m the nominee I’m confident Bernie will push his supporters to support me, just as I would if it were reversed," Biden said. "He’s poured his heart and soul into this. He’s made some significant changes in American politics that have been positive."
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