Jan 3, 2020

Sanders bashes Biden's record: "It’s just a lot of baggage"

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is ramping up his defense against fellow 2020 competitor Joe Biden, criticizing the former vice president's record and questioning his ability to garner voter turnout, the Washington Post writes.

What he's saying: “It’s just a lot of baggage that Joe takes into a campaign, which isn’t going to create energy and excitement,” Sanders said in an interview between events in Iowa. “He brings into this campaign a record which is so weak that it just cannot create the kind of excitement and energy that is going to be needed to defeat Donald Trump.”

  • The Post quoted Sanders swipes at Biden's record on NAFTA and framed the former vice president as "part of the political elite."
  • “People are tired of the traditional types of campaigns in which candidates like Joe are running to wealthy people’s homes and raising large sums of money,” Sanders noted.

Driving the news: The uptick in judgement on Biden's record comes as Sanders is showing promise in the polls. He's consistently polled in second place nationally, and has exhibited strength in Iowa. A Des Moines Register poll showed that 57% of Iowans who view Sanders as their first choice say their mind is made up. No other candidate received more than 30% commitment from their current supporters.

  • Sanders also announced Thursday that he broke the single-quarter fundraising record among Democrats so far in the presidential primary cycle, raking in $34.5 million in Q4 of 2019.

The Iowa caucuses are just over a month away, set for Feb. 3. The New Hampshire primary is on Feb. 11.

Go deeper: Bernie Sanders releases letters from doctors deeming him fit for presidency

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What to watch in tonight’s Democratic debate

The spin room at the debate in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Kerem Yucel/Getty Images

Tensions over gender and racial politics, foreign policy and electability set the stage for Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Iowa, the last before the Feb. 3 caucuses.

Why it matters: Three weeks out, polling gives Bernie Sanders momentum, but shows Joe Biden, Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg within striking distance of each other in the first contest. Biden still leads nationally.

Go deeperArrowJan 14, 2020

Warren says she's "disappointed" to be targeted by Sanders campaign

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren told reporters Sunday she was "disappointed" to hear about a volunteer script from fellow 2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign that criticizes her as a candidate of the elite.

Why it matters: The two progressive candidates have had a non-aggression pact throughout the 2020 campaign, but that could be changing with 22 days left until the Iowa caucuses.

Go deeperArrowJan 12, 2020

Poll: Sanders surges in early states as Warren falters

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is starting 2020 in a three-way tie for first place in Iowa, joining former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 23% each, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll published Sunday.

The big picture: Sanders' surge has come at the expense of fellow progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who soared to the front of the race in the fall but has since fallen back to Earth, trailing the three frontrunners in Iowa with 16%.

Go deeperArrowJan 5, 2020