Bernie Tells George Stephanopoulos that the Establishment Forced Klobuchar and Buttigieg Out; Axelrod, Dems Pounce

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., cheer as they watch voting returns at a primary night election rally in Essex Junction, Vt., Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)



Bernie Sanders knows what going on. Everyone knows.

A political miracle occurred in a period of 72 hours. Biden went from dead man walking to leader of the pack. Here’s the sequence of events.

1. Former Vice President Joe Biden finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses.

2. Biden left New Hampshire in the middle of the day, dejected, over what he could see would be a fifth place finish.

3. He comes in a distant second place in Nevada.

4. Biden’s campaign was on life support. Many thought it was over for him.

5. Democrats panicked at the thought of Bernie, a socialist, winning the nomination.

6. The Democratic machine went into operation.

7. A couple of days before Biden’s blowout victory in South Carolina, he received the coveted endorsement of the state’s most powerful Democrat, Jim Clyburn.

8. Biden wins the South Carolina primary with a landslide victory.

9. Last Sunday night, Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race. NBC News reported that former President Obama called him on Sunday.

10. The next day, Monday, Amy Klobuchar dropped out.

11. Biden receives a flurry of endorsements from establishment Democrats.

12. Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar fly down to Dallas, TX to endorse Biden at his pre-Super Tuesday rally.

13. Biden’s spectacular Super Tuesday success catapults him to frontrunner status.


Former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile told colleagues, “This is the most impressive 72 hours I’ve ever seen in American politics. A candidate who was simply hanging by his little bit of supporters came back.”

And indeed it was. The events which occurred during those 72 hours have reshaped the race.

Bernie appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and here’s what he told the show’s host, George Stephanopoulos.

One of the things I was kind of not surprised by was the power of the establishment to force Amy Klobuchar, who had worked so hard, Pete Buttigieg who had really worked extremely hard as well out of the race.

What was very clear from the media narrative and from what the establishment wanted was to make sure that people coalesced around Biden and tried to defeat me. So that’s not surprising.

We are taking on, I think everybody knows, the establishment. We’re taking on the corporate establishment, we’re taking on the political establishment, and what you are seeing now in the last few weeks is Wall Street, the health care industry, the billionaire class, is putting a lot of money into Joe’s campaign. But at the end of the day, I think we’re gonna win this thing.


David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Obama’s campaign and a senior advisor during his presidency, who has thrown Biden under the bus many times over the last year, is now defending him. He fired off the following tweet after hearing Sanders remarks:

It wasn’t the “establishment” that forced @PeteButtigieg and @AmyKlobuchar out, it was voters. Pete and Amy had no plausible path to the nomination. At current course and speed, @BerniesSanders may within weeks be faced with that same reality. If so, will he accept it?

Michael McFaul, who served as the U S. Ambassador to Russia during the Obama Administration, tweeted:

I’m disappointed to hear @BernieSanders insult @amyklobuchar & @PeteButtigieg like this, claiming without evidence that they had no agency over their own decisions. The voters — not some secret “establishment” hand — played the central role in their decisions to leave the race.

And former CNN contributor Roland Martin weighed in as well:

This comment by @BernieSanders is just wrong. @PeteButtigieg and @amyklobuchar both saw the map. They saw how badly they did with Black voters in SC. They saw a drubbing on Super Tuesday so they bowed out. They had no shot at delegates since you have to hit 15%.

It is true that neither Buttigieg, nor Klobuchar had a path to the nomination, but before South Carolina, neither did Biden. Without Jim Clyburn’s pivotal endorsement, Biden would have scored a victory in the state, but certainly not a crushing victory. He would have had some momentum, but not the surge he experienced after the Democratic machine went into action.


Biden won states on Super Tuesday where he had been behind only days before.

Let me say that I would be horrified if Bernie Sanders won the presidency. Even more so than if Biden won.

But there is no question that, absent the full court press by the Democratic establishment, Bernie would have emerged on top after Super Tuesday.

Bernie was cheated – again.


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