According to several sources, Bernie Sanders is worried that his former rival Joe Biden is about to blow the 202o presidential election unless he makes some major changes — and makes them quickly.
As reported by The Washington Post, Sanders, the runner-up in Democrat primaries, “has told associates that Biden is at serious risk of coming up short in the November election if he continues his vaguer, more centrist approach, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive talks.”
Sanders is privately expressing concerns, according to three people with knowledge of the conversations, and has identified several specific changes he’d like to see Biden make, including more focus on health care, his economic plan, and campaigning more with “figures popular among young liberals, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)”.
Is this the time when we tell Bernie that Joe can’t even answer a question from his teleprompter without reading the instructions from his staff as part of his answer?
While we’re at it, maybe we should also tell Bernie that Biden disagrees with him on “Medicare for All,” the Democrats’ lipstick-on-a-pig name for single-payer government-controlled health care.
Biden has also distanced himself from those in his party — see: AOC — calling for defunding the police, trade, infrastructure, manufacturing, and banning fracking — which Sanders supports.
When Sanders’s team was asked to comment on the report, they provided a statement from Faiz Shakir, Bernie’s campaign manager during the Democrat presidential race, who insisted Bernie is confident Biden will win, but…
“Senator Sanders is confident that Joe Biden is in a very strong position to win this election, but nevertheless feels there are areas the campaign can continue to improve upon.
“He has been in direct contact with the Biden team and has urged them to put more emphasis on how they will raise wages, create millions of good paying jobs, lower the cost of prescription drugs and expand health care coverage.”
Shakir said that while Sanders is “working as hard as he can” to help elect Biden, he “also thinks that a stronger outreach to young people, the Latino community and the progressive movement will be of real help to the campaign.”
Therein lies the problem for Biden. The “stronger outreach to the progressive movement” part.
Historically, Democrat presidential candidates run to the Left during the primaries, then tack to the right, to the extent they can get away it, during the general election campaign. This puts Biden between a rock and a hard place. Bigly.
On one hand, “Democratic Socialists” Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — along with their scads of loyal followers — want to pull Biden as far to the Left as they possibly can.
On the other hand, Team Biden knows that even the perception of Biden adopting a more “progressive agenda” plays directly into the hand of Donald Trump, who is primed and ready to skewer him over every “progressive” move.
As a result, the question the Biden campaign must ask itself, and answer quickly, is whether they believe Biden stands to pick up more votes if he tacks to the Left, or lose more moderate voters to Trump by doing so.
Speaking of Trump, during an address to the virtual Democrat Convention in August, Sanders declared that the President is leading America towards authoritarianism.
While Bernie Sanders focuses on policy changes he’d like to see Biden make, more progressive positions he prefers Biden would adopt, the overriding question facing Joe Biden is whether he’s mentally fit to serve as president of the United States.
Most recently, as reported on Saturday by my RedState colleague Nick Arama, Biden was busted — again — for using a teleprompter during an interview.
Arthur Schwartz, an informal adviser to Donald Trump Jr. called out the media — principally CNN — on Saturday in response to a tweet from GOP Rapid Response Director Steve Guest about Biden being busted for using a teleprompter during an interview with James Corden:
“I don’t want to hear another damn word from Stelter, Tapper, Rucker et al. about the critical role they play as guardians of our democracy. They need to start asking Biden some legit questions or they need to sit down & shut their mouths.”
I don’t want to hear another damn word from Stelter, Tapper, Rucker et al. about the critical role they play as guardians of our democracy. They need to start asking Biden some legit questions or they need to sit down & shut their mouths. https://t.co/fcJGQU7TWD
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) September 12, 2020
The bottom line.
Clearly, Joe Biden is in a rough spot, varying poll results aside. What happens when he squares off against Trump in three presidential debates? He will be without his trusty teleprompter. There will be no one whispering answers in his ear. Wife Jill will not be sitting beside him ready to rescue him from himself. It will be all Joe.
Those are the real reasons Bernie Sanders and the Democrat Party should be scared to death about Joe Biden.