DailyMail reports Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that it would be ‘irresponsible’ for his loyalists not to support Joe Biden, warning that progressives who ‘sit on their hands’ in the months ahead would simply enable President Donald Trump’s reelection.
And lest there be any question, the 78-year-old Vermont senator confirmed that ‘it’s probably a very fair assumption’ that he would not run for president again. He added, with a laugh: ‘One can’t predict the future.’
Sanders, who suspended his presidential bid last week, spoke at length about his decision to endorse Biden, his political future and the urgent need to unify the Democratic Party during an interview with The Associated Press.
He railed against the Republican president but also offered pointed criticism at his own supporters who have so far resisted his vow to do whatever it takes to help Biden win the presidency.
He seemed to distance himself from his campaign’s former national press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, when asked about her recent statement on social media refusing to endorse Biden.
‘She is my former press secretary – not on the payroll,’ Sanders noted. A spokesman later clarified that all campaign staffers were no longer on the payroll as of Tuesday, though they will get a severance check in May.
Sanders said his supporters have a simple choice now that Biden has emerged as the presumptive nominee: ‘Do we be as active as we can in electing Joe Biden and doing everything we can to move Joe and his campaign in a more progressive direction?
‘Or do we choose to sit it out and allow the most dangerous president in modern American history to get reelected?’
He continued: ‘I believe that it’s irresponsible for anybody to say, “Well, I disagree with Joe Biden – I disagree with Joe Biden! – and therefore I’m not going to be involved.”‘
Sanders said he would not actively campaign or spend money on advertising in the primary contests that are still on the calendar in the coming months.
Per TCO, Some of Bernie Sanders most prominent supporters are not interested or unenthusiastic about jumping on the Biden Train
Sanders National Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray tweeted:
With the utmost respect for Bernie Sanders, who is an incredible human being & a genuine inspiration, I don’t endorse Joe Biden.
I supported Bernie Sanders because he backed ideas like #MedicareForAll, cancelling ALL student debt, & a wealth tax. Biden supports none of those.
Shaun King tweeted:
To @JoeBiden and his campaign, staff, and supporters.
Votes are EARNED.
They are won and wooed.
By stepping down in early April, which rarely happens, @BernieSanders has given you the gift of time to try to earn these votes.
Be substantive. Platitudes don’t matter to us.
The Democratic Socialist of America tweeted very simply “We are not endorsing Joe Biden.”
DailyCaller reports Sen. Bernie Sanders’s biggest supporters are criticizing Joe Biden after the democratic socialist endorsed the former vice president.
Sanders’s campaign press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, and several other surrogates are expressing their displeasure after Sanders endorsed Biden on the presumptive Democratic nominee’s live stream Monday. Gray explained on Twitter shortly after the announcement why she’s not on board.
“With the utmost respect for Bernie Sanders, who is an incredible human being & a genuine inspiration, I don’t endorse Joe Biden,” she told her followers Monday.
She went on to note that Biden does not support any of the big-ticket items underlying Sanders’ unsuccessful campaign.
“I supported Bernie Sanders because he backed ideas like role #MedicareForAll, cancelling ALL student debt, & a wealth tax,” Gray noted. “Biden supports none of those.”
Other left-wing supporters expressed similar sentiments.
“I can hardly believe what I am watching,” Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King wrote in a tweet Monday before suggesting that Biden was reading off of a teleprompter during his livestream conversation with Sanders.
He added: “Never in my life have I seen a leader require a Teleprompter and script TO HAVE A CONVERSATION with someone. It’s insulting. It’s bizarre.”
CNN commentator and former public health official Abdul El-Sayed also weighed in on Sanders endorsement.
“There’s no way around the disappointment that Bernie Sanders won’t be President,” El-Sayed tweeted Monday before explaining why he thinks the coronavirus pandemic changed everything about the Democratic primary.
“Biden’s message was about the past. But going back to ‘normal’ where 1/10 Americans were uninsured, gigs displaced jobs, & action on #climatechange was halting is a NONSTARTER after #COVID showed just how broken ‘normal’ really was for too many,” El-Sayed added.
The comments come as Democrats try to avoid an internal fight between the progressive and moderate wings of the party.
Sanders, for his part, told his followers Monday before the live stream that he was joining Biden on the livestream and would make an announcement.
“We must come together to defeat the most dangerous president in modern history,” the Vermont senator said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noted in a New York Times interview published Monday that she would continue pushing Biden to adopt positions aligned closer to Sanders’s.
“The whole process of coming together should be uncomfortable for everyone involved — that’s how you know it’s working,” she said.