Thursday, 16 April 2020

Bernie Sanders Lectures Supporters: It’s ‘Irresponsible’ Not To Back Joe Biden

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been fully converted by the Joe Biden for President campaign and, in an interview with The Associated Press, published Wednesday, lectured his hold-out fans — including his own former press secretary — for failing to get on board with the “moderate,” presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.
“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,” The Associated Press reported.
Sanders endorsed Biden on Monday in a surprise appearance on Biden’s daily campaign livestream. During their discussion, Biden announced that Sanders and some of his core staff have been put in charge of consulting on progressive policy, and will form up six “working groups” to address Sanders’ top priorities, including the minimum wage and climate change.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that former President Barack Obama had a large hand in moving Sanders into Biden’s corner, holding at least four “lengthy discussions” with the Vermont socialist, pressuring him to drop out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and endorse Obama’s former Veep.
The conversations must have had a marked effect on Sanders, who just weeks ago was insisting that he had a “narrow path” to the nomination and that his supporters were such a force that they’d overturn Biden’s presumptive nomination even with a limited number of delegates left in play.
Now, he’s speaking directly from the gospel of Joe Biden.
“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?” Sanders lectured his supporters, many of whom are not yet on board with the Biden for President campaign.
“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 continued.
“If people want to vote for me, we’d appreciate it,” Sanders said in reference to the upcoming primary contests, given that a high delegate count does give Sanders greater influence over the Democratic party platform. But, he cautioned supporters, he has no intention of battling for the nod: “I think you’re going to see significant movement on the part of the Biden campaign into a more progressive direction on a whole lot of issues.”
He had particularly sharp words for his former press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, who tweeted Tuesday that she would not join her former boss in supporting Biden.
“With the utmost respect for Bernie Sanders, who is an incredible human being & a genuine inspiration, I don’t endorse Joe Biden,” Gray said. “I supported Bernie Sanders because he backed ideas like , cancelling ALL student debt, & a wealth tax. Biden supports none of those.”
Sanders insisted to the AP that Gray is no longer part of his team.
“She is my former press secretary — not on the payroll,” he said.

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