Sanders Explains His Next Steps, Strategically

He's staying in the race, but didn't attack Joe Biden
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2020 1:31 PM CDT
Sanders: I'm Staying In, Ready for Sunday's Debate
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks to reporters on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Burlington, Vt.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Bernie Sanders may be down after his Tuesday night losses, but he's certainly not out. In Wednesday comments, the Democratic candidate said he was staying in the race and looking forward to his Sunday night one-on-one debate with Joe Biden. In what CNN describes as "unusually frank and analytical terms," Sanders did acknowledge one word that's been problematic for his campaign: electability. "I cannot tell you how many people our campaign has spoke to and said, and I quote, 'I like what your campaign stands for, I agree with what your campaign stands for, but I'm going to vote for Joe Biden because I think Joe is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump,'" Sanders said. He added that he "strongly disagrees" with that line of thought, but understands it's what "millions of Democrats and independents today believe."

He said he'd work to chip away at that misconception during the debate. He also pointed out two "enormously important areas" where his campaign is in the lead: It's performing better among young people, and "poll after poll, including exit polls, show that a strong majority of the American people support our progressive agenda." Axios observes that "Sanders could have gone scorched earth on Biden—and he still could at Sunday's debate—but instead he took a more measured tone as part of a clear strategy to pressure Biden to adopt more progressive policies and language." The Hill echoed that, writing Sanders "importantly ... did not frame his opposition to Biden as attacks against his record, instead asking over and over again 'Joe, what are you going to do?'" (More Bernie Sanders 2020 stories.)

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