Bernie vs. Biden Is Already Heating Up on the Campaign Trail | NTK Network Bernie vs. Biden Is Already Heating Up on the Campaign Trail

Bernie vs. Biden Is Already Heating Up on the Campaign Trail

“I helped lead the fight against NAFTA. He voted for NAFTA," Sanders said. “I strongly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He supported it. I voted against the war in Iraq. He voted for it."

By NTK Staff | 05.03.2019 @10:39am
Bernie vs. Biden Is Already Heating Up on the Campaign Trail

One week after former Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) officially entered the 2020 presidential race, his strategy became clear: focus attacks on President Trump as much as possible but watch out for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

For his part, Sanders is behaving much like he did during the 2016 presidential primary. He’s openly embracing conversations that contrast his extreme record with those of his rivals. And like 2016, Sanders finds himself in a strong position but not quite atop the leaderboard. That’s led to Sanders lines like this one from the past week:

“I think when people take a look at my record versus Vice President Biden’s record, I helped lead the fight against NAFTA. He voted for NAFTA,” Sanders said on CNN. “I helped lead the fight against [permanent normal trade relations] with China. He voted for it. I strongly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He supported it. I voted against the war in Iraq. He voted for it.”

Replace “Biden” with “Clinton” and maybe swap out an issue here and there, and it’s Sanders’ 2016 stump speech all over again. Clinton’s aides are still famously bitter about these kinds of attacks, which they believe hobbled her candidacy as she tangled with Trump in the general election.

And while Biden has largely focused on Trump since entering the race, he did offer a contrast with Sanders last year during a speech to the Brookings Institution:

But in a speech at the Brookings Institution in 2018, Biden drew a contrast with Sanders. “I love Bernie, but I’m not Bernie Sanders. I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble,” he said. “I get in trouble with my party when I say wealthy Americans are just as patriotic as poor folks.”

As the primary heats up, voters should expect to hear those lines thrown in Biden’s face. The country has veered more populist in recent years and defending the wealthy in the Democratic Party in particular is an unforced error in 2019. Meanwhile, if Biden is able to make it out of the primary, all of his focus on Trump will be for nothing.

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