Sanders Uses 2016 Campaign Strategy to Bludgeon Biden | NTK Network Sanders Uses 2016 Campaign Strategy to Bludgeon Biden

Sanders Uses 2016 Campaign Strategy to Bludgeon Biden

Trailing in the polls, the Associated Press reported that Sanders is increasingly relying on harsh contrasts with Biden to energize his voters and win over other Democrats.

By NTK Staff | 05.15.2019 @10:00am
Sanders Uses 2016 Campaign Strategy to Bludgeon Biden

Nearly four years after his shocking entrance on the national stage, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) finds himself in a similar position as he again campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Down in the polls, this time to former Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) instead of Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ campaign strategy is increasingly turning to tactics that include harsh criticisms of his rival’s record.

The criticism includes Biden’s past support for trade deals and the Iraq war, along with a harsh rebuke of what Reuters described as Biden’s “middle ground” approach to climate change.

“No one seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination has been as aggressive as the Vermont senator in highlighting episodes from the former vice president’s past to sow skepticism in the party’s progressive base,” the Associated Press’ Juana Summers wrote on Wednesday.

The strategy is reminiscent of Sanders’ approach to the 2016 Democratic primary, when he relentlessly slammed Hillary Clinton as an establishment pawn. And it’s a reminder that, even when Sanders lags in the polls, he is often most comfortable when he’s taking on top Democrats, hoping that such attacks will energize his most loyal supporters.

That was easy to do in 2016 when he was the sole outsider candidate taking on one of the most recognizable names in Democratic politics. It could be tougher now that he’s a leading contender for the nomination who has spent the past several years building an organization to support his candidacy.

For his part, Biden has largely ignored Sanders and instead focused his firepower on President Trump. But in indirect ways, Biden has defended his record against Sanders’ attacks.

“I was in this area long before most anybody else was, and I have a record,” he said.

Many political observers have questioned whether Sanders’ 2016 strategy will work in 2020. With so many candidates in the field, it’s more difficult to capture the electorate’s attention with bombastic rhetoric. And Biden is a different kind of politician than Clinton with a different background and record.

Lightning rarely strikes twice, but trailing Biden in the polls by some 20 points, Sanders will be depending on it if he’s to win the nomination in 2020.

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