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Tipsheet

Biden: If Bernie Is the Nominee, That Puts Other Democrats in Jeopardy

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday discussed the 2020 campaign with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. One of the topics that naturally came up was Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) popularity in places like Iowa.

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But, according to Biden, if Sanders receives the Democratic nomination, it could come at a price.

"You've also talked about the risk of the Democrats taking the label 'democratic socialism' in a national election. Were you surprised last night when only Sen. Klobuchar joined you in that concern?" Stephanopoulos asked, referring to Friday night's Democratic debate.

"No, I wasn't surprised," Biden said, clearly thinking about what he was planning to say next. "But I think it's just a reality. Look, I'm not putting the label on Bernie. Bernie calls himself a democratic socialist. Now, you've been around, George, as much as anybody."

"You're gonna win with that label? You're gonna help someone in Florida win with that label, 'democratic socialist'?" a wide-eyed Biden asked. "Because it's gonna go all the way down the line. That's what's going to happen."

"You gonna win in North Carolina? You gonna win in Pennsylvania? You gonna win in those states in the Midwest?" Biden asked, referencing typical swing states. "It's not – I didn't put the label on Bernie. Bernie calls himself a 'democratic socialist.'"

Stephanopoulos asked Biden, point-blank, could Democrats defeat President Donald Trump if they "have to defend socialism." 

"I think it's going to be incredibly more difficult," Biden said bluntly. "I'm not gonna say – Look, if I don't get the nomination and Bernie gets it, I'm going to work like hell for him. But I tell you what. It's a bigger uphill climb, running as a senator or a congressperson or as a governor on a ticket that's called itself a socialist ticket.'"

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We may give crazy Uncle Joe a lot of crap for the stupid stuff he says, but he's right on this one. Most average Americans absolutely do not want socialism. It's the fringe progressive element of the Democratic Party that wants those things. Once the Democrats get out of the primary phase of the election and move to the general, they're no longer battling each other or trying to out-left one another. They're going to have to fight President Trump, the very man who has a booming economy and record low unemployment under his administration. They're going to have to tell Americans that they want to jack up taxes and take away their freedoms. 

A Bernie nominee would almost guarantee a Trump re-election, which is great for Republicans, but terrible for Democrats. And it's probably the very reason Bernie and his supporters get screwed at every turn. Just look at the Iowa Caucuses as a prime example. 

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