During a live-streamed briefing from a basement studio in his Delaware home on Wednesday, Joe Biden poopooed the idea of holding yet another Democratic debate in April.
The former vice president began his briefing with an action plan about what must be done to protect young people of the "millennial" and "gen z" age groups from the economic fallout related to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. During a very brief question and answer session with viewers at the end of the broadcast, the 77-year-old frontrunner was asked whether he would debate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in April.
"My focus is just dealing with this crisis right now," Biden said of Sanders' recent vow to participate in a Democratic Debate. "I haven’t thought about any more debates. I think we’ve had enough debates. I think we should get on with this."
After the most recent round of stunning primary defeats in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, the socialist Sanders, 78, returned to his home state of Vermont to consider his future as a presidential candidate. Saying her would consult with his supporters and decide the best path forward, many speculated that Sanders was on the precipice of ending his second bid for the White House. Those rumors were put to rest, however, when Sanders said he was ready to take on Biden once more for an 11th Democratic Debate in April.
No city, sponsoring networks, or news publications have been named as hosts of a potential next debate. However, as the global Wuhan coronavirus pandemic rages on, the Democratic National Committee has yet to announce an official cancelation of what would be the final debate of their 2019-2020 campaign plan.
"Senator Sanders is still running for president,” said top campaign official Mike Casca. “If there is a debate in April, he plans to be there."
Biden was also questioned about his ability to reach out to young voters the way that Sanders had been able to in the heyday of his campaign. Dismissing the notion that he didn't appeal to young people, Biden touted a virtual happy hour planned for later in the day to discuss "issues Young Americans care about." That event, scheduled for 6:30, will likely fight for attention as the White House Coronavirus Task Force is set to address the nation around the same time.
Looking into the future at the general election in November, the Democratic frontrunner also faced questions about President Trump's high approval amid the pandemic.
"The president's numbers with the public have gone up in handling this crisis, but they haven't gone up in terms of his presidency," Biden said, dismissing the national reaction as a knee-jerk to a massive disease crisis. Following an extended pause, a reporter corrected him via phone, citing recent Gallup poll information that showed a significant jump in Trump's overall job approval rating.
"Well, I hope that he's so strong that he's up way above that," Biden said. During the briefing on Wednesday, Biden also said that widespread student loan forgiveness and revisiting initiatives in the Green New Deal were needed to fight the effects of the WuhancCoronavirus in the United States. Both proposals drew widespread, bipartisan criticism when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a 1,400-page relief bill that included dozens of unrelated, left-wing items.
BIDEN: "The president's numbers with the public have gone up in handling this crisis, but they haven't gone up in terms of his presidency."— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) March 25, 2020
REPORTER: Actually, his job approval is also up.
BIDEN: "Well, I hope that he's so strong that he's up way above that." pic.twitter.com/VfWksMSpJi