Manchester, NH–If you’re a Joe Biden supporter, there’s no need to watch the results on Tuesday. He’s going to lose. This is the land of Bernie Sanders—and Joe Biden isn’t a fit. It’s quite something for a supposed Democratic heavyweight and candidate that’s said to be the one best suited to beat Donald Trump in the fall to concede defeat this early, but the former vice president did not shy away about the fact that he got shellacked in Iowa and will “probably take a hit” here in the Granite State, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t take some shots at the two candidates who will probably perform the best in this state, Pete Buttigieg and the Sandman himself.
via ABC News:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC News: Candidates, welcome. Vice President Biden, the first question is for you. In the last few days, you have been saying that Democrats would be taking too big a risk if they nominate Senator Sanders or Mayor Buttigieg. But they came out on top in Iowa. What risk did the Iowa Democrats miss?
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Well, they didn't miss anything. It's a long race. I took a hit in Iowa and I'll probably take a hit here. Traditionally, Bernie won by 20 points last time. And usually it's the neighboring senators that do well.
But I'm -- no matter what, I'm still in this for the same reason. I'm going to -- we have to restore the soul of this country, bring back the middle class, and make sure we bring people together. And so it's a simple proposition. It doesn't matter whether it's this one or the next. I've always viewed the first four encounters, two primaries and two caucuses, as the starting point. And so that's how I view it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But why are Senator Sanders and Mayor Buttigieg too big a risk for Democrats?
BIDEN: Well, you know, you know that -- with regard to Senator Sanders, the president wants very much to stick a label on every candidate. We're going to not only have to win this time, we have to bring along the United States Senate.
And Bernie's labeled himself, not me, a democratic socialist. I think that's the label that the president's going to lay on everyone running with Bernie, if he's a nominee.
And Mayor Buttigieg is a great guy and a real patriot. He's a mayor of a small city who has done some good things, but has not demonstrated he has the ability to -- and we'll soon find out -- to get a broad scope of support across the support, including African-Americans and Latinos.
All true things, Joe—but you need to start winning. The first three contests are states where Bernie Sanders and maybe Buttigieg are competitive. That leaves South Carolina at the state where you need to get things going—and you’re only ahead by five points down there. His fundraising numbers are rather lackluster for a former vice president that served in one of the most popular Democratic administrations in recent memory. But as Hillary Clinton found out, winning coalitions aren’t transferable. Biden may be discovering the same thing, as once again Sanders appears to have captured the youth wing of the Obama base.
In the spin room after the debate, Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders’ top adviser this campaign cycle, was tipping his hand as to whether he thinks Biden is viable after losing three straight contests, though he appreciated the narrative the media is making for his guy. He said he wasn’t going to get into hypothetical, though one reporter added it’s not an unfair or far-fetched one regarding whether Biden can survive. Donors could dry up. And his debate performance last night was, well, loud. That doesn’t mean good, however.