Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) warned Sunday that former vice president Joe Biden would lose to President Trump in the crucial rust belt states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin for his support of “disastrous” trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“What do you think Trump will do with him in Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin?” Sanders told the San Francisco Chronicle in an interview. “He’ll decimate him on that issue.”
Biden, a prominent supporter of the original NAFTA, voiced his support for President Trump’s USMCA trade deal last year, while Sanders has voiced opposition to the agreement.
The democratic socialist added that Biden was unlikely to inspire the voter turnout to defeat President Trump in 2020.
“Democrats win elections when voter turnout is high,” he said. “Does anyone really think that a Biden candidacy will create the kind of energy and excitement we need to significantly increase the voter turnout?” Biden countered the narrative after the South Carolina debate last week, saying it was “not likely” that Sanders would cause a record Democratic turnout.
Sanders also said that his potential running mate would have to support Medicare for All, and warned that the Democratic National Committee might block his nomination if he arrives at the convention with a plurality of delegates, but not a majority.
“I think that would look terrible, and I think that would lay the groundwork for a Trump victory,” Sanders said of the potential situation. “It would reflect on the Democratic Party in a very, very terrible way.”
Interviews with Democratic superdelegates released last week showed a large number unwilling to declare Sanders the nominee without the necessary majority.
Biden told voters last month that Democrats can’t let Trump use Sanders’s credentials as red meat, arguing that the party “will have to carry the label” of democratic socialism if Sanders remains in contention.