Mike Gravel says Sanders, Gabbard would be 'ideal' 2020 Dem ticket

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel said in an interview that aired Friday on Hill.TV's "Rising" that he thinks that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardKrystal Ball praises former McConnell aide's historic win in Kentucky The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race The Hill's Morning Report — Bloomberg news shakes up 2020 race MORE (D-Hawaii) would make the ideal 2020 Democratic ticket. 

"In my mind, the ideal group would be either Bernie as president or Tulsi as president and Bernie as vice president," Gravel, who served as a senator and congressman from Alaska, told hosts Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti.

Gravel went on to praise Sanders's domestic agenda and Gabbard's military service, adding that Gabbard would be his ideal choice for the top of the ticket.  

"I think he's got a great domestic agenda. I thought, back then, he was a little weak on foreign policy. He himself has admitted that he was weak on foreign policy, and he's trying to bring himself up to speed," he said. 

"Tulsi Gabbard, in my mind, is the most ideal person to become president," he continued. "She's got six years experience on the Foreign Relations Committee, on the Armed Services Committee. She had the guts to take on Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal 3 ways government can help clean up Twitter MORE over a military issue. She's been in the service, she's a major in the reserves, she's had two tours of duty in Iraq." (The House committee with jurisdiction over foreign policy matters is called the House Foreign Affairs Committee).

Sanders has consistently come in second to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Juan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete MORE in polling among the Democratic field, while Gabbard has struggled to keep up with the rest of the Democratic pack.

Gravel, in the same interview, slammed Biden, calling him "ideologically off the rails."

Despite running for president himself, Gravel has said he does not intend to seriously seek the presidency, but hopes to make a policy statement on the debate stage.

"The goal of a Gravel 2020 campaign would not be to win, but instead to draw attention to the central issues that Sen. Gravel has focused on over the previous decades," a draft version of his campaign plan indicates, adding "the ultimate goal would be to gain media attention and then endorse either Rep. Gabbard or Sen. Bernie Sanders before the Iowa caucuses." 

— Julia Manchester